Can you help me with my Dad?


Established Member
It must be pretty hard for someone at that age to pick up something that they've had done for them for such a long time.

Why don't you try cooking with him? Maybe he'll start to enjoy it and you can show him the ropes. He'll probably be more encouraged than just being bought stuff and told to do this and that, which won't be much fun.


Established Member
Its a sad fact of reality mate,the parents become the children.

My Mother is 86 and she is going the same way,all you can do is humour them as nothing sinks in,just be there for them .We just put meals on a plate for her as cooking becomes a bit dangerous.

hope it goes OK for you..


Established Member
You could try speaking to Social Services, they should be able to arrange so help either direct from them or via an external firm. They can help him with what ever he needs help with from doing his shopping to cooking his meals for him. Most of the local social service groups would expect a means tested contribution for the assistance but I've seen it as low as a pound a week.


Established Member
Sean, I know you have enough problems, but what concerns me is the gas element in all of this. Most purpose built apartments or flats for elderly people never have gas in them for cooking or heating. Considered too risky.

Mrs AutomanUK

Established Member
Can you cook him up some meals that he just has to reheat, or defrost and heat up in the micro. Social services provide home help services who will come in and sort out their breakfast, and plate up a salad type dinner, and then meals on wheels can supply his lunch. The poor guy never had to do it before because your Mum was there, and I am sure he is deeply embarassed that he is in this state, but a lot of elderly folk end up being under nourished and dehydrated simply because they are not able to help themselves. Try to be patient, understanding, and best of all, the son he really needs right now. Don't humilite him, just understand his limitations, write down instructions with him so he understands, and encourage as much as you can. Call social services and see what he can get too. pm me if you need any more info. I deal with this stuff all the time in my work.


Ex Member

I am looking after my mother,she lives in a extension on the back of my house,

She is 87,and is old school irish,so i know how stubborn they can be, The reason i moved my mother in with me was when i went to see her in her home everything seemed o.k,Then neighbours started to tell how she was'nt coping at all ,
Simple things like cooking and washing her self,...Anyway i am in this position now,
She also has got very fussy in what she eats,I know the foods she likes,and i try to cook her a balanced diet,but sometimes i lie about the ingredients,

I have help with meals on wheels,every day a hot meal in the afternoon,you have to pay,i pay..£60 a month...
My mum has become very forgetful,even forgets my name sometimes,but although it is upsetting i get used to it,

I try to make her laugh and test her on what day it is ,this seems to help in keeping her mind active

The social services have been very good...There is a alarm system called span,which is installed ,she has a alarm button on a fob which if she falls she can press it,and help is called....

It's old age...i never really thought about the work involved when i took my mother in ...but i woundn't change anything,

Oh,after trying for a couple of years i have got her to go to the local community center,they pick her up ...

She was very independant,like your father,but eventually she is excepting peoples help....

I hope i haven't rambled on too much ,and if any of this helps all well and good.

If you ever want to talk about it..p.m me anytime :)


Senior Moderator
Sean, im sure you realise your dads situation goes well beyond his ability to prepare a meal and look after himself, his faculties are diminishing and to cope with this you really need to involve health care professionals.I understand your father will likely resist this approach however you need to get help to takle this, sooner rather than later.


Ex Member
My mum would not accept any help,i just had to do it....

Get in touch with social services tomorrow,they can help in advising you,

First thing ,get meals on wheels onboard,

Tell your dad it's happening,thats it, you have to be hard,eventually he will realise its for his own good,

Also the carers are used to dealing with stubborn people,...So

Ring social services in the morning.......


Senior Moderator
Social services is a good place to start, they will arrange for a needs assessment though be aware many aspects of social care can be means tested. His GP can also do a referal to your dads local acute services for an assessment with occupational therapist

Carl Stock

Established Member
Hi, Sean.

Quite all right to get upset – no shame in that.

My Mum's aunt gets assistance from my Dad, of all people. She is 91, a spinster, naturally stubborn and snappy at times, and she is so ‘old school' that she would not even let those who were not ‘kin' in through the front door! That included my Dad!

Dad gets her shopping every Tuesday and Thursday (some times even more often); Mum's brother helps out with her finances. With one of our trusted neighbours, Dad had to witness the signing of her revised will, which is very sad of course.

I remember once when she refused an ambulance after coming down with a bad infection. She was so stubborn. Although Dad and my great aunt get on OK(ish), they are from different worlds! Dad will be extremely blunt at times and, when it came to the ambulance being called – which she did not want – Dad said, bluntly, “You are GOING to hospital because you are not well – you CANNOT stay at home. We will sort everything out – I promise.” There was an almighty slanging match, so Dad went quiet to keep the situation calm.

Dad was (and is!) careful never to humiliate her.

This is no lie, but the doctors said she probably would have died if Dad had not TOLD her she was going. (Dad is pretty much like that with all of us when it coming to health – there's no arguing.) She even told Mum that she is glad he forced her to go.

It is all very sad because the lack of abilities for some elderly people can be devastating. Life really can be cruel. That is blatantly obvious of course, but there is no easy way out. However, those who we are trying to care for – and I know this from my experience because my parents are my carers despite my being 27 – simply must accept the necessary help because it really will make everything better for everyone, most importantly the one who requires the care. Seeking help is not a sign of giving up or giving in – it a sign of being strong and saying, “I'm not putting up with this half of a life – I'm getting some support in because I need it.” After all, we've paid the taxes for all of this, however rich or poor we are – that's what social services are for – so we should rightly use it when we really need it.

Why should anyone suffer at all in these circumstances where something can be done? The change of routine or the way in which food is given – i.e. delivered through social services or by other means – is difficult to bear because all one wants is a ‘normal' life. However, it is paramount to remember that this help must be accepted in a way that the individual feels relatively comfortable with, but nonetheless it must be accepted and used to the full – everyone must eat and drink good food and fluids on a regular basis of course.

pave is right, Sean – you must call social services and get advice and get the help in as soon as possible. Call it “tough love” – false pride and stubbornness gets us nowhere. You'll be able to get all the help your Dad needs, you can check up on him every so often as well and you should not then feel under such pressure to try to work around his ways, thus upsetting him and yourself. Of course, whoever helps your Dad will need to work around his ways to some extent, but social services have seen and heard it all before.

Sean, you said, “That people would rally round and help me, though they have never met me before”, but the good thing is that we are real people – we just haven't met you, as you said. :)

You be positive, Sean – you're getting there. (Hope I'm not being patronising here.) It's OK to be a negative at times because that can help you work out the positives and get everything sorted. (I know this sounds like psycho-babble, but this is honestly just me talking as I do, as if you were in front of me.)

Take care, Sean. :) Do let us know how everything goes. :)


Carl :)

Mrs AutomanUK

Established Member
I replied to your pm before I read the rest of this thread, and I have a better idea about how things are now I have read your subsequent posts. OK.. so here is another idea. You are going to have to be firm with him, and tell him to take a good look at himself in the mirror before he refuses help. Remind him of how his wife would feel if she could see him now, and then offer him the options available to him. Gently explain that he has to accept that he needs to let you help him. This means that you will have to bring someone in each day to help him with his food, laundry etc. He will have to trust that you will not bring in any odd bod, but someone who will respect his privacy and independence, as well as tailor the care he needs to his likes and dislikes. While you are away in Germany, for your peace of mind... there are these guys click here who provide temporary live in carers ( care to the elite who can afford it, and this company has been going for a long long time. We used them for a few of our more affluent patients, who needed some help at home, mainly for when their family were away, and for when they were just going home from hospital.) Is your Dad living in the UK now, or is he still in Ireland? I don't know what services are provided down there, but there is bound to be something similar.

I really do feel for you. I am sure it's a stark wake up call to the frailty of someone you only saw as a strong independent man. Please be strong for him, because to even let you into his little disillusioned world where things are not as peachy as he likes to let everyone believe, is a huge step for him. Tell him that you know how hard it must be for him, and that you will help him, but he has to trust you to do that in whatever way you feel is right, and if that means bringing in outside help then he will just he to get over it.

If he is managing in all areas apart from his dietary intake, then how about just bringing in a local catering company to provide a meal each day, and stuff in his fridge ? After a few days of not eating, he would not feel hunger, which is a slippery slope to annorexia, and you need to be aware that this is why he was loosing the weight and not really noticing he was skipping meals. Eating alone is miserable too, and takes a lot of encouragement for old folk to eat because of this.

I will be about today on and off, although I am working tonight, so I will keep checking in on this thread to see how you are doing. xxx


Established Member
Don't know if I can add much to this except to say how sorry I am for the sad situation you find yourself in.

I've watched my wife's parents deal with her grandmothers slow deterioration for a few years. One thing I noticed that worked was their management of the "illusion of control". It can be very difficult for elderly people to accept the loss of control over decisions like this - their solution was to provide a couple of impractical alternatives and allow her to be able to "choose" the only sensible course of action. This seemed to be a way of "saving face".

Your father's GP may be a good place to start - especially of you're worried about his health, physical or mental. Social services and the like will often react faster to a GP referral.

This may be of little or no use, but I hope things work out.


Established Member
Agree about gas - we had a scare with my mother recently and I've swapped her gas stove out for an electric one (which is also a much better stove).

She can still cook perfectly well if she wants to but can't be bothered. But she has a microwave and a freezer and we recently discovered:

and very good they are too.

(note: I have no connection with the above company other than being related to a satisifes customer!)


Prominent Member
I know exactly what your going through sean, same thing happened 6yrs ago with my mum. You really need to take action with some of the great advice in the previous posts, seek help now. You will have a lot of sleepless nights but you will get through it.
Good luck.

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