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Father is bullying - and now pushing - my mother - Carers UK Forum

Father is bullying - and now pushing - my mother

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
My mum (83) has effectively become a carer for my extremely demanding, controlling and ill-tempered father (93), who has always been a bully but who has got worse. He has recently been diagnosed with early stage dementia. He is in reasonable health but can't see or hear very well, can only eat 'soft' foods, has to take medication and has had a recent spell in hospital (more of that in a minute).
I have been trying, at least from the start of the year, to persuade him to go into a care home, as my mother has no quality of life and is worn out from caring for him. He has become very anxious over the past few months (probably the dementia) and got to the stage at one point, when he would not let her go out or leave the flat without him. He physically restrained her, if he thought she was going to try to leave, by grabbing her arms (I was there once when he did it).
About 6 weeks ago, when I was visiting, I noticed he had cuts and grazes all down his arms. This, he told me, when I asked, was due to 'your mother' scratching him (he has paper-thin skin) and, on further investigation, I discovered that the 'holding' and fighting, when my mum tried to go out, was happening on an almost daily basis and the marks on his arms (she also had bruises) were caused by her fighting back and trying to get away from him.
I was horrified and phoned Social Services to try to report it and/or to get help but, although they took a full report, they didn't seem very interested and told me that it wasn't classed as 'adult abuse' (or whatever term they gave it - I can remember now).
Two weeks ago, there was another 'tussle' and as my mother tried to get away from him, they both fell over. Luckily my mother was OK but my father couldn't get up and an ambulance had to be called. He was in hospital for 12 days. This was at about 10pm. Nothing broken but bruising and he needed some help from physio/OTs in order to start walking again - with a frame. He is out of hospital now and I found out this evening that 2 nights ago, when they were rowing, he pushed my mum and she fell, hitting her head (causing a big bump which took days to go down) and hurting the base of her spine. She had to crawl around on the floor for a while before she could get up. He offered her no help and in fact, claimed she had 'thrown herself on the floor'. A carer arrived shortly afterwards (he's having carers, supplied by the hospital, just for a few days) and my mum said that he'd been horrible and had pushed her over. The carer was concerned, got her to sit down and asked if my mum wanted her to report it but she said no (she is so cowed by him that she doesn't even realise she's now a victim of domestic abuse). I am going to phone Social Services again tomorrow but I don't know if that will be another waste of time. I want to get my mother away from him as he is going to kill her. He's gone into a home (after much resistance and anger) for 2 weeks' respite and the plan is, that we will never let him come out and live with my mother again. Any advice? We've begged my mother just to leave (she can come and live with me - we will look after her) him but she won't.
The Police should get involved, in fact Social Servicess should have already done a Safeguarding Report for a vulnerable adult. Go and talk to them, because he's been beating mum up.
Do NOT get mum to leave her home, let her keep her home but visit you for days out etc. Much better for her.
But if she stays in the house, he will just come back and she'll be stuck with him again. If we tell him there's no one there to look after him, he will have no choice but to go into a home permanently (and then she can go home again later).
That's why you want to involve the Police, he's been very violent towards her.
It's not a subject I know too much about, but maybe a Restraining Order banning him from the property would be possible?

PS Assault was the word I was looking for. If your dad had done that to anyone else it would be regarded as assault, so surely it has to be assault of mum?
My Mum and Dad were in a similar situation. He was a bully made worse by illness.

In the end Mum called an ambulance after a particularly bad incident and I refused to have him home from hospital. Mum came to stay with me and my sister for a few weeks and said there was no one at home to care for him if he came home. It was a long process, but he eventually went into a care home. You have to be prepared to dig your feet in with social service if they try to have him home. Keep using the words "safeguarding issue" at them. And yes, absolutely call the police/ambulance if needed.

Be strong, the care of him is now too much and you need to support her in getting out of the situation. I wished we had acted sooner with my Mum, but we were all a bit cowed by Dad.

Best of luck.
WorriedDD wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:29 pm
If we tell him there's no one there to look after him, he will have no choice but to go into a home permanently (and then she can go home again later).
There is no-one to look after him if neither you and your mother want to do it - no-one has to be a carer for anyone else if they don't want to be.

It's so much easier (and cheaper) for S/S if they can get a relative to do it, but you really don't have to.
Dear WorriedDD

Thank you for posting in the forum. I'm sorry to hear about this situation with your mother and father which must be very worrying for you.

In addition to the helpful suggestions from other members, I would also suggest that you contact Refuge and Women's Aid on your mother's behalf, both of which have freephone 24 hour helplines.

Refuge
https://www.refuge.org.uk/get-help-now/
Helpline number: 0808 2000 247

Women's Aid
https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/
Helpline number: 0808 2000 247

I hope these organisations will be able to provide some helpful suggestions for protecting and supporting your mother.

Best Wishes

Michael
Sally_17031 wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:46 am
My Mum and Dad were in a similar situation. He was a bully made worse by illness.

In the end Mum called an ambulance after a particularly bad incident and I refused to have him home from hospital. Mum came to stay with me and my sister for a few weeks and said there was no one at home to care for him if he came home. It was a long process, but he eventually went into a care home. You have to be prepared to dig your feet in with social service if they try to have him home. Keep using the words "safeguarding issue" at them. And yes, absolutely call the police/ambulance if needed.

Be strong, the care of him is now too much and you need to support her in getting out of the situation. I wished we had acted sooner with my Mum, but we were all a bit cowed by Dad.

Best of luck.
Thanks Sally. It sounds as though you were in a pretty much identical situation to us. Yes, we are cowed by him (esp. my mum). Glad you sorted it out in the end. Hope we can too! I will keep you posted.
Best of luck to you. And please do keep us posted. We are here for you. Sending a big hug as it is not easy. Life got so much better after a really tough time. Mum was sadly diagnosed with dementia, but we are determined to make the most of time left with her. xx
May I echo the suggestion that the police should be contacted when any violence occurs.

My understanding is that the police can record the incident and then that paper trail can be useful in putting a bit of pressure on Social Services so that they have to take the safeguarding issue seriously.

I wish your family the best of luck with this.