Hi

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
My mum is looking after the funds and I have nothing to do with it. Mum is independent and seems to forget she's disabled. I definitely don't have to help her get dressed or anything major but i cook meals and help with house work- although I could definitely do more.
Nan has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and mum put her in the best home she could. They want 1200 a week and she has done nothing but complain to the home for the whole 18 months she's been in there because of the standards of care. My nan is also very independent and gets herself dressed and washed, can mobilise easily and complains half the time she's bored because they only want her to knit and watch films to amuse herself.
Mum wants to build her her own annexe but says that she wants all of us to take part in her care because my 2 brothers have pretty much stepped back from the whole nan situation and really only go to visit when it's mothers day or their birthday.
I am 22, work 36 hours a week and I pay mum money to live at home. I pay out for a car, my insurance and bills of my own.
Any more advice would be greatly appreciated but I am pretty sure my nan has enough money (well over 20 grand) but mum's worried about financially keeping us and the house we live in
OK, that's given us lots to go on (and v. little of it 'good' if you see what I mean - as in 'good' for YOU).

First off, £1200 a week is scandalously high for a care home that dumps its residents by the telly with a bag of knitting. Disgraceful. Whereabouts in the country are you? I'm in the Home Counties and the care home that my MIL could have gone into here only cost £1100 and was a five star hotel, with a LOT of care and 'entertainment' and stimulation etc etc laid on.

I actually went for one in the westcountry, where I have family, where the fees were (and are!) only £700 a week - and yet STILL had a lot of good care and entertainment and stimulation - there was/is a whole programme of daily activities and when I visited in the afternoon there was always something 'going on' in the lounge, such as painting, quizzes, singing, etc etc etc. It was 'kindergarten for the elderly'.

So I think first off a search for a better care home should be undertaken......

However, the finances do need to be sorted.

Are you saying that your mum owns her own house, but your nan doesn't (any more?), but your nan has at least £20k of savings? If she ONLY has that £20k then yes, she'll qualify for council-funded care (as Henrietta says, it's a bit of a sliding scale until you are down to, I believe £16k.). So I don't see what your mum is worrying about!

The only factor to take into account is that the council may effectively choose the care home, as they don't pay out for the really 'poshie' ones, and they certainly won't be forking out £1200 a week I can tell you! So she may well be moved to a new care home.

Now, the annexe business. OK, so where is the money to build this annexe supposed to come from? Nan's £20k savings? Is this the best use of that money?

With an annexe, it will take, I would guess, at least six months to build - and remember we are coming to end of summer, and buildiers tend not to build in winter! So it could be a year till there's accommodation for nan in the annexe. WHere is she supposed to be in the meantime? Don't tell me, I'm guess - yup, I bet your mum thinks she's going to move her mum into the house she's in now, with you, and lucky old you get to look after nan too.

OK, next issue - this mythical 'we all will care for nan at home in her lovely annexe'....yeah right. By 'all' read YOU YOU YOU.

Your brothers have made it clear they are prepared to do 'sod all' (sorry for my French!) and that ain't gonna change. If your mum is disabled, and recovering from cancer, that only leaves - yup, that's right - YOU. (Why does that NOT surprise me!)

OKI, next issue again. Let me get this straight. You are providing hours of care for your mum, yet YOU are paying HER rent, and not being paid for the care, and paying for your own keep as well? Have I got this wrong (I hope I have, as my thoughts about your mum are already not kind - maybe she isn't as bad as she's sounding!)

Sophie - you're being exploited. End of. Taken for granted, taken for a ride. To be brutal about this, you might just as well leave home - you could rent your own place, with friends, look after yourself, work full time, be independent.

I really do not see what is in it for you even at the moment, looking out for your mum, who seems to be, as BB says, treating you as some kind of child, to be bossed about, used and kept totally out of the picture while your mum makes huge decisions about what is best for HER and HER mother.

Sorry if this all sounds negative, but that' the way it's coming across. YOU are being 'dumped on'. Time to say 'STOP'.

You do actually hold a winning hand you know - it's the 'Stop dumping on me, and don't even THINK about moving Nan in anywhere near me for me to look after or you know what Mum, I'm walking out and you won't see me for dust!'

What do your brothers think? Do they take you for granted, or think your mum is behaving badly towards you.

Wishing you all the best - and I hope things will now turn the corner for you. You have your whole life ahead of you - don't be exploited by your own family. They don't respect you.
Sophie, move out.
Even converting any existing garage is very time consuming, architects, drawings, structural engineers, building regs...and that's just the start. I've done it! Then there is choosing carpets, curtains, fixtures and fittings. A special bath, taps, wetroom, shower arrangements, even just designing the bathroom will take a while. Then there's the power supply, sewerage considerations. Nan's £20,000 might sound a lot but most of it will be gobbled up before she's ever moved in.

Your mum is living in Cloud Cuckoo Land and you need to move out so she realises just how much care she herself needs.

Does she even realise how much care nan needs now?
I'm sorry this is all sounding so negative about your mum. I'm sure she is deeply frustrated and upset by her own mother's situation, and just as you 'instinctively' want the best for your mum, so she wants the best for her mum.

But it is impossible on so many fronts to have your nan move in with you.

As both I and BB are saying, creating an annexe is a major expense and a major exercise, and it cannot be done quickly at all.

Also, and this is the KEY point about your nan - if she has dementia then, grimly, unless she dies of something else first, then she will simply get worse and worse and worse. The average time span, so I've been told, for someone to live with dementia (ie, once it's been actually diagnosed - and it could of course have started way before then) is eight years.

Sophie, think about it - EIGHT YEARS. That would take you into your thirties.

Your mum already has severe physical problems - her disability and her cancer. It is impossible to even consider your nan with dementia living with you for eight years (that's an average - she could go on much longer!).

And the dementia will worsen and worsen and worsen. In only three years, my MIL has gone from 'almost normal' (as in, you would scarcely know she had dementia) to 'almost not alive'.....it's a grim, dreadful disease (you'll have seen it, I'm sure, in its worst stages in your professional life, so you know what is coming down the line for your poor nan.). My MIL is now immobile, doubly incontinent, almost non-verbal, needs two people to get her 'up', and has almost 'nothing' by way of quality of life except eating food she likes (I take in cream teas, which she enjoys, along with pudding and cups of tea). It's dreadful to see her like that.

This is what will happen with your nan eventualy. You KNOW from your professional life that it will be impossible to look after her at home - she will need 24x7 care, from a team of carers.

I know your mum is in denial about this, by the sound of things, but this is where YOU are the expert, not her.

I do think you need to get your brothers 'on side' with you on this, to ensure your nan stays in residential care. She might be able to come home 'for visits' (I did sleepovers for my MIL in the early days). But permanent living is out.

You mention your mum is fearful of losing her own home, is that it? Is she still paying a mortgage on it, and is that why you have to pay her rent out of your own wages?

And what about you, and your hopes for your future? I know care-work is not only essential (to put it mildly) but 22 is a young age to commit to it 'for ever'. What about your own career, your own maybe future qualifications from college and so on? What about boyfriends, and eventually marriage and children? All of these are your RIGHT - and that's why I do think, most urgently, your mum needs to be stopped in her tracks from tacking her mother back in. Or, you have to leave home.

As BB says, that wil lbe a pretty sharp reality check for your mum - it may come to that. (Can you, say, go off and spend a week with one of your brothers -time they pulled their weight! - just to show your mum how impossible it would be if you didn't help????)(and you are helping QUITE ENOUGH already - to my mind, MORE than enough.)
Looking at things from a different angle (if you don't mind looking after nan but just can't manage everything) I'm assuming wages are approx £8 an hour so 36 x 8 = £288 per week.
If nan moved in and claimed Attendance allowance- assume higher rate as already been in care home so £83.10 per week
You could claim carers allowance £62.70 so together with nan's AA which she WILL give you of £83.10 gives you an income of £145.80 per week. You could work part time and earn £116 per week giving you an overall income of £261.80 - just a little under £288 but with less expenses on petrol and an extra 21.5 hours a week . Given that paid care work usually involves a lot of wasted time between clients and travelling to and from each job you may well be 30 hours or more better off each week fo ronly £5 or £10 less.
Make sure as BB and JL and talked about that you discuss with mum and make her see that you can't provide care and pay her maintenace.
It sounds as though you need to get together with mum and figures. It makes no sense at all for you to be out working long days to pay indirectly for nan's overly expensive care . If nan comes home you could always pack up the job and charge care home prices- you would be quids in ! - earning £1200 a week instead of £288. Mum would have both you and nan at home and be no worse off.
I do think you hold all the cards, you just need to work out how best to play them and start getting assertive.