Caring for my dad

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
My dad has dementia, Parkinson’s and mobility issues. He requires help with getting dressed, going to the toilet, washing/bathing, taking his medication, having his meals prepared and walking to help him feel safe.
It’s always been my intention to care for my dad when the time came, he needs me now so I’ve decided to only work my contracted 3 days/12 hours a week to care for my dad. My mum also cares for my dad, she asked me help more with him, she is 70, she stated that the physical side of helping him is a strain on her. I feel like that caring for my dad is stressful for her too, not being nasty towards her saying this because I understand it is hard caring for someone, my feelings are just based on how I’ve seen her be physically and verbally towards my dad. I feel that my caring for dad more will hopefully help reduce my mum’s stress with regards to caring for my dad and in turn how she is with him physically and verbally will hopefully improve.
Welcome to the forum.
You mention that she gets he pension BUT she should not be claiming CA if she is also getting her pension.

Quite honestly, if I was you I'd keep working full time and let mum get on with it until such time as she asks for help. If you don't have a great relationship it will get a lot worse when you are there more.

Don't listen to people at work who say you can/can't do this, that, or the other. Email our carers uk helpline and get decent advice from people who know what they are talking to.
Before you do so, try to make short points about what you want to know or achieve, rather than write an essay. This will really help you sort out your priorities.
For example you want to know
1. If you reduce your hours will you be entitled to any financial help?
2. Should mum be claiming Carers Allowance?
H Karina,
I do feel for you in your situation. I will just make a few remarks and hope others join in later.

It seems unreasonable for your mother to ask you for more help and yet not give you any consideration. I can well believe that the time is going to come when your father will have to stay downstairs and may have to have a proper bed there. The chemical toilet sounds like a good idea. But with your mother objecting and your brother supporting her, it's not going to get anywhere in a hurry.

Have you thought about getting more help in? Has your father had a needs assessment and you and your mother separate carer assessments? If your mother is finding the 'physical side' of caring for your father too hard, could you not have assistance from carers coming in (depending on what exactly she needs help with)? You could at least get advice from social services on the practicalities and financing of that. Another thing is a stair lift. Would that be possible?

Have you considered staying in full-time work to protect your own finances and sanity? There is little incentive for you to spend more time in a place where your mother is taking control and not sharing in decisions.

I see BB has replied and also thinks you should stay in work - I know people don't get CA if they're getting a pension, but Google says that if their pension is less than CA, they can still get it, so I assumed that is what is happening.

I wish you all the best with this situation. Sounds like one which is heading for a crisis and will only be resolved then.
To be honest, from what you say, it does sound like the time has not yet come for you to play a large role in your dad's care.

I would stick to your full time job, and certainly don't live with your parents!

It's always tricky, you know, when children 'grow up' and start 'telling their parents what to do'! It doesn't matter whether you are right, all that matters to your mum is that you are 'butting in' etc etc.

She isn't seeing your help as helpful, only as interference.

Why don't you and your brother sit down together, and have a proper chat about what care your dad NEEDS, and then whether your mum can actually provide it.

If she can, then leave her to it until she can't!

Why not simply pop round regularly, a good few times a week, plus at the weekend, in a regular 'slot' so your mum knows you are coming, and then simply 'pitch in' with whatever she wants yo uto do, in the way she wants you to do it. Set aside your own feelings of 'that isn't a sensible way, Mum!' and just be a 'good daughter'.

Only, really, if your dad is significantly suffering from 'the wrong kind of caring' should you and your brother intervene.

Do you think your dad is happy, or is he 'suffering' do you think, from anything your mum is doing, or not doing - including, by the way, her being verbally 'aggressive or critical or nagging' etc.

It's frustrating, yes, for you, but in the end, I think you just have to knuckle down on this one!

PS - don't forget, in the 'battle' over who gets Carer's Allowance, that if your pay even with only a reducing working week is over the pretty small amount you can earn and still qualify for CA, you might as well let your mum keep it. Do check here on the website, but it might be possible at some point for your mum to claim CA for your dad, and YOU to claim CA for your MUM.

All the best in a situation that sounds like it requires quite a lot of tact!!!!!
Does your brother get on better with your mum than you do? If so, I would leave all the 'persuading' up to him!

You're clearly just putting your mum's back up, and that isn't getting you anywhere alas.

Yes, she is bound to be utterly stressed, but at the same time, doesn't want to 'give in' and be a 'failed wife' (as she will see it....)
Hi Karina
Welcome to the forum and what a kind daughter you are trying to save your mum from all the toil of caring full time.
I believe if she is old enough to receive a pension she can claim underlying carers allowance. I think the only reason people do this is to qualify for other things and they don't received the payment for carers allowance as it is seen as overlapping income so you just receive pension instead. If like you, you are too young to claim pension then you can claim Carers Allowance but if your mum has the underlying claim they are unlikely to willingly change this without written instruction from your mum - or your brother if he holds financial POA. I think you need to look into this some more so you can give your brother the facts because it sounds as though he is reducing the family income unecessarily by refusing at the moment.
Print off this link and show it to your brother- it explains things better than I have
https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... e-benefits

There are other ways you can relieve the pressure from mum without giving up work and doing it yourself.
If your Dad has savings in excess of £23,250 (no need to say yes or no on the forum) but if he is over the limit then he will be classed as self funding for care. If he has less than this , then Social Services should be able to offer some practical help and provide a carer to assist mum with her workload. I feel it would be better for you to go down this road and organise some outside care. It will keep the peace between you and mum and save your own sanity. If Dad has early dementia, which it sounds like he has if he is still involved in decision making, then he could need ever increasing care for ten years or more.
Sorry to say - but if you are young, you won' t do yourself any favours with future job prospects unless you want to work in the care industry.
If you are living at home -possibly with brother to, then you really don't want to end up as skivy for everybody (no matte rhow much you love them all), especially an unpaid one with no control over family finances.
The portable loo sounds like a kind thought but if you wait for the O/T to bring back the commode, they are easy to keep clean, and have the added advantage of turning into a wheel chair for transfers. I think you have a good idea keeping Dad downstairs- I speak from experience as my own Dad fell down the stairs, breaking a leg in two bones and spending 3 months in hospital- well worth avoiding :!: . Have you spoken to anyone about a stair lift, worth considering but I think you had the best idea in the first place, finding space for Dad downstairs which is what I've done since his fall.
bowlingbun wrote:Welcome to the forum.
You mention that she gets he pension BUT she should not be claiming CA if she is also getting her pension.

Quite honestly, if I was you I'd keep working full time and let mum get on with it until such time as she asks for help. If you don't have a great relationship it will get a lot worse when you are there more.

Don't listen to people at work who say you can/can't do this, that, or the other. Email our carers uk helpline and get decent advice from people who know what they are talking to.
Before you do so, try to make short points about what you want to know or achieve, rather than write an essay. This will really help you sort out your priorities.
For example you want to know
1. If you reduce your hours will you be entitled to any financial help?
2. Should mum be claiming Carers Allowance?
Hi my mum did ask me to help her more with caring for my dad. In addition I feel based on physical/verbal treatment towards my dad caring for him has become stressful for her. I'm not being nasty towards her with what I say just stating the facts. My dad wears incontinence pants, he'll soil them, put his hands inside them and wipe poo on the bedsheets. I appreciate this isn't pleasant but getting mad with him for it isn't fair it isn't his fault what he is doing due to his dementia it means nothing to him to do this. Recently she threatened to rub poo in his face if he did it again and sometimes she will hit him for doing it. This isn't the only time she is physical/verbal with him. I have to step in to defend him sometimes. I give him a bath because she said physically she can't do it. Again I'm not critizing her just saying what she said. She asked me to give him a bath, I asked her when he last had a bath was and she said two weeks because she couldn't be bothered to give him one. I just want to help her, I feel with my working three days and helping care for him more like she asked it'll hopefully help reduce her stress/frustration with caring for my dad.
jenny lucas wrote:To be honest, from what you say, it does sound like the time has not yet come for you to play a large role in your dad's care.

I would stick to your full time job, and certainly don't live with your parents!

It's always tricky, you know, when children 'grow up' and start 'telling their parents what to do'! It doesn't matter whether you are right, all that matters to your mum is that you are 'butting in' etc etc.

She isn't seeing your help as helpful, only as interference.

Why don't you and your brother sit down together, and have a proper chat about what care your dad NEEDS, and then whether your mum can actually provide it.

If she can, then leave her to it until she can't!

Why not simply pop round regularly, a good few times a week, plus at the weekend, in a regular 'slot' so your mum knows you are coming, and then simply 'pitch in' with whatever she wants yo uto do, in the way she wants you to do it. Set aside your own feelings of 'that isn't a sensible way, Mum!' and just be a 'good daughter'.

Only, really, if your dad is significantly suffering from 'the wrong kind of caring' should you and your brother intervene.

Do you think your dad is happy, or is he 'suffering' do you think, from anything your mum is doing, or not doing - including, by the way, her being verbally 'aggressive or critical or nagging' etc.

It's frustrating, yes, for you, but in the end, I think you just have to knuckle down on this one!

PS - don't forget, in the 'battle' over who gets Carer's Allowance, that if your pay even with only a reducing working week is over the pretty small amount you can earn and still qualify for CA, you might as well let your mum keep it. Do check here on the website, but it might be possible at some point for your mum to claim CA for your dad, and YOU to claim CA for your MUM.

All the best in a situation that sounds like it requires quite a lot of tact!!!!!
Hi I already live with my parents. My job is part-time 12 hours contracted. I do a lot of overtime at the moment. I have informed my workplace I won't be doing anymore overtime from 4th September in order to care for my dad.

In fairness my mum did say to me that she wanted me to help her more with my dad. I am only giving her the help she asked me for. She said she was ok with me working three days in order to support her more.

I only get £400 a month so my wage is under the amount they allow you to earn
Karina - what you've said changes my answer. It may change other posters as well.

If your mother is attacking your father, eg, by hitting him, however frustrated she is, then this is assault and I fear that a 'safeguarding' issue is happening.

I think you need to see your father's GP straight away, and tell them what is happening.

I am not necessarily blaming your mum - looking after someone with dementia is an immense strain - but as you know, telling your father not to put his hands into his pants is completely pointless. He has NO reasoning left - that's the dementia! They are 'beyond reason'.

So he can't understand his wife's instructions, can't remember them, and is completely helpless. She might as well be telling a baby that if he does it again she'll rub poo in his face.

So, I think, from what you say, it's time your dad's care was not left to his wife alone at all.

What other options are there do you think? I can see why are are willing to pitch in, and yes, this might work IF thigns can 'settle down' with your mum. But have you considered options like residential care for your dad? The time, sadly, may have come for that....

Finallhy, does your brother know about what you've told us about your mother hitting your father and making those threats to him? If he doesn't, tell him immediately.

As I say, this situation cannot continue - it is 'elder abuse' EVEN IF one totally understands where your poor mother is coming from, and why she is so, so fraught.

I wish you as well as can be, but right now, something has to change. Your dad needs, first of all, to be safe. It doesn't sound like he is at the moment.
When did your mum last have a break away from caring?

She sounds like she is at the end of her tether - even if she won't admit it.

I'm wondering if you and your brother can arrange for her to have a break away -eg, a short holiday, going to stay with relatives - while you/your brother take on your dad's care for a week.

Not being to take a break is one of the real 'killers' of caring.