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Is caring for Aunties any easier than for your mum or dad? - Carers UK Forum

Is caring for Aunties any easier than for your mum or dad?

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Both my aunties have now passed on, a number of years ago now, so it isn't like I am recently bereaved.

But my mum passed away 40 years ago.

I just think that it was less emotionally challenging somehow caring for an aunt than it would have been with my mum.

I don't know where I am going with this, but other forum members may be in a similar position perhaps. :?
Hi Colin
I help care for an aunt who has frequent crises and, although I worry about great deal about her, there isn't that kick in the guts feeling I get when my Mum is ill.
On the downside, with my aunt it is harder to say things that need to be said, or to jolly her out of her worries, because there is always that respectful distance.
My children never knew my mum or dad. But my daughter was born on the same day. possibly even the same hour as the husband of one of the aunties passed away. So that daughter had a special relationship
with the auntie.
I think you raise a very pertinent question to the whole issue of caring.

My caree is my mother-in-law. Although I'm very fond of her, and she's been, for over 30 years, an exemplary MIL (never had ANY problems or conflict with her!) (actually, I was often the 'peacemaker' between her and her son my husband as they are both very 'strong minded' which could cause clashes if they disagreed!).

BUT, I do know, quite openly, that my attitude towards her as my caree is quite different from what I would have towards my own mother. Though I'm fond of MIL, there are no real 'heart strings'. Like you say, there's no 'emotional punch' if they are ill, etc.

I think the saddest 'bottom line' of that lack of heartstring, of that 'distance' (compared with one's own parents) is that it meant I didn't really want to spend huge amounts of time with her when she became my caree. It was 'OK' to do so, and in many ways it wasn't 'unpleasant' at all, it was just that unlike the fortnight-at-a-time that I was used to spending with her when she'd come to stay with us before she needed care (incipient dementia), it was now looking to be permanent.

I didnt' really 'get anything out' of being with her. I think that would contrast with what I would have felt had it been my own mum (who died decades ago). To me, there was no 'upside' of having her to look after....

(Which is, I'm afraid, why I cracked and 'put her in a home'.) (It will be 'interesting' to see what I feel when she does finally die - I suspect I will be a lot more upset than I think I'm going to be. I certainly do feel very very sorry for her - now advanced dementia - and wished it hadn't come to that - and in a way I do appreciate I must 'make the most of her' while she's here, but when I don't see her I don't really miss her at all - like I say, no heartstrings. But I'm really 'sweet' with her, and 'cossetting' when I take her out, and the saddest thing of all is that now she really does only have 'me'. I suspect, you know, I'm fonder of her than I think I am....I just SO WISH she hadn't got dementia and so is no longer the robust, independent, 'easy companion' person she once was.)

Sorry, I've gone on about myself!

Bottom line, I think wherever there is a carer-caree relationship without strong 'heart-strings' the amount of 'perceived sacrifice' by the carer is going to be increased. I don't think it's possible for it to be otherwise.