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How do I tell my Dad he needs outside help? - Carers UK Forum

How do I tell my Dad he needs outside help?

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Hello, I'm new to the forum and grateful for any advice you can offer.

My Dad has cancer and his partner is his carer. I work full time and support them when needed at the weekends and using my annual leave, but that isn't enough to give his exhausted partner a proper break. Her daughters have both just had babies, and she wants to be there to support them during the week while their husbands are at work. We need outside help to come in during weekdays so that his partner can leave him knowing he's safe. He doesn't need nursing, but needs someone around to make sure he eats and because he's unsteady on his feet sometimes.

Both my Dad and his partner have been very reluctant to get outside help for a long time. However, with the birth of her grandchildren his partner has changed her mind, and has asked me to help broach the subject with Dad - without letting him know that she's been talking to me! He is adamant that he doesn't want or need any outside help and gets very angry when the subject is raised. I don't mind him being angry with me, but how do I convince him that his partner is at breaking point and he needs to accept help beyond her and me?

Thanks for your help!
Don't tell dad that he needs help. Tell him you are very worried about his partner. Tell him she needs to go see her daughters and her grandchildren. Tell him she is being stubborn and won't leave him. Ask for his help. Ask him if he would let someone come in just to relieve her mind, so she can go see the babies. Tell him that you agree that he'd be fine on his own but his partner will not listen to reason. Ask him please will he help you help her? Ask him to help you persuade her to let someone come in instead of her. Do let her in on this so she knows how to react.
Thank you - I will speak to her about broaching it that way. She's asked me to lie and not mention her at all for fear that he'll be annoyed with her, but I don't think it will make sense if I can't say it's really about helping her. I think if she's not willing for him to know how she's really feeling, she can't get what she needs and it keeps putting me in an awkward position.
If she is his partner then she shouldn't be asking you to tell lies for her!! She should just take a deep breath and be honest.
Hi Jessica
Does your Dad have a lifeline pendant? If not this would be a good starting point and it would take some of the worry away about leaving him with a risk of falling. If someone comes to talk to Dad about lifelines they might be able to nudge him towards some extra help at the same time.
You can approach dad saying it's what you have seen for yourself but when he asks her she will have to admit to the need or she will shoot herself in the foot, at which point it's her own fault and what can you do?
Thank you both.

Henrietta - He doesn't have a lifeline pendant, that sounds like a really good idea. Do you know if you can get ones to wear in the shower? That's where he's most unsteady.

Elaine - Exactly, she's very reluctant to argue with him, but I've said the only way change will happen is to speak up and let him be angry about it for a while. If no-one challenges him, there's no incentive for him to accept anything new, he'll just learn that getting angry is successful and shuts down the conversation.
Thank you too bowlingbun! You're quite right, she needs to be honest with him, and it's weird me being in the middle and passing half-truths on...
Shower seat? Grab rail? Both fairly inexpensive from the local mobility shop or internet but if you get the Occupational Therapist in these and other aids will be supplied 'on loan', for free, fitted too.
In fact if dad and partner haven't had an assessment by SS yet then it's time they did. SS can call in OT. It's all very well Dad fighting this horrid disease with anger, denial, self-reliance but although he's the one who is ill, other people suffer too. It doesn't help to get mad at them.
Hi, I wonder if you contacted Macmillan cancer support, they may offer some help/advice on the best way to support you all.
Hope this helps, best wishes