Struggling to cope

Just over a year since mums stroke. She has lost some vision and has short memory issues. I am so proud of her- however, she has gone from being a sprightly 80 year old, to a worried shadow. I appreciate how her confidence has been lost and there are ways we work round this. My worry is that dad her main carer is at his wits end. He is 84 and also was very active before. He now feels trapped and frustrated as his wife has changed! He subconsciously expects her to react as promptly or efficiently and I believe (and we fiercely disagree) he thinks she doesn’t try.he says she drives him mad but he can’t seem to cut her much slack. He has never been one for sharing problems or thrashing things out. It’s so sad and I want to be able to be there for both of them. Mum accepts me gladly. But dad wants to be in control and doesn’t accept he could do with a helping hand himself. Age has taken its toll so quickly in the past 12 months and things won’t revert despite him wanting them to. The subject of visits and carer involvement have been pushed away, he reluctantly sometimes has to ask me with online things. I can’t come between them but want to support each in the way that would help them best. Just wanted to put my worries ‘on paper’ instead of stressing on my own.


Understandable, stroke throws a cog in the works for all parties involved. Two different types of support are needed, one for the carer and one for the stroke survivor, it’s a balancing act but better balanced when understanding each of their needs. I hope that sharing your worries will give you some respite from your own stresses.


I can’t even imagine being in your shoes. I know my daughter would be if I were still with my husband, but thankfully, I am not.

She likely feels sometimes I am not trying hard enough, but she does not say. Sometimes I think I am not trying hard enough, as well. Others, I think I try to hard. It is a fine line.

I am not afraid, though, and the fearlessness is a lovely, freeing attitude. I wonder if some medication or talk therapy might help mom with that. I take medication for anxiety/depression that truly does help, but the fearlessness came from actually having the strokes. A gift, I think, amongst all the stresses.

It is hard enough as we age over time, to acknowledge that we cannot do all the things we did before. When stroke hits, it does not come over time, it is immediate. Everything changes right this minute, coming all together at once. It is a lot to relearn how, or learn new ways to do things. Perhaps it would help for dad to get out to do things on his own…a carer’s group, visits with friends, a short trip, a hobby group…so that he does not feel stuck, and gives mom a little time to herself as well, or with someone else? Personally, I miss speaking with different people. Very thankfully I actually get to do that here.

My thoughts are with you. It isn’t easy, but you all will figure out a way to navigate that works for each of you.


@Bev1 it must be so difficult for your dad. He probably thinks he has lost the woman he loves as he knew her before & as people get oldee they don’t adapt as easily. They are very proud people & don’t want to accept help because they feel like they should carry on regardless.

As well as echoing what @DeAnn has said i wonder if there are any carer groups you could put your dad in touch with?

Maybe you could speak to your GP for advice & perhaps try the Stroke Association helpline too.

Sending you my best wishes

Ann x


Thank you ladies for your response, and Rups. I think some breathing space would be beneficial. Your comments resonate so clearly- the life they had before has changed and some things won’t come back. As a family we are trying to make and accept the new limitations, for some it’s easier than others. I will continue to try to smooth out the bumps in the road and see if I can convince them (dad really) to accept a little help. I do believe the depression could be helped but dad doesn’t “do pills”. Thanks for listening.


You have my strengh and light in dealing with this issue. I mean it is also about managing their relationship along with your mother’s health. Your father is doing what he has always done and no doubt could possible be angry that he isnt getting the help from you mom anymore. He may fell inadequate and also afraid. But give him time, compassion, strenght and love as he adjusts and support your mom and be there for her as much as you can.


Thankyou. I think you are right. It is a relationship issue rather than a medical one. This is in addition to the actual post stroke issues. Their dynamic has changed - the spontaneity has gone, lots of quite simple tasks now have to be planned - going shopping for example. Mum just used to pop on the bus into town alone: now she needs one of us with her and we go in our car. Being there is all I/we as a family can do. You are all confirming my thoughts which in a way is reassuring.