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

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:42 am
by jenny lucas
Sue, hope you haven't yet gone to your meeting because I wanted to give my support to your decision to NOT HAVE YOUR MUM BACK HOME.

You cannot do it, and you SHOULD not do it.

Remember: It is absolutely IRRELEVANT just WHY you don't want her home, and WHY you don't want to be responsible for looking after her....it is NONE OF THE SOCIAL WORKER'S BUSINESS!

You DO NOT HAVE TO JUSTIFY YOUR DECISION to them!

This is because you have NO legally enforceable duty of care towards your mother! You can withdraw care TOTALLY at any time! You could, if you wished, actually never set eyes on her again!

Now, SS know this perfectly well, which is why they are trying to steam-roller you into taking her back (off their hands!)

They will try and persuade you that they can set up this care package or that care package or whatever whatever but their SOLE AIM is to pass her back to you......because IT'S CHEAPER for them! (I'm assuming that your mum is below the self-pay limit of £23k in savings and property!)

You spelt it out perfectly clearly - the ONLY 'pro' of having your mum back is that she would like it!

Well, when she's comfortable in a care home being well looked after for all her care needs, you can still have her 'home for the weekend' or whatever you can cope with, etc etc.

The time has come for her to be in residential care.

SS have NO RIGHT to force you to take her back. Their only 'power' is that of 'browbeating' and 'persuasion' and 'guilt-inducement'.

All you have to say is ' I don't want to care for her any more - it's all got too much after all these years, she's getting worse and I am OUT OF IT. So, it's time for residential care and that's that. I am NOT doing any more for her.'

You've both paid taxes all your life - if she's entitled to residential care, then that's that. If she isn't, ie above the £23k limit, then again, all you have to say to SS is 'I don't want to look after her any more' and they will have to organise her residential care, and take her money to pay for it.

YOU MUST HOLD THE LINE on this, or they will bully and berate you for THEIR OWN BENEFIT!

All the VERY best, and don't be browbeaten. They are ONLY thinking of themselves, whatever they may trot out about your poor mum blah blah blah.

Kindest wishes, and hold your nerve on this - you'll be intensely grateful afterwards, and when your mum is in a care home your visits and outings will be enjoyable and not a chore.... after 15 years of non-stop care, that is something to look forward to indeed. You've 'done your bit' many, many times over. If your mum loves you, as I hope she does, she would NOT want you to have to cope any longer......

All the best, Jenny

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

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:08 pm
by Sue_15071
Dear Jenny

Thank you for all your help and advice. It sounds like you've been in the same situation at some point.

I hadn't been to the meeting when I read your message, luckily. My thoughts are much the same as in your email. I'm therefore ready for a battle at 2.30pm!

The only thing that's worrying me is that a friend called round this morning to tell me that my 93 year neighbour is returning home after spending nearly a year in care. His relatives have tried to persuade SS otherwise as he's not safe on his own due to falling. The SS's answer was that he should get what he wants! Therefore he's returning home.

This is much what Mum's social worker said to me. Even though she doesn't own the property, if it is her wish to return home then that should be the case. I think it's absolutely ludicrous in her condition and she would be far better off in a care home. I just can't make her see sense though.

Because she is so stubborn and thankless it also makes me want to say NO! She put Dad in a home and swanned off to a health farm. I've visited and phoned her every week with no intention of even a weekend break. I just want some peace and to continue my degree. Not too much to ask really is it?

I'll let you know how I get on!

Thank you again
Sue

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

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:09 pm
by jenny lucas
The social worker's quite right. If your mum still has legal capacity she can do anything she wants. She can emigrate to Australia if she's a mind to, and no one can stop her or say otherwise!

BUT....

Whatever she does she has to TAKE THE CONSEQUENCES.

THAT is the essential thing she (and the SW!) has to understand. And the consequence of her and the SW insisting she come home is that YOU DO NOT DO ANY MORE CARE.

NONE . Not a sausage!

If your mum and the SW suspect ANY weakness or 'softening' on your part, they will ruthlessly dump the whole thing back on you!

So, you tell your mum and the SW 'Yup, send mum back if you want, no problem - but it's at her own risk and I'm not going to do a thing any more. in fact, I'm booking a long overdue holiday. Byeeeeeee'

And then you go.

Without you to 'enable' her return, it can't happen. SW knows that, and if your mum doesn't then she will when she becomes automatically classified as a 'vulnerable adult' and if the SW wants to send round a million carers rather than take her into a residential care home, then so be it - it won't and can't last, and your mum will be 'taken into care' because she is vulnerable.

But you MUST hold the line! You musn't weaken or compromise AT ALL.

Like I say, your mum is an adult, she can do what she wants. End of. BUT, the consequence is that YOU back off TOTALLY.

It really will be the only way to force both your mum's hand, and the SW's.

Your life is every bit as important as your mum's. I would argue more so, as you've had considerably less life than she has! So you come first. FINALLY!

All best, Jenny

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

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:11 pm
by jenny lucas
PS - remember. You do NOT have to justify your decision to stop caring for your mum at home. Neither to the SW, nor to your mum.

You can say 'after all these years, it's all got too much. Sorry, but there it is. In my opinion you need to be in residential care, and if you don't agree ,well, it's up to YOU to sort something out, because I'm not getting involved any more. If you move to a care home I'll come and visit, but not until then. Bye!'

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

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:59 pm
by Sue_15071
Hi Jenny

We had two hours of arguing and the SW was desperately trying to persuade me that Mum should come home as she wishes.

She told me I'm a selfish daughter who never cares about anybody but herself so with that I said a big fat NO. Ungrateful cow!! After all I've done for her over the years.

Before the SW arrived she asked me to look up a certain care home on Google and promptly went to sleep. This is another thing I can't deal with any more. She's got no interest in anybody or anything! Even if it's for her own good.

With regard to your suggestion of a good long holiday, unfortunately that's out of the question whether she's here or not. Due to illness I have to live on benefits and they don't stretch to benefits! I wish - my last holiday was 2005 was when I was better and working and not looking after Mum.

The outcome of the meeting was that she's going into full time care. On the way to the meeting, I thought if this was the outcome I'd be cracking open a bottle of bubbly tonight. Instead, all I feel is remorse, guilty and worry for the future.

God, I hate my life!

Sue :blush:

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

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:56 pm
by Elaine
Oh well done you. Dump the guilt gal. How many adult children are there out there who have NEVER looked after their parents, AT ALL.
You have gone to the very end of the road in looking after Mum. The next step is over the edge of the cliff and you have stopped and turned back to find your life again.
In a few months, when Mum is quite happy in her Home, bossing people about and being waited on by a whole string of people, do try to hold on to your temper when she tells you she wishes you'd let her go into a Home years ago. It's not considered the done thing to empty a jug of water on the head of a resident!
Pour me a glass of that champagne when you open the bottle. We'll have a party.
xx
Elaine

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

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:03 pm
by bowlingbun
Now is the time to be kind to yourself. My own mum moved into a nursing home 2 years ago, there was simply no realistic alternative left.
The next few weeks may see you fall over what I call the Cliff of Tiredness. For many years, you have put mum's needs ahead of your own. As the stress gradually "unwinds" you will feel all sorts of emotions. Allow yourself this time, it's a sort of bereavement, which will take as long as it takes. If sleep is difficult, ask your GP for some gentle medication to help you.
Just because mum is going into a home, doesn't mean that you won't see her again.
In fact, you may be extra busy sorting out her home, but take your time, and when you've had enough, come home again. Arranging some name labels for her clothes needs to be a top priority, make sure they are sewn/stuck on well, if you ever want to see the clothes again!
Always remember that what mum needed had to take priority over what she wanted, and without you, she would have been in residential care many years ago. You can be sure now that this will be her last move. If she went back to her own home again, it would be to fail once more, be hospitalised once more, be moved to rehab once more, because she appears to be going downhill quickly now.

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

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:16 pm
by jenny lucas
Sue, there's only one selfish person in this set up, and it ain't you!

Your first post said you'd cared for your mum for fifteen years. FIFTEEN YEARS. Say that again, and say it again and again and again....

It is totally, absolutely, completely and utterly unbelievable that your mother should DARE to call you selfish!

Has she always been a narcissist? (Because that's how she comes across!). Or is it something that's come on with old age and infirmity?

Whichever, the point is she is accusing you of exactly what SHE is.

Anyway, THANK GOD she isn't going to be your problem any more. I know you're 'stricken' at the moment, but it will pass. It's part of the 'after effect' of emotional trauma, and remember, you've been 'trained' to feel guilty by both your selfish mother and the utterly irresponsible social worker....

WELL WELL WELL WELL done for what you've achieved today! It's victory, and thank heavens for that!

I know it doesn't feel like that - but with your head you know it's the right thing.

I'm sorry you can't run to a holiday, but your life is your own now (hurrah hurrah hurrah!), and you can start saving and planning for some treats, even if it's just a day's window shopping and lolling about!

Something many carers find when the crushing burden is lifted is a kind of 'collapse' happens, and you go numb or as you're experiencing an aftershock of guilt and anxiety. But it will pass. You will get used to your mum NOT being your endless concern and responsibility. You will, slowly, 'learn to be free'.

Try and get a good night's sleep. You've done a good day's work. I know that, bottom line, it's very sad that your mum's health has deteriorated so much, but that is part and parcel of the trajectory of our lives....her life is now 'arcing downwards', and that, sadly, is part of nature, and part of human mortality.

With best wishes, Jenny.

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

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:35 pm
by Sue_15071
Thank you all so much for your support today. I'm glad you think I did the right thing in the end as I'm laying here at 11.30pm still 'looking at my Mum's grumpy face' and then thinking, 'oh God, have I really done the right thing?'

My head says yes but my stupid heart says a big fat NO. It's telling me to have her home tomorrow as she looked so sorrowful and then kept threatening me with various things to make my life hell even if she wouldn't see me so often! Can't win can I?

Like you, my gardener says I've done a good job for 15 years. He calls me a saint as he knows her stubborn temperament only too well. He reckons I should be put on a pedestal although I wouldn't go that far!

After the way she was with me today, I'll do what's necessary like sewing on name labels and delivering clean clothes to the new home but she's certainly not getting a weekly visit. She only goes to sleep anyway.

Before I left today her exit line was, 'oh and you can bring me the TV because that belongs to me'! Bearing in mind it's 44 inches and fitted to the wall and connected to the DVD, etc I think she's definitely gone mad!

I'm trying now to get used to being without this rude callous old woman beside me all the time. She wasn't always like this. I think it must just be old age. I've decided I'm not going to get old and be a burden to anybody like she is...

Thank you all again

All the best for your caring roles and Happy Easter, bit premature I know!

Sue xx

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

Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:26 am
by jenny lucas
Sue, you're bound to feel conflicted, because like I say, bottom line it's a sad time - sad because age brings infirmity (and, as you've said, a change in personality to become very very self-focussed - that's SO common to read about on this forum alas!!!).

As the days go by now you'll get used to this 'new regime'. Remember that newly-released prisoners can feel dislocated and disoriented, and even 'long for the security' of their prison cell again, which was at least familiar, even if not enjoyable!

If you've been spending your days (indeed, the last 15 years!) with your mum as your primary focus all day long, then it will feel odd not to have to do that. So yes, getting the 'organisation' of her transition into a residential home, from the paperwork to the name tabs (I got iron on ones from my local school shop! I cunningly put two initials, my MIL'ss first, and then my son's, so that any labels left over could just be clipped of the first initial and used for my son!) (they are very cheap to buy, I don't think it was more than about a fiver or so as I recall?) You do need to stick them on everything, including underwear and towels and so on. I also put stick on labels on anything of MIL's she has there, eg bedside lamp, that kind of thing....sadly for when the time comes to collect them.....

Good luck with the telly (!!!). My MIL's first home had a policy that residents TVs had to be attached to the wall for safety, but her current one is fine with free standing. They recommend residents bring their own in, because they are familiar with the remote controls (!!!!!)

I would recommend 'going along' with your mum on the 'little things' (even maybe the telly!), because that will give her a sense of reassuring 'control' but not actually impinge negatively on your life!

I would definitely recommend chatting to the care home manager, and staff, about what life was like when you had to look after her yourself, though they will probably know without telling, just from the way she is! Tell them you fear she'll 'badger' you into weakening and offering to care for her in her own home again, and that you'll need their support not to 'give in'.

But you know, she may actually take to residential life - it really can be like a hotel, with nice meals laid on, entertainment in the afternoon, outings even, and lots of 'jolly' stuff, and having staff waiting on them hand and foot! Some posters here say their elders really loved it! My MIL I wouldn't say 'loves' it, but then her dementia is increasing, and she is very 'passive' now, but she's amiable and clearly likes getting attention from people, and feels ' safe'.

But enough about your mum - time to think about YOU. If some of the next few days is focussed on Mum-stuff, (labels, paperwork etc), start allocating a bit of 'me time' to yourself. It could be 'useful things' to start you off (wash the kitchen walls, whatever!) so you feel less guilty at being 'self-indulgent', but then as the week goes by, plan a treat or an outing or something for yourself for the weekend.

It will be a period of readjustment, no doubt about that, but soon having your mum in residential care, and you having your life back to yourself will become 'the new normal'. Your emotions will settle, and this is a new period of your life now. You mum is safe, is well looked after, and has been 'future proofed' against further decline.

Wishing you well, and it's good that this is this time today, and not this time yesterday with the 'battle royal' still to come! It's over, you've done it, there may be ripples and mini-aftershocks and a bit of emotional and practical turmoil, but things WILL settle down now.

My life now, with MIl in a care home, is SO tranquil and 'easy' that I just can't believe I ever went through what I did with her (and it only lasted 18 months or so!)

All the best to you, Jenny