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Joined today - Carers UK Forum

Joined today

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Hello, my name is Peter and I am a carer for my 96 yr old mum. I'm a single child, though a rather oldish 'child' at 65! Mum lives in my house and it's just me doing the caring. I have children but they all live some distances away.
Well mum was a very capable school secretary at one time. Now she is very frail, weak with poor balance. Over the last three months, she's had a few falls, gentle affairs but still she ended up on the floor and then a hospital visit for an overnight stay. Her memory is beginning to fade a bit now, which day it is and whether she's had her lunch or not etc. As many others do, I do all the cooking, cleaning, washing and so on. We have a carer in the morning to help mum have a shower and another in the evening to get her to bed. Mum doesn't like going to bed, or being told when to go and often refuses the evening carer. It's a shame, as the time after she goes to bed is my time, to watch tv or plink on my guitar. I need some 'me' time.
I have such feelings of guilt at my irritations. Of course, non of this is her fault. But I have no free time. Socialising..ahh what a distant memory. I have been stuck in the house now since Christmas and it's hard.
Sorry for this rant but it feels good to actually say such things. I know there are many who are worse of than me.
I feel for you - and so will lots of other members with very elderly parents who forget that we have a life as well (sigh).

A term I use, though it is a little 'patronising' perhaps, is 'elderly toddler'. The trouble is, as they get so very old, they almost 'regress' to being like a tiny tot. Just as we can't expect a three year old to think 'Hmm, mum/dad looks exhausted, I think I'll stop crying/agree to go to bed/wash my teeth etc', so we have to give up that the very elderly will EVER think of anyone but themselves in that way.

My then-89 y/o mIL was scrupulous abuot saying 'thank you' when I gave her a cup of tea, but couldn't understand that, like you, I NEEDED her to go to bed after the end of the ten oclock news so that I could FINALLY go 'off duty'! She just didn't want to go to bed then...(sigh).
Thanks Jenny, yes mum always says thank you and often declares how lucky she is to have such a friendly carer. Having read quite a few posts here recently, I realise I am not in as bad a situation as many, many others. But still, my own situation and feelings of incredible frustration make me realise how others must feel. We do our best and in our own minds it's never enough, but it is. Being able to talk about it is such a big help too.
I did start to look into a Nursing Home for mum, but I think the Council will consider that, as she lives in my house and she is well looked after, there she should stay. But we will see.
Peter, whether or not the council get involved depends on mum's financial situation. Does she have over £23,000? Do the council arrange the carer? Have you had a Carers Assessment recently, if not, ask for one from Social Services. Does mum receive Attendance Allowance? Do you claim Council Tax exemption on the grounds of "severe mental impairment"?
Peter, you have my every sympathy!

I'm 57, and an 'only' and have been the sole carer for my 91 year old Mum for over 20 years. She has bad arthritis in her knees, hip & spine and can't walk or even stand unaided. I had to finally give in and get care help with her in January as I couldnt do it alone anymore 24/7.

One of the major problems I faced and still face - is that she hates going to 'bed' (she has to sleep in a recliner chair now) and every night at 9pm you can see the frown & set jaw forming because she feels she is being 'told what to do' again.. as I find I'm so tired - even with help that I have to be in bed myself by 10pm. The best of it is - before she lost her mobility so greatly, she used to always opt for an early night (esp in the winter) and was often gone by 8pm!

Morning care was also a problem - she can't get 'up' in the morning at all - so its usually always 11am before anyone can do anything - booking people was a complete nightmare and the rows we had very upsetting. Jenny is sadly so right - my Mum is now more selfish than ever and is just like a tantrum throwing tot if she doesnt get her own way. Its very tiring.....I don't think by your 50's onwards you have the stamina to cope with adult 'babies'! Stay strong - you are not alone x
bowlingbun wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:59 am
Peter, whether or not the council get involved depends on mum's financial situation. Does she have over £23,000? Do the council arrange the carer? Have you had a Carers Assessment recently, if not, ask for one from Social Services. Does mum receive Attendance Allowance? Do you claim Council Tax exemption on the grounds of "severe mental impairment"?
Hi bowlingbun, may I say, what a great name that is! Yes, mum has been assessed for the daily carers and so have I recently. She has savings well below the threshold. Attendance allowance yes. I was hoping she might go into a nearby Nursing Home but she is in my house not the other way around. So the Council think she's ok with me. I was pretty naive, thinking it would be simple and I could get my life back. People on this forum have years more caring experience than me. Mum has been deteriorating for a couple of years, but it's accelerated this year. Hey ho, on we go. I am still very cheerful and I manage to keep a smile on the surface .
Very grateful for the replies. Very helpful to talk with people who understand.
Diane_1603123 wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:19 pm
Peter, you have my every sympathy!

I'm 57, and an 'only' and have been the sole carer for my 91 year old Mum for over 20 years. She has bad arthritis in her knees, hip & spine and can't walk or even stand unaided. I had to finally give in and get care help with her in January as I couldnt do it alone anymore 24/7.

One of the major problems I faced and still face - is that she hates going to 'bed' (she has to sleep in a recliner chair now) and every night at 9pm you can see the frown & set jaw forming because she feels she is being 'told what to do' again.. as I find I'm so tired - even with help that I have to be in bed myself by 10pm. The best of it is - before she lost her mobility so greatly, she used to always opt for an early night (esp in the winter) and was often gone by 8pm!

Morning care was also a problem - she can't get 'up' in the morning at all - so its usually always 11am before anyone can do anything - booking people was a complete nightmare and the rows we had very upsetting. Jenny is sadly so right - my Mum is now more selfish than ever and is just like a tantrum throwing tot if she doesnt get her own way. Its very tiring.....I don't think by your 50's onwards you have the stamina to cope with adult 'babies'! Stay strong - you are not alone x
Hi Diane, wow, over 20 ears! I am a total newbie and I guess very lucky it's been such a short time for me. Good luck to you too x
Peter, you CAN get mum into a home, but will have to be firm with SSD. Write and say that from XXX date you are no longer prepared to provide care for her, that she is their responsibility, that you CANNOT be forced to care. Have you visited any local care homes yet?
Peter
Could you have your Carers assessment redone to get some time for you? would a couple of hous in a day replace the evening time to yourself? I ask because maybe there's "sitters" or someone who can cover that time more easily.
(I'm not really sure but thought I had read of something on here)

My mum (95) is the opposite, in bed by 8 but up at 5, so I do wonder of there's a way of gradullay moving your mum's times back , perhaps 15 minutes a time for a week then 15 minutes further the next week and so on. Would she notice if you reset all the clocks to match? (What we call "kind lies")

Ps my Mum is in a residential home, and they do have everyone on an early to bed early to rise routine

Kr
MrsA