Dilemma: I want my father-in-law to go into care

Jo Brand / 12 June 2018

Jo Brand advises a reader who feels that her father-in-law would get better care in a care home than at home.

Dilemma: I want my father-in-law to go into care

How do I persuade my husband it’s time his father went into a care home?

I’m really fond of his dad, but both my husband and I work full-time and it’s got to the point where I believe it’s impractical for us to look after him properly any more.

My husband, however, is of the view that we can still cope and that a care home is the last place he wants to put his dad. 

Jo Brand's advice

If your father-in-law lives alone, it sounds as though he has possibly become a bit of a danger to himself and is at risk maybe of falling or leaving a gas ring alight in the kitchen. You might want to emphasise these risks to your husband. 

If your father-in-law lives with you, it may have fallen to you to be the major carer in terms of his meals, domestic tasks he needs doing or help with personal hygiene, in which case perhaps you could suggest to your husband that he takes over some of the caring duties and maybe drops down to working part-time. That may change his mind.

In the days before care homes, families simply coped with the elderly member come rain or shine, but then extended families tended to live near each other and there was a wealth of support. In this day and age, when we are all far-flung, it’s not that easy. 

You could take your husband to visit some care homes… they vary wildly, and he might be pleasantly surprised. My own dad regularly went to the theatre, the pub and on canal boat trips from his place, not really a variety of trips we would have had time to offer.

I hope you get the outcome you want and wish you well.



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