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Brain Hemorrhage, COPD and Emphysema - Carers UK Forum

Brain Hemorrhage, COPD and Emphysema

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Hi, I am new to the site and have been looking around, trying to get my confidence to post on the forum. I am at my wits end and have no one to turn to so forgive me if I waffle a little but I need to get it off my chest (I cannot put everything on here as it will take all day - but will put down the basics). My mum suffered a brain hemorrhage five years ago which left her with a weakness on her right hand side, she was also diagnosed with COPD, emphysema and heart failure two years ago. She is able to do small jobs around the house but cannot walk very far. My dad and I care for her but my dad is her main carer after being made redundant, I work full time also and have a 12 year old son. I love her dearly and want to help her in any way I can, but the last year has been a nightmare. Her attitude towards me has changed completely she is argumentative, hurtful, spiteful and aggressive especially if she cannot get her own way. I have tried everything to diffuse the situation in every way possible such as walking away, ignoring her, and going out to let her calm down but nothing seems to work as she carries on where she left off as soon as I get back. At first it only happened every now and again - but it is getting more and more frequent. My dad is at the end of his tether too as it seems to be tearing our family apart. My son and I live with my parents so he too witnesses some of the outbursts which is really upsetting, my self esteem and self worth is non existant at the moment, I am told that I am a horrible person amongst other things (which I will not post on here). Our family are no help to us and I have no one to turn to who understands what we are going through as she is a different person when we get visitors. Has anyone been in the same position, can anyone advise anything please?
Hiya and welcome to the forum, well done for getting the confidence to post here. Have any assessments been done by social services to identify your Mums needs as caree and also carers assessments for yourself and your Dad to identify your needs as carers.
Hello Tracy, welcome to the forum. It's obviously a very difficult situation which has got you down, especially when you are doing your best to help mum. Your son must be your top priority, he deserves a happy childhood and a happy mum who has time for him. Dad's priority must be mum. It sounds as if mum is deteriorating, so I wonder if her GP is aware of this, and what he has done about it? As her medical practitioner, he is responsible for organising whatever she needs from a health point of view - perhaps it's time to have a good chat with him? What does he think is the cause of her unpleasant behaviour? Do you and dad ever have a break? This isn't a luxury, it's absolutely essential for long term carers - your local authority should have a carer's support worker who can talk to you about your options, and make sure you and dad both have your Carer's Assesments updated to reflect mum's worsening condition. It might be helpful if you could tell us how old your parents are? Lots of us here are supporting elderly parents, you are not alone in finding it a struggle. Hope that helps.
Hi thank you for taking the time to reply. My mum is 59 and my dad is 55, it came to the point where we had to call the doctor in, he said it was depression and prescribed her tablets. She is a strong willed woman and doesnt take anyone's opinion or even let you help her. My dad and I haven't had a break at all since caring for my mum - even though I know we should. I have spoken to social services regarding taking her out when I cant - only they need her permission and she wont give it. I will speak to my dad regarding the carers assessment though, we have to do something before we end up ill too.
I think both you and your dad need Carer's assessments from your local authority, ideally not done when mum is around, so you can talk freely. I'm not a medical person, but I didn't think depression usually led to spitefulness at the level you describe. Do you ever ask mum why she is so nasty? Does she even realise she is being nasty? Is she just hopelessly frustrated, or could the combination of her health issues be causing personality changes? I know that other people on the site just walk into another room when their carees are spiteful or similar. The "bottom line" here is that you don't HAVE to care for mum, and that if you and/or dad get ill because of her stubborness, or simply can't cope with it any more; there may be no alternative for her but residential care, whether she likes it or not. She needs to understand that you are both doing your very best for her, and the least she can do is be civil to you in return. I had some counselling when caring got me down, it might help you too. It might be worth having a chat with the Carers UK helpline to see if they can come up with ideas, and do a quick benefits check for mum and dad too. Mum is probably entitled to the DLA Mobility Allowance, the CUK helpline can explain more.
Hi Bowlingbun, I will defo get in touch with social services re assessement, thank you. As for her realising that she is nasty, yes she does, she apologises and says it wont happen again, but it does. I have asked her why also she tells me she doesnt have to explain herself to me, although yesterday she said it was because I look like my biological dad and he was horrible. (I know he was but its also not my fault). I do think to some degree she has had a personality change, the hardest part is when I look at her she is my mum, but the person inside is not and that breaks my heart. I feel guilty too when things get heated blaming myself then I feel even worse about myself. I have thought about moving out, maybe if I am not there all the time then things may improve, but I have no where to go at the moment.
Hi Tracey
My MIL had a personality change exactly as you describe. It was horrible because I had always loved her dearly - she was more like a real mother than an in-law. No-one ever got to the bottom of it and she has actually died since then so we will never know. Im afraid I dont know how to advise you, I could only say to myself that it wasnt the real person, just an illness (of some sort) talking and not taking it personally.
The way I see it is some people are just deep-down nasty:
"Her attitude towards me has changed completely she is argumentative, hurtful, spiteful and aggressive especially if she cannot get her own way."
No, sadly that is the true person coming out]OK, she might have been fairly nice once, but that was then, and this is now[/i])
Fine, so it's time to read the riot act. Been there, got the T shirt: this is a crude power-play and abject submission is not an option. If she doesn't behave, there are plenty of lovely nursing homes within 100 miles that would welcome her as a paying customer.
You know, the only thing that makes abuse possible is that we start to make excuses for it. Thats why women stay in abusive relationships, because they are too kind and can't accept the reality: the abuser always has a ready excuse.
That may be true a lot of the time scally, but not always.
It certainly wasnt true about my MIL. She was the kindest most loving person I had met for a long time. You can tell when its only a veneer, dont forget she was my mother-in-law and I would have spotted the BS when I met her. For 30 + years her character was consistent and after she died we discovered that she had kept a personal journal that none of us knew about up until about 18 months before she died (and her personality change was after that). Some of the things she said in it were so lovely it made me want to cry.
I loved her dearly, but I used to look at her and say to myself OK, what happened to the person I knew and why have we now got this malicious, manipulative old harridan? Please can we have the old one back?

Never-the-less, you dont have to be treated like that Tracey and you need a break.
Thank you so much to everyone, it has really helped being on this forum. I will take the steps needed and will get in touch with our local social services and get the help we desperately need.