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I don't think I can cope anymore. - Carers UK Forum

I don't think I can cope anymore.

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Hi, I'm new to this forum, just need some support and advice. I've bee living with my mum for several years looking after her after she had a stroke. Mentally she was ok, just mobilising was the issue so I've moved in to do housework, cook dinner etc but I could still hold down a full time job as she was fine on her own during the day. Over the past week, things have changed, she's very confused, she's thinking someone is here when they are not, and has tried to use the bathroom twice mistakening it for a toilet. I've taken her to a&e and they've said they can only find a urine infection but I want to get her checked for dementia.. How would I go about this? Also, I know it sounds harsh, but worse case senario, I don't think I could cope with caring for her with dementia, so what would the options be? Care home, live in carer? I feel awful but I know myself. Advice needed please!
Urinary tract infections are dreadful in older people. They mimic dementia symptoms. Has your mum been prescribed antibiotics? If so I would give them a chance. If you are concerned after she has completed the course, you will need to speak to her GP. I ended up writing to my husband's doctor expressing my concerns about memory loss etc. Others on the forum will be along to offer more advice.
Please do not beat yourself up about admitting you wouldn't cope. It's honest and brave of you to do so. Dementia is extremely difficult to cope with. Physically and emotionally.
Thanks for your response, yes, she has antibiotics so will see how she is after she has finished the course. The a&e doctor was great actually, he said to bring her back if she is still the same after finishing them. So will see how she is next week. I know I would end up getting really frustrated with her if I was caring for her with dementia so I think it's best for both of us if I didn't, if that is the case. Even these past few days have been draining! I've sent her to bed now and I am chilling with a glass of wine!
Tracey, we all have a breaking point, it's different for everyone. I supported my disabled mum for many years, but one day, when she was in hospital and I'd been trying to sort out her house, a voice came into my head which said "I just can't do this any more". I knew at that moment I'd reached the end of the road of caring for her. I refused to allow her back to her home, knowing that it would only be hours before it failed again. So I looked at the Local Authority website, found where there were homes with vacancies, looked at all of them, and arranged for her to be admitted there. I knew that my mum would be "self funding" ie the local authority wouldn't pay towards her care.
This is where you must start your "plan". If she has assets over £23,000, then she will be expected to pay for her care. Does she own her home? If so, I would urge you to talk to the Carers UK helpline as soon as possible. Normally the value of a house is taken into consideration BUT as you were living there, there are some circumstances where it can be disregarded, and the rules have changed after a recent test case.
Thanks for your advice. No, she has a council flat, so I'm guessing if she went into a care home she would get it funded for her? She has minimal assets, nothing near £23,000. I'm going to speak to social services next week if she doesn't get any better and I will also speak to her GP about a dementia assessment. Fingers crossed it just the urine infection causing it, but if not, then I definately need to get the ball rolling on her being taken care of.
Yes, if mum has a council flat and under £23,000, she would be partly funded by the local authority. In this case, you need to find out which homes there are locally which accept LA funded residents, because an LA will only fund homes up to a certain value. Make sure that you NEVER ever sign to pay anything whatsoever, if you are asked to pay a "top up" you must refuse. More information later if you find yourself in this situation. Some LA's do not tell the truth!!! I managed to obtain an £8,000 refund as mum had been overcharged. Also, make sure that any home is as near as possible to mum's existing home, so she doesn't feel isolated.
If you feel the situation is now very urgent, because of mum's confusion, ask the LA for "emergency respite care".
Morning. I've completed the online assessment for social services, it said someone will contact me by tues 6th sept. So will see what happens. I feel that me living with her is not conducive for getting the help that she needs so I have stated on the form that I am looking to move out to pursue a permanant job role. I also work quite long hours and I am going to the US for two weeks next month. Originally my mums friend was going to pop in, she's 60, my mum is 80, but I now feel she needs more than this, so I am thinking of request respite for the time I'm away. She's not very happy about all of this but I've told her its for the best for both of us. She gets the help/care she needs and I get to not lose the plot and end up packing my bags and walking out!
As it is a council flat, be sure to find out whether or not you have a right to stay there before moving out permanently, especially if mum will soon have to move into residential care.
I quite agree that your continued presence may well be affecting social services decisions about care. Make sure she has a Needs Assessment, ideally when you are there. My mum kept telling people she could do all sorts of things which she USED to do, but no longer could do. She just couldn't admit to herself that she was too disabled to do them any more.
BEFORE any assessment for mum is completed, make sure your Carer's Assessment is also done, as this is supposed to "inform" mum's Needs Assessment. This is your opportunity to say "I just can't do it any more". Stress that their assessment must not assume any help from you. It must just look at mum absolutely on her own. This may need stressing really strongly!!!
Now is the time to keep a brief diary of who you spoke to, when and where. What was agreed and a date that any plan was to be finalised. This is really important. Make sure you say I want this in place well in advance of my trip - and specify a firm date.
Thanks for all the advice! It helps to know I'm not alone as although I have a close friend network, it feels quite isolating at times. I've emailed my local carers centre to arrange a carers assessment for myself. I am luck that I work in housing so I know my rights when it comes to whether I can take over my mum's tenancy if she was to go into a residential care home. I will definitely be adamant that new care plans be put in place by the time I go away next month. I've been doing it all by myself for far too long!
Afternoon all. I have to say, this forum has been invaluable since I joined a few days ago. I've picked up lots of helpful advice just browsing the forum and have seen myself, what I go through on a day to day basis, in a lot of peoples situations. My mum seems a bit better today, I left her at home alone for 5-6 hours, left her lunch and pills to take and she was OK, but I think she still needs care whilst I'm away next month and at work. I've contacted her GP who is meant to be calling me tomorrow to discuss her mental state. Whilst yesterday and today she seems pretty lucid, she's still not quite right, and seems to get worse in the evenings. I also don't think it will help that when I go back to work she will be alone all day with no mental stimulation apart from the TV. So I definitely want a diagnosis as to why she has suddenly gone like this overnight! She was fine on Friday then on Saturday she wasn't. Not a gradual decline, just like a switch had been flipped! The mind is a strange thing.