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Hi All,

Came here today when browsing looking for help online. Probably end up moaning and venting - apologies if that is the case. Looking after 86yr old mother in law who just fights everything!
I have currently all but given up work as if I go out, I get calls of fictional break ins, or the heating packed up and she is cold - only to race back and find her happily snoozing in a warm house and so on.

I did have age uk around, but she did as she always does, tell them all is fine, she does everything ok and needs no help so no support is available to us unfortunately. Social Services are unable to help as she refuses to accept she needs any.

You would think she was independant right? She is far from it - expects everything done for her, won't help herself at all - even if that means sitting in the dark if someone else isn't around to turn a light on (arms length away on her side table) So it is odd, she wants control, but doesn't want to do anything herself.
Most people find us when they are utterly fed up and want to vent, that's the first step. Another new member has joined and is in very similar circumstances. Have a look at what I've written to him, and then relate the points to your own mum, and come back with the answers to the questions I set him.
Sadly, you get the behaviour you put up with.

Does your MIL have dementia? If not, she must learn to take the consequences of her behaviour. If she says theres a problem and is crying wolf, then the next time you don't go over. You let her take the consequences.

You have to do this, or she wil lwalk all over you.

Please don't think she'll ever start to think 'oh, I shouldn't behave like that' because she won't. She will never 'feel sorry' for YOU, or anyone else.

That said, opting for sitting in the dark rather than reach out to put the light on does sound 'irrational'. Maybe dementia is setting in.

My MIL started doing less and less for herself. At first I thought it was just because it was 'nicer for her' to have ME do it. Eventually it turned out to be dementia.

Dementia is NOT about not knowing who the prime miinster is - it's not remembering how to make a cup of tea, or realising you have to reach out and put the light on.

Moitor her behaviour - if it just sheer 'laziness' because it's nicer for her to have you run around after her, that is one thing, and you need to play hard ball and 'teach' her otherwise (ie, not jumping to her call!), but if it is dementia then in the end she will need 24x7 care, probably in a care home. That's where my MIL is now.
bowlingbun wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:34 pm
Most people find us when they are utterly fed up and want to vent, that's the first step. Another new member has joined and is in very similar circumstances. Have a look at what I've written to him, and then relate the points to your own mum, and come back with the answers to the questions I set him.
Do you have Power of Attorney? Brother does (last lived there) - have full support.
Has mum made a will? Yes
Does mum have over £23,000 in savings? (Yes/No) Yes
Own her own home? No
Claim Attendance Allowance? No
Pay you for caring for her? (I can usually guess the answer to this one!) She pays enough to cover council tax, but i have given up work so financially struggling.
When did mum last have a Needs Assessment from Social Services? Never
When did SS last do a Carers Assessment for you? Never - Have called but no help available
How many brothers and sisters do you have? She has 7 (complicated - we are last chance saloon)
How old are you? Mid 40's
Do you still have a home elsewhere? No
jenny lucas wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:40 pm
Sadly, you get the behaviour you put up with.

Does your MIL have dementia? If not, she must learn to take the consequences of her behaviour. If she says theres a problem and is crying wolf, then the next time you don't go over. You let her take the consequences.

You have to do this, or she wil lwalk all over you.

Please don't think she'll ever start to think 'oh, I shouldn't behave like that' because she won't. She will never 'feel sorry' for YOU, or anyone else.

That said, opting for sitting in the dark rather than reach out to put the light on does sound 'irrational'. Maybe dementia is setting in.

My MIL started doing less and less for herself. At first I thought it was just because it was 'nicer for her' to have ME do it. Eventually it turned out to be dementia.

Dementia is NOT about not knowing who the prime miinster is - it's not remembering how to make a cup of tea, or realising you have to reach out and put the light on.

Moitor her behaviour - if it just sheer 'laziness' because it's nicer for her to have you run around after her, that is one thing, and you need to play hard ball and 'teach' her otherwise (ie, not jumping to her call!), but if it is dementia then in the end she will need 24x7 care, probably in a care home. That's where my MIL is now.
Hi Jenny,

I think she has dementia, certainly memory issues...and the humming, tapping and noises!!! lol! Having her tested when she last lived with us ten years ago fractured the family but she nearly burnt her house down twice and was concerned herself. She was borderline back then. Now after she has returned (other siblings either cannot cope or booted her out on the street in one case!) her memory has worsened considerably. Since coming down here, and seeing our doctors here, she has had previously undiagnosed ailments come to light such as kidneys about to quit etc, and COPD - both of which she refuses to accept or remember being tested/diagnosed so has been to the doctors 4 times now to be reminded as she thought we were making it up. They are looking into memory now. We did see someone a few months ago that marked it down as an issue but didn't seem concerned, the last doctor is very concerned as she was confused then.

Then you have the doubt bit which I dislike; dementia issues are fine, humming or singing which tunrs into a fake throat clear is fine, I have no problem with these - but there are times when she displays symptoms of dementia for example singing or humming during a program she is not interested in, once you bring her attention to it she laughs like a child for the next ten minutes and seems thoroughly pleased with herself. You are left in this hole of not knowing what is truth and what is mind games - really horriible.

She is obviously a strong woman, and I think control is much of the issue. She wants to as she says 'live her life as she wants' which is all anyone wants for her, but she needs to look after herself too! She is quite self centred naturally, and has little care for anyone else; empathy wise, she is also very rebellious in nature and will ensure she will not do what is advised, but moan about the consequnces. The cause and consequence I agree on - though that is lost on her. She is to blame for much of her conditions, she refused to exercise 10 years ago which led to diabetes, now that has progressed to kidney failure but she refuses to do what the doctor has advised. She has COPD caused by smoking, though the doctor has told her to stop immediately four times in the last week, it is not due to lungs and breathing but to the kidney function.
Hi, can I clarify the situation. I thought she was in he own accommodation, but is it that she is actually living with you and your wife in YOUR home? That changes a great deal!

To be honest, I think the time has come for her to move out of your home and into residential care. She is only going to get worse, and she sounds 'unmanageable' as it is. To be blunt, she doen'st sound like she ever gave much of a stuff for anyone else, and why on earth you are doing all this for her I have no idea! It's been going on far too long, eg, other children booting her out etc as you say.

It's all fine and dandy her blithely saying she wants to live life on her own terms - yes, well, lovely lovely etc but NOT at your expense.

Are you working less because of her demands? Again, if so that's ridiculous!

Since she owns no property, there isn't much to 'lose' by her going into a home and paying until she'd down to the threshold of £23k at which the LA starts to kick in with the fees. Even if she did own a home, if she has 7 children, the inheritance for each of you will be pretty meagre, so is not worth preserving at the price of your own life!

Don't feel bad about 'putting her in home'. Your life is more important than hers, end of. If your wife's siblings objct, they can house her themselves.

Unless she's managed to establish a tenancy with you in some way, she has no right to live there, and you can evict her - ie, to move her into a home. Whether she agrees or not is irrelevant. It sounds like one of her children did that to her already, so there is precedent so to speak!

Dementia sounds all too likely. As it progresses she will need residential nursing care anyway - so start now! And get your life back. What does your wife think of the situation with her mother?
First, get the money side of things sorted out. Email our CUK helpline for a detailed benefits check for you and mum. I'm afraid you have probably missed out on an awful lot of help.
As your brother has POA, what is he doing?
I suggest that you apply to become mum's DWP "Appointee" so you can deal with her benefits. Definitely either you or brother should be claiming Attendance Allowance for her, and you should be receiving Carers Allowance. If your home is rented, then you may qualify for Housing Benefit. If mum has "severe mental impairment" she should be totally exempt from Council Tax. Easy to claim, ask the local council.
Mum should have a Needs Assessment from Social Services, and you a Carers Assessment. Under a scheme called "Direct Payments" the council might in effect be able to pay you to care for mum, IF that is what you want, but first, get the Needs Assessment done asap. Ideally write to them Recorded Delivery, and keep a copy of your letter and the RD slip, so it doesn't go "missing".
You might also like to look at the Care Act.
Top left of this page there are three lines with Quick Links alongside. Click here and you'll find masses of information.
dan_1801 wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:49 pm
When did SS last do a Carers Assessment for you? Never - Have called but no help available
WHAT?????
Local authorities now have a legal duty to assess any carer who requests one or who appears to need support.
check here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-ca ... ssessment/?

Ring Social Services and tell them you're close to cracking. You need a needs assessment on mum and a carer's assessment on you, pronto.

Have you kept what communication you had with them about these previously? If so, hang on to them - and start a complaint if you don't receive a needs/carer's assessment or VERY GOOD reason why not within 2 weeks. Pester them so they know you're not going to go away. Drop in phrases such as "what's the name of the Director of Social Services? And the address where I can write to him/her?" or "is there a form I have to use to make a complaint?"

You should be able to find information on making a complaint on your Local Authority website, but use the phrases anyway. Sometimes it helps to gain an early appointment. It's sad the system works that way but, if it does, milk it. Because there's no cavalry coming over the hill. You have to save yourself.
Thank you everyone for your replies and help. It is a relief being able to talk to someone. Other half is beside herself and feels guilty I take the brunt of it as she is working all the hours to cover the running of the house.

Finicially, we asked Age UK advisor to pop around and do an assessment, but he said there was nothing that could be done and we cannot get attendance as she said she had no problems getting about and does everything herself, and he had to go by her answers. She is and always has been a master of telling people what they want to hear! So the Attendance Allowance stopped there. It would have taken little pressure off with me not working.

She gets nervous for no apparent reason when people go out - though she admitted there was no reason for it to the AGE uk guy. The usual is the heating being off, or burglars climbing over the garden wall. Actually, last night she didn't call me or the other half whan we popped out, she phoned an in law up country stating she was freezing and the heating was down, so we had a call from them halfway home, Got back and it was warm as toast, as normal! It may be linked to the Kidney failure, as she has anaemia on last test so is on iron pills and apparently that can casue them to feel cold even in a warm room. I will ask the doctor when we visit him next.

I did call social services, but they were more focussed on physical care, so couldn't help though the woman on the phone was as helpful as she could be and offered as much advice as she could. It may have been the wrong department, I have no idea, but she was focussed on physical care needs. Of which she is capable - so not much they can offer. Their advice was to leave her to do what she can do, and not go running when she wants the TV turned over or similar as she can do it.

Of course, the added complication is the memory - that puts all that out of the window as if she cannot remember how to turn the TV on or that she needs to wash her plate etc.

We are currently resigning ourselves to going down the care route and are making another GP appointment to talk about the memory issues in more detail and go down the care route. The brothers that have POA have agreed to whatever we need. One has had her living with him, the other wouldn't be strong enough to cope with her at all. They are all happy to put her into care if that is what she needs.
Contact our CUK helpline for advice about Attendance Allowance. it covers mental, as well as physical problems. You have been given poor advice.
Next, start a diary of what happens, and when. Record phone calls. This will be useful evidence.
The brother with POA isn't doing his job properly I'm afraid. He needs a reality check.
As you cannot work, then you should be given the pay you have lost, he can employ you properly. This can be done through a "payroll service" but should include proper NI contributions and pension contributions.
Mum should be making a proper contribution to ALL household bills.
Start by writing all these down, listing them, and sending to brother. Make it clear that you CANNOT care for mum free of charge. (Is he trying to make sure he inherits as much as possible after she dies?!)