Should I visit my dad in the care home?

My dad is 92. My mum died nearly 2 years ago just before the first covid lockdown and shortly after that dad was diagnosed with vascular dementia. I am an only child. I have been living abroad but was here when covid struck and was unable to return home so I’ve been living with dad as his sole carer. I can’t do it any more and want to return home to my husband who also has health problems. Consequently, I have moved my dad to a care home with the help of social services, but he doesn’t want to stay there. He gets the home to call me and then begs me to come and take him home. He doesn’t accept that I have my own life that I need to get back to. These calls are so upsetting for us both and I can’t face going to visit him for fear of him begging me face to face. It makes me feel so guilty and wicked even though I know there is no alternative to him staying there. Can anybody offer some strategy for coping with this? I feel tearful now just writing this.

Hi Sherilee

Welcome to the forum. Sounds like a really difficult situation for you, and might be something you might benefit from talking about further. Our free Listening Support Service is currently closed to new referrals but will open up again in the new year.

If you would like to have some calls with a trained volunteer where you can express yourself in a safe environment, do feel free to register here and we will respond to you in Jan: Listening Support Service | Carers UK

Do take care and thanks for reaching out via the Forum, I’m sure your fellow carers will have some useful insights for you.


Hi and welcome Sherilee

You have been a good person and done all you can for your Dad. Please don’t feel any guilt! Your Dad has hopefully been able to have a fulfilled long life. If he doesn’t like the current care home. The only other option is to go to another care home. But that takes time and you want to return home. Social services can help in this area. You need to stick to your position and explain this is his decision. You will help support the move but you are going home. And there are system in place to make connections to you i.e. internet / phone etc.

I know how sad I was when my very frail mum had no option but to move into residential care.
Fortunately, it was a decision we could make jointly, but I was enormously relieved. For years, I’d been told I should never care for anyone ever again, but mum needed my support (although she had carers to do the basics) and my son had severe learning difficulties. He lived away from home but had a series of problems. In the middle of all this I was running a business.

All of us have a “breaking point” when we have done our very best, but it’s still not enough.
Feel very proud of what you have done, and go back to your own family as soon as possible.
It’s all very, very SAD,
Does dad own or rent his home? It takes longer than you think to empty a home! Do you have Power of Attorney?

I understand that dad wants to go “home” but you know it’s impossible, dad needs a team of people now, not just one person.
It may not even be the “home” he has just left, as dementia deepens the home they are thinking about is a childhood home, with mum and dad.
The very elderly lose the ability to appreciate how much others do for them, they become very self centred and think that whatever they can’t do someone else should do for them, without any thought of the other person’s life.

You need to see the Matron/Manager of the home and insist that the staff do not support dad to ring you.
You are emotionally traumatised enough as it is, and I’m sure you would rather be leading your own life in your own home.

Remind yourself that dad has been lucky to have a child at all, even luckier a child able to leave her own home when he was in a crisis situation. You have done all you can.