What are our Plan Bs?

Hi there. Thanks having me in this group. My name is Jess and I am posting this on behalf of my husband and father in law.

My father in law, Terry, is a full time Carer to my mother in law, Sue, and his dad, Grandad Tom. They both live with him in his home and both dependant on Terry - Tom is 90years old and not very mobile and Sue is 67 and has very developed temporal/frontal dementia, which is worsening by the month. Terry is 67 himself and, despite being very functional, is not in the best shape due to a lifetime of smoking and more than his fair share of alcohol consumption (his coping mechanism - to put it politely).

For some time now, my husband and I have considered what would happen if Terry was to get ill and could no longer look after Sue and Tom. We’ve spoken to Terry about this before and he doesn’t know - it’s a tough subject because there are no obvious answers. Both ourselves and My sister in law between us have 5 young children, full time jobs and no spare bedrooms, plus we can’t offer Sue the care that she needs. Her behaviour, and increasingly changing physical habits are also dishevelling for the children. In addition, she barely knows who we are now.

In light of the recent Covid, this conversation has been made more urgent. As Terry is the only mobile person in the house, there is a chance that Terry would be the one to contract the virus. We are doing his shopping for him but we suspect that he is still venturing out anyway. Therefore, there is a chance that Terry could get long term Ill - and perhaps require hospitalisation - during the Covid pandemic.

Grandad Tom has another son living locally who has agreed to take in Grandad should something happen to Terry. This might have implications if he comes from an ‘infected’ household but there’s not much we can do there.

The real challenge is providing a Plan B to safeguard Sue if Terry was to become poorly. Having spoken to Terry, he has no idea what to do. Neither of us do. We dropped the idea of Sue going into care in the short term (we have no idea if these types of facility even exist) during Terry’s recovery and Terry agrees that this is an option- although she would find it frightening and this would be awful for us all.

There must be other Carers and households in this situation - can anyone offer some advice?
Ideally this situation would have been sorted before the outbreak but this just hasn’t happened.

Many thanks

Hi Jess … welcome to a coronavirus free forum as I type.

( May encounter the odd BAD GATEWAY from time to time … just refresh your browser to send said irritant on it’s way. )

Short of pointing you in the direction of the latest Government guidance for carers , not much else to suggest.


We have raised the issue of emergency care with Carers UK on the Q&A thread.

Now with them to advise all of us what can and cannot be done … especially if charges are involved if a carer needs to replace himself / herself.

Link to that thread :


On the Government vulnerable list ?

COVID-19: guidance for people whose immune system means they are at higher risk - GOV.UK

On the radar of your local mutual aid group ?

This is the problem of parents moving in with children, long term it is difficult to make it work, as the parents need more care as the years go on, and the children become pensioners themselves.
Ultimately, it is the job of Social Services to find a safe place for Sue, NOT yours, or even her son.
They will exert all the moral blackmail possible, but she has no right to live there.
These are incredibly difficult times, but when the current crisis is over, if everyone is still well, then plans should be made for a future where the parents are in care and FIL can at last enjoy a retirement, get his own health better, and dump the booze.