Uncomfortable in my own home

My dad is 86 and lives with my husband and myself. This happened because not long after my mother died (just over 5 years ago) he had a break in and my sister whisked him off to her house 300 miles away. He had only been there two weeks when they told him to give up his council bungalow so he could live with them. Well, a month later, they moved house and said there was no longer any room for him. My two brothers wouldn’t have him so it was left up to me to have him even though I didn’t want this.
I know this sounds harsh but I had an awful childhood with him being an abusive drunk and a compulsive gambler (as did my siblings).
He has now been with us for nearly 5 years and I’m getting to the end of my tether. He is extremely moody, barely speaking to us most of the time. He also never bathes or showers or changes his clothes. He never shows interest in anything other than watching tv or smoking and won’t go anywhere. He is quite fit for his age and is mentally agile too but he cannot or won’t do anything so me and my husband can never go on holiday or have a break.
You may be wondering about my siblings- they never visit or even contact him, which I can sort of understand as my dad has always set one off against the other and hasn’t been the best parent. However, they never contact me either so I feel totally abandoned by my family. My mums family have nothing to do with him either…
I feel I can’t say anything to my dad because I’ve always lived in fear of him but I’m st the point where I’m uncomfortable at home. Me and my husband also work full time so I feel I have no life and it’s not helping my depression. By the way, my husband is a saint and I don’t know how he copes too. Our eldest daughter lives in London and we want to visit her for a couple of days but I am afraid to tell him.
I am so sorry for the length of my post but I really needed to get this off my chest :disappointed_relieved:
Any support or words of advice would be much appreciated x


Hello Al,
Welcome and that’s a really hard situation and I feel for you.
Remember we do not know you or fully understand the dynamics of your situation and members who will answer you are just trying to help. We can be blunt sometimes but no offence is ever intended.
The first thing I’d like you to get into your head is that you do NOT have to do this. No one has to look after another adult whatever the relationship. Not a parent, spouse, adult child, sibling, relative or friend.
It seems your siblings very quickly got the message that they couldn’t/wouldn’t cope with Dad and you have taken on the responsibility and are suffering as a consequence. They may be keeping their distance in case they get involved again. Not fair at all but understandable.
Consider that there could be another 10 or 15 years of this and how old will you and your husband be then? (My Mum was just 11 days short of 100 when she died). It is only going to get harder and harder.
I’m guessing that you are perhaps in your 50/60s or thereabouts. These years are your time. Time for you and your husband before it’s too late.
What would you and hubby like to happen? Would you like to keep dad but have more help with looking after him and a bit more freedom or would you like Dad to be in safe, comfortable and accommodation where you could visit when you wanted to? Maybe he is not happy either and is a bit depressed? Thinking of the personal hygiene etc.
First step is to have an honest chat with hubby. Get It all out in the open as to how you both feel about the situation.
Then consider that you are at a crossroads in a vehicle that is showing signs of an imminent breakdown.
The signpost says
Direction 1 to Drastic Action. You could phone SS and say that you are evicting your house guest and he is a vulnerable adult with no-where to go. Over to them. You could pack up dad and take him to one of your siblings where you say ‘Your turn’ and leave him with them.
Direction 2 to Outside Care. You could contact SS and say you are no longer able to care for him as you have been and he needs residential care or supported accommodation. Have you and he had your assessments from Social Services? Even a good care package might keep you going a bit longer.
Direction 3 to Just Carry On but there are hazard warnings in this direction. Health breakdown for you, your husband or your dad , maybe more than one at a time. Crisis. Ambulances, hospital admissions and so on.
All three directions are bumpy roads. If you can chose which way you both really want to go then there will be many people on here happy to give you directions through the rutted path of legal, financial and practical considerations.
You might have baggage in the boot of that vehicle. Maybe Dad contributes to the household expenses, maybe there’s an inheritance or something else you want to protect. That’s your business not mine but take everything into consideration and make a decision as to which turn you want to make. Doing nothing means you just carry on, and on and on and on. You’ll want the best possible for Dad but you deserve that too.

I cannot add anything to what Elaine has said in her informative post. I do not think anyone deserves to feel uncomfortable in their own home. Sadly he could go on for years. I would definitely contact SS and say you are at breaking point. You do not HAVE to care for him. Maybe sheltered accomodation may be a way forward?


Hi, thank you all so much for your replies - lovely to have someone to listen. Just a bit of background; I am 57, my hubby is 52. We have 3 grown up children, two of whom live away (London and Hull). They lead very busy lives so we don’t see them frequently although we are close and are in contact regularly. Our youngest left home and straight away my dad came to live with us. I would love to spend this time just me and my hubby but realise this is selfish.
My dad wouldn’t leave this house- he said he would kill himself rather than go into assisted housing or a home for the elderly. His mum and brothers lived until their nineties so realise we are in it for the long haul. He doesn’t particularly need care-he just never wants to do anything. My mum did everything for him so now he can’t/won’t do a thing. I do think he maybe suffers from depression but won’t see a doctor. I know he misses my mother but he won’t accept I miss her too. Probably the hardest part for me is that my mum used to confide in me and she told me that she hated my dad (I would never tell him this) and I tell him that she loved him.
Sorry but my minds in shreds at the moment- thank you for your support- it means a lot xx

I’m really sorry to hear all this. You most certainly don’t deserve to feel this uncomfortable in your own home.

I definitely echo the advice about SS. Feeling this uncomfortable in your own home for such a long period isn’t going to do much for your mental health, especially as it sounds like you’re doing it on your own without much in the way of appreciation or support.

GPs often offer talking therapies, which may offer some support. It sounds like you’re having a very tough time.

It’s NOT up to dad to choose to live with you, he is blackmailing you, pure and simple.
YOUR SISTER created this problem in the first place by taking him away from his own home, and then DAD gave up his tenancy. Now they both have to take responsibility for their own actions.
He has NO RIGHT to live with you.
My husband and I really loved having the house to ourselves after years of caring for our son with learning difficulties. We could do what we wanted, when we wanted, answerable to no one. We were both running a business from home, and loved the freedom it gave. Sadly, he died when he was just 58, from a massive heart attack - and you are 57!
Never put anything off in your life, as we did. “When we are no longer caring for …” was a phrase we often used, both his parents had been ill, and both mine. He died before my disabled mum.

YOU ARE THE VICTIM HERE, of the stupidity of others.
If you and your husband don’t stand up for yourselves, no one else will. How would you feel if your husband left you because of dad.
Stand up for yourselves, contact Social Services for a Carers Assessment, and then give dad a range of options.
Remaining with you is NOT and option.

Ah, the old kill myself routine, yes mum loved that one too most of my life, before her dementia. Call his bluff, I did. Victims status is another form of controlling. She realised after a while I wasn’t interested in platitudes, just actions, took that power away. I advised her divorce him if she hated him so much. The excuses there were that he said she wouldn’t get a penny. Mind games. Learn the rules kiddo. This has nothing to do with you wanting to be supportive and helpful even if he is and old codger. SELF PROTECT.