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Supporting a parent caring for the other. - Carers UK Forum

Supporting a parent caring for the other.

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Hi,
I am not yet a carer in the sense my father does all the caring for my mother as I have a demanding full time job. I joined this group to try and help him really. I don't see him often without my mother but when we get a few private moments he seems to be at his wits end with her. She is very unco-operative and refuses to admit she has anything wrong. She suffers from arthritis of the spine and possible MS but refuses to take pain killers or see a doctor. When she is prescribed anything she takes it for a few days and then stops as she believes it's "not good for her" or "doesn't agree with her". She is becoming more and more incontinent but refuses to wear any protection leaving my father to mop up after her quite frequently. She is also physically abusive to him but not usually when my brother and I are around.
I'm feeling very useless really and would like to make his life easier but he is far too scared to stand up to her even if it's for her own good. Today's attempt at trying to persuade her to get help for my dad with the cleaning resulted in her getting upset and saying she should go in a home if that's the way we feel.

Any advice on how to handle her would be welcomed. I want to help my Dad but don't want to upset my Mum either.
Hi Moomin,

I was in a similar position a few years back except my Mum was fully compliant and actually felt awful about all the things my Dad was doing for her. I wish I knew then what I know now - my Mum passed away and I have been caring for my Dad since then, I had to give up work to do so and as his health has gradually deteriorated I've gradually found out what is on offer. Has your Mum had an assessment by Social Services? This is really important as it will help a lot of other stuff kick into place. Have you spoken about the whole situation with their GP?

Are they claiming any benefits - e.g. does you Dad get Carer's Allowance (sorry you don't say how old they are and some benefits are age dependent), are you claiming Attendance Allowance for your Mum? Has your Dad - as the Carer - had a Carer's Assessment? Have you considered having someone to come in & help with the caring? This again is something you may or may not have to pay for depending on the financial circumstances. At the end of my Mum's life we had a Carer come in just once a day in the morning, but it did take some of the pressure off my Dad, and my Mum, even though she was never any trouble, did respond far better than I thought she would to the Carer who came in. Unfortunately, my Mum passed away within 2 weeks of sorting out some extra help for my Dad - I can't describe how much I beat myself up for not opening my eyes to the situation and doing more to help my Dad. You have come to exactly the right place to find out what you can do - I only wish I'd found this forum at the time.

No doubt others will come along and add to (or improve upon!) my suggestions. Please keep us posted,
Hi Moomin,

And welcome to the Forum Image .

Already some good advice from Ladybird. I'm afraid that if you want to help your dad to care for your mum, you will need to get crafty. In your shoes, I would write to their GP and ask if a home visit would be possible to your mum. Maybe he is doing a review of the health of all the over 70s, over 80s etc Image . That is how I got my mum's dementia diagnosed. She still doesn't know - she thinks the doctor was just doing his job.

My mum was very reluctant to accept any carers in the home. I called a cleaner a home help to get her accepted. All of this took time. IF your dad agrees, you can ask Social Services for an assessment - they might accept a suggestion from a social worker more readily than you. It will be very gradual - my mum was always trying to sack the carers because she "didn't need them any more". I always told her that they couldn't go until the end of the month and then when the end of the month came, I said it was next month etc etc.

As for the incontinence, you can buy washable incontinence knickers with pads sewn in. Could they be a present from you? Over time perhaps the other knickers could be "lost". Also worth asking the GP service if they have an incontinence nurse who could pay a visit?

Good luck, I know it is not easy, Anne
hi welcome to forum
Thanks guys for your replies!

I have tried to suggest to my mum that they get an assessment but she bluntly refuses. The online request form said you must have the person's permission to arrange a visit so without that it's very hard. I hadn't thought of writing to her GP, again I thought they would not be able to discuss her because of confidentiality etc.

If my Dad could be assessed as a carer that might work but he is so scared of her I doubt he would agree for fear of upsetting her.

By the way my mum is 78 and my dad 75 and they do get carers allowance but do not spend it on helping with her care.

The problem is my mum is very cunning and always appears fairly happy and together in public or with me and the family, it's just my dad she leads a merry dance with and he is too scared to do anything about it for fear "she may do something silly". It's only through snatched moments with him while she is in the bathroom that I get to hear his side. When I call she always insists he puts it on speaker phone so she can hear the conversation and I know when she goes to her yearly appointment with the neurologist he will be sworn to silence and she will smile and tell the consultant she is fine. It is just so frustrating to watch and feel so helpless.

Thanks for reading anyway and I feel a little lighter already having shared some worries!