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Still don't want to care - Carers UK Forum

Still don't want to care

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I will have to care for elderly Mum, 88. She is expecting me to take on the duties in return for what she and my father did for me. I have no children of my own so apparently I am ideally suited to take on this role. I think I would feel differently if she was more laid back and not dictating to me what I should do. The one time she did show a softer approach I felt much better towards her.

However, she is always right and the laid back side rarely appears. We have full blown emotional confrontations everytime we have to broach the subject now. I am really not the right person to be doing this. I need professional training in order to be able to deal with this (have tried counselling but this has not worked) - is there anything out there?
I think, to be honest, if you don't want to care for her (and you certainly don't have to want to!) and the issues you are having with arguments, perhaps it would be best to get professional carers for your mum.

She sounds like she is trying manipulate you into the role of carer - which is really not fair to you.

No one HAS to care for relatives - ethically, morally or legally - so go with what you really think you want/need/can handle
The key question here is do you live with mum?
Thank you Jess and Bowlingbun for replying.

I do not live with her but am 10 mins down the road. My Downe's Syndrome brother lives with her and I have to look out for him to make sure he is not getting unfair treatment from her. He is under social services but they are not there the whole time. I cannot abandon him and I think she is using that to her advantage but I do have to look out for him. I do try to limit my exposure but the pattern now is that the limited exposure escalates into a more emotional confrontation each time which I find really hard to deal with.

I need to now how professional carers and mental health professionals deal with this sort of person. I do not want to put a label on her personality but there are striking similarities with the "narcissistic parent", which I am now becoming aware of. Most of the guidance says to stay clear from them at all costs but this is not an option here.
Chris,
perhaps you should tackle this from another angle. Are their plans in place for what will happen to your brother when your Mum is too old/frail to care for him? If so, why not start putting that plan into action now? If there isn't a plan, then maybe it's time to start exploring the options for him. Without your brother being at your Mum's, you will only have to visit when you want to and you will feel under less obligation to stay if she is being horrible.

Melly1
Hi Chris,

I have a brain damaged son, 40, who now lives in his own flat with carer support, as I have some health issues.

It's absolutely vital that you sort out your brother's future care as a matter of extreme urgency. He needs to move to a new home whilst mum is still alive, so you and mum can support him.

Do you have Power of Attorney for mum?
Who is DWP Appointee for your brother? Are all the benefits he is entitled to being claimed?
It would be cruel in the extreme for him to have to move out of his home when recently bereaved. My husband died 13 years ago, I know how much my son still misses his dad.

In the meantime, your brother should have a package of care where he goes to day services or community activities every weekday, to give mum a break and start the transition to his new life.

DO NOT DELAY!
Hello,

Not to be disrespectful to you, but it sounds rather horrible (and borderline negligent) on the part of your mother that at this late stage of her life she has not taken the time to properly plan on your brothers future without her.

These days it is a common thing for those with severe/complex needs to outlive their parents through better understanding of needs/treatment of medical issues, its similar to the position I am in as a Sib carer (adult sibling/complex needs), in fact at this stage I've gone as far as to planning contingency for in case something were to happen to me, as although I'm only several years older (and get mistaken for "dad") my own health is staring into an abyss.

You have to have a backup plan, and then a backup for that as well.

Anyway,

No you do not have to provide care for anybody, that is your own decision, not your mothers, and there is no right or wrong choice.

We come into this world helpless and at the mercy of our parents, and tend to benchmark our morale compass in this area around how they treated their elders.. but there is still the individual factor to consider (and likewise, plenty of parents DO NOT expect their adult children to become their keepers later)

I look after my remaining parent (much younger than your mother) out of the love and respect I have/had for them when both were alive. And part of that respect is acknowledging the need for boundaries, for example having outside help in for personal care related tasks to preserve some dignity (and modesty!)

Sounds like your mother is parenting by fear. I cared for a grandparent about the same age that was like that, and from testimony from other parts of the family, was the same in younger life, it wasn't just the "getting mean as you get older", although now I've been better exposed to forms of Dementia, I'm 99% sure they were in the early stages of it (as were the same age as your mother by that point)

If its still safe for your mother to live at home, then she should accept outside help. Concentrate on your brother but don't let your mother use him against you.

I agree with all of the replies
Are you in touch with your local Mencap? Maybe talk to them about the options for your brother in his area.
Moving out does NOT mean not seeing mum ever again, your brother's care plan would include time to see mum.
Once she gets used to this, she might find it incredibly helpful to know that he is being well looked after, so she can enjoy his company more, and vice versa.
If your brother is living on income related benefits like Income Support, Employment Support Allowance or similar, then you don't need to worry about the cost of future care, it will all be provided for by DWP/Social Services. My son has his own flat, fully funded by the local council.
Melly1 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:33 am
Chris,
perhaps you should tackle this from another angle. Are their plans in place for what will happen to your brother when your Mum is too old/frail to care for him? If so, why not start putting that plan into action now? If there isn't a plan, then maybe it's time to start exploring the options for him. Without your brother being at your Mum's, you will only have to visit when you want to and you will feel under less obligation to stay if she is being horrible.

Melly1
The plan is that I will move in with my brother if anything happens to her, then I can manage the transition to getting my brother living independently when Mum is not around to obstruct the process. But this relies on me outliving Mum (who I think will live to 100). I already got breast cancer through the stress of Dad dying and feel like the current stress is as bad - so who knows what will happen to me! I need to plan but cannot deal with Mum who won't let my brother go (as she will then have to deal with outside carers which she does not want to do). I admire my brother for putting up with her and that is why I need to protect him. But I cannot go and live with her like he does.

My brother's friend also acts as carer to his mum and vice versa. It is more common than you think.

I admire you for taking on your caring duties. I wish I was more like you. How did you learn to accept it?
bowlingbun wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:46 am
Are you in touch with your local Mencap? Maybe talk to them about the options for your brother in his area.
Moving out does NOT mean not seeing mum ever again, your brother's care plan would include time to see mum.
Once she gets used to this, she might find it incredibly helpful to know that he is being well looked after, so she can enjoy his company more, and vice versa.
If your brother is living on income related benefits like Income Support, Employment Support Allowance or similar, then you don't need to worry about the cost of future care, it will all be provided for by DWP/Social Services. My son has his own flat, fully funded by the local council.
I agree that we need to be realistic about the effect it will have on my brother if Mum dies and I have broached this subject with her on numerous occasions. Perhaps she has reduced mental faculties as she seems incapable of suggesting a way forward but won't listen to anyone else's suggestions. (However, she has always been like this). The current plan is that I will move in with him and can then manage his transition to independent living while Mum is not around to obstruct.

Her worry is that she will have to deal with outsiders and people she has not chosen to be in her home. I get that and I can try to manage this and act as a care liaison person but she does not do anything. He does a lot for her and I have to watch that she does not overstep the demands on him.

I still have the problem - how do I deal with a controlling woman who does not listen to anyone and thinks she is always right? She will not let him go whilst she is alive.