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Introducing New Member - JessTheCat - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Introducing New Member - JessTheCat

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
92 posts
Just to say hello and welcome.
Hi there,

Welcome to the friendly site! Feel free to shout, rant, scream, let off steam - we are here to listen, help, advise or just 'cuddle' - and no, you are not whingeing.

Welcome JessTheCat

Welcome, JessTheCat. Yes, this is a great forum - very supportive and helpful. I hope things work out well for you and your husband.

First of all I want to thank each and every one of you for all the advice and support.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks feeling like I just wanted to crawl away somewhere and hide. I felt so bad yesterday that I googled to see if there was some sort of support group because I felt beyond coping with what’s to come. That’s how I ended up here and after reading Joan’s post I typed up my response, not really intending to post it – I’m so glad that I did!

First thing I’ve done is printed all this off and highlighted the bits that are useful, the bits that make me feel ready for the fight and the bits that have really made me laugh (carvanj!). I’m going to keep a copy in my bag at all times so if I have to stand up to anyone and feel a bit weak then I’ll take a ‘loo break’, read this and go back in fighting.

I’ve also printed off the forms for the Carer’s Allowance to try again to get husband to claim it but he gets some silly fixed ideas in his head sometimes so it’ll probably take several attempts to get him to do it but it would help right now because he’s gone from working up to 6 days a week to just one so it’s a financial slap in the face. I’ll show him Scally’s post and see if it’ll help to change his mind!

My husband does have Power of Attorney and now controls his mum’s finances. Both of our mother’s receive Pensioners Credit as while they both own their own homes neither are overly well off in cash terms, although they both financially comfortable. Husband’s two sisters are always demanding to see bank statements and wanting detailed explanations of what he’s spending ‘Mum’s money’ (aka ‘our inheritance’) on! I don’t know how some people have the gall, I really don’t.. One of them left me a message asking me to ring her to tell her how my mum is but I can’t bring myself to speak to her, I don’t trust what I’d say.
My mother is still hanging on to her finances as she is, to put it bluntly, ‘tight’ – she is not one to ever treat you or give you a bit of petrol money, every penny is accounted for – when I go shopping for her I have to take 3 purses and strict instructions of which purse to use in which shop!

When I got to the hospital yesterday (75 mile round trip after work) she told me that she thought I’d better think quickly about moving into her house as one of the other old girls in the ward had told her that if there’s a relative over 60 living in the house it can’t be sold to pay for care home fees. I’ve googled it and it seems to be true (?) but, as I said to her, I own my own home and that’s where I want to live, if they sell the house and some of that goes on care home fees then so be it. She wasn’t happy, said I was an ungrateful little tyke (I’m 60!) and that I should think about how much money would be lost etc etc (oh yes, very manipulative, her sister’s always warned me!). I tried to explain that I’d rather have my life than the money and that where she lives is not convenient for me. She kept on and on about it so when I left I told her I wasn’t going again until Thursday so she immediately had ‘a turn’ but the nurse said she couldn’t see anything wrong and maybe she was just a bit tired. Anyway, I’m not going until Thursday, I’m sticking to that!

I will say that she does have a very nasty hematoma on her leg and they’re concerned that it’s not showing any signs of improvement so they’re getting a surgeon to have a look so at least it looks as if her departure from hospital is not imminent.

So, hello to everyone, thank you for the wonderful welcome and the fantastic support xxx
You must both be saints!! Your husband's sisters have absolutely no right to know anything if husband has POA. The second word is "....off!" As for your mum with three purses, that is taking control to a whole new level - but - it's only your compliance that means you have to do it. As adult children, we can now take power. If I was you I'd just shop online and have it delivered in future, assuming she is ever fit for discharge. Only now mum has passed away have I realised how many psychological problems she had. Throwing anything away was little short of a hanging offence, which is why it took a year to empty her house, complete with 60 dining chairs, about six large dining tables, enough armchairs and settees to seat an army, etc. etc. You might find it helpful to look at everything you are being asked to do, and then consider if YOU have to do it, or can someone else? Is it a realistic request? Does it really need doing, or is mum just inventing jobs to keep you there? The hospital situation is giving you the opportunity to make a stand. Do you want a life sentence, or do you want a life? I know that sounds really hard, but many of us here know that it's the reality of the situation I'm afraid.
Keep it coming bowlingbun!! I appreciate every word :)) You sound very like her sister, she might be 91 but she's feisty - shame she's on the other side of the planet!

I've never really spoken to anyone with any caring experience and all I've heard is 'oh, but you've got to do it, she's your mum, what else can you do, she needs you' etc etc - usually said in a dopey voice.....so hearing people with experience at the sharp end (and yours is off the scale xx) saying that it's alright to say no and it doesn't make you evil is just so damned refreshing.
Glad to hear your're determined to get a grip on the situaiton, and not let this ridiculous 'nonsense' continue of you and your husband being utter slaves to your mothers (and his dreadful sisters....)

I agree with BB and tell them to xx off. If they want to know where the money is going, they can have the burden of care themselves, and that's that!

As for your own mum, well, there is clearly a lot of 'background' to your relationship (!), and yes, it will hang like a ghost over your head, BUT, in practical terms, YOU have the power, not her! Her power is only psychological over you, not 'real'. You sound like you've 'fought' that power of hers over you, and are still fighting, so that is good. She will doubtless make HUGE HUGE HUGE attempts to 'lassoo' you back in now, but you must resist it. She has had the vast bulk of her life, and you haven't!

It's great that she is still needing to be in hospital, as that gives you time to organise. Your 'whip hand' over NHS/SS is that you can simply say 'not my problem' to them, and walk away, and let them sort out your mother. From that position of real strength, you can then 'compromise down' and work out what you WILL agree to, that keeps YOUR life sufficiently for yourself.

Many people here report that it takes hospitalisation to 'break the deadlock' and sort out better care for their parents, either with more care in their own homes, or in a residential home. They may also discover that while their parent is in hospital suddenly their own burden of care is 'magically lifted' by nurses etc, and you get a 'taste of freedom' again after so long a servitude, and that gives you the impetus to find other solutions for your parents than slaving away for them.

This may sound 'harsh' but, in a way, parents get the children they deserve - if your mother has not been the best of mothers, there is no obligation on you to be the most 'dutiful' (!) of daughters, and by the way you describe her it doesn't sound like she's done much to earn your devotion.....

All the very best from now on.

Re your husband refusing to claim carer's allowance - would it help to tell him that YOU want it, so he claims it for YOU (and maybe you can squirrel it away to fund a nice weekend break away sometime??). just a thought!
Just a quick update. Just back from the hospital and they've told me that she's going to be in there for some time and is unlikely to be discharged in the 'near future'. I felt guilty for the big sigh of relief but not THAT guilty really !!

I've made husband read some of these forums and he has decided to tell the rest of his family that his absolute cut off point for being the main carer is the end of May which gives them 2 months to come up with a solution. It's hard for him because he has a very strong sense of 'duty' but he has to let his head rule his heart.

It really is thanks to this forum that we feel we can do this. It really is true that we are entitled to have our lives but sometimes people who aren't in this type of situation are very quick to make you feel wicked if you don't embrace the opportunity to give up your life and destroy your finances looking after an elderly parent/relative. When I first posted I really felt overwhelmed and sick with worry but now I feel that we do have right to draw our own lines on what we're prepared to do.
Glad we could help. Be prepared for others trying to make you feel guilty just to ease their own consciences and stick to your guns.
Welcome to the forum, JessTheCat. I am so pleased that you are being helped by members replies, and that you are now relieved of some of the pressure while your mother is in hospital.

I think your idea of highlighting the parts of the replies that mean the most to you, is great.

Stay strong and keep reading those highlighted passages!
92 posts