Hi, I'm new to the forum

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
And forgot to say...
None of us find the transferring of responsibility easy when it is parents who are declining. Most of us have had them in the position of authority for 60 or even 70 years (all our lives!) and it is sad those roles reverse and we have to become the Parent while they revert to being a Child, not that most of them would admit to that. Fun times ahead :)
Thanks again everyone, some very useful advice there. I will look at the POA link, thanks. I have suggested to her that she just gets someone to do a big clean periodically and then she can just do the normal weekly maintenance. However, I'm going to back off on that topic because (i) it was the one she was most resistant about, and (ii) she has always been so ridiculously houseproud that it's perversely pleasing to see the odd bit of dust here and there :lol:

One of the difficulties is that I don't have a regular routine - she's pretty good normally but I get pulled in for emergencies. At the moment it's ok, but I'm aware I need to monitor to ensure the emergencies don't start to become her new normality. The one thing I don't want to farm out to others is taking her to medical and other appointments. She's of the generation that doesn't question professionals so I think she needs me or one of my brothers to ensure we understand everything and that she gets the best care. Thanks for the reminder about the pendant, she has one but doesn't wear it :roll: She said she would when they got their new alarm system and she could wear it as a bracelet, but I put it on for her and she's found an excuse to take it off again!

Good thought also about shopping trips being enjoyable outings - maybe a fortnightly trip to Morrison's would be a good idea. I've got a pretty good idea of what she buys regularly, but if I can get it down to a fine art, then when she doesn't feel up to it I could do an online order and have it delivered to her.

I very rarely have to go two days in a row, but I'm going over again tomorrow as the district nurses are coming to rebandage her leg ulcers and I want to check if there are other options. She has the bandages right down over the foot on one leg, meaning she can't get her shoe on so she has to wear a canvas boot thing, and she says that's why she tripped in the street yesterday.

The more I think about it, the more I realise it's not so much about chores, it's about feeling responsible. She looks to me for advice, which is good in many ways - she won't let any cold callers or the bank or anyone talk her into doing anything without checking with me first - but that means I feel honour bound to find all the best possible options, research things for her, etc. I think that's what could become a bit emotionally draining. But I talked to both of my brothers this evening and it was good to share and feel less like I'm dealing with it all myself. And this time next week I'll be getting ready to go away on holiday the next day - hurrah! :lol:
Enjoy your holiday, you have earned it.

With regard to emergencies, are they really important, or just urgent to mum?
My mum had endless jobs for me, the faster I did them the faster they came. Counselling taught me to manage mum's expectations.
To leave the answerphone on, so I could listen to the calls IF they were really important, otherwise I'd reply later.
I adopted a "one job at a time" policy, and worked at my chosen pace, not mum's. I could then say "You asked me to do this, so let's get it finished before we start another one".
Counselling made me realise that I would never say "No" to mum, over 60, I was still behaving like a little girl, mum was she who must be obeyed. However, the only power mum had over me was the power she had over me, I didn't HAVE to do anything.
Once I felt more in control, that I knew I was doing things for mum because I loved her and wanted her to be comfortable, I felt so much better.
I think what increasingly happens is that we become a 'prosthetic' for our ageing parents. Things they used to do for themselves they now 'use us' to do....we become an 'able-bodied extension' of their own body. As Mrs A points out, we have to prevent ourselves remaining in 'child' mode, as that turns us into 'hand-maidens'. (I used to hate hand-washing with my mum as she wanted me to just 'hover' while she washed, then I was her 'handmaiden' who had to do the rinsing in the bathtub for big jumpers, but at 'her dictate'....I had no autonomy over the job, and I found that SO irritating! I was simply there to do what she found tricky to do, but wanted 'done' (and to HER irritation of course I seldom did it to her exacting standards!)

(Speaking of which, I wonder if your current hatred of housework is because your mum was so meticulous!!! Are you 'rebelling' against her standards??!!!)

The other strategy I'd recommend is to decide what is MOST 'irritating' for you to do, and then balance that against what the utility of that is to your mum. You have to 'weight' everything from both sides of the relationship. It could be, for example, that something that is only 'mildly irritating' to you is really 'valuable' to her - that's a good thing - but a bad set up is something that is of little value to her but hugely irritating to you!

As with children, sometimes it's important to 'pick your battles' etc - give in to her on things that cost you little in patience and effort etc, but stand firm on things that really irritate you etc.

Finally, it's really important that you don't 'patronise' her. When we invert the Parent/Child relationship, it's very easy to 'take over'. I know you don't have children, but imagine what it would be like for a 'know it all' teenager to be 'dictating' to you. We have to be tactful and sensitive ....yet 'firm' on things that are essential. Sometimes, though, our parents have to 'learn for themselves' (like teens do!)....eg, your mum will probably go on refusing to wear her pendent until 'somethgn bad' happens that will 'teach' her she just needs it now. (Hopefully not TOO drastic a bad thing!).

It's great she DOES want to 'keep going' but yes, be wary of emotional dependence. That's why it's best, if possible, to have a routein - that way you limit her demands by saying 'Mum, I'll sort that when I come over on Wed like I do every week, etc etc'.

As for your brothers, they can do online research for things for her as well as you can, so let them do their share of that, even if they are not around to look in on her a great deal.
PS - also remember, that your mum has 'not much to do with her life now'....so small things will loom large. Just like how shopping trips are 'big events' for her, and a waste of our time for us (!), so everything else starts to 'loom large'.

The lives of the very elderly ARE so often 'confined' compared to ours, and their interests shrink. When I had my MIL with me each and every day was exactly the same - 'pleasant' but totally limited. I found it insanely boring very quickly.....
Hi and thanks again all. I suspect I see emergencies where there aren't any - it's not Mum asking me to do things, it's me thinking "if she can't get to the shops then she'll need.......". Maybe I am too concerned about being a perfect daughter, not just in her eyes but my siblings feeling I'm really stepping up to the mark, and also that my late father, whom I adored, would be proud of me. This conversation is really helping me understand what the issues are, and maybe they're more mine than mum's!

And yes, her horizons have shrunk a lot over the past few years. She hates the idea of having to go away anywhere overnight - too much bother - but going out for lunch is a nice treat.

Cleaning - yes, maybe it's my bit of rebellion but unfortunately I've inherited her houseproudness (is that a word?) if not her commitment to doing it myself. I'm lazy. Hence why I pay someone else to do it :lol: People say we look alike but we're very different characters. We had our battles in my teens but we get on pretty well now, although she can be exasperating at times - not in her demands on me, but in her "Daily Mail reader" type ill-informed pronouncements on all sorts of issues :roll: But I guess that's just her generation.
Beware the "everyone sees me as the capable one" trap. It gives siblings the excuse to back off and do little or nothing. It gives Mum the reason to call you for everything
Ditto the "I'm the one with the time " trap.

You've come to the forum early enough to make sure that tasks are a bit more equitably spread/ outsourced. If it's already feeling a bit much now, it will only increase.

What did you have planned for your retirement?
I think I do fall into the trap of being the capable one. I always was the responsible older sister. However, my brothers are pretty good really. When she fell the other day, I didn't hear the call from the Scheme Manager so she rang my brother instead, who spoke to Mum to ensure she was ok. That's also happened once before when he actually left work to come and see her. He pops in to see her at weekends and helps with things too. But it would be ridiculous to expect him to take time off work to take her to hospital appointments if I'm available and have no other commitments. Although he has done, when I was away. And my other brother is 2 hours away, but he has also come down just to take her to a hospital appointment when he was the only one available. But I think she sees me as the most savvy about the NHS (I used to work for them), legal and financial matters so she tends to ask me for that sort of advice. I think I've realised just in a couple of days on this forum that my concerns are more about the sense of responsibility I feel rather than having to do a lot of chores.

In terms of retirement, Mum is only a tiny part of my overcommitment :lol: . The list of projects I wanted to complete once I retired is still pretty big, but that's because I am involved in a couple of organisations, one of which in particular takes up a lot of time as I'm on the Board. I fitted it round work before but it's sort of expanded since I retired! I used to think I was lazy (I still am about some things, including cleaning....) but I've noticed that if I think something needs doing, I can see how it needs to be done, and no-one else looks like they're going to do it, I just get on with it. It gives me a sense of satisfaction. I need to cut down on some of that activity actually. And I still have time to get away regularly, and everyone manages perfectly well without me :D .

The problem with Mum is really very sporadic - normally I call in once a week or so and I might do the odd chore or two but mainly it's social. However, when there's a problem it can sometimes play havoc with my schedule if I've earmarked a day to get on with a particular list of tasks and then it gets hijacked because I have to go to Mum's. But one way or another I always get it done. I know it looks like the start of a slippery slope but I've already picked up some useful tips here and I will have to work out the best way for me - and my brothers and mum - of coping if the situation gets worse.
With regard to your retirement, you must take charge of that too. As a fellow "capable person" I could fill my days four times over with what others would like me to do to help THEM.
Retirement is supposed to be about taking things easy and doing things for YOU!

Treat it more like work, inasmuch as you have a diary and fill in first
Time for what you HAVE to do.
Time for what you WANT to do.
Time for mum - if you set a regular time, say Tuesday afternoons, so on the phone you can say "I'll deal with that Tuesday".
Time for absolutely nothing planned at all. To sit in the garden and read, go out for a trip on your own, see friends, etc.
Do NOT spend it working just as hard for absolutely nothing!!!
Very few things are actually 'urgent'....ie, in terms of playing havoc with your own life projects etc. Make a list of the things that have played havoc, and see if you can id a pattern to them - are they things that your MUM thinks are urgent....but aren't really. Or are they things that have been postponed till they become urgfent....in which case know better next time. Aspectis of your mum's life will be opaque to you until she discloses them...and says they need 'urgent' attention!

The idea is to 'take over' the management of your mum's life in so far as YOU control what you do, and when....allowing, as I say, for letting her keep her self-esteem, and also that she has some things that are HER responsibility (so as not to encourage her to 'dump' on you or overrely etc).

Your brothers seem pretty good you know! (compared with many siblins on this forum!)

Interesting you call yourself 'lazy' because you don't like housework! This is simply because your MUM labelled 'housework' as a priority (did she work out sidethe home by the way, or hold down a responsible job AS WELL as keeping a pristine house?!!!!). Remember that for her generation being a housewife was a full time job and what they prided themselves on.....it WAS their' career'....

But it is not YOUR career, and you have simply outsourced that work to a cleaner, while you get on with OTHER things that are YOUR work.

Don't be haunted by your MUM'S expectations of what constitutes 'proper work' etc etc.