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Caring for mum - Carers UK Forum

Caring for mum

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Hi I’m new to this site. I’m wondering if other careers get stressed with caring for family members. My mum is in an extra care housing environment with care being provided 4 times a day. However she still needs me to organise shopping and taking her out once a week.
My problem is I have 2 sisters and a brother who live about an hour away but I get no help from them. One of my sisters visits about every two weeks takes her out and feels that she has done.a good deed
I try to explain to them that she needs regular eye checks that I have to take her two. I can’t manage a wheelchair as I fractured my neck of humerus a few years ago which left me with poor movement.

My mother is 96 years old and expects me to organise her life She doesn’t eat and tries to manipulate me with this. She now can’t manage her Dorset box but still insists that she can do it. I’ve found tablets on the floor and have now insisted that the careers do this. I know she lies to me to get attention which my daughter has witnessed

She moans constantly about the careers but they are brilliant moans about other people in the home. I’ve come to the end of my tether on a few occasions and have raised my voice. I feel constantly stressed which is affecting my life. Then I get the guilt trip after thinking I’m such a horrible person
Hi Elizabeth :)
First things first, as you don't live with mum, you need to step away and let others deal with this. It sounds like she needs more support than just 4 visits a day.
She's done well to get to 96, but when things turn out like this with the people we are looking after turning on us, we cannot keep going.
I may sound harsh, but I live with my mum, but will be moving out soon. A huge part of this is the dreadful way she treats me on too many occasions. So I do understand where you are coming from.

I sincerely hope you contact social services and say you are no longer going to do this, and they need to get something in place.

This forum is good, and I hope you get some more advice xx
Hi Elizabeth
There are many many others in similar situations. It's been mentioned in at least 4 threads today.
I don't know why the very elderly get so awkward but they do. And boy do they know how to press the guilt button.

You are guilty of nothing, except caring and loving. Her housing and care package are there to ensure she eats and takes medication so rather than being primary care giver, take a small step back and become care manager where you ensure that the agencies involved do their bit fully.
If Mum decides not to eat that is her decision (I assume she has mental capacity, sounds like she has) and that's what you say to her, don't make a big thing out of it, just make sure that the carers know there is food available and leave it to them to offer it to her.

It's easy for her to press the guilt button as you still see her as 'mum-in-charge' but she has lost that position due to her advanced age and her attitude. You are now the one in charge, you are the care manager. If family don't pull their weight 'sack' them and make sure that any money spent on mums care comes out of their inheritance. For example for the eye vistit, Mum can pay for a care worker and taxis

Set clear limits as to what you will do and when, and stick to them

Tell yourself that if things continue this way without change, you will be ill, and who would look after Mum then?

MrsA, you make a good point re: the eating.
Elizabeth, my mum is also a problem eater. I now don't enter a discussion. The other evening, I asked mum what she wanted for tea, and gave her a few options. She said she didn't want anything.
I didn't challenge her, just said that's fine.
She had a cup of tea whilst I ate my tea. Today, she ate a roast dinner, and I haven't had the " I don't want anything" since.
It may crop up again, but my mum had 'mental capacity' I do not have the time to try and cajole her into eating, or like so many times before, making her something, one mouthful & it gets thrown away.
So, if she wants to forgo a meal, that's fine. Your mum knows that there is food if she wants it I presume?

I do wonder how many of our careers have power trips over us sometimes.
Thanks for all your responses. I feel better knowing that I’m not alone I try my hardest and have decided that I need to get away for a few days. She has everything she needs. And the carers will have to ring my sister if needed but I expect my daughter would step in as she may not come up if it’s inconvenience
So glad you've made this decision Elizabeth, well done!

I agree, it does help coming here and people really understanding what we go through.
Enjoy your few days away!
Can't add to the advice given here. Glad you are going to step back as you do need to care for yourself too. I totally agree that it is very easy to get 'sucked in' and mega stressed. I have problems getting my husband to eat and take his medication too.

Wishing you all the very best - you have gone the extra mile. Yes older people do tend to be increasingly selfish and this can really impact on our lives so sometimes we HAVE to step back for our own sanity and well being.
It can help if we think of the 'awkward elderly' as 'elderly toddlers'. Just as we can be 'firm' with toddlers when they blatantly 'try it on' ('toddler' of course can last right through to teenage!!!!!), so if we see our awkard elder in the same light, it gives us the angle to be firm with them too.

Absolutely agree with all the posts here, so count me in as someone 'on your side'!

Agree re the eating. If she's hungry, she'll eat, end of. Be calm and polite, but don't stood t 'coaxing'.

If it's attention she wants and craves, then try and shift things that she gets attention when she is GOOD (ie, not manipulative) not when she is 'awkward' (ie, manipulative). Again, think 'toddler'.