Mum due out of Reablement, but now she can't walk at all!

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Well done, Sue. The most difficult part is done and the decision made. I too had to do the same thing and refuse to care any more until Social Services took me seriously. This was after three hospital trips in one week (and I worked full-time!).

Firstly, you are doing what mum needs, not necessarily what she wants. Her needs are now more important, as are yours. You will continue to care, with the help of full-time residential care. You are (I assume) not going to walk away and never visit her again.

If she had come home, you would have been postponing the decision. My mum also lost the ability to walk. I do feel the dementia made things a lot worse, almost as if the brain could no longer tell the legs what to do. Your mum inevitably will get worse, not better; the caring at home would have become all the more difficult / impossible, ie you are doing the right thing for both of you.

Mum's dementia, I suspect, is now what is driving her and sadly making her all the more stubborn. I saw it with my own mum.

Hang on in there. No, you probably don't feel like celebrating but you will gradually be able to reclaim a little of your health and happiness.

Thinking of you, Anne x
Hi Jenny

Thank you so much for all your reassurance and advice.

I didn't sleep much last night so I think I will be spring cleaning today to tire myself out!

I shall be buying iron on labels as I can't sew to save my life! I gave up needlework at school and begged the head to let me do woodwork instead!! If something needs to be darned it goes in the bin. The most I do is sew on buttons!

Although I'm still taking in the shock of everything at present, I am looking forward to being able to take myself off out when I please when the weather warms up. That's something I haven't done for years.

Thank you again for all your advice and support.

All the best
Sue
Hi Anne,

As I was replying to Jenny, your post appeared in my inbox so apologies if they look muddled.

I think, like you said, although my Mum certainly hasn't got Dementia yet she is definitely going that way. She can't speak properly at times any more and just says, 'you know what I mean'! Sometimes I really don't know what she's on about!

Two weeks into her reablement she started to walk, although not very well. For the last four weeks when I've visited she's just been slumped in a chair. It took her an hour to realise the present I put in front of her was for Mother's Day in spite of the fact that when I got there I woke her and said, 'Happy Mother's Day'. Eventually she turned to me and vacantly stared at me. Then she said, 'is that for me?' when she'd opened it she told me to take it home. It was a set of 3 of her favourite hand creams. This shows you how ungrateful and hurtful she can be. My Gran used to be like it and Mum used to scold her for being so ungrateful. Now she's like it herself!

The worst thing about all this is going to be telling her friends as they already think I'm the Big Bad Ogre. They only see her once every ten weeks, not 24/7 and they certainly don't have to deal with her incontinence and demanding nature. They've not seen her since before Christmas and she was just about walking then.

As you said Anne, I feel she's better off in a care home where there are activities that she can partake in if she wishes. She loves to play cards with her friends. They'll also be day trips in the summer no doubt and she's often said she misses out days out that we used to have when she was able bodied.

Therefore, I'm sitting here in the cold light of day, trying to reason with myself that I've definitely done the right thing.

Thank you for your advice and support, Anne.

All the best
Sue
Sue, if her friends haven't visited for so long, then they are not very good friends, are they?! I wouldn't tell them face to face, but by post instead. Just send a pretty little notelet with "change of address" details inside. It's time to learn some strategies to protect you from any possible hurt or unpleasantness. From your description of the Mother's Day present, it sounds to me like mum does have some sort of memory/dementia problem.
When looking at your "new life", don't rush into anything. Just try a few things you used to like, and see if they still give you pleasure. For me it's sewing (obviously not yours!!) but painting, walking, singing. Sometimes, trying something again made me realise that I'd changed, they didn't please me like they used to. Then challenge yourself to do something completely new, maybe yoga. Each time you do something, ask yourself - Did I enjoy that? If the answer is "Yes" do it again, if it's "No" try to work out why. Try to see the next year as getting to know yourself again. It can be fun, needn't be expensive.
Hi Bowlingun

You are quite right about Mum's friends. I've thought the same thing for a while now. The excuse I had when I spoke to one of them two weeks ago was, 'well, we do have our own lives to lead'! I didn't dare answer for fear of saying something I shouldn't. I thought friends were supposed to make time for each other - perhaps I should look the word friend up in the dictionary!

As far as I'm concerned, I've a massive greenhouse so I thought I may go back to gardening. I used to grow all my own vegetables. Firstly, it saves money and secondly I know where it's come from. Not to mention the enjoyment of being out in the garden. (something I couldn't do when I was at Mum's beck and call).

I shall be going back to Open University in the winter now that I have the peace and time to study.

I shan't be neglecting Mum though. That was never my intention.

Thank you for your tips

Sue x
Hi Sue,

Congratulations on 'biting the bullet' !

One thing the others haven't mentioned is the 'emotional' blackmail that, inevitably, you will get from Mum when you do visit her in the care home.

When my Mum went into residential care everything was hunky-dory for the first couple of weeks, but then I couldn't visit without her getting very upset about not 'going home'. There were times when I left the home and sat in my car crying my eyes out berating myself for being a selfish bitch; and there were many, many times when I nearly gave in and had her home again. But I knew that taking her home was not the right answer and somehow I managed to 'harden' my heart.

It took me quite a while to realise that I actually had time for myself ! I'd often start the day wondering what I was going to do with myself without Mum at home :shock:
Hi Susieq

I've already sat and cried my heart out today and still I'm wondering if I've done the right thing.

I've not eaten now since Sunday as I can't keep anything down. Presumably this is my punishment!

I don't know where Mum's going to yet. The social workers have angrily been in touch with me today. They've come up with two places but the CQC reports were dreadful on safety and staff issues. I'm not letting them put Mum in somewhere that isn't suitable. It's not as if I don't care, just that I can't cope after 15 years. Although Mum would have you believe differently of course!

I'm trying to be kind to both of us.

Thank you for your advice.
All the best to you,
Sue
Sue
You are, and always will be, a good daughter. Repeat this to yourself a million times over the next few weeks. I echo what everyone else has said. Be gentle on yourself and occasionally remind yourself how difficult things have been and that this is happening for Mum's safety and well being.
You are doing what is right for both of you xxx
Hi there,
I'm trying to tell myself this each day. It's easier today than yesterday, (that was the first day that Mum was definitely in care). I think I've a long way to go yet though as I can't eat or sleep.
I hope I've been a good daughter like you said. I will continue to go on doing my best for Mum whilst she in care, visiting and taking her anything she needs, etc.
I'm just hoping that eventually she will grow to like the new home and be just as happy, if not happier, as she'll have people around her that are her own age.
Thank you for your help and encouragement :-)
Hi Sue
When I gave birth to my daughter I didn't look at her little face and think 'Oh good, I now have a slave to look after me when I'm old and selfish'. I doubt that your Mum, or mine, did either. However it is true that the elderly get more and more self centred and the closer they get to the 'age of departure', the more they hang on to someone who they think looks after them best. That's you and me. I know exactly, well almost, what you are feeling. Almost because I haven't actually got Mum into a Home yet. Still a work in progress. It's going to have to happen, but the trauma of it all!
I go from 'I MUST look after my poor little elderly Mum', to 'I cannot do this anymore', ten times a day. I'm seriously considering running off into the wilds of Scotland, or Wales or Exmoor and letting anyone else who wants to just take over.
As for that little baby daughter of mine. There's no way she'd do what I'm doing for my Mum. She has far too much common sense and a healthy sense of self preservation. I hope my Home is a nice one.
Elaine