Struggling to care


I am very new to all this and not coping very well. I am currently living with my parents (both aged 84) and have found myself having to take on the role of carer and I am not sure that I can do this.

My dad is physically able but due to a mistake in hospital can no longer talk so for the past 7 years mum has done all the talking for him when he had appointments etc.

Now mum is being assessed for possible dementia. She is so very confused. She has been given tablets to help with the anxiety. I know they will take a few weeks to be effective but I am not convinced that they are going to help. But I can cope with that. What I find so difficult are the times when she has ‘panic attacks’ - I am not sure what else to call them. When she doesn’t recognize myself or dad and demands that somebody takes her ‘home’. These can go on for several hours. They usually start in the evening. The next morning she knows that something happened but she can’t quite remember what. She says some really nasty things which I know are not her because she is usually so kind and loving. I know that is the ‘disease’ but it still hurts.

There are other times when she does not recognize me and thinks I am ‘the other girl’ and I have quickly learnt that there is no point in trying to explain things to her.

Sorry rant over,


Hi Hayley,

Welcome to the forum. Caring for one is difficult without help, two is almost impossible.

How best to deal with this situation depends on a number of things, but I’m sure we can get the help and support all three of you need. Apologies in advance for the questions, but with your answers we can give more precise advice, and also flag up some potential problems.
Do mum and dad own or rent their house?
Do you have a home of your own, or live with them full time?
Do they have over £46,000 between them (Yes/No) Below this amount Social Services will pay for some or all of their care.
Are they both claiming Attendance Allowance?
Are you claiming Carers Allowance?
Do you have Power of Attorney?
Have you ever had a Carers Assessment?
Have they ever had a Needs Assessment?

Thank you so much for replying

Mum and Dad own their own house and my name is on the deeds as well (I think they thought that might help in the future)
I am living with them full time
I would say that their savings are above that threshold
I filled in the POA forms just before lock down but have yet to get them witnessed, but hopefully that will be in the next few weeks.
Mum and dad only get there state pension and dad has a works pension.
I am currently working full time in the NHS and would have assumed that I am not entitled to anything.

Mum is quite a private person who doesn’t like to admit there is anything wrong and it has taken me many months for her even to agree to go to the doctors ‘for a chat’.

They should both be entitled to Attendance Allowance, this is a non means tested benefit.

It’s brilliant that your name is on the deeds, that should mean that whatever happens to them in the future, the council can’t insist on selling the house to pay for care. (Some carers living in a rented family home are made homeless as soon as the parent dies or goes into care!).

Do you manage their pension for them? Are you aware of the DWP Appointee scheme, it’s a very simple way of taking over managing their benefits, if they are agreeable, then you could claim AA for them.

Try to get the POA forms signed as soon as possible, time is really running out if mum might have dementia. Somehow or other, get the forms witnessed asap.

It would be a good idea for you to gradually bring together all their financial papers in a ring binder. Social Services wouldn’t provide any financial help towards care, but that doesn’t mean that you should manage without, your parents should be paying for it. If you think they might resist this, it’s another good idea to get the POA or Appointeeship sorted out so you can manage their money for them.

Is the house suitable for increasingly elderly disabled people?
Do they have a dishwasher, tumble dryer?
If not, then think about asking for an Occupational Therapy Assessment.

Does any of the above relate to Mum.