As christmas is looming I feel a sense of dread. Let me give a brief summary. I am a single parent of 2 teenagers. My mum and dad moved opposite to me a few years ago as mums health was not great and then she was diagnosed with Parkinsons. Mum is 76 and Dad 80. My Dad is doing an admirable job of caring for Mum and I go over everyday to help in whatever way I can. Mum is quite dependant for dressing, medication, etc and is rarely left alone as she can become disorientated. The problem is that she has become somewhat difficult and is often rude and to be honest selfish. She obsesses over all sorts of things and it is very wearing because as soon as a solution to her worries is found another one is created. Mum clearly has alot of anxiety but wont take any medication. Once the GP prescribed some antidepressant and mum did take one dose and then accused the doctor of trying to kill her and didnt take anymore. She has always been anxious and when younger was often up and down and this was never addressed. My dad has put up with her hysterical personality for years and so did I. The relationship has always been a little strained between me and Mum as she has been critical of my life and is scathing of alot of things which I find difficult to listen to. Despite all of the above I do love my mum very much , My dad had been a saint, maybe too much so and its upsetting for me to see how she is with him. Of course I have no idea of what it is to have Parkinsons and feel very sad seeing how ill she has become. I dont know what to do for the best. If I talk to her about her behaviour she ends up cross with me. Mum wont go out to any groups, we have tried so we are the only people she interacts with. The OT has visited but I think she has given up trying to persuade mum to socialize. I am so worried about my dad ,  and I am finding it harder and harder not to loose it when I go over. Please can someone help me.

Hi Katiecupcake,

Sorry to hear that you are feeling a sense of dread in the run up to Christmas - it sounds like you are having a tough time at the moment. You mention that your Mum has experienced changes in her behaviour, which is a possible side effect of some Parkinson's drugs. Please do call our free and confidential Helpline where you can talk this through with one of our nurses, who will be able to advise further on 0808 800 0303. Our usual opening times are: Monday-Friday: 9am-7pm, Saturday: 10am-2pm (we are running a reduced service over Christmas and New Year).

This page gives some more information about support available for you and your Mum and Dad.

Best wishes,


(Digital team)


Dear Katiecupcake

A lovely name,but what a sad story! You obviously are in a very stressful situation. Have you any siblings or other relatives who can help? Do they know how bad your mother has become? Just because you live opposite does not mean you and your father have to be the only carers. Somehow you have to work together to get help, and overcome any objections your mother raises

Christmas is a time when things often come to a head - when the PUK helpline is closed, don't forget that the Samaritans are always there to listen and advise, tel. 116 123 .

I am sure somebody will respond here with some practical suggestions soon.

Very best wishes


Thank you, I am going to call the helpline and see if they can advise me. I think I need a coping stategy for when it all gets too fraught, so things dont escalate. Heres hoping.

HI Katiecupcake,

sweetheart i really feel for you i am a pwp so can understand how your mum must be feeling but the only difference between us is i am only 50 which i suspect enables me to fight this condition more than someone of your mums age group. i to have been told i am selfish which to a degree may be right but i have just asked my hubby and he said no and neither of us beat around the bush in regards to straight talking.

I do think becoming a Parky can change people an awful lot as unless you have the condition no one can really understand how it feels, My advice to you is and I know this will be hard is to stay calm but tell her straight if she is doing something you find upsetting. I know of no other way than saying it like it is and for me it works. You do need to be firm to be able to do this and like supa says there are the Samaritans who will be there for you. I had to use there services a number of years ago after the loss of my very much loved mum age 49 and i did find them very helpful.

My wish for you is a good Christmas and no stress as you say hears hoping.......................


BB xx


Thank you all for your replies, we have survived and enjoyed christmas without any major issues. I do try and say to mum when she is being upsetting, especially when it affects my children, but to be honest shes never been one to listen to my point of view, its just the way she is, and I guess I have to accept that with her illness her temperament will get worse, its just so hard to hear it sometimes. My sister was staying there but left christmas eve. She has her own troubles at the momment so decided to leave and go home, she lives quite a distance away so cant pop in the way I do but she can see the way things are .I just wish it could be different.

I know how you feel. I was the sounding board for many of my mother's anxieties and she took a lot of her frustrations out on me. At first I thought it was 'just' Mum's need to express negative thoughts as she coped with her PD, but as time went on I learned it was all part of PD and 'out of her control.' That did make it a bit easier to bear when things were stressful.

My Mum's doctor told me that Mum needed to hear when things got hard for me or her behaviour was causing me difficulties, which made it easier for me to say 'No' I can't do that now - but will do it later...when it wasn't an urgent task.

You are not alone and finding someone to unload with about things is a really good idea. As time went on I got better at not letting Mum's anxious and stressful conversations 'get to me' by accepting what she said to me and telling her i'd deal with she'd go on about how something had gone wrong and she wanted me to do X to put it right....initially I'd try to problem solve or discuss with her that X didn't need to be done straight away......later on I'd say to her "thanks for letting me know, leave it with me and I'll sort it out"

Look after yourself, a carer's job is a tough one at times.....