[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 585: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 641: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
Mum refusing day care! - Carers UK Forum

Mum refusing day care!

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
I'm a 63 year old carer for my Mum who is 91 next week. She has moderate dementi and has lived with us since last September. She is physically very fit, walks the dog with me but does not accept that she cannot be as independent as she was.
Today after many phone calls and visits to various care home/ day centre I took her to the best one which I thought would suit her. She flatly refused to even consider going for 4 hours 1 day a week!!
I feel upset, frustrated and disappointed.
What can I do?
Social Services have done an assessment and,because she has savings, have closed her file. I have also had a Carers assessment which produced nothing.
I don't knowwhat to do, Mum would prefer to have me with her all day everyday and I despar need some space!!
Any suggestions?
Hi Meryl, welcome to the forum. My mum lived alone, physically very disabled was also stubborn, kept saying she could manage when she clearly couldn't, until she had a very nasty accident just after I'd had major surgery. Finally she realised the choice was stark. Either she accepted care staff or she went into a home. So please don't think your mum is unusual in being stubborn, it's quite usual, especially in those over 85, classed as the very elderly. Somehow, they don't quite see things as they really are, don't see how hard people are working to support them, becoming increasingly self centred. Have you ever thought of having counselling? I found it really helpful when dealing with mum, and it might be a way not only of venting your frustration, but of finding a solution to getting some peace and quiet. Each area has different things available. Have you arranged power of attorney for your mum - if not, do it asap, it now takes 3 months to be registered, and in future, it will make everyone's lives easier. Did you know that mum was exempt from paying any council tax, as she has "severe mental impairment"? After an accident, I couldn't get upstairs in my own house, so we converted the garage into a Granny Flat - would this be an option for you? Could you have a "Curfew" so that mum keeps out of your way for two hours every afternoon, or goes to her room at 8pm? She can easily have a kettle in her room if she wants a cuppa. I do. If you can pinpoint what time of the day you get most frustrated, and why, you might just be on the way to finding a solution.
Hello Meryl and welcome to the forum :)

I had the same problem with my Mum ! I overcame it by initially going to the Day Centre with her and staying for the afternoon. Gradually I reduced the time I stayed (said I had shopping to get or an errand to run etc) until she was staying on her own for the whole 4 hours. We didn't use the transport provided as that would have meant a long ride in a minibus (it was only a short distance away, but the route they took to pick everyone up meant that the first on the bus was likely to be on there for 2 hours !) so I would take her and pick her up at the end.

This went on quite well for a few months, but eventually she flatly refused to go saying they were all "old people" :lol: When it got to this stage I insisted that family (my sister or one of my nieces) gave me 4 hours a week to myself - which, to be fair, they did although I couldn't plan very far ahead as they couldn't always say when they would be 'free' :roll:

You could point out to Mum that it's either Day Care or Residential Care - the choice is hers :shock: But also point out that as much as you love her you do need some time to yourself to run your own errands and recharge your batteries so that you can continue to look after her - if your health starts to fail you won't be able to !
Hmm, if she flatly refuses to go to day care to give you a break, then why don't you flatly refuse to stay with her for the four hours that she would be at the centre, or flatly refuse to make her favourite supper or flatly refuse anything else that she particularly enjoys and would feel the lack of.

Flat refusal is, after all, a two way street.

That said, Susie's strategy is very good, and if it works, go for it.

I'm afraid, as BB points out, the very elderly can become incredibly selfish. Especially when dementia is involved, in that they just become like toddlers again ...but, in that respect, just as we wouldn't dream of letting toddlers dictate to us if we were their parents, nor should we with 'second childhood' toddlers when we are their daughters/sons.

The trouble is, the very elderly, when cared for by their children expect to have all the power they once had over us when we were genuine children - yet at the same time have us look after them as if they were the children! Not on.

Drawing boundaries is essential. So, too, sadly, is accepting that they will never probably appreciate what we do, let alone think about us any more. That may be unfair of me, and some very elderly people may be far more generous in their relationships with their carer children, but the essential thing to accept is that if they are 'unappreciative' we CANNOT wait for them to 'agree' to lessen the burden they place on us - they will probably never 'agree' to it because they just can't see it any more. It would be like expecting a toddler to say sorry for waking mum and dad in the night, or thank you for taking them to nursery or whatever.
Similarly, my dad was reluctant to use day care...because of all the old people there (he was then 92!). At the suggestion of the centre manager I took him along one day. They knew we were coming and made a big fuss of us - tea, biscuits, photo album of all the exciting things they do, tour of the building etc. He went along with some reluctance. Although he moaned about things at various times it gave him something to talk about. It was like a child starting school.

On the other side, it must be very difficult to admit that things are going downhill and you need the support of others. I think it's more to do with fear than selfishness. Where a child's world is opening up, theirs is closing down. What seems an obvious step to the carer is often the final step for the elderly caree.

Have you looked at befriending services Meryl? WRVS and Age UK have volunteers who come to the house to have a tea and chat with the elderly for an hour or two. The woman who came to see Dad built up a lovely relationship with him and would even take him out for the afternoon. He looked forward to seeing her and i knew he was in safe hands. I also found other things happened in the local area via the church and so forth. Here's another alternative: http://www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk.

Good luck!
Hi Meryl,

And welcome to the Forum.

As you can see, this is quite a common problem. My mum also flatly refused and I never got round it. We both went once and she sat there the whole time with her arms folded like a naughty schoolgirl. She hated it.

I was going to suggest the same thing as Juggler. She did accept, reluctantly, befrienders from Age UK. I had to pay for them but it as a price worth paying. Mum wasn't keen but thought she was training the, for those who really need it.

Age UK also rang a monthly lunch for dementia sufferers and their carers, we all ate together and then those with dementia went off to do activities while the carers caught up. Might be worth asking your local. Branch.

Welcome to the stubborn aged relies club. I hope you find some solution. Good luck Anne x
I've never been able to persuade Dad to try anything like a day centre but to be fair he would have hated that sort of social gathering even when he was young and fit so I would not want to inflict it on him now. I think the idea of the allocated me time is good. I'm not great at it myself but decide on something for you only and go off and do it in your leisure. If need be you might get some kind of sitting service from the local authority. I haven't tried this myself but I might get round to it later this year if I can think of somewhere to go!
Thank you for ALL your replies, they've helped!
Surprisingly when my husband asked her about it she was much less grumpy and actually said she'd maybe give it a go!
She reacts so differently to a man!
I agree its just like a toddler going to play school, but she definitely thinks I ought to obey her as ' you're my daughter '!
Where I live there are some facilities for elderly people BUT they are very oversubscribed, we've been on a waiting list since November.
SS have been useless, I'm learning that I may get more help from the doctor but apart from the dementia my Mum isn't ill - she's fit and healthy, just can't remember things! She's of the old school that has to feel awful before she'd even contemplate a doctor!
Oh well tomorrow is another day......and we keep going!!
Have Social Services actually done a formal Needs Assessment for mum, and a Carer's Assessment for you? You are entitled to these, they should never prejudge whether or not they should be done. If they haven't, write a formal letter requesting them, and send the letter Recorded Delivery, and staple the RD slip to your copy. That should get them moving!
We had SS and carers assessments done in January but they said as Mum had savings they closed her file. Similarly as I receive my State pension I don't qualify for carers allowance so no help from them. They sent a list of phone numbers - Alzeimers society, Age UK, and left me.
I've asked CAB , not that I want benefits, I just want to know what's out there that could help both Mum and me!
If my brother/sister in law didn't help having Mum sometimes I don't know what we'd do!