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In a desperately sad situation .....what would you do? - Page 3 - Carers UK Forum

In a desperately sad situation .....what would you do?

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Just to issue a slight warning about getting her assessed for mental capacity - before you take that step, work out what will happen if she is deemed not to have capacity?. At the moment, while she has a 'default' status of mental capacity only SHE is responsible for her own existence! Yes, she may well be 'vulnerable' and SS therefore has a duty of care, but you can 'walk away totally' if you want - and that gives you (a) potential freedom and (b) a stick t beat SS with to make them cough up the carer your mum needs by threatening them you'll waltz off (as your brother has done!) and leave her totally to them....

But, please check what are the implications of having her declared without mental capacity. Does that mean someone has to be her 'guardian' - and if so, who? If you then volunteer, what implications does that have for you then being 'landed' with having to look after her - do SS get to ride off into the sunset leaving you to cope alone, etc etc? Not saying this WILL happen, or that it COULD, but to me, the issue of mental capacity is very 'dangerous' for relatives. That said, I know there are folk here who gone down the path of organisations like the Court of Protection, and have taken over 'financial responsibility', rather than 'welfare responsibility' so my fears may be groundless - but always best check out the fall out from any change in her circumstances upon yourself.

You may also, find, for example, that your brother, clearly perfectly happy to let you do all the caring, suddenly gets very interested when control over your mother's money comes into play! (I'm not saying he is being 'exploitative' of you - it could be, for example, that he strongly feels your mum needs now to be in a Home, and simply won't get involved in her care personally, and urges you not to either!)

Personally, I think that unless there are strong advantages in having someone declared legally without capacity, it's best to leave well alone I think!) In practical terms they wont or can't really get involved in organising their own affairs any more, or, sadly, even realising that they HAVE their own affairs any more. ......

Also, even more sadly, other people's problems just don't bother them any more. If your mum is anything like my MIL (no formal diagnosis of dementia, but simply a 'second childhood', a 'fading' of her mind, regressing to letting 'someone else' do everything she needs for her), then even if she knows you're sleeping on the floor it won't bother her a jot. The 'selfishness' is not really true selfishness, it's more like, as I say, expecting a toddler to be concerned that you're sleeping on the floor - that ability is no longer in their heads.....

What does remain, however, and possibly increases (!) is a kind of 'cunning' that can focus them entirely and exclusively on themselves and their own interests. I'd take a punt that that's what's behind your mother's reluctance for your brother and nieces to be involved in her daily care - she's targeted YOU, and focusses all her 'selfish' energies on getting YOU to do things for her. Again, the analogy is with a toddler - crying 'No! MUMMY do it! Not Daddy...MUMMMMMMMYYYYYY'. They somehow know they haven't the mental energy any more to get more than one person to engage in committing to look after them as they know they need to be.
Just to say again a very big thank you to everyone who has posted on my thread here with words of encouragement and helpful advice. I really do appreciate and feel glad to have made some friends here. @bowlingbun ...my mum seems somewhat indifferent to how things are for me.....the sleeping on the floor is something of what started off as a inpromptu short term thing that it seems could effortlessly become long term....as it get's overlooked.....she has had a mental assessment back in the summer....they couldn't find anything other than what they felt of mild OCD .....nothing to write home about so to speak.....I will take all the advice all of you have given and go forward with a brave heart and tackle the future. I will let you know how it goes.
JC, I think, for myself, that your mum's indifference to your sleeping on the floor in order to look after her is, irrespective of any mental assessment she had, pretty much de facto 'proof' that she has 'gone beyond' normal mentality. It isn't normal to take it for granted that your son is sleeping on the floor etc!

I'm afraid, for me, I think that it does indicate that from now onwards, you can't rely on her to think of anything other than her own needs , hence, for example, her reluctance to have anyone else look after her by you, including her granddaughters and other son! She just wants YOU to do it all!

I think when they get to that stage (my MIL is at it!) you have to 'think for the two of you' and behave in the way you WOULD behave if she were still 'normal' (ie, not thinking only of her own wants!). You may, from now, have to cease to expect gratitude, appreciation, forebearance, consideration, etc etc, the kind of 'normal' things that parents and children have been each other in healthy relationships, and therefore YOU have to set the limits of what you will and won't do for her.

I know it's depressing and yes, very sad, (we don't like to think of parents becoming so self-centred), but it is very, very common at extreme age alas. My MIL will say thank you when I give her a cup of tea, but the fact that I spent months driving up and down the M6 for 400 miles each way, having her to stay for five weeks at a time, going through all her paperwork and sorting it all out, and putting her flat on the market, sorting out her will, spending a week knackering myself clearing her flat and packing everything up, chasing the removals van 600 miles to store all her goods in my holiday house (the only place it would fit), and now when I take her out and have her over (I've spent today, nice and sunny, driving her around the home counties and taking her out to lunch etc), the words 'Thank you Jenny' are UTTERLY absent! As I say, it would be like expecting a two year old to say thank you!

It's driven me mad with rage that she is SOOOOO selfish...BUT it isn't 'real' selfishness - that's what I have to remember. And that is why I also have to draw the line about what I will and won't do for her!

As, I'm afraid, I would say you will need to do too - her needs and wants will be limitless, and she will take and take and take from you, just like a toddler would.....

It's so sad to see someone descend to such a state, but there it is, that is what extreme age and the decay of the mind can do....

YOU now become the 'parent' and part of that role is saying 'No' to endless demands. You will, I would hope, still love her, but that love has now to be expressed in different ways - otherwise you will be as fatally 'indulgent' a parent as someone who gives in to all their toddler's demands!!

All the best, Jenny
Thanks alot Jenny and again to everyone else that's posted on my thread here. It's been a great help. All the best to you all