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Exhausted, carer of 1 plus another one at times - Carers UK Forum

Exhausted, carer of 1 plus another one at times

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Good morning

Just a little bit about my Caree and myself.
My 89 year old mother came to live with me 2 years ago after a fall and she was afraid to go back to her house again because a Care worker had been stealing from her.
I used to go to my mothers house 50 miles a way 2 or 3 times a week and I was constantly worrying about her when I went back home. She had been getting a bit more forgetful and she had only one visit a day for half an hour, from whichever careworker was sent.
They did very little for her and I had been upstairs many a time when the Careworker would walk out after 10 mins.
My mother asked to go and live with me after her fall, and I found it too difficult to say no - I wish I felt that I had time to think of other options - but I felt pressurised whilst she was in hospital recovering from her fall and Cellulitis.
My mother suffered a stroke 6 years ago, has severe rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, heart failure. Uterine and Bowel prolapse and vascular dementia.
I also have a 36 year old daughter who has Bi polar disorder and Borderline Personality disorder. My husband and I have looked after her daughter on and off, when there is a crisis (can be weeks) since she was a few months old.
When my daughter is struggling, she won't seek help and then only takes any help as and when she decides, mostly not at all and then life for us all can be a nightmare.
I am going thru this at the moment.

I have enjoyed looking at this Forum, when I discovered it about a year ago. And it has given me a bit of strength and I see so many people with even worse problems.
Thank you for being here for us.
Christina
Well, that's a tough combo to be landed with!!! No wonder you're exhausted and rock bottom.

Others here know their way very well around the NHS/SS, and I should think they'll ask you whether your mum has had a recent Needs Assessment, and whether you've had a Carer's Assessment (and for your daughter too??)

What's your mother's financial situation? Does she own any property, have any income, have any savings? Are you providing for her completely now? Do you have any careworkers in to help her, to give you time off, and what care does she need day in day out? Does she have her own 'granny annexe' or does she live 'en famille' with you and your husband and daughter (ie, sharing your house, living your days, eating with you, etc etc?)

Very, very sadly, it's 'very nice' for the elderly to live 'en famille' and lots of people (usually politicians who have NO IDEA what it's like to do this in practice) recommend it as the 'solution' to the 'problem' of the very elderly. But the price is heavy, and basically turns your mum into a 'child' and you into a 'perpetual parent'. (I had a BAD situation myself when I inherited my MIL, who was developing dementia, and ended up having her stay for weeks at a time at what I used to call bitterly Hotel Jenny, where she was waited on hand and foot, never had to lift a finger - she couldn't anyway, sadly - and I spent my days looking after her, and entertaining her by taking her out and a about etc etc etc. It broke me.) (She's now in a home and I have my sanity back - and my life back.)

So I fear that suggesting your mum move out into a care home will not be greeted with joy by her - and indeed, very naturally, if you've had a good loving relationship with her all your life, then you probably don't want 'to get rid' of her.

But you very probably do need more help - and you most certainly need 'time out for yourself' and this really has to be provided for by care workers coming in, cleaners to do your housework, your mum having regular respite breaks away, and maybe daycare as well.

Your daughter is a bigger problem, in that, sadly, inevitably at some point, your mum will no longer be with you as old age finally takes its toll and she passes away, but your daughter sounds like she is incapable (or unwilling?) to have any kind of independent life. Does she manage to hold down a job, and does she make any contribution to the household (ie, chores, etc)?

As for not accepting treatment (meds? counselling?) when she is 'struggling', can you apply 'firm love' and say if she refuses to accept treatment, then 'privileges' are withdrawn (eg, turning off the Internet)(is she like my 34 y/o niece, whose had depression and MH and anxiety etc etc etc all her life, and diverts herself endlessly on her laptop??). So she learns the consequences of her decisions?? Or maybe that is way, way beyond her because of her MH? Beware, oh beware beware of 'enabling' her to stay locked in her unhappiness.....

O verall, when we have big, intractable burdens placed upon us (your mum and your daughter), what can make their bearable is to find some relatively small degrees of alleviation, that make your life tolerable. Aim to get say 20% of your life back.....?
Thankyou for your post Jenny
My mother is self funding, she has savings and a house, that my brother and sister keep an eye on, 50 miles away from us, My brother has POA. I did push him to get it after reading the helpful posts here.
My mother has had a Needs assessment and I have had a recent carer's assessment.
I have care workers come in twice a day. Mum has incontinence.
After being very stressed a few weeks ago, I went to see a counsellor and that encouraged me to contact the Social Worker and look around care homes.
I then booked Mum into a care home for a week, about 2/3 weeks ago, when she reluctantly agreed, she did say to me that she is not of use to anyone anymore and she wished she was dead. I
I was very upset and then get strength some how to go thru with it.
No problems with the care home, just some minor things eg, missing clothes,
And Mum enjoyed the meals and seemed ok.

My daughter doesn't live with us but about 10 mins drive away. Her daughter lives with her.
Our daughter regularly asks us to look after our granddaughter, no difficulty there. The only difficulty is when our daughter is not coping with her daughter, not coping with life and is liable to want to go out with new, short term friends and drink alcohol in excess and then starts deterioating mentally. Then life is dreadful for us all.
She then takes her daughter back long before she has recovered, loses her temper at her daughter, is emotionally abusive to her daughter and us.
Child social services have been regularly involved, never called by us, but usually granddaughters school or the police,when they have been called for some reason by a neighbour or daughter. We have sort of been pleased that the social workers get involved sometimes as this helps in supporting our granddaughter, but of course ends up shouting and manipulating everyone who doesn't agree with her.
This has been going on last week and our granddaughter has been placed in our care temporarily, while Social services try and sort out whats best to do.
Our daughter has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital, many miles away from her home just now.
My husband I are both 65, he is going for bowel investigations, and we love looking after granddaughter, but are stressed out with all the rest that goes with it.
We both work 2 days a week, from gradually reducing hours in the last year or so.
I also look after 2 other grand children aged under 4 and a half , one day a week in their house and this is going to be increased to 3 days a week in the new Year.
Having this Carers forum gives lots of useful information in the different topics.
Obviously, I don't know the background to the situation, but I would have thought that the absolute LAST thing you need at the moment is another two full days of childcare per week. Was this something you committed to a while ago? Can you change your mind?
I agree with Pennie!

However.....I wonder if there is a situation where by your other sibling (parent of the two 'extra' grandchildren you will be increasing care for in the New Year) feels (quite understandably!) that the sibling with MH takes a disproportionate amount of you and your husband's attention and time and mental and physical energy. By asking you to 'step in' to care for her/his children, they may be seeking to redress what they perhaps consider an imbalance?

Apologies if this isn't so. But I do agree that right now, expecting you to take on two extra grandchildren, and even to increase your careload, is just not on......you deserve your own retirement!

Kind regards, Jenny