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Help!! Mum is 88, I am 68 and she only wants me!! - Page 3 - Carers UK Forum

Help!! Mum is 88, I am 68 and she only wants me!!

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Hello everyone, It's me again!!!!! Just to update you.....since we went to Prague we have also been to Majorca for a week...how about that then??????? And guess what, on both occasions Mum appeared happy (well....sort of!!) that we were going and even wished us a nice time!

Can't believe it!! Actually as daft as it sounds I feel that she is now more "accepting" because her mental condtion is worsening and she can't actually remember that we have already been away!! Anyway, we are going away tomorrow just for one overnight stay - visiting my brother-in-law. Mum has asked me to phone her whilst we are away and whilst I know that I really should I know also that if I do she will just tell me how poorly she is and I will end up feeling upset/guilty so "it ain't gonna happen"!!!!!! I will just get my daughter to phone her Grandma to see how she is. Mum always tells my daughter that she is O.K and my daughter says that she always appears fine. The carers will be going in three times each day as well as a District Nurse visiting tomorrow so whilst Mum will miss me I know that others are looking out for her.

Some days Mum appears to be accepting of the carers going in, but then only last week she rang me to tell me to cancel them coming as she didn't need them...saying that they have bad breath and talk to her as if she is "barmy"!!!!!! She also continues to phone me on my "days off" and fills our voice mail box with messages. I have become really hardened listening to the messages (you have to don't you??). She always sounds so poorly and practically begs to me come over, repeating my name over and over again...."Joan, please come, please come" etc. etc. Yes, I know that she is poorly and lonely (who wouldn't be with severe osteoporosis and a back that is bent and no one on hand to make you a cup of tea) but I can't be there with her all the time and I tell myself that I need a life also with my wonderful patient husband. As well as my two days off I know have also re-joined a line dancing groupon a ...told Mum that the doctor has told me that I need more exercise so that is why I can't stay as long on a Monday!! (I have actually been diagnosed with osteoarthrotis in my knee and find that if I don't keep moving my knee "sets" so sitting around with my mother isn't helping at all.)

Yes, I will no doubt beat myself up if anything happens to her but at the moment I really feel that I can't do anymore than I am already doing.

So, to everyone who has answered my posts thank you for listening and giving me great advice. I hope you are all well and coping with the weariness of caring.

A big hug to you all. Joan
That's really great! I know 'hardening your heart' can be painful, but in the end we do have to ration our energies in order to make them last the course!

Have a lovely break away - and start planning the next!!!
Hi all, just joined the forum and began by reading this thread as it seemed to mirror my situation somewhat. Mum is 92 and I am her only child. She lives with us in our Granny flat which we had built for her in 2000 - when she was a different person. She has many health issues but has always "given in " rather and quite enjoys the attention I give her. This makes me sound a bit uncaring I suppose, but truth be told I do everything for her with just a 30 minute carer helping to wash and dress her each day. She has resisted going in to respite care, that is, until 18 months ago when we had to make ourselves a bit unpleasant and insist that we needed a break (I am 68 and my hubbie is78). We found a marvellous home for her which we used a few times - oh the joy of holidays - but now Mum feels that she is "too under the weather and frail" to be "pushed from pillar to post anymore"! We once again feel trapped. I am having tests for health issues myself, but feel it is all down to stress and frustration. I have been treated for depression in the past, but I know I have to stay well now because being ill is not an option. Mum is completely unaware that we have long, difficult discussions resulting in rows and bad feeling. Our two children both have families and spouses, and full time jobs so no way would I involve them. I realise that I am not alone, and just reading other people's stories has helped me. Thank you for reading this.
Dear new Jenny (just to say the mods may move your post to a new one, to keep it separate for you alone, if you see what I mean!)....

Just because your mum won't go into respite any more (if that is definitely so!), you can always bring respite to her....

A friend of mine has gone off on a 'once in a lifetime holiday' with her sons and because her sister 'declined' to have her dad (who lives with my friend), my friend was forced (at short notice, since the holiday was already booked!) to get in touch with the local care agency. Anyway, to cut a long story short, she had a live in carer come in and stay with her dad (dementia, catheter etc) while she had her holiday.

We're in the Home Counties, and the cost of the live in carer (a very nice lady, as I was on 'standby' just in case of 'emergencies') was £850 a week, which actually was cheaper than our local respite care. The care lady needed an hour off a day (not surprisingly!), and food had to be provided.

It seems to have gone fine for the fortnight, and apart from having to lock away 'personal stuff' (just in case!), so please do consider it. (Finances permitting, of course....!)

I'm afraid, sadly, it is just all too common for the very elderly to have absolutely no appreciation whatsoever of the work that goes into looking after them, or that those who do might, from time to time, like a break from it!!!!!

Please, also, don't worry about being 'uncaring' - your 15 years of looking after your mum is proof of the very opposite! I have a very 'harsh' attitude to wards caring for the very elderly, which I 'cling' to (with some qualms, yes, but even so!) - and it is this:

In the end, YOUR life is more 'valuable' than theirs is, simply because they've had more of it than you have!!!!

Another poster here has also said something I 'cling' to, and it is this - the only reason the very elderly need so much care now is because they've lived so long. They really can't have it 'all their own way' in terms of expecting others to give up so, so much to them.

So, with your mum, being 'pushed from pillar to post' (as she calls it!) is, I'm afraid, the price she is having to pay simply for having had these extra years of life which are NOT what everyone gets to have (my husband got 55 years - his mother's had 91 - it limits my sympathy for her....)(she's in a dementia home now and I visit regularly and take her out, but that, now, is 'it' - after 18 months of being the only person who was around to do anything for her!)

So, like I say, this may sound harsh, but YOU and your husband (both of you OAPs yourself!!!) DESERVE YOUR HOLIDAYS AND BREAKS. Please ensure you take them, even if your mum objects....

Kind regards, 'old' Jenny!
Hi everyone, I hope you don't mind me joining the conversation. I am not a carer myself but I have been reading this thread as my mum really needs help with my nan and we're not sure what we can do.

My nan is 86 years old, and has all of her 'marbles' but she isn't physically able to do much at all because she can no longer walk, and so she relies solely on my mum to do everything for her - get her out of bed, wash her, dress her, provide all of her meals, undress, put to bed etc etc. My mum is an only child.

The amount of care she has needed has increased gradually over the years, and so I think because of this it took quite a long time for my mum to realise what was happening and eventually seek some help, which was a huge struggle with my nan.

My nan is the type of lady who has always been scared of any health professionals, be it doctors, dentists or nurses and so convincing my nan to accept help from a carer was met with a huge amount of abuse towards my mum, as according to her looking after her is my mums 'duty'. Anyway, we eventually got through to her and now have a carer who comes in 1 morning a week, so my mum can have a lay in.

I might add this my mum is about to turn 60 and is still in full-time work, and so looking after my nan morning and night 7 days a week has really taken its toll. And to give you a full picure, prior to my nans ill health my mum cared for my grandad, and so in all she has been a carer for one of her parents for 17 years now!

So where we are now is that with my mums impending 60th birthday we are starting to question how much longer this will all go on for, and indeed how much more my mum can cope with.

I love my nan dearly, buy she is vile towards my mother. Wants to be treated like a baby, but still be the one with all of the control and to assert her authority she has a poisonous tongue at times. My mum feels completely at her mercy, and is unable to go anywhere over night - even at the weekends my nan is mean towards her because she thinks that all of her free time she be spent by my nans side.

I should also mention that this has all had a big impact on my mum and dads marriage, as they struggle to get any quality time together and always have to consider my nan in nearly everything that they do. My dad is a huge support to my mum, and he takes care of my nans garden and helps to cook meals etc for my nan, but it has really limited their life together for so many years now. Even recently my dad travelled to Scotland for my great grandads surprise 80th birthday for 3 days, but once again my mum had to stay behind because of my nan.

So, seeing that the situation can't continue as it is, my sister and I have decided to start looking into what can be done to ease the situation for everyones sake. As unfortunately my mum does not have the energy for fight this anymore and so left to their own devices I can see my nan going on forever and by the time she does pass away my mum will be elderly herself!

My question is, (and obviously my mum and I will be seeking professional advice on this also) do you know if it possible to put someone into respite care against their will, if they of sound mind? I can see so many comments saying that it is possible if the person suffers with dementia, but nothing on what happens if the person is considered to have all their 'marbles' as they say.

Thanks,
Shelley
Hi Shelley, welcome to the forum. The critical thing to remember is that nan only has control over mum if mum lets her. I ended up having counselling to help me say "No" to my mum's increasingly unreasonable demands of me, despite the fact that I too was disabled with very serious health problems and a son with severe learning difficulties. Mum cannot be forced to care for nan. I suggest that first mum asks Social Services to arrange for a "Carers Assessment" for herself, to discuss what the options are. One option is to give up caring altogether. As children we have to do what our parents ask, but not as adults. In the meantime, is nan claiming Attendance Allowance etc.? I suggest mum also asks about "Power of Attorney". Sadly, things are just going to get increasingly worse from here on, the over 85's, classed as "very elderly" often lose all ability to consider anyone but themselves.
Oh my goodness, found you all at last. I have been lurking round this web site, making the odd contribution and asking the odd question but have been feeling that my problems are nothing compared to the awful situations some people find themselves in. I too have a 'MOTHER'. I'm going to make your heart sink Joan because my mum is 99 years old. You are thinking OMG another 11 years!!? Exactly the same feeling I get when well meaning people say to her 'next year you'll be getting your card from the Queen'. AAAGH!!
My situation is so similar to the posts here I am NOW feeling that 'not alone' feeling as so many of the comments relate to me exactly. I was hoping the site would have an area devoted to 'caring for elderly parents'. Anyone know how to get them to do that?
I too am trapped in the 5/6/7/8 hours a day, every day. I am an only child. I too find it hard to take the 'me and my needs first' attitude. My Mum says that she HAS to live her own life. She WILL NOT go into a HOME. The fact that my GP told me that I had to stop caring for her before I had a complete health breakdown had a little bit of response. I was allowed to book more carers to get her out of bed and back into bed so I had less physical work to do. If I tell her that any time I book with carers is for ME rather than for her she accepts it, albeit with poor grace. I too am bitter about the retirement years I'm losing because of caring. (I'm 66). I am upset that my own home and garden are neglected, I'm upset that I'm missing out on my grandchildren because I cannot have them for a day or go out with them etc. They only live round the corner but I don't often see them because I'm always looking after Mum. My husband gives me what support he can but since we've retired he's made his own life with new friends and hobbies away from me and my Mum. The last time we had a holiday together which was actually away from home and away from my parents (dad died 2004) was in 1996. My Mum also has a will of steel. For example she WILL NOT have a ramp to get in and out of her bungalow. She has trapped herself inside and me too. She has no mobility now but can weight bear for a short time. She is nearly blind and has 2 hearing aids. She has not suffered from dementia but now is getting that way as her memory is failing as is her understanding. I am responsible for absolutely everything to do with her life. I have a care team in place. 5 times a day, and a treasure of a cleaner whose 3 visits a week I couldn't manage without. I've been through the mill with carer problems but I have a team now who are pretty good. Not perfect because they are human after all but pretty good all the same. Fingers crossed it continues. I hardly ever go more than 5 mins drive away in case I'm 'needed', I'm 'on duty' or 'on call' all day and night, every day and night and, as soon as I've solved one problem another three take its place.
So thank you, all the people who have written on this post. We understand each other. Hugs to all. Elaine.
Elaine - isn't it time to throw in the towel, walk away, and let either your mum sort out her own care, or let SS take over.....

You've done your stint. Time to get your own life back, while you still have it.

Your mum may have a 'will of steel'. You can have one too. Walk away. What is she going to do about it? She's had 99 years of life. She could have another half a dozen. Why is her life so much more 'important' than yours???

All the best, and I'm afraid I know what decision I'd make if I were in your situation. You could do your last 'duty' by her and check out care homes, and then walk away. Why not?

Cheers, Jenny (91 MIL in a care home now....)
Elaine, your mum is typical of the very elderly. She has already had her life, her current situation is the result of living far longer than most. She will never ever appreciate what you are sacrificing. Unless you say "No" she will keep demanding. Has anyone talked about "managing" her expectations? My counsellor taught me how to acknowledge what she wanted, by saying something like "I know that needs doing...but let me finish the last job you gave me first" then take your time and do it at your pace. The more you do the more she'll give you. Write down everything you do, and look at whether it needs to be done at all. Does it need to be done by you? This can be a really effective way of dealing with things, both in your house, and hers. Take a day off - whatever she says or does. Say it's your husband's day. Make sure she has a Lifeline. If she doesn't need or want anything, that's her choice. But you have the power to make choices to. Sit down with your husband and work out a plan.
Shelley, hi - I wrote a very long post which promptly got 'eaten' and disappeared, which is incredibly annoying, but it boiled down to this -

BB is right, your mum has no 'duty' to look after her unappreciative and ungrateful and demanding mother. It's great that you and your sister are now going to protect your mum and dad from your nan, as you will be able to 'see the woods from the trees' which your poor browbeaten and bullied and abused and exploited mum can't do.

Two options - firstly, care homes. You and your sister can check out care homes and see which ones are possibles. Secondly, depending on whether your nan lives in (as well as 'off' your mum and dad!) your parents house (or is it hers, or co-owned?), then carers can come in and look after your nan a good deal of the time. Your mum and dad can get 'respite at home' if they want to get holidays, because carers can come in and stay (my friend does this for her live-in dad) doing whatever your mum does.

Your nan will object (obviously) but if she is SO unappreciative then, well, tough. Your mum and dad have as much right to a life of their own as your nan, and right now, everything is going nan's way, and nothing for your mum and dad.

Thank goodness your parents have you and your sister, and all the very best to you in your efforts to 'rescue' your mum and dad. Regards, Jenny.
206 posts