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You know who you are. You think you have left this far too late. Your parents are not coping. They may be in hospital or they may be at home unable to cope.  They may not be able to help themselves anymore. They may be looking to you to do everything. You may seem to spend every waking moment worrying about them or trying not to worry. Everything seems to be spiralling out of control.

See here for what to do in an emergency and read on.

The most common complaint we have heard about families is what to do when crisis overtakes them. Their older relatives  seemed to be fine and they suddenly stopped being able to manage. Adult children are often left floundering, not knowing what to do. Don't beat yourself up. We have all been there.

One daughter in her 50s contacted OLM. She didn’t know where to begin when her mother’s health broke down. It was only then that she realised that her mother was effectively her father’s carer. Take that piece out of the jigsaw and there was a real problem. Who would look after them both and how on earth were they going to pay for it? She had no idea what to do - which is why we set up OLM.


This is really common. A lot of people don’t do anything until it is apparently too late.  No one wants to change. No one wants to admit they have a problem. It's hard getting to talk to you parents about such things. It's hard to know what to do, so it may seem easier to do nothing. This is really not the right way to go but it's very understandable.


Don't worry, though, you may have fewer options than previously and it may seem as though your life is chaos but there are steps to take to improve the situation for you and your parents even when it seems as though there aren't.

What to do now:

  • Don’t panic;

  • Make a list of your problems;

  • Top of the list – housing;

  • Work out what needs to happen – and how to make it happen. See planning.


  • Housing. This is so central to everything. Assess the situation and see what options you have left here.. Although some sheltered housing and retirement housing may no longer be an option, you do not necessarily have to go the care home route even now. There are options in terms of shared housing, adapting the existing home and even granny pods. You can get help to adapt a home.

  • Help. Do they qualify for any help? Help with money? Help with restructuring their existing home? Contact all the agencies which offer help - but do not expect a rapid response. You may have to call multiple times. But you can get reimbursed for help if you do qualify for funding - so don't wait until you get the money through. It could take months;

  • Care. You may be surprised to find that there is specially-designed care out there for difficult situations. And it may even be funded. Persuading your parents to accept it may be harder though;

  • Organisation. Get organised and get happy. Help take away the daily hassles, so you and they can concentrate on what is important;

  • Tough talking. The time for leisurely planning and casual help is over. Now is the time to get everyone together and work out a proper strategy for the future.

  • Don't bottle it up. Share your problems with OLM. 



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