(TW) Elderly relative refusing paid care/suicidal

Hello all,
I am desperately seeking advice on behalf of my mother, who has been caring for my grandfather (82) for over a year now. We have had three very unexpected family bereavements over the past two years, most recently my grandfathers son (my uncle), whom he lived with and was partially responsible for his care.

My grandfather lives alone in a house too big for him, he can’t dress himself, has occasional “accidents” and he has severe mobility issues. he has had two quite severe falls over the past year one in which he broke his ribs and the other his shoulder. He is still recovering from the shoulder injury, and so my mother has been caring for him 24/7 for the past few months. He also has a young dog which is a nightmare as he can’t walk it of course.
My mother has M.E. and is struggling immensely with the amount she is undertaking. I am very worried about her health. We have one other person going in once a week to help him get dressed and to walk the dog, but besides that he is absolutely refusing to pay for any further help.
My mum has been trying to stay at home more the past few days so she can rest, and when we went round this morning to get him up and walk the dog he was sat in his car in a delusional and manic state saying he was going to drive over to our house (it is very unsafe for him to drive) and saying he had walked to the woods and was going to attempt to take his own life.
We then had a conversation with him in which he blamed the entire situation on my mother, when questioned about this he had no reason whatsoever as to why she’d done anything wrong. He will not consider the idea of paid help, and suggests that either my mum does it or he does it all himself, which is obviously not an option. If she suggests getting someone in to walk the dog at the very least, he threatens to do it himself, which would of course result in him falling and possibly risking his life. He has become nasty and controlling, and tries any which way to guilt my mum into staying with him 24/7. We have no idea what to do next. We have tried consulting his doctor regarding his suicidal threats but they say there’s only so much they can do without his consent, and he is completely uncooperative. I just feel like something has to happen quite urgently ubefore my mother’s health completely declines.

Sorry for the long post! And thanks in advance
Also to note: he is extremely frugal, but money is not an issue; he has a comfortable pension and savings

Contact your local Social Services and explain the situation, and then tell them that your Mother will need to completely withdraw her assistance for the sake of her own health on a given date, (no more than 7 days into the future). No-one has to care for another person, no matter what their relationship.

Inform Grandad of what is going to happen, he will not change unless he is forced to, if he won’t accept it, that’s his decision.


He is a danger to himself and others, needs to be reported immediately to DVLA. Don’t let him kill anyone else because of his mental state. You must do this. Don’t delay.

When did granddad last see a G.P.?

Has there been a recent urine test carried out.

Has there been any change in medications.

Do you think any of this applies …

Sometimes when we are in the middle of things. And tired we don’t also associate what appears to be happening. Keep a daily diary of behaviours and language.

Hello Anna. Only too common a problem with the elderly. Sounds a bit like “elderly toddler” behaviour here. He imagines himself as he was when a small boy, with only pocket money from Mum and Dad for an income - stopped when he misbehaved. Hence he is innately tight about spending money in a way he sees as unnecessary. He has lost his sense of proportion about the present day. He does not accept that he cannot cope on his own, even though that is clearly the case.

Is he receiving attendance allowance? If not, you could get him apply for it. Possibly he would accept paid care more readily if he knew it was being paid for by the welfare state.

Hello Anna

Thanks for posting about your situation in the Forum. I’m sorry to hear that your mother has been having a tough time with looking after your grandfather. It sounds like this has been quite a worry for you.

I just wanted to let you know that I’ve sent you an email with some further suggestions of support that you could seek for your mother and your grandfather.

Wishing you well


What an awful situation for you and your Mum.
Regarding the dog, there’s a charity that matches volunteer dog walkers with people that are no longer able to walk their pets in able to keep them together: Home – The Cinnamon Trust which might help a tiny bit with the burden x