Recent Stroke & Loss of Ability

Hi, I’m new to the forum. I was looking at a few of the previous threads and noticed people here actually get what I’m saying. People keep suggesting I deal with my father like a normal, rational adult. Then that doesn’t work and they act surprised. Like, “explain to him that he shouldn’t fly to London during covid to visit a bank and then take the boat back. I’m sure he’ll listen if you explain the regulations currently in place.”

But he doesn’t listen and now he’s in self-isolation for another week.

He’s had at least three strokes -possibly the first one was in '10 driving back from London to Hollyhead. He nearly crashed into other cars and the hedge before I managed to convince him to pull over and called the police, who called an ambulance. He had one while I was abroad and I only found out when he was in for a check-up and needed me to collect him. I mentioned it in passing to someone and they said “oh yeah he had that stroke back in March… didn’t you know?” He’s super secretive.

My mother, his wife, died a decade ago from cancer. He lived with his mummy until he married her, and both of them did everything for him. So he expected me to clean our (kinda big) house perfectly from 14. This argument became most of our relationship for the last decade. He hoards and loves DIY so most rooms are filled with boxes of random stuff.
The downstairs bathroom doesn’t work -most of the taps don’t run hot water and haven’t for years. You’ve got to reset the water to make the boiler come on. He boils a kettle of hot water and brings it to the bathroom to shave his face. The kitchen floor has a gap in the wood floor running from one side to the other. In the middle of that is a wood stove. He takes a fire-starter and lights it at the gas cooker, then walks across the floor -dodging the gap, the cans and wood all strewn across the floor to put it in the stove. The recent stroke has made his legs shakey but he thinks that’s still the best way to do that job.
We’re not sure if a support worker could even offer support in a place like this.

Cleaning it is impossible. You could perfectly clean the kitchen but when you come back later to make your dinner he will have left tea and bread and food all over the counters -even though we have a mouse problem too. He won’t clean the mess he’s made for days or even weeks and he’ll blame everyone else for why it’s like that. This has been true for years.
For the hoarding things he’ll call you to help him. He picks up a box and chooses a number of items from it to throw away. Repeat that for an hour and repeat again next week. He considers this part of the regular house-cleaning that every normal family member should be a part of. I’m horribly arachnophobia and spiders start living in the spaces and I’m terrified to deal with them. Two big ones got into my room before I was kicked out -but he’s so selfish he won’t help me with my spider problem. But of course, I’ll clean the kitchen for him, help him build a porch, go to the pharmacy for him, make some food for him… but one spider in my laundry? “Oh it’s just a little one”, he’ll say laughing at me.

Finally, he seems stupid but he’s not. He has always spoken oddly and acted abnormal. Theory goes he probably has autism but it was never diagnosed. He completely lacks the ability to emphathise with another person. You can imagine then why “try talking to him and explaining your side” never works. He thought it acceptable to laugh at my efforts to clean up before he came back from Hospital, then demand I help move boxes (the same ones we’ve moved for a decade now) and when I refused because it’s madness he kicked me out during this pandemic.
He’s starting to think maybe he shouldn’t have done that because he’s bad with computers and since I’m not there I don’t help with them. It cruel but I’ve basically been refusing to assist since May.

I was living away from home but he wanted to help me go to university for a masters. I told everyone I couldn’t depend on him -but they told it was fine. He’s so nice and helpful! He’s offering to pay for your masters, you shouldn’t pass that up! Now he’s trying to put me into London in all this madness, without a job or a place to live. Oh, and again, I got kicked out. He gets me under his control and if I won’t do as he wants I get threats and lose my stability again. But he’s so kind.

Which brings us to yesterday evening. I had invited a friend to my new place when he called me. He started with “I’m losing the will to live” because everything he does is going wrong. His covid payment is done online and he can’t get it right. He has some paperwork to fix but won’t pay for the advice he needs. He’s trying to build a porch with wobbly legs and shakey hands.
He can’t relax because he suffers from terrible depression and sitting around causes it to eat him alive. He’ll start drinking and sleeping to get away from it. He thinks he doesn’t have a problem with drink but right now he’s “drinking water every time he wants to have a pint”. (He’s on warafin so I tipped the nurse off that her numbers aren’t settling because he’s drinking and I think she had a serious word with him about it.)
He has to be doing something or the depression beast will come for him -he’s never learnt to deal with his feelings. But he avoids it by driving around in the car (he’s a taxi driver), but there’s no work for him right now and he’s been advised to stop driving. Or he’ll do DIY (that he never finishes). You need to two things to get into my house via the front door. The key for the latch and a a screwdriver for the hole where a key should go in the lower lock. (getting that open for the ambulance was stressful). In winter it swells up (it’s wooden) and you have to PULL and PULL to get it open. But rather than replace the door he’s building a porch. It’s going to look like the house two doors down (no it won’t). Last time he had a stroke he build a shed. We already have an unfinished shed but he built a second one.

He can do basic things like get up, wash and make his food. Anything complicated he’ll get wrong. He makes dangerous decisions. He organised a power of attorney before this started (there were so many complications with his mother because she didn’t have one) but I have no idea when you can say “you are a risk to yourself and others and need help”. He’s always been very independent so he’s going to hate that process. I think he imagined he’d be far less aware of his surroundings when that time came.

Lastly, I live in Ireland so UK supports won’t apply. We travel between to the two countries kinda often but we aren’t UK residents. Really I’m just looking to know how other people have dealt with stuff like this. From people who understand he’s not just a difficult father -he’s a difficult father with multiple strokes.


I don’t have much time today, but you MUST, MUST, MUST stop him driving, as a taxi driver or anything else for that matter, because you don’t want his death or anyone else’s on your conscience for the rest of your life. He will be licensed to drive a taxi by the local authority in his area, so please ring them as soon as you read this. I bet he never told anyone in authority about his strokes, there are strict rules about declaring this sort of thing to get a normal licence, never mind a taxi licence!!!
He is clearly a danger to himself and others now. Can you contact his GP?

Hi Bowling. I totally agree -I suspect he kicked me out to stop me monitoring and bothering him about the car. He claims the doctor said he was okay after month, but GDPR is preventing me from actually confirming it. They nurse told me it would be August until they would check if he can drive. I’m really worried too that he’s lying to me. The GP hasn’t had any documents delivered since Jan, but his stroke was in May. Hospital says they don’t have anything to send on -or that they don’t know, depending on who answers.
The NRA said he needs to tell his insurance company, who of course, will end his insurance until he gets the all-clear from the doctor. I heard him calling them (well… only the answering machine on a Saturday) so I hoped he sorted it. But he still drove himself to the shop anyway (for beers that I refused to buy for him).
His taxi-driver friend tells me if I call the insurance company they won’t listen to me. Might be worth a try though,

Everyone I speak to says “Oh don’t tell the authorities then he’d get in big trouble you know?” and I tell them “Yes but this is really serious, I think I should call the police. He’s not listening to anyone.”

Thankfully with the covid situation he isn’t driving any passengers

You believe the correct action is to speak to the police and/or taxi regulator directly?


Maybe start with the taxi licence manager at the local council. In my area it’s the District Council - I’m sure you will know what it says on the plate at the back of his cab. (My son works for the council, and is one of the people qualified to do the regular roadworthiness checks).

Google “driving after a stroke” and you will find the Stroke Association. It says if you drive a PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicle) you must report it straight away.

I’ll get in touch with the National Road Authority and start the conversation. Apparently he’s gone off to London again, so no driving there.

Tomorrow I’m meeting some people and going to start taking a hard line with them and plan an intervention.
Someone else helped him book that flight ticket. “Oh I don’t think your father should be going abroad, it’s not safe for him.” No it’s not sweetie, why did you book the tickets for him then? You don’t think he should be on a motorbike? Funny, I don’t think so either. Why did you call the insurance company to help him set it up?

Very frustrating. They all mean the best but just do as he requests. Is this how parents feel when people keep feeding their children sweets when they’re not allowed?

In this sort of situation, you become the “parent” of an “elderly toddler”. The roles are reversed.
The motives of others are very questionnable in many caring situations, those who want to tell you that you are doing a good job (which then gives them “permission” to do nothing!) for example. It tells you everything about THEM!

Can I ask whether dad is now being responsible about his money, or does it just run through his fingers like sand?
My dad was a brilliant mathematician, but as his cancer developed he lost his mathematical prowess, and when he died I had the unfortunate role of telling mum that there was no money left at all, just £14,000 of debts that she was now responsible for!! I sorted things out for her, but she just didn’t want to know, definitely a child like response.
Fortunately she gave me POA, all she wanted to know about her money was whether or not she had enough to order some more stuff (she didn’t need!) from JD Williams.
As you are living in dad’s house, you need to find out all your can about his financial situation.

Hi, thank you for your advice. But I don’t think you understand how stubborn this man is nor how dangerous it can be for me to be close to him. I don’t live with him -he kicked me out after his stroke. He’s kicked me out 3 times over the years… This time he tried to physically pull me out of my room to do it.

He is not on-board with me becoming his parent figure. He wants people to make his dinner and clean his house but not to take the responsibilities he’s given.
Is there a method to bringing a person like this around to being more cooperative? I’ve found exchange seems to work with him. He’s nice and cooperative with me when he needs help with zoom and email. But if he doesn’t need anything and wants me to do something that I refuse, he loses it. Right now I have nothing to exchange nor the authority of a parent to say “no, you’re not flying abroad. No you’re not driving that car, put those keys down.”

Money is… both perfectly fine and very bad. He has some serious problems in the UK he needs to resolve but he won’t tell anyone what the story is. But he never spends a penny and owns his house. I think he could retire comfortably. This UK problem could cause a big debt -and driving irresponsibly could ruin him.
You mentioned POA. He needs to pay the lawyer but we did get it signed and prepared. How do you decide when it needs to be activated? My father can cook his own meals but very few of his decisions make sense. I’m not confident he can make good legal or financial decisions. Do you suspect it and then bring him to a doctor for their assessment?

Don’t bother to try to humour him, no point, nothing you ever do will ever be right, unless he’s manipulating you. I know how sad this is, but it’s true.
Did you report him for assault for pulling you by the hair? Be sure to do this if he EVER does it again.
If he is rude to you on the phone, put the phone down. Keep putting it down. You are a grown woman now worthy of respect.
Have you rung up the taxi authority yet? That’s so important.