"It's your choice"

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I was looking for some advise if possible. 12 months ago i started looking after my 72 year old father who has health issues At first it was 3 days a week as I live 75 miles away. But it was painfully clear that my Dad needed more help.
I have a family of my own a partner 3 children 18 ( not living at home but maybe coming back), 17, and 7 the two youngest ones have asd and the 17 year old also has adhd.
for the last 10 months we have been coming down every day at first i was relying on friends to help with the school runs ect but it was not fair on them or my children and in may i transferred my youngest child to the local school nears my dads so that he was close. My other son continued college at home been 17 i hoped he would manage this but it was hard on him but he passed the course, We live in social housing and have been actively seeking an exchange but with no joy. We also are on the local council list to be homed closer to dad.
. But when we ask them how long this will take we are met with we are in a perfectly good home where we are and its are choice to be doing what we are doing :-??? This is my dad we are talking about all his other carers have not gone to plan he is a stubborn old man and very set in his ways. We travel 150 miles (round trip) everyday and without this my dad would not survive for long. I cant afford to go private and if i leave my home and make myself homeless then they wont help us at all. I get the tick for carers allowance but dont receive the money due to the benefits i am on and its not about the money its about keeping my dad happy and healthy for as long as he has got and no one know the answer to that!
Is there anything i can do to get the council to help me it is just so hard. the other thing is we have been through 3 cars as the distance we are going is killing the kind of car we can afford. We just got a bigger car that can with stand the distance but i had to ask my dad for help and i am not there to take from him but to help him. I dont know what to do they just dont seem to understand the importance of it. and saying it's my choice is unfair.
This is completely unsustainable.

I would look at it from the other point of view - YOU and your family staying where you are (in your perfectly nice house!) and it's your DAD who moves near you.

You'll have to be 'tough' on this - and your partner has to probably add his weight - and make it crystal clear not only to SS but most importantly to your dad, that the ONLY way you are going to have ANYTHING more to do with his care is if HE MOVES CLOSE TO YOU>

he will only get worse in health inevitably, and you could be looking at another twenty or thirty years of him! (Potentially). You can't keep on like this, and you can't wait 'for ever' to upheave your family etc etc - what will your partner do for a job, etc etc.

move your dad close to you, or he goes into sheltered accommodation or a care home near him.

It's sad, but that's what happens when care needs get too complicated, and take too great a toll on the rest of the family
This must STOP. Why are you doing this? Has dad said you must do it? Has anyone told you that it's your duty? The answer to this question will involve a lot of soul searching, it took counselling to make me realise that as a 60 year old woman I was still trying to be a good little girl. As an adult, the only power dad has over you is the power you let him have. Think about this. What can he possibly say or do to you if you don't do what he wants. Nothing. YOU must take control of the situation from now on.

As a mum your first responsibility is to your children, not dad. Don't muck up their childhood, they have a right to a happy childhood and a happy mum.
However, you haven't really told us what is actually wrong with dad. Does he have physical or mental disabilities? Is he claiming Attendance Allowance?
Has he had a Needs Assessment from Social Services? Have you had a Carers Assessment?
If Social Services have assessed him as having various needs, either they provide the care he needs, if he has savings under £23,000 approximately. If he has over that amount, then he will have to pay himself.
What does your partner say about all this?! Presumably mum doesn't live with dad?
wow :o i have never used a site like this and i thought as you are carers yourselves you would understand but all your posts are telling me to do is walk away and let my father starve to death. No-one is telling me i have to do this i am doing it because if i dont no one else will. He has limited mobility due to a messed up operation on his spine following a car accident he needs a double hip replacement but at his age he is not on the top of anyone's list. he has heart problems with big long names i really dont understand and he has recently lost the site in one eye.
He gets his pension and dla.
As for him living with us dont you think i have not thought of this i live in a flat so what shell i carry him up the stairs and just leave to go mad in the corner????
As for my mum she died 37 years ago and not only that i was a result of an affair so not the cosy family set up. Other children you might say yes he has others 1 son sadly died 8 years ago and the other 2 no one has seen for years but familys dont always stick together and there will be stuff i dont know as like i said i didnt come from you average family but the one thing i did learn growing up in care is that what family you have got are precious. My kids are my priority and believe it or not my youngest is thriving in school in the few months he has been there, its a small school and it is suits his needs better than his old school. But thank you for your views and as for the assessments you mentioned i will look in to them.
Hello Jennifer
I feel you have misunderstood? I don't read the advice given to you, as walking away from your dad. Just to look at other options. This is a non judgemental forum, but sometimes it helps to see from outside of the box. You are important too and it seems in need of respite? Hopefully you will get the assessments completed, and will find a way forward.
Take care
My husband did too much for too long and he DIED from a massive heart attack when he was 58 and I was 54. That is the ultimate cost of caring. Your current situation is simply unsustainable long term. You and dad need help. Given your family responsibilities, it might be easier for dad to move to yor area, rather than you move to him affecting your children. We never advocate parents living WITH children, this seldom works, but dad might be able to either live independently, in sheltered accommodation, or residential care in your area. This will depend on a Needs Assessment and how much money he has. Does he own his own home will be another factor. It's a case of working through a whole series of issues, which we will be happy to help you with, if you like.
There are too many people who have sacrificed their lives because they don't know what help is available to them. The most common problem is "mum/dad wants only me caring for them"because elderly people find change difficult. The more help they accept the longer they can be independent.
If you really want to move to dad's area, that's fine, but even then, he will need to accept outside carers at times. Perhaps you can tell us what was wrong with the carers he had before you took over?
Oh dear, you seem to think that SS 'don't understand' that you need to be moved close to your dad....

But, er, why should they? I mean, they don't exist to make things the way you want them to - and why on earth are you even considering moving close to your dad, rather than getting him close to you???!!! It's insane to move ALL your family to HIM, instead of the other way round! Just insane!

I didnt' say move him in with YOU - that would be insane too!! Move him CLOSE to you if you really want to go on looking after him and yes, if and while you can, ie, while his care needs can be fitted in AROUND your family (because THEY take priority, your children!). But of course not to move him INTO your home!

I do get the feeling that you feel that YOU have to make all the running around your dad. But this is, as BB indicates, the reation of a 'child' not an 'adult' which you now are.

You say your dad is stubborn but it sound like he 'gets through carers' because he is uncooperative and 'difficult'??? If he really insists on not moving, then he has to take the consquences - ie, being left to the mercies of paid care-workers, or being moved into a care home.

I can't believe your partner isn't supporting you! Get your father moved closer and make it clear it's the only way you are going to carry on looking after him.

The elderly can, sadly ,become incredibly self-focussed (selfish, even!) and really don't appreciate what their children do for them. Surely your father himself is appalled at the nonsense of your driving a 150 miles a day to look after him! He should be outraged on your behalf, and be the first to say 'Don't do it - let me move closer to you instead.'

Wishing you well ,but this is not about either the insanity of you driving 150 miles a day and moving your son to a new school for your father's convenience! It's about facing the reality of the situation, accepting your children are more important than your father, and putting your foot down with your father if he's too stubborn and too selfish to move near you.

I mean, what other advice did you expect? That we could come up with some 'magic wand' to instantly make a house suitable for you your partner and your children to appear so your father doesn't have to make the slightest effort to do the right thing by you?

Yes, it's going to take a lot of effort and energy to get him settled near you, but it has to be done.

All the best with it, Jenny
PS - you are burning out cars on your dad's behalf! Of course he should help you fund a new one! Any parent would want to do that for their daughter looking after them!
This sounds like a really tough situation. And your dedication to your Dad is admirable. But I can see where the council are coming from. There is a shortage of family housing and if you have a home that suits your needs then I guess it is just not their priority when there will sadly be a long line of other people needing such a home. I know it must seem unfair. But this is the reality and your absolute priority is to keep a roof over your family's head. So I do agree that perhaps you have to look at other options as what you are doing now genuinely doesn't seem like a sustainable option forever. Your own health is going to suffer and I suspect your middle child still needs you around too. What does your partner think about the situation? It is really important that you think of his needs too and not let your relationship there falter because of your dedication to your Dad. It is all about balance.

My Mum has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I have 2 young children and my sister runs a business. In order to ensure that Mum is looked after we have someone come in on the days we can't be there. I spend a day once a week taking her shopping and catching up on admin. My sister pops in more frequently for shorter periods of time. Mum was very angry about having carers, she is also stubborn and of that generation where she thinks it should be family doing everything. But she has accepted it now. It also means my sister and I are starting to have quality moments with her again, rather than it being a drudge. Certainly my sister and our families are happier. My Mum now accepts the situation and whilst it is not what she would choose, it is what is needed to keep her safe and prevent my sister and myself running ourselves into an early grave (things were really this bad at one point).

This doesn't make us bad people (I thought it did for a while, but it really, really doesn't). It is just the practical reality of having an unwell parent and having other responsibilities to juggle. Something will have to give, don't let it be you or your family. Your Dad has had his life and it might be that he needs to move closer to you or accept outside help in order for you to carry on caring. You take care of yourself. xxxx
Hi Jennifer,

And welcome to the Forum.

As I am sure you know, that level of long-distance caring is not sustainable. As far as I can see it, either dad moves close to you (which may not be practical) or you hound Social Services to step up his care. Yes, if he has not already had a care assessment from Social Services, that is where to start. If dad has regular carers coming into him (and I know he will not like it, my mum was always trying to sack them!), it may give you a little breathing space. It may also be worth asking Age UK in dad's area what could be available locally in terms of support.

Benefits can be complicated and it is also worth contacting the Carers UK Adviceline to check that dad is getting all the benefits he is entitled to. In my mum's case, those benefits allowed me to use some of the money for a cleaner / garden person.

Many of us have been in your shoes, I moved closer to mum to care for her, but every story is different. What works for one will not work for another. Same goes for the advice on the Forum. We will all have different views - pick out what might work for you and ignore the rest, only you really knows what can work for you and your family.

Take care, Anne