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new member -where should I be? - Carers UK Forum

new member -where should I be?

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
I'm a nurse caring for my mum who has dementia and lots of physical problems and she is now bedbound. I've been doing this for four years now. I gave up work and moved halfway across the country to do this, supposedly to support my sister who lived nearby and was recently retired. The problem I have is that although I'm a very capable person, I feel that this works to my disadvantage in that my family feel that I'm more capable than I really am. my sister very quickly withdrew her support, but I have other family who are giving more support as Mum gets more debilitated. However my sister is the nearest person I can talk to when things get tough - as they often do. But when I try to tell her how I feel - she puts the phone down on me. I think she feels guilty for not being able to offer more support - but we can't discuss this because of the way she is. I feel I was manipulated into this situation, but discussion is proscribed - and that goes for the whole family.I really need somewhere I can ventilate my feelings about my situation because if I really let my sister know what I really think it would cause more problems than I can deal with. I love my Mum dearly - as do we all and would still have done everything to ensure she remained in her own home - I'm just finding it difficult to cope with my sister's attitude and lack of support. Sorry - long post - feeling down and not sure where I should be - I'm sure there are lots of other people in my position.
So what does your sister do with her time? Pass it in leisure now she's retired?

Not on!

If she doesn't give any actual help to her mum, and she gives you no emotional support either while YOU care for her mum, well, waste of space is the phrase that comes to mind!!

When did you last have a break away from caring? Book a week somewhere, tell your sister, outline for her on paper all the stuff your mum needs doing, and then go.

Your sister MUST do some of the careload.

OR, you get professionals in to give you the breaks you MUST have, and they are paid for by your mum.

What are your mum's finances? Can she pay for any care herself?

Also, has she made a will? Because if her will leaves your sister as much as it leaves you, you MUST 'take a wage' from your mum (because she can't now make a new will, given her dementia) so that you are getting recompense for the work you are doing. Utterly unfair if, when your mum dies, your sister just puts out her hand for the same amount of money as you get!!!

Just because you are a nurse, does not make you the 'automatic' person in the family who has to look after your mum. Others must do their bit, and you must be 'paid' by your mum for what you do - even if you do willingly and for love!

All the best (oh, and welcome t the forum!!!)

Kind regards, Jenny
Hi Jakki and welcome. You're in the right place, don't worry. If you want to start a new post you could move to 'all about caring' but people will welcome and answer on here.
Sounds like you got voted in by your sister and the family because of your profession. 'Jakki will know how to cope- she's a nurse,' and you fell into the trap because being a nurse you are naturally a caring person.
However nursing all day - or night- and then going home to switch off and relax, leaving the problems to the next shift is a whole different ball game to full time caring from an elderly relative. They don't get that.
Your sister has run for the hills. maybe she doesn't realise how bad it can be, maybe she thinks you are exaggerating, but how would she know, having ducked out?
Have you got any carer support for you and Mum? Anyone coming in, apart from occasional family to give you a hand, every day?
If not, forget the I'm capable, I'm a nurse bit, however true. Call in SS and get a needs assessment for Mum and a carer's assessment for yourself. Start calling in the troops to help. If you need to know the finance side and all about direct payments etc then just ask. Won't overload you with info you might know already.
The other thing you might consider is to call a family conference. Get together any possible supporters, plus your sister, tell it to them straight and ask what they are going to do to help. That way selfish sister isn't singled out and they all know how it really is.
All for now
Lots of good advice there: I think most carers find that unless we get very tough minded, we end up being trodden on, so its time to get tough and fight for your own right to a life. Good luck, let us know how you get on...
What an awful situation, your sisters close by and retired but you have had to give up your career to do this?

As others have said if there's is a will and your mum has assets then you should not feel bad about taking a Wage, I am also new to the forum and have found it a godsend of wonderful people with a great deal of knowlage of what is right and correct..
This is the second time I've posted a reply! I suspect my first one disappeared into the ether as mum was having a needy day and I probably pressed the wrong button! Thank you all for your responses. I'd love to say that a family conference is possible, but def a no-no. I'm quite protective about my sister's inability to cope - as is my brother. I think it's quite impossible to get her to look at her attitude and provide more help - the more I think the less I like the way she is - and you can't change that. I am one of those people who can use words in an effective way and if I really let loose she'd be very upset, as would I as words once spoken can't be retracted. In regards to financial support - Mum's got no money - despite having worked for 50 yrs! In her days of working there was no pension for part-time workers, she worked 35 hrs a week but it was still p/t! Dad worked an equal number of years and mum gets £135p/a for that! so no finances. I am paying for 3 nightsitters and now mum needs more physical help i'm getting 2 1/2 visits twice a day + I've just been granted 12hrs a week daysitting. But everything's dependant on on continuing care, Finances very tenuous. really if it wasn't because of my brother and other sister giving me support I think I'd be lost. and yes! she's just booked another cruise and seems to post a lot of F/B pics of her eating cake! I'd just like to take my dog for a walk! My needs are simple and should be attainable. I love my Mum and sister but really it's hard to change people's attitude when they are so defensive. as i've said - I need to be in a position where I can 'let off steam' without it harming anyone - most of all me!!
Jakki, does it not occur to you to you that your WOS (Waste of Space!) sister's 'inability to cope' is actually a 'don't need to be able to cope' BECAUSE you and your bro are 'protective' of her! That isn't supposed to sound 'hostile' to you, sorry if it does, but rather that you show a great deal of perception in your posts, and also in what you right to others, so I'm sort of surprised that you have this 'protective' attitude towards your idle WOS!!!

Do you not consider that your 'protection' of her is actually 'enablement'?

That said, maybe there are real, solid reasons why your WOS has escaped any responsibility for anyone or anything and is happy as a lark to idle away on FB and indulge herself in cruises. Maybe there really are reasons to pity and protect her?

But, as I'm sure you're aware, many families have a permanent 'baby' in them. Someone who gets constantly indulged, pitied, protected, cossetted and generally 'exempted' from all the normal responsibilities that the rest of the family members have. In my family, that role is taken by my neice - her name is hardly ever mentioned without the prefit 'Poor' in front of it. She suffers chronic depression and 'inability to cope' with 'real life', has never had a job, dropped out of college, is on permanent ADs etc etc. She's a sweet, lovely person, but she was always 'allowed' to be 'different' from others, and never had to 'face facts' etc etc etc. In many ways, she's still a 'child' (at 34) because of her 'inability to cope with real life'. She was, I believe, infantilised by over-anxious parents who've fretted endlessly about her..... (I must say in her defence she's a very hard worker around the house etc....but 'outside life' is scary for her.)

So, I'm wondering whether your WOS sister is something along those lines, and allowances have always been made for her???? (Sorry if calling her a WOS is cruel and nasty, which I guess it is - but when you read your post as an 'outsider' she really does seem to be getting away with it!!!!!)

Where does she get the money to go on cruises from? At the very least, if she's not prepared to spend any time on your mum, then she should be helping with expenses, rather than you. Or would that be to ask too much of her??????

Again, sorry if I'm sounding horrible about her - but she doesn't come across as a very admirable person alas.
No jenny we don't make allowances because of the way my sister's always been - we make allowances because she's 70! But she's young 70 - and i feel extremely old 56! But she's always been capable. You have to understand the family dynamics. Mum and Dad had over 20 yrs of having children, I have a younger sister . The HUGE thing to me is that I'm the unmarried one, so I think they think I should 'cope'. I'm going off now to have a big think about that one, I'm finding it a bit disturbing!! I'd like to have my life back!!
I too am a younger sister with similar ages and gap to yours. My sis too tried to run my life according to her terms. They got used to being bossy very early and don't like giving that up. After I stood up to my sis she refused to speak to me for quite sometime, until there was something she needed.!!!
Now I stand up to her regularly and feel comfortable being an adult with her and not the biddable child she wants me to be.
70 is nothing in this day and age and there must be some things she can take on and do., or is she just training you to become her carer too when she needs it?
Please look into getting some assertiveness training. You'll need it both as a younger sister and a Carer
Good luck.
More food for thought???

I do think that even if your 70 y/o sister can't do much, she can do SOMETHING for her mum, and to lighten your load a bit. At the very least she can listen to you offloading!!

Sadly, there are indeed siblings who 'opt out' of all family responsibilities for reasons best known to themselves......

Also, I utterly fail to see why being unmarried/unpartnered is equivalent to having 'nothing else to do with your life' ....except look after your mum!

The awful thing about unfairness in families is that until the put-upon-one puts their foot down, the others will merrily going on leaving it all on their shoulders.

All the best, Jenny