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Caring for someone you don't like - Carers UK Forum

Caring for someone you don't like

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Hello. I'm new here and am hoping that someone out there will understand how I am feeling right now. I'm not looking for pity or even solutions. I just want to share my story and maybe get to know people who are in a similar situation

I lost my mum 3 months ago (on my birthday) after 2 years of ill health, mainly, in my opinion, brought on by the constant verbal abuse and bullying behaviour of her husband of 30 yrs

She tried for over a year to get the doctors to listen to her but it took a letter of complaint from me after yet another episode before the GP took her seriously. He got progressively worse, mum's health declined rapidly and then a week after her funeral, he was finally diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

He has 3 adult children who he abandoned years ago, so it's no surprise that his son has ignored any communication I've made. They simply do not want to know. I now feel that I am being bulldozed into caring for a man that has been in my life for 30 yrs, whom I have never liked, and feel so much resentment towards.

I am 56, work full time live alone but have a busy life with my own friends, children and grandchildren. I feel so scared of the future and so angry that I'm having to deal with his issues. At the moment he copes on his own with daily visits from district nurses but I know it's only going to get worse.

Everyone seems to think it's so sad to see him like this but all I see is a mean, bitter, nasty old man who made my mums last months a complete misery but then I've I turn my back on him what sort of human being would that make me?
Dear Lesley

You should have no qualms in walking away. All you need to do is make sure that social services and his GP know that he is on his own with no one to care for him. If his children won't even bother with him, I really see why you should especially as he made your mum's life a misery. Concentrate on your own precious family. We only have one life so make the most of it, and don't waste it on those that don't deserve it.

All the best.

Emma
It would make you a very sensible human being Lesley. No one can be forced to care, even for their nearest and dearest if they don't want to and dementia is very, very, hard to cope with, even if you love the sufferer dearly.
Hand him over to SS and NHS. That's what they are there for after all. Do not be blackmailed, persuaded, cajoled or guilt tripped into caring for him. (They will try). Say 'No!' This is a BAD MAN and one who is going to get worse and worse as his illness progresses.
Do not let your soft (too soft) heart rule your head. Do not let this man ruin another woman's life. Do make sure that anything you are owed, I'm thinking any of your Mum's possessions he still has for example, comes your way and then walk away.
Be strong. It IS the right thing to do.
Elaine
Hi Lesley,

I think it would make you a human human being! Nursing someone with something as debilitating as Alcheimers is incredibly hard when it's someone you love dearly and who has loved you your whole life. Doing it for someone whose behaviour hasn't been very kind and who didn't treat your mum well would be unbearable, I would think.

I can only echo what Emma has said, make sure that other agencies know he doesn't have any support and focus on your own family. My step-dad was/is a horribly abusive man; none of his kids have any contact with him and I know I won't be going anywhere near him if he finds himself needing care in the future. I don't/won't feel guilty about it; caring is a huge responsibility and a lot of people do it because they love the person so deeply but it really isn't something to do for someone who has never been a good part of your life.

Also keep in mind you've only very recently lost your mum; a huge loss and something that will take a long time to adjust to. Grief is a terrible burden to bear and adding to it by looking after this man who you feel hastened your mum's death will only make it harder for you, I think.
Thank you so much for your replies. Just being able to admit how I feel is a huge releif. I promised mum I would do what I could to make sure he had the support he needed and am sorting out his pension credit and benefits but after that I know I need to withdraw. I've made it clear to everyone that I'm point of contact but that I can't and won't be responsible for his day to day care but it seems as if I'm being slowly sucked in. :(
Hi Lesley, welcome to the forum. I agree with everyone else. Am I correct in thinking he is not your own father? In this case, like it or not, he is the responsibility of his children.
I'm a very practical person, and wonder about the complexities of the situation? Who owns where he lives? Has he written a Power of Attorney? Did your mum write a will? If the house was rented, it makes things a lot easier. If shared ownership, is the house now all his? Or half yours? If you are not sure about any of the legalities, please be sure to protect your own inheritance, if there is one.
Your children and grandchildren deserve all your love and support. This man apparently never did anything to warrant a moment of your time away from them?
Hello Lesley
You are keeping your promise. You are sorting out support. You haven't got to give up your life. He will need more support than you could give even if you liked him. Make sure you being point of contact is really only for a dire emergency. Be strong and stand your ground. Think of your family and friends if you feel you are being sucked into anything. It's sad he had Alzheimer's but that's not your fault. He wasn't a nice person and didn't bring happiness into your life
Pet 66
Lesley, this is payback time! It's not often in life that folk get their 'just deserts' but it seems that this time around what your stepfather handed out is now coming back to him. GOOD.

I utterly agree with all the other posts replying to you. First, put your own affairs into order -as others are saying, sort out what was your Mum's - and is now YOURS - and what your stepfather owned 'originally' etc etc. Then take your share of whatever you can from your mum's estate (though she may have left it to her horrible husband)(unfortunately!) (that said, it can be the 'souveniers' so to speak that she left - photos, personal items, her clothes - that are the most precious for you.)

Then put, as much as is straightforward, your stepfather's affairs in order, simply so you can hand them over in a file to the NHS/SS (bank account statements, etc etc etc). Then, again as others say, phone up his GP/social worker and 'hand him over'. You could write a letter to his GP saying something like 'I have now made the final decision that I will not play any further part in my step-father's life, or his care, which must now be attended to entirely by others. I should warn you that his children have already, long ago, cut him out of their lives, and I am now doing the same. He is not my legal responsibility, and I have neither affection nor regard for him. He treated my late mother very badly, and I have no qualms whatsoever in walking away from him now.'

And that's that!

DO be aware that SS will TRY their damndest to make you look after him. This is not because they think you are 'wicked stepdaughter' if you don't! It is simply and basically because it is LOADS cheaper for them to use you as his carer, than provide his necessary care themselves! They are motivated entirely by money, so do NOT 'succumb' to any 'Oh, the poor man, he needs you!' etc etc, let alone to any claptrap about 'Sadly, we don't have the budget to look after him, so alas, you will have to after all.'

Neither you, nor anyone else actually, has any legal responsibility for him! Lots of family don't seem to realise that actually, we can walk away from anyone else other than our pre-adult children!

Again, as others are saying, it's extremely hard to look after someone with dementia - even when we love them dearly! I have 'inherited' my 92 y/o MIL with dementia (my husband is dead, and her surviving son lives in the USA, and though very grateful to me really can do nothing in practical terms at all.) My MIL is someone I'm fond of, and I would never 'totally' abandon, BUT, I cannot and will not look after her myself. (She's in a home)(I visit often!) But there are just no 'heartstrings'. I am sorry for her, and hope she has a swift and easy death (though I suspect she'll last to a 100!) but I don't 'feel' for her as I would if she were my mother.

So, if someone like me, who 'only' has a perfectly nice MIL to look after, can't do it - then you, who have a horrible stepfather that made your dear mother's life a misery, certainly can't!

I hope we've all given you the 'permission' you need to give yourself to walk away.

I'm a great believer in the 'deserving' recipient of any sacrifice on our part - and your stepfather is not 'deserving' in that sense. If you really want to, you could, perhaps, do something for those who ARE deserving, whether it's rescue dogs, or children in Africa, or whatever.....but not this unpleasant man who is, finally, as I say, discovering that 'karma' does indeed come back to haunt. And so it should!

Finally, again as others are saying, as dementia takes its grim course, his health and remaining faculties will deterioriate completely, until he will need 24x7 care anyway, that cannot be provided at home, so he'd have to go into nursing care anyway.


All the VERY best, do what we are advising, with a completely clear conscience, and then get on with your own life. You owe it to your mum, and to yourself. Good wishes, Jenny.
Jenny thank you for your reply and to all for your sound advice. I guess in some way I feel I need "permission" to hand him over and walk away.

We have a new issue now. He goes in to town every other day and takes £50 out if the bank! No idea what he's doing with the money. But there is no reasoning with him obviously... He's totally unfit to manage his financial affairs but again I don't want power of attorney!
Lesley, is this taken from your joint account? If so, you must tell the bank as soon as possible, and ask for advice. They have a duty to protect their customers.