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Bit of a crossroads looming . . . - Carers UK Forum

Bit of a crossroads looming . . .

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Cross roads is entirely the wrong metaphor here.... OK Steep downhill run to crossroads with poor brakes . . . yep that's it, the brakes are mine and they arent in tip top form. . .

Mum is showing signs of dementia more than ever and has been coping for years with diminishing confidence as she has become more housebound. No diagnosis yet but Doctors keep saying she must get her diabetes under control (she is incredibly strict) and she has low salt levels (kidney probs?) But no real progress except one GP locum asked if she had been seen by memory clinic.

I can see she is happy when I am with her and I have been findings ways to cope and support her with her confused phone calls - she is always aware when she has become disorientated and phones me to sort it our. I have a number of ways ofreducing her anxiety when this happens and am glad to do so.

So, here's the looming crossroads

I have temporary work a couple of days a week until November. I visit every weekend Fri- Sunday or monday and love our time together - its such a happy time: I was made redundant and felt great, I can have quality time to support her now rather than fit it wound a job/career which is highly demanding so I think I havemy priority set right i.e. her wellbeing and happiness (because it results in wellbeing and happiness for me)

Recently I almost started online teaching but the employer couldnt provide reasonable adjustments I need in time for the start date (another battle to fight & I am too exhausted to do so) so I have lost income when I could have been working from her home or mine grrrrrr
My heart is saying look to live with her from the near future and care for her - while she and I can still enjoy lots of qualty of life. My house is on the market (someone please buy it) so I can move nearer.....

When will I know its the right time? How do I square working and income with caring? How do/did you know when it's time to make the big move into living with someone to care for them? She has said she would like it and offered to buy a house for us (she cant actually afford to do so but together we might)

*pondering, trying to be patient and avoid leaping in with both feet*
Oh, Muvver, this is very similar to my situation. I don't know the answers but I can give you some of my thoughts - admittedly I change my mind daily!

My background - housebound mother with signs of dementia (but it's not her, you understand, it's everyone else trying to confuse her Image ); she refuses to go anywhere near a doctor. I work 4-5 days a week and have own flat but spend weekends and up to 1 work day with her. We too have good relationship for most part and I want to do everything possible to keep her out of a care home which she would hate. My flat is currently on the market. Plan is (if you can call it a plan) to sell my flat, move in TEMPORARILY with her while I look for somewhere closer.

I think you / I / we should think very carefully before moving in. Both "sides" are used to independence. As mother(s) become increasingly forgetful, will rely more on stressed daughters. Is it not better for her/them to keep their independence as long as possible? And if I can speak frankly, the dementia will only get worse. How will you cope with it 24 hrs a day? Disturbed nights will make paid work almost impossible.

My compromise at the moment is to look for somewhere close to her but not in with her. I do think, whatever you decide, it is important to have some time for yourself, to keep some vestige of you separate from mother. This is not entirely selfish as it will also enable you to care for your mother better without the inevitable resentment that can build up.

As I say, I don't have the answers but I would be interested to know what you decide. Who knows, maybe it will help me decide!

Take care, Anne
I just worry about people selling their homes and then regretting it bitterly, there is no going back then. Renting your own place out and renting another place near mum seems a better idea, because you are keeping your options open. I have a friend who has done something similar for years, and when we went abroad, we rented our house out too. I once had a job welcoming people to their new homes. I shall never forget one lady. Her husband died the day they moved in to their new home, all she wanted was to go back to her old place, which she couldn't do of course. How long will mum last? Another friend had mum live with him until she finally died at 105 years old. That's scary. If mum is thinking of selling her own home so you could buy somewhere together, have you thought that mum could sell up and you could live in a rented property together? Find out more about how residential care (which mum may need if her condition worsens in the future) is funded before you do too much, if someone owns their own home then it may need to be sold to fund the care. Act in haste, repent at leisure, is an old saying, but a very wise one.
I do not think that selling up and renting is an awfully good idea, firstly it could prove difficult in the current economic climate to get back on the property ladder and, secondly, capital held in property is not taken into consideration for means-testing of benefits and certain social care services in the same way as capital which is held as cash or invested. Private rented housing is also insecure and you might find yourselves having to move when the tenancy ends and social housing does not appear to be an option in either yours or your mother's circumstances.

We are not experts and this is a big decision with important implications for the future, the best source of information on the various options you might consider is probably the CUK advice line, I suggest that you ring them and ask them to guide you through the likely impact on benefits and social care costs of any scenarios which you are considering.
Would it help your decision making if you imagined yourself in 20 years time, when your caring role is over? Which would sadden you most? Sacrificing your career to enjoy mum's company when you could, then caring for her when her illness worsened? Or sacrificing your relationship with mum so you had a good job? Or is it your independence which you would regret losing most? Are there any other factors which are important to you, apart from a career and your independence? What about relationships and friendships for example, do either of you have special friends you would lose if you moved.
Look at the pro's, look at the con's and then look at what your heart tells you. Then look at the best way of going about it, from all angles and hard though it is to face, remember you will have a life after caring so you need to consider that too.
Would it benefit you to look at Mum moving in with you instead of the other way round?

I am so glad I posted that since you lot have allbeen so helpful. I dont feel the pressure to decide now as a result so thank you , so much

In the meantime today was the first day when I was at work when a sad little lady (Mum) phoned me to ask when was she going home. Heart rending stuff. But I found a way to deal with it and to help her while I went on with work (teaching so cant take time out of class) and then agreed to phone her in an hour to chat again. It wasnt easy to carry on but I have to remember there may be times I cant do anything so wanting to and not being able to may be part of what I find really hard to live with so working and me time helps. I learned that anyway. When I phoneer her later she was fine having had a nap ...Roller coaster but it is teaching me a lot about not giving up everything just yet and that I can cope with the pain of hearing her. Didnt think I could if it happened in work.

Phoned Doctors Alltests normal so will keep the dialogue up with Mum about her confused episodes. Today she said she wanted to know what was going on and was glad I phoned her about the test results. But they were all OK and she isnt. Oh well, slowly and gently onwards. She isnt hostile to docs and when we are both ready I think we will move together down another path of tests and diagnosis but not this week. I dont wait for her to raise how she is but usually ask her has she been very lost or just a bit muddled during the day. Evenings are when she gets muddled so she only has to call me and does and we sort her out, help her find her way back to some more secure set of feelings and on t goes.

Its hard tho innit?

Anyway I went out tonight. So I must be coping with the situation a bit better mustnt I? M ind you I went to a local WEA class on Philosophy . . . hurt my head that did! Image

Thank you all for your sage wisdom, support and encouragement (especially NOT to jump into anything) Sooo glad I wandered in here

x x x x x x x x x x x x Image
I've just noticed your "footer", it's great!!
I like the footer too!

Many thanks for all your comments. Yes, the Deprivation of Assets is an important topic which one day could potentially affect me. Mum signed her house over to me 12 years ago, although there is a clause stating that she is entitled to live in it until her death. I did check this with a local solicitor who said that there were no guarantees but he thought the length of time would work in my favour.

My flat is now on the market and I am house-viewing this evening so fingers crossed that the decision is the right one!

Thanks again for all the comments,
Hi Muvva
This is a difficult one, I'm afraid it's not a cut and dried solution everyone's circumstances are different and people react differently to situations.
I would think twice about selling your house and moving in with your mum as I think I'm right in saying that your mum could be forced to sell her house to pay for residential care if she needed it then you would be out on the street. I think I would take some legal advice on that one.
Also I think I would find it difficult living with someone when I've been used to having my own space, why not give it a trial run for a couple of weeks it might help you make your mind up.
If you do decide to move in with your Mum make sure you have any extra help and support in place first otherwise if you seem to be coping I'm afraid you will be left pretty much to get on with things. Being a carer is exhusting there's no getting away from that, make sure you have a little time to yourself each day even if it's just a soak in the bath or a walk around the block.
Good luck