Mental health and wellbeing

I’m worried about my Mum who cares for my dad full time; he has quite advanced dementia. She’s very quiet and she doesn’t appear to want to engage in conversation as usual. It’s like she’s lost her enthusiasm for life. What should I do?

Your Mum may be physically and emotionally drained from caring for your dad full-time. You should encourage her to visit her GP to check whether she has a physical medical condition. If she is physically healthy, it may well be that she is depressed and feeling socially isolated, especially if she isn’t getting any time for herself.

Your Mum should look to join a support group where there will be other carers with the same experience who she can talk to. If you live nearby, you could arrange to look after your Dad for a few hours on a scheduled basis so your Mum gets some respite time and can do a hobby or attend a social group. Or if this isn’t possible look into paid care; for a reasonable price a carer can come and sit with your Dad for a few hours at a time. Talking to your mum will also help her to open up as she may be at the stage where she feels she can no longer cope and needs greater support with care for your Dad, but feels guilty and doesn’t know how to go about addressing the situation.