My parents

I wonder if anyone out there can offer me some advice with regards to my parents' situation. My father, who is 88 has been diagnosed with Parkinson's for over seven years is now deteriorating rapidly. My mother is nearly 86 and is trying desperately to look after him at home. She is not too well herself and has had several falls, some of them resulting in a visit to casualty.

My father was always a difficult man, but this is now getting much worse and Mum can barely cope with him. She is not allowed to do anything that Dad does not want her to (e.g. Reading the newspaper until she has done all her 'jobs') and can get verbally abusive to her if she tries to stand up to him. He keeps stopping taking his tablets and then falls into deep depression as well as other problems of which my Mum is not specific.

They have a large two storey house which is too much for both of them. Watching Dad go up stairs is frightening and it is only a matter of time before he falls down them, probably backwards as he is so unstable. He will not have handrails as this 'will spoil the house'.

Having worked in the care Industry for many years I am fully aware of the implications that his condition brings and what the future holds. I know exactly what benefits are available and that they should be looking at moving into somewhere where they can get the proper help they need (at worst) or have some help in the house (at best)

However, Dad will not entertain the idea of anyone even coming into the house in any way, shape or form! My brother organised a cleaning company to come in and blitz the house so that Mum didn't have to worry so much, but Dad sent them away in no uncertain terms. He has stated he will not leave the house and move anywhere.

Their doctors has suggested that Social Services come in to do an assessment and Mum is waiting to hear from them. I know that they will be suggesting various aids but if Dad won't entertain the idea then it will come to nothing.

Dad had a lot of dealings with a Parkinson's nurse at the local hospital but she has now signed him off. I sat in on one of the meetings and all she could say to him was to exercise (which he won't do) or go to a day centre (definitely a no no as he dislikes people) and I found h extremely patronising which didn't help at all. Their doctor has told Mum that he will organise someone else for him.

My sister has also been in touch with their doctor who cannot offer any suggestions as they will simply not help themselves. Dad accuses everyone of stealing from him so anyone coming in could be seen as a potential thief!

I am extremely concerned for both of them but I feel that Mum is being dragged down so far and will not be able to carry on much longer. I forgot to add that she has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes recently which is not helping. She is not allowed to o out apart from having her hair done and to do a bit of shopping so getting away from him Is not an easy option.

It seems all we can do is wait for a crisis to happen which will be the catalyst for change, but would rather deal with things before it gets to that stage.

Sorry to have gone on a bit, but can anyone offer any suggestions at all?
Welcome to the forum, oh my goodness Bartles, what a worry for you. I'm afraid I don't have any answers but I just wanted to say hi and tell you that you have come to the right place for support and hopefully advice. I am sure that there will be carers that will be in a better position than I to understand your dilemma. Your poor mother must be worn out and she's obviously unwell herself.

From your description your father sounds a stubborn man and a somewhat selfish one too. Can you impress upon him the effects his behavior is having on your mother and have social services do their assessment in respect of her health problems. He just might respond better if the focus is taken away from him and any decisions made for your mother will benefit him too.

I do hope things improve for your family, please keep us informed as to outcomes.

Take care
Thank you, Glenchass, for your reply. It is good to know that the are people out there who can, at the very least, listen and offer support.

I am afraid that Dad will not listen to any reasoning especially where Mum is concerned. You hit the nail on the head with your description of him!
Hello Bartles123,

So sorry to hear of your families problems, I am sorry to say there are many people in this situation and its only when a crisis happens that some change can take place, crazy really. I was in a similar position with my husband even with 24hour care, it nearly broke me completely but when I phoned his consultant one day she wisely decided for me that I really couldn't cope anymore and with my agreement arranged for him to be taken into a home. I really didn't want this but was completely worn out and at breaking point a lot worse than I realised so agreed, it has not been an easy adjustment but 18months now and my health is gradually improving and my husband is at last adjusting too. I have age on my side as I am 66years but your mum hasn't so I hope something can be sorted out soon, you need the GP or consultant to explain to your father that your mum really can't manage and be quite firm about it and then perhaps he will have some help in, once he realises that the choice is either a home or help at home perhaps he will see reason.
I wish you well and hope things get easier soon.
kind regards
Good morning Vivienne.
Thank you for responding to my posting. I really do feel for you as I am sure it has been so very difficult, especially as the result was that your husband had to go into a home, which nobody ever wants to do. I wish you all the very best.
I will try and talk to Dad but I think a lot of it will fall on deaf ears. Somehow, I feel that we will just have to wait for the crisis to happen and deal with things accordingly, as heartbreaking as they will be.
Thank you again.
Hello Bartles123,

Yes it is very difficult heartbreaking really and I would fight to have him home if he was unable to walk which sounds dreadful but at least he would be confined to bed where he could no harm but he is too strong when the mood takes him for me to cope even with carer's.
You are also sadly right about waiting for a crisis to happen I am trying to help a friend of mine who lives on his own and is reluctant to have help come in daily. He has been in hospital recently and blow me down no answer to the phone today and guess where he is? in hospital again, he is such a lovely chap but I think it won't be too long when he will have to go into a care home, he has no family so you can imagine how difficult his life can be bless him he's a proper gent.
I do hope you dad will see sense soon but I doubt it too.
By the way perhaps he would agree to having a respite break, I live in hope for your mum's sake.

best wishes

Hello Bartles 123,

I really do feel for your Mum.I have been going through a similar situation with my Dad and stepmother for the last 12months, the difference being my stepmother would not allow any changes to be made to the house for Dad or allow furniture to be moved around or extra care for him. The upshot was that Dad is now in a care home and has been since he went in for 2 weeks respite care last June (she will not allow him home again). She is very selfish and self centred and nothing will ever change her.

Unless I am very mistaken, hell will freeze over before your Dad will go in for respite and he will carry on wearing your Mum down until she dies or has nothing left to give.

Your Mum deserves better and speaking from my own experiences, I was too late to help my Dad and bitterly regret it. For her sake you need to do something now or you will have lost both of them.

I wish you well and hope that everything works out for your Mum.

Best wishes

Hello Topsy,

I am pleased you felt able to write this on the forum as this is exactly what happened to me, the consultants thought I would only manage to last looking after my husband with 24hour care another three months but I carried on for two years and many times in that period I was at complete breakdown point, everyone was so concerned for my health and in the end my husbands consultant made the decision as I really couldn't it is the most heartbreaking thing to have to do. It has taken me almost two years to get my health back and now I feel very sad that we have lost the biggest part of our lives to this condition which affects the whole family. I agree with you entirely that something must be done in these situations and very often the extended family have to do this for the parents sake which is difficult I know but sadly it is a must.
best wishes