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Another newbie starting out - Carers UK Forum

Another newbie starting out

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hello, I found the great infographic about how isolating it is caring for someone, I have that feeling every time I leave my elderly mum, she is 85 and still pretty active and tries to be really independent. What I struggle with is the gossamer guilt webs with comments like 'I don't know what I would do without you' and the self deprecation along the lines 'you are so busy, you don't have time to do things for me'.
Every time it gets me, and I feel I should be doing more but then I realise that whatever I do will never really be enough. I do try to manage the expectations by having a Mum day on a regular basis that goes in the diary which helps a bit. I am still left though feeling it will only get worse and more demanding she gets older and needs more physical care. Someone commented about elderly toddler I think that sums it up brilliantly, real toddler demanding behaviours that are probably due to feeling insecure and wobbly, I do understand but so hard to deal with.
My other concern is not burdening my daughter with all this and taking too much support from her and ultimately not ending up behaving like mum with her!
It is good to know I am not all alone in this and I look forward to being part of the community :-)
Hi Sarah
Welcome and glad the forum has helped so far. The early stages of caring are all about preparation and information. You might want to start looking at all options for physical and practical care now. It doesn't have to be solely you. Theres everything from day centres to full residential. No decisions needed now, but research is good just in case you have to make a decision in an emergency or when under stress.

Remember too, to change the word 'guilty' to 'sad' whenever you can. It's neither Mums nor your fault that she's aging, it's just sad, nothing more
Xx
MrsA
Thank you Mrs A, changing guilty to sad is a really good way to turn that round, thank you. I know that Mum doesn't deliberately set out to make me feel guilty, I guess it is just her way. Bless her she hates confrontation and is rarely able to actually ask for what she wants or needs and tends to go round the houses rather than ask directly!! I know that is how she works and I do try to manage it, just some days it is hard!!
This feels good to be able to put down how you feel without feeling anyone will judge you or deem you to be a bad person because you are not coping all the time :?
Welcome to the forum. The very elderly, i.e. 85+ become increasingly self focussed and just don't see how much anyone else is doing for them. You are not alone! You can't change mum, but you can change your reaction. So don't see yourself as never doing enough. If mum didn't have a daughter, or had one living in Australia, or London, or ...she wouldn't have anyone else to help her at all. You are there, doing what you can, but that is not limitless as you have your own life. So feel proud with what you do, not guilty of what you can't.
Does mum help herself at all? Does she have a tumble dryer to make washing easier, a dishwasher to do the dishes? Does she have a cleaner, and a gardener? Is her garden/house easy to manage? Try to think of how to meet mum's needs WITHOUT doing the hands on stuff yourself.
Does she have over £23,000 in the bank? If so, don't let her keep it for a "rainy day", because if she has over this amount she won't get any help from Social Services. Much better to pay you for the help you are giving.
Sarah, may I put a slightly different perspective on this? To my mind, it's wonderful your mum notices at all what you do for her, and seems to be appreciative of it. Sadly, that is not true of all too many carees on this forum, according to their long-suffering, 'unthanked and unappreciated' children!!!!

(That said, if you do happen to be unfortunately enough to have a parent who takes you for granted and does nothing but complain etc, you won't have to feel guilty about NOT caring for them!!!!!)

(doesn't apply to dementia, of course, as you can no more expect someone with dementia to say 'thank you' than you can expect a baby to say thank you.....)
bowlingbun wrote:Welcome to the forum. The very elderly, i.e. 85+ become increasingly self focussed and just don't see how much anyone else is doing for them. You are not alone! You can't change mum, but you can change your reaction. So don't see yourself as never doing enough. If mum didn't have a daughter, or had one living in Australia, or London, or ...she wouldn't have anyone else to help her at all. You are there, doing what you can, but that is not limitless as you have your own life. So feel proud with what you do, not guilty of what you can't.
Does mum help herself at all? Does she have a tumble dryer to make washing easier, a dishwasher to do the dishes? Does she have a cleaner, and a gardener? Is her garden/house easy to manage? Try to think of how to meet mum's needs WITHOUT doing the hands on stuff yourself.
Does she have over £23,000 in the bank? If so, don't let her keep it for a "rainy day", because if she has over this amount she won't get any help from Social Services. Much better to pay you for the help you are giving.
Thank you bowlingbun, [great name by the way! :-0] Mum is actually pretty good and does well at helping herself with a cleaner and gardener. As you say interesting to see how as people age they do become more self focused and the difference between 80 and 85 is quite marked too. I do have to keep trying to do the head switch thing and change my reactions and be grateful I still have her around rather than change her. Thank you for your support :-)
jenny lucas wrote:Sarah, may I put a slightly different perspective on this? To my mind, it's wonderful your mum notices at all what you do for her, and seems to be appreciative of it. Sadly, that is not true of all too many carees on this forum, according to their long-suffering, 'unthanked and unappreciated' children!!!!

(That said, if you do happen to be unfortunately enough to have a parent who takes you for granted and does nothing but complain etc, you won't have to feel guilty about NOT caring for them!!!!!)

(doesn't apply to dementia, of course, as you can no more expect someone with dementia to say 'thank you' than you can expect a baby to say thank you.....)
Thank you Jenny
you made me reflect and yes it it awesome that she is still able to notice what I do and be appreciative of it all and still be able to go into the garden and pick me a posy of flowers. Need to take a step back and see it as a privilege that I still have her and am able to help her. I do know all those things and most of the time can put it into perspective... but not always! Thank you for your support and making me reflect :-)
Your mum sounds lovely. What we and our parents want is for them to be younger/fitter/stronger and of course that's the one thing we can't give them, or ourselves! My mum knew that there were times I really, really wanted a magic wand, both for her and my disabled son. Maybe say to mum something like I know you struggle a bit sometimes, but I'm so glad you are still here with me. Talking about happier times long ago can also be good for both of you. Since my mum has died, there is no one left in her generation that remembers me as a little girl, and I still find that odd/sad.