Guilt and dementia: How to manage guilty feelings as a carer

Feelings of guilt can be difficult to deal with as a carer of somebody living with dementia. Read our advice to help identify and manage guilty feelings.

Caring for a person with dementia can be very challenging. You’re likely to experience an extreme range of emotions, one of which is often guilt. 

You might feel like you’re not doing a good enough job of caring or setting up support for a loved one, or you may be struggling to accept help. These feelings are completely normal, and very common. 

It’s important to identify and acknowledge any feelings of guilt, so you can start managing and working through them. Here are some common situations that might lead to guilt, along with some advice on managing your feelings. 

7 ways carers may feel guilt, and how to manage them:

1. Feeling that other carers seem to manage better than you

Meeting up with other carers at support groups or reading about other people’s experiences might make you think other carers are coping better than you are. You may feel guilty you haven’t lived up to your own expectations or those of the person with dementia, or to the expectations you believe other people have of you. But remember, there’s no such thing as the ‘perfect carer’, and it’s important not to be too hard on yourself.

Are you being realistic about what you can achieve? If not, can you reduce any of the expectations you have of yourself, or get any more help? 

Sometimes letting family and friends know how you feel and asking for support may give them the opportunity to help out.

2. Feeling bad about how you treated the person before they were diagnosed

Sometimes, carers feel bad about how they behaved towards the person before they were diagnosed with dementia. For example, you might have shown feelings of irritation or criticism towards them without realising that they were showing signs of dementia. 

Try to remember that you weren’t to know that they had dementia and you couldn’t have foreseen what the future held. 

Dementia can have a profound effect on a person’s behaviour and without advice, guidance, or the knowledge of an underlying condition, these changes can be very difficult to understand.

Bear in mind that everyone gets frustrated with their partner or family members from time to time too.

3. Feeling guilty about getting angry or irritated

If you feel angry and frustrated, you might occasionally direct this towards the person you’re caring for. Many carers find it hard to forgive themselves in this situation, especially if they have said something hurtful.

Try to remember that caring can be very stressful, and anger or frustration are natural for everyone in this situation. Taking some time for yourself to do something that you enjoy – such as reading or cooking – can help to calm these emotions. Exercise and relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, can make you feel less anxious and less stressed and can relieve your anger and frustration.

At times when you do find yourself becoming angry or frustrated, it can help to leave the room for a while to allow things to settle.

4. Feeling guilty for wanting time apart

You may feel guilty about having time to yourself, but everyone needs to recharge their batteries now and again. It’s very important for carers to enjoy some time away from their caring role.

Many carers find that giving themselves some time apart and doing things that make them feel happy and positive, makes them more able to fulfil their role.

If the person you’re caring for can't be left alone, ask friends or family whether they could pop in for a short time, or whether they could come and stay with the person for a few days.

Discussions about Guilt in our online community, Talking Point...
Discussions about Guilt...

5. Feeling shameful about accepting help from others

Many carers feel they should be able to manage without any help. But looking after a person with dementia can be exhausting, physically and emotionally. 

You may be able to free up some valuable time by accepting respite care, such as help in the home, daycare services, or residential care services. This will give you more energy and may enable you to go on caring for longer.

Even if the person with dementia is initially upset about others becoming involved, they may well come to terms with the idea. The first experience of separation often makes carers feel guilty and unable to relax, but in time you will probably get used to it and will start to experience the benefits.

6. Feeling guilty about the move into a care home

Some carers may feel that moving the person into a home is a betrayal. You might think you’ve let the person down, or that you should have coped for longer. You may have previously promised the person you would always look after them at home and now feel forced to break that promise.
Remember that any promises were probably made in a completely different situation. The move to a care home also doesn’t need to mean that you give up your caring role completely – it’s just a different way of caring.

Some carers find residential care helps them to have a better relationship with the person, as their time together can be more special, less stressful, and more like it used to be.

7. Mixed feelings about the person’s death

When someone with dementia dies, many carers say they initially feel some sense of relief. Then they feel ashamed or shocked that they have had these feelings.

Rest assured, relief can be a normal reaction. Many carers go through much of their grieving process throughout the illness, as they notice each small deterioration in the person.

Talk to people about your feelings and remember there is no one ‘right’ way to feel when someone you have been caring for has died.

Do you have experience of dealing with guilt or any advice for anyone who might be struggling with these feelings? Let us know in the comments below, and help other people realise they’re not alone.

This article was first published on 7 November 2018, and last updated in May 2023.

Looking after yourself as a carer

Supporting a person with dementia can be positive and rewarding, but it can also be challenging. Read our advice on how you can make sure you're looking after yourself, as well as the person you're supporting. 

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My husband was diagnosed with dementia 10 years ago. It has been a slow deterioration. The rest of the family all try to help in their own way. Sometimes I can be patient and sometimes I fail, which makes us both sad. But there are still good days - hang onto these.
Hi recently I read about someone who had a parent with Lewyd body dementia . Instead of getting angry with their loved one, they wrote Lewy hate letters. This now works for me as I silently curse him whenever my 93 year old mom gets nasty with me. It’s not her or her fault, it’s Lewy. I hope this helps others.
I love this, what an excellent idea, my son has severe Autism and learning disabilities and is homeschooled due to no school being able to manage his behaviour and i now think my dad who lives with us is getting dementia. This is a brilliant way of getting the anger out without hurting anyone. Thankyou
My father was my mother’s carer, but I live within very close proximity. In the year or two before mum went into a care home, I could see too clearly just how much dad was struggling, but he’d just repeat “we’re coping”. That made it very hard and frustrating for me as he was pushing me away. His problems were compounded by his insomnia, to the point I was more worried about his wellbeing than mum’s. Eventually, he agreed to employ a private personal assistant who spent 3 hours sitting with mum so dad could get out in the garden. It came suddenly when dad had to get mum into care as an emergency and that was the most stressful situation ever. If he had accepted advice and help from me, it could have been better managed and less traumatic for all of us. I had even taken early retirement in order to be more helpful to them. I just wish he’d been less stubborn and more accepting of help.
It so sad yet so interesting reading your comment Alison and it shows the different problems carers have. Mine is sadly the complete opposite to your. I'm 83 my wife is 80 she has mixed dementia, Some days I'm really on a downer because of my wife's actions and the pressure on me to cope. I hate saying this but it gets to the point where I want to blow my top but somehow I control it even after we've had a few grated words. As you say you can see your dad isn't coping at times and I know where he's coming from. I have 2 sons 4 grand kids in their late 30s, and great grandkids in their teens. They all know I get stressed and I am struggling to cope but no offer of help comes forward from any of them, yes they know and I know I'm stubborn and won't ask for help but nothing stopping them volunteering to help. Putting my wife in a home is my last resort, I will struggle on, I just hope the struggle doesn't take me before my dear wife. Thanks for your story Alison.
Hello,my partner of 27years and who is just 67yrs old was diagnosed with alzheimer's in 2019 now 4years later she has lost all ability to converse,she is very confused and fragile very vulnerable,I have been her full time carer since her diagnosis and told her she would always be at home with me.she is now at the sundowning stage I do everything for her because I love her so very much I lie awake in bed just watching her,sometimes crying myself to sleep..I have been told by social services that its now the time to place her in a nursing home,which would be in her best interest but the guilt I am feeling about that is unbearable, I don't think I could cope walking away with her so distressed at a care home.i feel I am letting her heart goes out to each and every carer who cares for someone with alzheimer's
David I am in the same position I know just how you feel,it's very hard we have been married 62 years and have done everything together.I feel the same as you do,and I do everything for him.Wishing you all the best
Hi David my wife went into a care home March this year ,I was at the stage i could not cope anymore, she is 70 years old and we have been married for 48 years and the guilt i feel every day is not good but i know she is now getting the best care for her needs , dressing, toilet. washing giving her medication. i see her 3/4 times a week but the conversation is so poor now it is hard to watch her lose bits of the person i have known , i know from what i have read we are all in the same position of guilt when our partners go into care, but as i have said she is now well looked after, chin up my friend you are not alone in dealing with this awful illness
My Wife had meningitis 12 years ago. This was the start of her decline into dementia. The last five years things accelerated to the point of her losing all mobility, unable to support her own weight, double incontinence, unable to feed herself,contracture of legs. I could no longer meet her many needs. Adult social care tried to keep her at home, supplying a Care Agency, but they ultimately withdrew. Leaving, moving to a nursing home, ultimately the only option. I visit her every day as she is in a Home close by. VERY IMPORTANT. I visit for one to two hours each day and help her to eat a meal and drink. Watch television with her, this helps me to maintain a connection to a person I have loved dearly for forty years. It is called, survival.
It is hard being a carer and watching the person you love being confused and frustrated all of the time. My wife was diagnosed with mixed dementia (Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia) some two years ago. At first she was just forgetful but a slow decline now sees her confused, with her cognitive skills severely diminished. I did get snappy with her at first but when you remember that it is not her fault, then you have to be patient and kind, but I know this is not always easy. Most of the time she has forgotten any imitation on my part within 5 minutes. I am lucky in the there is a memory cafe in my area. We can both go and it gives me a chance to talk with others in a similar situation and to get their advice and experiences, plus it’s a social outlet for us both. My wife needs encouragement all of the time but if she doesn’t want to do something, then I don’t push it. Good luck to all carers but stay positive and look for the good not the negative.
A couple of years ago, I moved back from beautiful British Columbia, Canada, in order to look after my now 95 yr old mum, who has dementia, and my now 94 yr old dad, who is disabled and has COPD. Travelling back and forth during covid was a nightmare, but as sole family member ( I lost my sister to heart disease) i had no alternative. Mum and dad still live in their own home, and like many on this forum, I promised to keep it that way as long as possible. The move back was traumatic as I adored it there so much. I had to say goodbye to so many close friends, plus I lost my beloved spaniel at the same time. I am so lucky to have a wonderful husband who encouraged and supported me the whole way, otherwise I am not sure how I would have coped. I spent months in floods of tears. I had awful feelings of resentment towards my parents for the first time in my life, mixed with guilt, sadness, and grief. I knew I was sinking, so I reached out and got help. Today I am happily settled back here in UK, 20 minutes from mam and dad. Despite the frustration, or irritation, I am trying to make some happy memories to look back on. The resentment I felt has gone, and I know now that looking after Audrey and Tom during the last stages of their life is THE most important job I have ever done. Humour lightens a heavy heart, and whilst it's not always possible, i try to see the funny side of things. All things pass. So I just try to focus on each day, tackle the emergencies, cope with the frustrations. A huge shout out to Durham County Carers who have guided me through what has been a very difficult transition. Local dementia-friendly groups such as the marvellous All Sorts run by Janet at the Auckland Project in Bishop Auckland are brilliant. There is a ton of help out there. As a carer you are not alone. Wishing the very best to everyone, and please remember to look after yourselves as well as your parent/s.
Hi Louise. Just been reading your post in which you mention All Sorts at the Auckland project. Could you give me any further information on this group as I live close by and I’m now at the stage where I’m having to start to reach out to people for support as a career to my Mum? Kind Regards Sue
Hi there Sue, It is run by The Auckland Project, and the manager is Janet. I will be there tomorrow, from 2pm till 4pm. The venue is No.42 in the market square, Bishop Auckland. Every Tuesday. I wilk ask Janet for her number, or you can just call the Auckkand Project and ask for a contact number for All Sorts Dementia Friendly Group. Try 01388 600505 as a starter. It may just be for volunteers, but they should be able to help. Please do get back to me if you have any trouble. Or just show up, they are very welcoming. Are you in or near Bishop Auckland? I look forward to meeting you and your mum. Best regards Louise
Hi Louise. Thank you so much for your reply. I wish definitely try and pop in one Tuesday as I just live ant Willington. Unfortunately I can’t tomorrow as I have Mum at a hospital appointment. I look forward to meeting you soon. Best Wishes Sue
These are helpful tips. My sister just died of unsuspected heart disease. Five long years of living with fronto temporal dementia. Fortunately for her, she was unaware of her loss of capacity and only wanted to keep living her same life at home. I was able to maintain her in her home with increasing help of care workers, finally up to twice per day, 365 days per year. I live in Canada and would visit 2x year and it never felt like enough but she would never agree to move to Canada to get more care from me. Was literally on the verge of one last push to move her to Canada when she died. So I feel guilty for not being with her at the time, for not getting her closer to me sooner and for many other things. Have to let it go and concentrate on what I did well. Long lonely journey for the caregiver that few outside the situation can even begin to understand how hard everything is when someone has lost capacity but still has desires and the ability to express them.
My mother is in a nursing home for 4yrs in a wheelchair and can't speak. Poor girl will be 92 soon. She is my best friend and her 3 sister are jealous of ma and I . I chose to take care of her after my father passed 15 yrs ago.. I feel guilty for not visiting her as much as I did before COVID 19 as I have mobility problems. Also she a mother who always said" I don't want anything at Christmas time or ,soon, her birthday. I miss her and her personality. she's in late stages with pureed food and help 24/7 from human angels (PSW's nurses and doctors). I've never done anything like this for anyone, for so long. I don't have any family around here anymore so I'm lonely at times as well. I trust God is here with me . I would do it again but I feel hollowed out.
Been caring for my dad of 87 years age with moderate to severe vascular dementia for over a year. He started having hallucinations and left his property in middle of night last September. We placed dad in a flat (independent living Scheme ) and we would visit every day . Since October he has rapidly declined mentally and was telephoning us at all hours day and night he left the flat at 9pm in March and so me and my sister have stayed on his sofa every night since then . Last week we thought he had a TIA ( mini stroke ) as he couldn’t speak or stand properly without 2 of us assisting him we urgently found a nursing home since taking him there he has fully recovered from that and is demanding we take him back to his flat . But then still tells confused story’s that there are people in his bed at night and that windows were being smashed and fighting in the car park .. The guilt I feel is unbearable but I don’t think I can go back to having no life and I have commitments to my grandson caring for him.. what do I do 🙈

Hi Sharon,

We're very sorry to hear about your dad, it sounds like a really difficult situation to be in. Please know that you aren't alone, and we're here for you.

Call our support line on 0333 150 3456 to speak with one of our trained dementia advisers. They can listen to you and provide advice and support to help. You can find more details about the support line (including opening hours and other methods of contact) here:

You might also benefit from joining our online community, Talking Point. Here, people affected by dementia share their experiences and offer support to others going through similar situations. You can browse topics within the community or sign up for free: 

We hope this helps, Sharon.

Alzheimer's Society website team

Hi Sharron, I looked after my dear mom for 12years before she passed away in December. Mom was bedridden for the last 8 years and so I didn’t have the extra worry of her being able to get out of the house and then the panic of trying to find her. You and your sister have done all that you can, with love and devotion to your dad. He is now in a care home environment that can ensure that he cannot put himself in danger through getting out and as his condition deteriorates he will get the nursing care he needs. Please don’t feel guilty about him remaining in the home, you and your sister did everything that you could but now he needs professional help. He will settle down, and you and your sister can begin to again enjoy spending time with him as his daughters. You are still caring for him, just in a different way. I wish you and your sister and dad every good thing for the future. God bless.
HI Sharon. I have been caring for my husband who is 83 years old for the past 6 years. It is soul destroying. I am waiting on a place in a nursing home at the moment and I know the guilt will be awful but I realize that I simply have reached a point where I just cannot mind him any more. My advise to you would be to leave him in the nursing home now that you have made the move. Good luck for the future to you and your sister.
Thanks Yvonne for your lovely kind comments x that helps a lot x I know things will improve once he settles. I do hope your husband gets a place soon and you like me can start to heal xx
I REALLY feel for you. You are going through such a tough time. You deserve a life and pace of mind. You deserve to be able to live knowing that your dad is safe and cared for around the clock (without anybody sleeping on sofa’s). If he remains in the nursing home he will be safe and cared for. I absolutely understand the guilt but imagine the guilt if he goes back to his flat and something terrible happens? You are your sister can’t do it alone. It’s too much. My mum recently ended up in a residential home by fluke circumstances and the guilt I felt (and still feel) is hard; BUT I can FINALLY sleep at night knowing that she is safe and has people around 24/7. I FINALLY have some peace of mind (at times). I feel so grateful knowing that others are taking care of her and can give her more of what she needs. It’s still a struggle and an absolute rollercoaster BUT I know deep down it is the best thing for her (and selfishly for me). I also feel that we are able to spend more quality time together as I am not so stressed , anxious and resentful. Try not to beat yourself up, it’s too much to cope with for you and your sister on your own. It needs a TEAM of people who care but who also have some emotional distance from your dad. I hope you can find some peace in your heart and your mind. Sending love, hugs and strength. ❤️
My dad was diagnosed with dementia late January and passed away early February (also had ESRD). Looking back he’s been developing this for years, 3 years ago he started mentioning my twin sister who has my same name- and obviously doesn’t exist. I’ve been losing my patience with him the past 3 years. His last few months were very difficult, he insisted we take him home (while being at home) and would get very angry and insulting when I wouldn’t take him home. I would yell and argue with him and get very upset. I lived with him so I was here for it 24/7, my brothers visited infrequently so they were able to have patience the few times they were here. His last few days he didn’t know anyone else, but his face would light up when he saw me, and he wouldn’t forget me, or the fact that it was my birthday and I’d spent it in the hospital, that upset him. He passed 5 days later. I can’t live with the guilt of how I lost my patience and yelled and screamed or gave him the silent treatment. For anyone in this situation- take the time to cool off and try to remind yourself it’s not them, it’s the disease. Please don’t end up in the level of regret I’m in with no way to remedy it!
Hi Gladys, my heart goes out to you. I sense the enormous pain and regret you are feeling. It is so very unfair that you have been left like this after giving your all to your dad, who you so obviously loved. My mum has dementia and lives with me, so I do understand how you felt/feel. I have also had the odd meltdown. The 24 hr care is all consuming, full of stress, anxiety and exhaustion, with very little support from other family members, which I find unforgivable. Please, please try to forgive yourself. You’ve done an amazing and loving thing for your dad. Wherever he is now, I’m sure he understands, forgives, appreciates and loves you. It isn’t humanly possible to be perfect all the time and underneath he probably understood that too. The fact that his face lit up in hospital when he saw you is testament to that and to his deep love and appreciation for the true love you gave him. Please don’t beat yourself up. You were the one person who stepped up to the plate and gave of yourself…out of love, you should not be the one to have to bear the guilt. More support from other family members would have alleviated the stress you were under, so please don’t take all that guilt upon yourself. Many people wouldn’t contemplate doing what you did, you are a wonderful daughter and human being and I applaud you, sympathise with you and hope that soon you can begin to realise that too. You are a kind, loving, generous human being and you have done your very best in an untenable situation. Any guilt you have, I believe, also comes from the very fact that you are that type of human being. I suspect that the members of the family who were ‘mere’ visitors have no recriminations re their conduct? Ask yourself what your dad’s final years would have been like without you….there’s your answer. You are a wonderful person, please believe that and please go and access some helpful counselling for yourself, you deserve it as well as many wonderful things in your life going forward. I wish you love and happiness, but most of all peace within yourself. Claire x❤️
Gladys, first of all I am sorry about your loss. I have total empathy of how this must have been for you. My mum has a form of dementia, she has a rare disease called cadasil! She is 100 percent incontinent and has a stoma, she has constant uti’s She lives with me and my husband who has leukaemia and my 14 year old! I’ve two brothers who are a waste of space and never visit her! I’m so tired and feeling so frustrated, she keeps taking her pad and stoma bags off and you can imagine the results. I can’t be with her 24,7 ie In the middle of the night! I could just about cope but she has started to get nasty too. I feel so fed up that my whole life has been affected, she moved in with us 3 years ago but it’s getting so hard now. She is financially independent and my house is my house. I’m beginning to think I can’t go on and she will have to go into a home but I will feel so guilty. It breaks my heart that she isn’t like my mum anymore.
Dear Gladys, although you are no longer a Carer, you are caring. If there is a Dementia Carers Group in your area, I urge you to go to it. My Group has a mixture of those that care at home, those whose loved one is in care, and those where the person has passed away. You will be among people who know exactly how you feel, they have had those same feelings. Everyone of those who attend, say it is the best thing they have ever done. You have tried your best for someone else, time to try your best for YOU.
Hello. My wife was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2019, but I suspect she started with the symptoms in 2017/18. She (we) lost our first baby, Daniel 48 years ago. And our second son Dr Kieron 11 years ago. I'm sure her many, many, long years of being burdened with deep depression have contributed to her dementia. I now take care of her full time, 24 hours a day. I was told that it would be hard, and it is. But after 54 years of marriage, we still love each other unconditionally, and sometimes she manages to tell me so. We still laugh and hug!
Hi Ron, your post affected me profoundly. You and your wife have faced such heartache and now you are helping and loving her through this awful illness. I’m also caring for my mum and know how hard it can get. Your mutual love, warmth, humour and grace are a beacon. Yourself and and the other posters on here have restored my faith in humanity. There are still loving, caring, empathetic people out there in the midst of the ever increasing maelstrom that is happening in the World right now. Thankyou and wishing you love and strength. Claire x
My 95-year old widowed mum is rapidly developing dementia. Her memory - short and long-term - has completely gone and every time I visit, I have to go through the same old explaining everything - from hot water immersion heater to taking medication, even reminding her of her grandson's age. We were never close; my parents were very critical of me growing up, never showed emotional love, never hugged me, made it clear that I was "supposed to be a boy" but was born a girl - a disappointment and a failure - I was always made to feel both of these. I, unsurprisingly, distanced myself from them for many years, rebelling quite a lot in my 20's. Yet now I'm faced with living locally to her and having to care for her - she lives in retirement housing for the moment. My sister and I hired at-home care for her (Helping Hands) for 4 mornings a week but they were useless and mum hated them so we stopped them. My sister and I share visiting, and mum has a cleaner once a week (who she also hates). I do the shopping, laundry, etc for mum once or twice a week. The point is... I feel so angry with her, so very very angry. Angry for the emotional love and support I never received as a child, teen and young person. Angry because I know it's far, far too late for this ever to be put right. And angry... well just angry... at her forgetfulness, developing dementia, etc etc. Which, of course, makes me feel SO VERY GUILTY. Also, guilty for feeling it'd be better if she passed away sooner rather than later, before she gets worse. Apart from anger and regret, I feel nothing for her. And I feel guilty about that. She has always been like a stranger - and seems more so, now than ever. I feel as if I'm being cruel. I feel bad about my emotions towards her. I feel so very guilty for feeling like I do. I'd love to learn that this is normal and I'm not alone feeling like this.

Hi Bev, we're really sorry to hear this. If you'd like to talk, please know we're here for you.

We recommend calling our Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456 to speak with one of our trained dementia advisers. They can listen to you and provide advice and support that's specific to your situation with your mum. More information about the support line, including opening hours, is available here:

You may also benefit from joining our online community, Talking Point. Here, carers and other people affected by dementia share their experiences, and can offer advice and support to others going through similar situations. You can browse the conversations within the community or sign up for free:

We hope this helps for now, Bev. Please do call our support line.

Alzheimer's Society blog team

My husband was diagnosed with Alzhiemers last year but I knew he had it quite a while ago. He has always been a very difficult person to live with as he has suffered what I now know to be 'smiling depression '. To everyone else he was the life and sole of the party, but myself and two daughters got the silent and withdrawn treatment which could lasts up to a couple of months. I no longer have any good feelings towards him and haven't had for a very long time. My own mental health is suffering and my two daughters both have mental health issues. I am now trapped having to live with and look after someone who I don't actually like as the money side of things don't allow for separate dwellings etc. How do I cope and get through each day when I feel like I'm in a loving hell and could be until I die or he does?

Hi Doreen, we're sorry to hear about your husband's diagnosis. It sounds like a difficult situation for you all.

Caring for someone with dementia can be incredibly difficult, even more so if the relationship was strained to begin with. You are under no obligation to live with or provide the care for your husband. You also don’t need to financially contribute from your own money. However, it is important they remain safe and well looked after.

Your Local Authority may be able to organise alternative care options with you both to alleviate some of the stress, and ensure you can focus on improving your own mental health. They may also be able to explore differing housing options, if that is something that’s needed. It is important to be honest with them - as you have been here - about how you are feeling and what you need help with.

If you aren’t sure how to contact them, you can find the details of your local council here -

If you haven’t already, share with your GP how you are feeling. They may signpost to counselling services for you both, such as Relate or to Talking Therapies just for you. They may also be able to recommend other ways to support you with your health.

You can also speak openly with one of our expert dementia advisers, who can listen to you, talk through your situation, and provide specific advice and guidance. You can call our support line on 0333 150 3456. (More details, including opening hours, are available here:

Finally, you might also like to join our online community, Talking Point, where carers and other people affected by dementia can share their experiences and receive peer support:

We hope this helps for now, Doreen. Please do call our support line.


Alzheimer's Society blog team

I hear you Doreen. I have the same feelings towards my FTD affected husband. He also was a difficult person and his journey before diagnosis probably spanned 20 years. The sense of unfairness and entrapment is constant. In my case I take every opportunity I can to be with friends, walk a lot and go to yoga class. I refuse to be a martyr to his needs. The odd prayer helps too !
Iv looked after my mum for nearly six years. We have had our ups and downs we have argued but always made up and said we loved each other. As the dementia got worse I found it hard to accept and did not want to accept she was becoming so ill. I feel so guilty at not wanting to accept her illness that I argued and became angry sometimes. My mum even said she was sorry and I told her that's not what I wanted her to be... Sorry... I wanted in my head for her to be the mum I remember. My mum's at the stage now where she knows no one and even if I tell her how much I love her she doesn't know and its breaking my heart to watch. I feel so guilty. I have cared for her alone all through her illness Now she's nearing the end I just want to go back and stop all the arguments we had. How do i get passed the guilt I feel. Its soul destroying.

We're really sorry to hear this, Lesley, it sounds like such a difficult situation to be in. Please know that you aren't alone, and we are here for you.

We'd recommend calling our support line on 0333 150 3456 to talk about this with one of our trained dementia advisers. They can listen to you, and give advice and support. You can find more details about the support line (including opening hours and other methods of contact) here: 

Hope this helps for now, Lesley. Please do call our support line.

Alzheimer's Society website team

I’ve just dropped my mum into a local care home for respite so that I can have a week away with my family. I’m in my late 30s and my kids in their teens and for the last 6 months I have been spending a lot of my time caring for my parents. My father passed away from cancer 2 months ago and he mums main career until about 2 months before he died. Mums needs are fairly low but the main issue is that she can not care for herself or be left alone and has not been left alone for any period of time in the last 2 years. While we have really struggled with her dementia needs in the last few months, and we desperately need a brea. But it was so hard to leave her in the care home for respite as she seemed so much younger (70) and to have less progressed dementia and less care needs than the other residents there. She was scared and cried when we left begging us not to leave here. I feel so awful now. I want to go and get her and make her feel safe again. 😕

Catherine, we're very sorry to hear this. It sounds like a very difficult situation to be in. Please know that you aren't alone, and we are here for you if you need support.

You can always call our support line on 0333 150 3456 to speak with one of our trained dementia advisers. They will listen to you and provide specific advice and support. More details about the support line (including opening hours and other methods of contact) can be found here: 

You might also benefit from joining our online community, Talking Point. Here, carers and other people affected by dementia share their experiences and offer advice and support to others going through similar situations. You can browse topics within the community or sign up for free here:

We hope this helps for now, Catherine. Please do call our support line if you need to.

Alzheimer's Society blog team