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Our elderly father being starved by our mum

(79 Posts)
curtaincall Sat 13-Aug-11 22:39:04

She's just not giving him the right amount of food and he is losing weight. She won't listen to us (her grown-up children) about this as she hasn't about anything, ever. He is now vulnerable and weak and I think is scared of asking her for more food. What on earth would you do ?

Finallygotaroundtoit Sat 13-Aug-11 22:42:47

Report it to Social Services - they will protect vulnerable adults

Sorry sad

Glendaisgrumpy Sat 13-Aug-11 22:43:31

Why isn't she feeding him?

jesuswhatnext Sat 13-Aug-11 22:43:43

interfere! - speak to their gp, i think its proberbly the only thing you can do, you cant 'make' her listen to you but the gp can take things forward if they now need more help! - good luck to you, it must be awful and you have my sympathy!

squeakytoy Sat 13-Aug-11 22:43:54

Is he unwell? Has he seen his GP recently?

FabbyChic Sat 13-Aug-11 22:44:18

I'd go to the house and take him away from her the evil witch.

Seriously? Have a family meeting whereby you tell her she is starving her husband and that if she does not feed him more you will report her for cruelty and get social services involved.

thisisyesterday Sat 13-Aug-11 22:44:26

i would talk to her. to them both. but mostly to her and say "look, this isn't right.... sort it or I will"

AND I would start taking him food over.

is there anything wrong with your mum? why she might not realise what she is doing?

squeakytoy Sat 13-Aug-11 22:46:06

Is it possible that she is unwell herself? dementia perhaps?

ScarlettIsWalking Sat 13-Aug-11 22:46:30

Intervene! Make your presence in the house at meal times and inform social care. She is torturing him.

curtaincall Sat 13-Aug-11 22:48:27

She thinks 3 meals a day is right for him but what he needs is lots of small snack meals throughout the day as he is mid-80s and has been unwell. She says this will spoil his appetite but this is missing the point . Also the meals he does get are not sufficient. For instance, if i visit, she may make pasta and tomato sauce but enough for a small starter. Then maybe a piece of fruit. He's just not getting the calories.

Would Social Services be able to do anything ? They are a well-off couple and don't look deprived. My mum would just chase anyone off the premises as would my dad for interfering.

thisisyesterday Sat 13-Aug-11 22:49:16

also, are you certain she is not giving him enough? all the time?
he doesn't have some other underlying issue that could be causing weight loss? you've seen with your own eyes that she is giving him small portions and refusing more food?

is she worried about money?

WhereYouLeftIt Sat 13-Aug-11 22:49:48

I wondered about dementia, but OP says her mum has never listened to them.

What should you do? Inform GP. Phone Social Services and ask them to intervene. Turn up and mealtimes with food. Take him home with you.e

Katisha Sat 13-Aug-11 22:50:21

Has she always been mean with food or is this a new development?

squeakytoy Sat 13-Aug-11 22:51:07

Could it be that your Dad is struggling to eat much. Perhaps some complan drinks, or (and it isnt as daft as it sounds) Slimfast shakes, as they are the equivalent nutritional value as a meal. But a lot easier to get down.

It sounds to me like your mum isnt doing this intentionally, but is struggling to cope, and too proud to ask for help sad

FabbyChic Sat 13-Aug-11 22:51:43

You need to tell her he needs 2000 calories a day and she is feeding him by the sounds of it only half of that.

You come on here asking for advice but won't do anything about it yourself, why not?

If that was my Pops you can bet your life I'd not let my mother starve him and let nothing be said, I'd be up in arms and going off my rocker at her.

Katisha Sat 13-Aug-11 22:54:11

Complan type drinks may be a good idea. She might not see those as snacks which interfere with hher 3 meals a day policy.

LynetteScavo Sat 13-Aug-11 22:54:35

We used to feed our grandma this.

Definitely inform the GP.....But I think you need to get quite cross (firm)with your DM and DF and say you will inform SS if he doesn't consume more calories.

thisisyesterday Sat 13-Aug-11 22:54:36

how can you possibly say she is only feeding him 1000 calories a day fabbychic?

the op has given ONE meal. a small portion of pasta and some fruit. you have no idea what his other meals are and if he eats between meals

i am torn on this i'll be honest. unless the OP is in the house all day she does not know what her father is eating and that he is "scared" to ask for more.
maybe that's all he WANTS to eat... maybe there is a reason he is losing weight that is nothing to do with what he is being given?

i need more info before i can make a judgement on this one i'm afraid.

but i stand by my previous post OP, that if you genuinely 100% think that your mother is starving your father then you need to start taking food for him/them and get other people involved

thisisyesterday Sat 13-Aug-11 22:55:44

"You come on here asking for advice but won't do anything about it yourself, why not?"

where has she said she won't do anything about it???

purplepidjin Sat 13-Aug-11 22:55:59

If you think he is being neglected (which is a form of abuse, and therefore taken very seriously) then involve Social Services. Your local council website will have an out of hours number so you don't have to wait til Monday, or even tomorrow morning if you don't want to.

Alternatively (or as well) get a domiciliary care agency involved to support your mum with your dad's personal care - they may be able to keep an eye on things more discreetly than family?

Also, contact a charity like Age UK for advice.

At some point, he will need hospital treatment for malnutrition and/or dehydration. If it does get to that point, then you may be able to talk to the doctors and have him released into your or professional care as he is "at risk" if he goes back to your mum. Hopefully, it won't get that far

Good luck

curtaincall Sat 13-Aug-11 22:58:27

It's never straight forward and we couldn't prove she is starving him as they have a housekeeper who makes what my mum tells her to. I live in a different city and have small child to look after so can't be there all the time. I've read threads on NARC relations, and have drawn similarities. I can't begin to describe these people to you - you wouldn't believe me.

Yes, my mum has suffered in the past from dementia and has had two psychotic episodes and has been sectioned once. She is about 10 years younger than dad and much fitter physically. Why doesn't he stand up to her? Part of me thinks we must let them make their own decisions as he is compus mentis and highly intelligent. They've been married for over 50 years.

I don't know their GP. They wouldn't tell me or my siblings. They are pathologically secretive.

She's never, ever listened to anything we've ever suggested and holds us in very low esteem.

Huge grin grin at FabbyChic though !

purplepidjin Sat 13-Aug-11 22:59:51

PS, my 90 year old Gran eats toddler sized portions. The difference is, she's independent and it's completely her choice what, when and where she eats

We just go round every few days and bin the out of date stuff she "didn't want to waste" hmm

OP, is your Dad able to tell you how he's feeling, or are you having to guess?

Katisha Sat 13-Aug-11 23:00:22

If you told her you were reporting to SS she might "hear" that. People like her don't like to lose face with authorities.

MyHipsHurt Sat 13-Aug-11 23:00:31

I had a very similar situation. I started doing all the shopping (fortunately my mum is lazy and didn't mind me doing that) and making sure there were plenty of meals in that he liked and were easy for her to give when I wasn't there. I used to turn up either with food I'd cooked or cook whilst I was there and feed him myself. When I couldn't personally do the shopping I did it online and had it delivered. I also organised carers to come in daily but that was mainly because he was terminally ill and needed additional care. If I hadn't have done this, he would have starved to death before the cancer got him.

You really have to take drastic action, and do whatever is necessary to help him. I wish you the best of luck, it is a terrible situation to deal with and very difficult to explain to others. Like your situation, to outsiders it would appear as if nothing was possibly wrong, but that was far from the case.

Please call social services and be there when they visit so that you can explain it fully to them. They will understand.

thisisyesterday Sat 13-Aug-11 23:02:26

hmm that sounds like a difficult situation to intervene in!

can you talk to your dad about it? say you've noticed that your mum doesn't give him much and that you're worried that he is looking thin? see what he says?

can you speak to the housekeeper and see what she thinks?

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