Scared and overwhelmed

Hello everyone,
Long story I’m sorry!
My Dad is 75 and i have suspected he has dementia for quite a long time but he has been managing and is yet to have a diagnosis. I have spent months worrying, trying to talk him in to seeing a doctor and also trying not to upset him.

Yesterday morning he had a fall and broke his wrist. During the examination in A&E he couldn’t answer a lot of simple questions, (how did you get here? What day is it? Where does your daughter live?) again the same today with a social worker in an extremely uncomfortable conversation.

I am very concerned how he will cope with a broken wrist/the cast/not driving and living in a village (yes still driving! He is stubborn and not easy to talk down) In the end we got him to reluctantly agree to having 3 visits per day from a support worker to check on him, if he needs help with food, personal care etc. I have two small children and don’t drive and I am struggling with the strain of holding everything together as it is.

This afternoon we drove him home and told him at least 6 times what was happening with the support visits. My husband rung him when we got home and also wrote it down for him. When the support worker arrived, he rung me and said your Dad is declining everything and won’t even let me in the house. I rung him only for him to shout at me that he knew nothing about it and had things to do. Yesterday my husband spent ten hours with him helping him at the hospital etc and he just accused my husband of conning him. He thinks everyone is the enemy or so it seems.

I fear my Dad is no longer in there. I don’t recognise him. I have so much fear and guilt and anxiety and grief. I have no siblings and my Mum died ten years ago. I’m lost and it’s all on me as there is literally no other family to help.

Should I put the pressure back on to social services? Should I battle with him and keep trying to get him to accept this help? I don’t know where to begin and I feel like I’m drowning desperately trying to keep my head above water.


Hi Helen,

STOP feeling guilty, you have nothing to feel guilty about, after all you didn’t give dad dementia did you?

I have lost too many relatives, I think death is a rubbish idea, but I can’t change it. What I could do was to support family as much as possible, as you will do. However, clearly dad is developing serious problems.
Keep a diary from now on, what happened, who you spoke to, etc. etc.
Use your phone to record dad’s outbursts.

Top priority must be to get his to stop driving, I’m afraid. Ring DVLA and tell them of your concerns. If possible, take away his keys. You don’t want a death on your conscience.

Now would be a good time for you to learn to drive, it would transform your life. Have you ever tried?

Definitely take away the keys, all sets! Don’t tell him, kind lies are needed now. Say they are lost or that th car needs to go the garage
Don’t even think of battling or arguing with someone with dementia! He won’t see any sense or even remember. Learn to be non committal and tell lies if it keep him happy and content.
Yes involve social services and be prepared to battle with them to get him help.
It’s getting to the stage that you need to take kind control. It’s difficult to change roles from being a dutiful daughter but now you need to be the sensible parent

He must stop driving……remove the battery from the car.
I don’t suppose he will know now how to check that it’s gone.

Contacting DVLA will not, in itself, stop him driving !

Here is a link to the .gov site about dementia and driving. Hopefully, this will give you more confidence to take away dad’s keys. Next challenge will be taking away the car or locking it up.
If you don’t drive, then surely this would be a good time to learn, and then use dad’s car?