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Caring for bro but living with mother the issue! -Carers UK Forum

Caring for bro but living with mother the issue!

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Hi all, new to this forum.

Below is not meant to be a rant - but more to see if anyone else has similar family tensions and experiences that might, if not be the light at the end of the tunnel, at least a candle shinning in solidarity.

As you may have guessed from the title looking after my mentally handicap brother is not the issue. What I am struggling with is living with mother having returned to the family home to take over caring responsibilities (she is in her 60s, myself 30s) this time last year. She is in poor health awaiting an operation on her kidneys. She also has memory lapses which make it difficult to discuss things as she will not accept their severity at times, and she can be very paranoid that other people's behaviour is to get at her. It leads to some pretty surreal conversations. She rarely leaves the house, and does not socialise.

I never understood how family conflicts could be unresolved till now. It has got to a point where I am on a daily basis verbally abused and disrespected by her, despite my asking for a civil tone. I am constantly berated for not being supportive enough in problems she has had with Adult Care and Support and the caring agency that initially helped out when her health started to fail her. And everything else for good measure.

I have tried explaining that I do need at least an hour or two to myself each day (we have agency carers that come in for a few hours over 6 days) to recharge and be responsible for nothing in that time. There is however, always something to do, or shout about, when that opportunity arises. I want them to continue because I can see that my brother would become housebound without them, and any opportunity for a life outside of caring for myself would go. It's a major tension leading to accusations that I am out to discredit her, that I am disloyal and want rid of her. 

It is rewarding looking after my brother, and we do get on and his capacity has improved beyond what I would have expected. But my mother is making me feel like far from being a positive choice it is a misery. She remains the appointee so the obvious sons go one way, her another, is not one she wants to contemplate. But she does not seem to grasp how out of order her behaviour is, or detrimental it is to the situation.

I have discussed my views and feelings with her. However it does not seem to make a difference. I'm trying to grow a thick skin, but it only stretches so far.
Hello and a warm welcome to the Forum Image

I'm somewhat at a loss as to what to advise regarding your circumstances. Although there are family dynamics that I have to live with, my situation is nothing like yours. But rather than 'moving on' I wanted to respond and say 'hello' at least. Oh yes, a thick skin certainly helps. Maybe in the morning a more helpful soul will wander this way and be a touch more helpful.

I send my warmest good wishes.

Hi there,
My situation is somewhat similar. My brother has mental health issues (paranoid schizophrenia/bi-polar/alcoholic) and I came home a few years ago to look after my dad (now 84) and my brother moved in with us a year or so later.
Now my dad is ill (we're hoping it's an infection that is causing confusion and not anything more permanent) and my brother is suffering as a consequence; with me in the middle!
What I have found is that the support I get through caring for my bro is much better than what I get for dad. Do you have a carer support worker? Mine came through the mental health team and she's very helpful and will refer dad problems to adult services (though this takes longer). You need support, caring for one person is hard enough, let alone two!
Are your mum's memory lapses and paranoia part of her kidney condition? Has she had an assessment? How involved are you with her GP, could he/she help?
I posted elsewhere on this forum that I recently filled out a form at my local surgery about my being the carer for both my dad and brother (I never even knew the form existed till I asked). The details are passed on to the local social services/carer support organisations who allegedly will get in touch with me at some point.
I doubt very much from what you've written that your mum is going to start being reasonable any time soon, so it's important that you get some help for yourself so you're better able to cope.
I'm sorry this is so rambling....my head's a shed.....very little sleep the last few days. Hope it's helped a bit.
Botticelliwoman covered what i could have said.Assessments for mum and make sure you are ok.Can`t really add any more other than best wishes. Image Image Image
Hi and welcome Image
it could be that your Mum feels very insecure in that she is unwell herself so can't care for your brother as she used to, especially as you and he get on so well. Hopefully this will improve when she's had her op and begins to feel better and more able herself, but in the meantime you need support too, which includes time for you to be yourself and recharge the batteries.
Have you asked the care agency if you can access their sitting service?
Thanks all for the welcome.

Boticelliwoman: All the best for your Dad's infection dispppearing - I think caught in the middle is a good summery of what it feels like. At times it's like a multi dimensional tug of war.

I never understood long term sleep deprivation till now  - I sometimes feel slow witted and at times end up saying the wrong word and try to correct myself before anyone else does! That and a greater appreciation of the comfort of sofas ...  :lol: 


I think she does feel bad she can't do more, does not like my different way of doing things or different points of view in my brother's best interests. I think she takes it too much to heart whilst not seeing two heads are better than one. 


I think Mum's behaviour is acerbated by the kidney problem and a side effect of the medication she takes for that (and gout). Once when I accompanied her to the consultant she admitted it made her a "b****" to live with to quote her (sorry admins). I do remind myself of that because it means it is what it is and it really is nothing personal though she tries to rationalise it that way (making me the straw that broke the camel's back).

I am trying to support her as recommended when you are with with someone suffering with depression - namely be supportive in what you say and know when to shut up. Not always easy when your buttons are being pushed. I do draw a line on being insulted/sworn at making clear that does not help.

As you say key thing for me is taking timeout to recharge enough to cope. Whilst my brother has a social worker (who has an endless amount of spanners to throw but nothing else to give despite my efforts) no one professionally to turn to down here. Mum has spoken to GP but they pass it off as her age.

If the operation on her kidneys prove successful but her behaviour remains the same then there could be more to it. Hopefully next few months op will happen and she will need bed rest for about a month. 

Good news is she has retired to her room today, my brother is out for a few hours, and the sofa feels wonderful this morning. I'm thinking with lunch a glass of wine and second episode of Ab Fab. 
The odd glass of wine can be a great help and good to hear you taking care of yourself while trying to do whats best for everyone and keep the peace.

Take care,

Robert Image
Hi Hanzou and welcome,

sounds a difficult situation. Nothing to add on the advice front, at the moment. I just got excited that someone else had posted on the autism thread!! (How sad am I?!)

Hope your Mum stayed put long enough for you to enjoy your lunch and episode of Ab fab!

Yes looking at the dates of posts it does seem very quiet in that thread.
Does your brother/mother get DLA/attendance allowance?? I would have thought your bro would have DLA? Which leads to...do you get carer's allowance? If not, why not? It's quite pitiful in financial terms but does open doors for you regarding support. It's not means tested. you probably know all this and have been down this road....but just checking..... Image