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Does anyone else find this? One 'last problem'.. - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Does anyone else find this? One 'last problem'..

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
This is something I have experienced in the last couple of years, our story.... my MIL was widowed 10 years and has lived in sheltered housing since being on her own, quite happy and looking after herself, until she had a fall on good friday last year, police had to break in after the window cleaner heard her shouting, there were no onsite warden as it was bank holiday!!!! on investigation it would appear she had been on the bathroom floor over 30 hours, we do not live close( we in Scotland and mum in Herefordshire) to cut a long story short with lots of fighting with social services we managed to get her a bed in a residential home in her home town, she was diagnosed with dementia brought on by untreated UTI. Anyway she was very muddled and her memory was going backwards, Well 18 months on she is a happy, outgoing lady that is in a SAFE place and has company, It does take time to adjust but elderly people do adapt and mostly accept the status quo, Our guilt was quite overwhelming that we could not look after her ourselves but her safety and wellbeing is paramount and she really is happy in her twilight years, she has just celebrated her 87th birthday with a tea-party in the company of her new friends, something she would have never had living on her own even with carers coming in.
Look at the long term..... get your MIL properly assessed and if your MIL has mental capacity get POA, as you may have disissions taken out of your hands! Good Luck xx
Dear All - thank you So much for your replies!

I feel very bad getting all this 'attention' for myself, as I really truly did intend this thread NOT to be about me, but about the issue of 'one last problem' and wondering whether it affected others not in the way it does me/MIL, but in their own circumstances - I sort of feel that care can be like that game where you have to hit all the crabs or whatever that keep popping up - but there is always 'just one more' crab popping up to stop you 'winning'.

But since you've all be so kind as to come back to me on my own particular situation (and I have come too hate 'going on' about it as it's so, so mild in comparison with yours - though I do think, as I have also said elsewhere - repeatedly! (sigh) - that there is a twist in my tale because I have to look after someone that (a) I don't love and (b) is very very old so I 'shouldn't have to' look after her (!)(or so I blithely tell myself!!!!).

I do think, in the end, you are right - firstly, there ARE no 'perfect solutions' in my/her circumstances because, as you point out, she's very old, she will become increasingly physically and mentally infirm if she continues to stay alive, and what might possibly just work for now, won't very soon, that her memory of being 'unhappy and bored' is fading anyway, and that even if I took her out of care, she'd probably just have to go back in at some point, and yes, even if she went into more 'intensive' care she wouldn't get the 1 to 1 attention she craves, and even if she did, it wouldn't be from me, it would be from a stranger she doesn't care tuppance about and isn't family anyway! Even if I got a live in carer for her in Cornwall that would be true!

The bottom line is I'm sqirming like a fish on a hook trying to make her happy WITHOUT ME

And that can't be done! She can't be happy without me, and I can't be happy with her (as in, living with her and looking after her). And, oh yes indeed, I do so remember those dreadful weeks endlessly last year, having her with me for up to a month at a time....(and not kind to her either, to do that, making her 'hope' that that would be her 'new life'......ie, living with me....)(it's so ironic again, because when she was 'normal' and in full command of her mind, that might actually have been possible - it's because she wants me to look after her as in the waitress service plus the redcoat service that I balk at the loss of my own life!).

So, yes, I'm afraid that both she, and I, have to face the sad, unpalatable brute fact that she has lived 'beyond her time' - she is 'decaying' in body and mind, and her ability to be happy is decaying as well. It just is desperately sad.

So, yes, my hopes that she could come out of care are in vain, I can only 'rescue' her by sacrificing my own life to her (being her waitress and redcoat!), and I won't do that. My brother and I were brought up to 'look after' our own 'helpless' parents, and that's scarred me so much I'll never do it again - let alone for my 90 year old MIL!

I will weep when she dies, I know I'll be upset, but some of the tears will be for relief, both for me - and for her. I do wish she had some kind of religious faith, though maybe even those of us with religious faith (if I didn't have it I'd have been in a straightjacket when my husband died!) will find it running out when we face our own impending deaths. I can't blame her for desperately wanting to 'cling on' (and to be fair to her, she can't just 'wish herself dead' can she - she's incredibly physically healthy!).

On the plus front the Abbeyfield seem to think now she's settled down more, and urging me not to visit so often, so I am trying out twice a week instead of three and will see how she copes with that. We're going for nice drives in the autumn sunshine to see the trees at the moment - perfectly pleasant (even if it means I get nothing useful done!) (because I can never see 'companion caring' as useful, alas - I' m a 'doer' not a 'sitter'.....)

THANK YOU all again, and again, apols that this thread became all me, me, me. I truly didn't mean it to!

Kind regards to you all, Jenny
Great outcome, Heather-petal (even if I have to laugh trying to write that name down, heather doesn't actually have petals, does it ???)
We worry too much about making firm decisions based on reason. Reason tells us that once caring becomes a continuous burden, then we need help: either home respite, daycare, or residential care. Once we get it organised, and it is working well, we often wish we had done it years before.
My mother is still dithering about going into nursing home care, but as far as I see it, whilst my dad is still alive, they are far better off caring for each other with meals, cleaners, gardeners, and support coming into their own, lovely home, every day.
If - well when - one of them passes on, there might be a very different story. But my mum is one of the world's great worriers, she spends too much time thinking of all the bad things that might happen in the future when, to be quite honest, at the age of Ninety she should be enjoying each day as it comes the best she can.
Shewolf - what you describe about your mother must be beyond irritating! I think it highlights one of THE most frustrating aspects of care ofsomeone whose mind is going....that they are beyond 'reason'....

At least with a child they can understand (or learn to understand) that there are 'consequences' from what they do - so, if they put off going to the loo because it's an effort and interrupts their acvitiy, and so they wet/soil themselves, they will then subsqequently get a sore bottom! Eventually their brains make that link between cause and effect - and they undrestand the consdquences of their behaviour.

But at the other end of life, as the mind starts to die within the body, that ability to understand consequences simply seems to disappear completely.

And that means, of course, that they become 'vulnerable adults' and have to be looked after by others....

I do think, sigh, that in a way, 'second childhood'/ dementia can be seen as 'the ultimate cop out' .....I can almost 'hear' my MIL saying 'You'll HAVE to look after me now, won't you? ha ha'!!!!! ' as she becomes ever more mentally frailler, incapable and 'self-focussed, oblivious of what I do for her (from paperwork and laundry to taking her out and fussing over her!), oblivious of how much 'better off' she is near me than if she were still stuck up in Glasgow with a fridge food of easy cook food she can't/won't prepare, oblivious of everything about where she is except that she 'hates it'.....

. Yes, i know she isn't really thinking 'Ah ha, I've finally got my DIL to look after me because I CBA to do it for myself!' , and indeed she is mentally incapable even of formulating that amount of 'selfishness' - that those terms simply don't apply and can't apply to people without sufficient mental capacity to understand the effect of their actions on themselves and others.....

All the best with your mother, and I do hope she can make the mental link between soiling herself and staying in her own home!

It is sad, and it is depressing, and it is testament to how grim it is when the mind dies before the body.
Jenny:
...people without sufficient mental capacity to understand the effect of their actions on themselves and others.....
That's exactly the problem, they remain in blissful ignorance/denial of the consequences to themselves and others, while others around them are slowly driven up the wall!

At this stage, your MIL and my mother can't help what they've become. I guess we just have to learn to accept their strange ways and find coping mechanisms, which for me means trying to leave things in the hands of paid carers as much as possible, as an act of self preservation.
Oh, SW, that's me too, completely!

It's both desperately sad and desperately infuriating!

And saddest of all they're not even happy......

It's so hard to 'walk away', and yet we have to do it to save our own sanity.

All the best possible now for your mum. KR Jenny.