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Carers UK Forum • I am new to the Forum
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I am new to the Forum

Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2022 12:52 pm
by Jo_2202
Hi everyone. My name is Jo and I would really appreciate some advice.

I have an elderly Mum of 98 who lives in her own bungalow. For the last five years, my Sister has lived with her as a 'carer' but she works in a school. She made that decision to move in and assumed that I would take responsibility of half of Mum's care.

I am self-employed with three grown up children and 8 grandchildren (and a Husband) so my life is pretty full. For the last five years, my Sister has mentally bullied me, criticised me and made my life hell with her verbal rants at me both face to face, on the phone and in person. I have reached the point where I can no longer put up with this. The other thing is that my Sister demands how I should be providing care for my Mum, expects me to stop what I am doing at very short notice to provide care for my Mum and criticises me when I am unable to do this. As a self-employed person, I work days, evenings and weekends and have to work when it comes in so cannot always provide this immediate care. My Mum can't even mention my name in her own home as my Sister just rants about how I don't care, I am selfish etc.

This whole situation has become out of hand now so I have suggested to her that we try mediation as communication between us has completely broken down. The problem is that my Sister feels that her way of doing things is the only way. She demands that I give her breaks and respite but when someone has been so awful over the last five years, I can't do it anymore. The situation also makes my Mum feel so sad, especially when she has heard how my Sister verbally 'attacks' me. I feel so guilty that I can't devote more time to looking after Mum but the whole situation is now affecting my own mental health but also my family.

Is there anyone out there who can give me some advice please?

Thank you for taking the time to read this. It feels good to have written it down!

Jo

Re: I am new to the Forum

Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2022 1:30 pm
by bowlingbun
How terrible. I'm very concerned.

I'm going to start by asking what is going to happen to mums' house when she dies?
Does she own or rent the home?
Does sister think she is going to stay permanently?
She really doesn't sound very nice. (If I said what I really thought I'd get banned from here!)

Don't get mad, get even.
Start by recording your sister's verbal abuse on your phone.

What does mum need help with?
Do you ever get to talk to mum when she is on her own?
Does mum ever go out with you? Or is she now a virtual prisoner in her own home?
Has mum had a Needs Assessment from Social Services, and you, a Carers Assessment?

Tell us a bit more, and I'm sure between the forum members we can make things easier for you.

Re: I am new to the Forum

Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2022 7:11 pm
by Charles_2112
Hi Jo

On a slightly different tack: what people do in terms of caring for another person is strictly their own choice. You don't have to provide any care if you don't want to. Others can't demand anything from you. The law on this is crystal clear, because the authorities cannot force anyone to care without falling foul of the Human Rights Act. And nobody else has the right to force you either.

That said, your sister has clearly taken on far more than she's able to and is blaming you.

The need for help from elsewhere is pretty obvious, but convincing others to accept help, especially with the family tensions you've reported, is going to be the tough part.

Re: I am new to the Forum

Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2022 4:32 pm
by Jo_2202
Hi Charles _2112 and Bowling bun. Thank you both so much for your replies.

In terms of my Mum, she owns her own property which, as far as I understand, will be left to me and my Sister but as she has no where else to live, a while ago she suggested that she pay me rent (half of it) based on it's rental value. That would mean me paying tax.

Mum has had assessments and does have carers going in three or four times a day. There is little opportunity to speak to Mum but due to her age, she does get very confused. I am therefore not privy to anything about her financial situation. I don't know who her Social Worker is and my Sister won't provide any contact details for her carers.

If I won the lottery, I would change our garage into a small place where Mum could have some independence but I would still be around for all the care she needs. But alas, can't see the lottery win happening any time soon.

Thank you again for your support; I do have a supportive Husband and family but I would imagine they are fed up of hearing about this :-)

Jo

Re: I am new to the Forum

Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2022 7:02 pm
by bowlingbun
As you know which county mum lives in, you can contact Social Services, express your concerns about mum's wellbeing, and ask to be put in touch with someone who can discuss things further.

Mention Elder Abuse, that mum cannot speak to you properly in private without sister being around, and being abusive.

Re: I am new to the Forum

Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2022 8:26 am
by Denis_1610
Hello, Jo. It seems that one of the problems here is that your job involves irregular hours, whereas your sister, working in a school, has, I presume, a regular day job. Therefore you are the one making it difficult, through no fault of yours, to establish a structured weekly pattern whereby you and your sister can share the caring. Don't give up your job to give yourself more time to care for Mum, though if you could find another job with more-regular hours, that could be a step forward. How far away does your Mum live from you?

Don't put up with rants or accusations of selfishness. If conversation becomes heated, walk out of it, or if on the phone, hang up on her. Your sister wants breaks and respites. That is a reasonable request, and you need them too, but discussions on how they can be achieved should be done at a civil and courteous level. Some caring providers provide respite care, and you could look into this. Mum's attendance allowance should pay. Stop feeling guilty; you have done nothing wrong but do have some difficulties to overcome. One of them is your difficult sister.
. . . In terms of my Mum, she owns her own property which, as far as I understand, will be left to me and my Sister but as she has no where else to live, a while ago she suggested that she pay me rent (half of it) based on it's rental value. That would mean me paying tax. . .
It seems that you and your sister have at at least had the foresight to discuss the situation when Mum passes on. I am wary about houses being left in wills jointly to relatives. It's OK if all the relatives want to live in the house, but if one wants to move out and the others want to stay put, there can be problems. However, Mum's Will is up to Mum. The idea of your sister paying you half the regular rent seems OK - but considering that you and she don't get on, would that arrangement be amicably sustained? I would suggest that you formalise any rental agreement with the help of a solicitor. The tax would be only a small portion of the income. However, that is for the future.

Do you or your sister have power of attorney? Is your sister over 60? If so, and your mum were to go into care, your sister would have right to stay living in Mum's house, which could not be sold to pay for care home fees.
. . . There is little opportunity to speak to Mum but due to her age, she does get very confused. I am therefore not privy to anything about her financial situation. I don't know who her Social Worker is and my Sister won't provide any contact details for her carers. . .
Why is there little opportunity to speak to Mum? I presume you do get to visit her sometimes. Your sister won't give you carers' contact details. It seems as though your sister wants to manage the caring and use you as a skivvy. Bowlingbun suggested contact Social Services. You could possibly find out the contacts by this means. I suggest also that you tell your sister that you intend to do this before you do. That way you avoid being seen as "going behind her back", which will infuriate her more. Instead you will be challenging her to give the details, and thus standing up to her. Bullies are fearful of being presented with situations where they may fail.
. . . If I won the lottery, I would change our garage into a small place where Mum could have some independence but I would still be around for all the care she needs. But alas, can't see the lottery win happening any time soon.

Thank you again for your support; I do have a supportive Husband and family but I would imagine they are fed up of hearing about this
Forget the lottery. In any case, I think that to put Mum in an annexe to your house could create many new problems. Plan the future in terms of things that are likely to happen - including not winning the lottery.

It is good that you have a supportive family. Tackle you sister yourself as far as possible, but your family is there to support and advise you if things get really nasty.

Re: I am new to the Forum

Posted: Sat Feb 05, 2022 5:59 pm
by Kristie_2104
Dear Jo_2202
Hi i am Kristie and i am an online community host for Carers UK. I am so sorry to hear about your sister being difficult and i hope the carers on the forum can give you some advice as to what to do. I hope things will work out for you.
So welcome to the forum. You are not alone in your caring role, i am sure that many on here will understand exactly how you feel and will offer you support. Caring can be very lonely and the pandemic has made caring responsibilities challenging as many carers have been socially restricted and unable to attend social groups etc.
Carers UK are running two online weekly meet ups for carers and you can find the information on how to register at Care For A Cuppa:-https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... ne-meetups. The second online weekly meet up for carers is:-Share And Learn:-https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... e-sessions.
Our telephone number is:0808 808 7777 and the line is open from Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm and our email address is (advice@carersuk.org).
They provide information and guidance to unpaid carers. This covers:-
-Benefits And Financial Support
-Your Rights As A Carer Within The Workplace
-Carers Assessments And How To Get Support In Your Caring Role
-Services Available To Carers And The People You Care For
-How To Complain Effectively And Challenge Decisions
Best Wishes
Kristie