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Not coping - Carers UK Forum

Not coping

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
I recently moved my 85 year old mum into my home. She was living in a care home some 300 miles away where my brother lived but he decided to retire to Ireland and I couldn't leave her down there all alone with no one to visit her.
I have my daughter and grandson also living with me so I have four generations all under one roof.
My daughter is a single mum and we both agreed that we could look after my mum between us.
However in the 7 months my mum has been here my daughter has now changed her job which means she is now almost full time and that means that I am doing the looking after of both my mum and grandson. My grandson is 7 and my mum is 85 with dementia and osteoporosi.
I feel trapped and helpless and sometimes potentially suicidal.
I have to wash and dress my mum now due to a recent fall she had and do the school runs housework cooking etc.
I do have a husband but he is my second husband and not the father to my daughter.
I spend all day caring and worrying about everyone making sure they are all happy but have no ME time at all now.
I have realised that I can't care for mum as I thought I could but as I used some of her money from the sale of her home I feel I can't now after such a short time put her back into a care home.
I have 3 brothers .... all useless!!!
I gave up my job of 39 years to look after her.
I really try to stay positive but my mum is so argumentative about everything but especially about her trying to do things she isn't able to anymore like making a cup of tea.
I am constantly bickering with her about why she can't be left ... why she can't use the stairs ... why she shouldn't really be trying to walk with loads of stuff in her hand when she is so unsteady on her feet ... the list is endless.
I called up a care home today about my mum going there once a week for day care ... money is not an issue ... but I am scared to approach her about it. Her response will be that I can do what I want because she doesn't need looking after she can look after herself.
I wake up every morning so low and feeling that I can't face the day ahead. I get no quality time with my husband
So far I have managed to get up each morning and just get on with it but I worry that one day I am going to crack
I know now that I will not be able to cope if mum gets worse but I can't face telling the family that I am putting her back into a care home ....
If my daughter had not changed jobs things would have been ok but I couldn't say no as she has to look ahead to her and my grandsons future.
Am I wrong to give up on my mum so soon after she has moved in ?
Hi Kim

You will not be giving up on mum by arranging for her to go back to live in a care home.

I feel that I would have done exactly as you have done, if my mother had no one near by to visit her.
And then, it's only when your mum did come to live with you and circumstances changes, then life became harder.
After all, she does have dementia and even if you didn't have your granddaughter to look after as well, you still have a very difficult mother to look after and she will potentially get worse.
It will bring your health down and then your mother's care will become an emergency.

I too looked after my mother in my home and now she is in a residential care home, not far away.
(I also look after my granddaughter in my own home)
Your brothers should be grateful for all that you have done and should be pleased that they have not had the responsibility of her care and welfare.

You could move your mother into a care home that is not too far away and then you can carry on keeping an eye on her.

I know others will come along and offer advice too.

Please take care

Thanks Christina
It's the guilt feeling isn't it.
I tell myself maybe I should give it longer then it won't look so bad.. trouble with me is I worry what other people will think ... but with how I am feeling now I can't feel any worse.
I have lost my appetite .... for life as well as food .... need to do something that's for sure
Hi Kim, welcome to the forum. If you read through some of the other threads you will see that many of us have struggled to care for increasingly difficult elderly parents. The very elderly, 85 and above, become increasingly self focussed, and simply cannot see how much others are doing for them. One of the other forum members uses the term "elderly toddlers" because as parents get increasingly old, the relationship gradually changes so we end up "parenting" the parent. So it's not mum being difficult, it's mum getting very old. However, if mum is getting especially difficult and argumentative, she could be becoming mentally frail. Perhaps talk to the GP or look at the Alzheimer's Society website for more information.
It's not a case of whether or not mum will agree to going into a care home, it's your need for a break which matters. I had counselling specifically aimed at all the demands on me. The counsellor helped me set priorities, and we agreed that my adult son with learning difficulties had to take precedence over mum, because she could speak up for herself, he couldn't.
Reading through your post, you have been badly let down by your daughter. I know this will go down like a lead balloon, but her daughter is HER responsibility, not yours. Find out if the school has a breakfast club and/or an after school club. Otherwise she needs to find a child minder. You have your hands full with mum.
I see mum has osteoporosis, so did my mum. How much care does your mum need?
I would say that the whole situation has changed without your daughter's help. Care homes are expensive, so before going down that route full time, ask Social Services for a Needs Assessment for mum, and a Carers Assessment for you, so you can find out what help is available locally (which mum can then pay for).
Are you claiming Attendance Allowance for mum, and Carers Allowance for you?
Finally, do you have Power of Attorney? Has mum made a will?
Yes I am claiming attendance allowance and a careers allowance
Mum has made a will and I do hold an enduring power of attorney so that I can deal with mums finances.
Yes the situation has changed due to my daughter taking up her training again but I did encourage this as she needs to secure her future with her son. But I do agree that the change in her job has put more pressure on me but I have also realised over the past few months that I am unable to care for mum the way she should be cared for.
I had a brilliant loving caring relationship with her and I feel that I am slowly loosing this ... hope that makes sense ... but when she was in her previous care home she used to come to dinner with me at weekends and I took her out shopping and we had quality time together ... that has gone now ....
I will be trying the one day a week rest for me and hopefully I will start to feel better
Thanks for your response I have found this forum helpful
Really good that you have the POA etc. organised. Of course the real problem is that mum's needs will gradually increase more and more. Asking for more help is not an admission of failure, in fact quite the reverse, it shows that you want to make sure mum gets all the help she needs.
This would be a good time to arrange for an NHS Continuing Healthcare Checklist Assessment, through the GP (assuming your are in England). Google this for more information, IF she qualifies, then all care provided will be entirely free, but it's a real postcode lottery. However, even if she doesn't, it then means when she has the next assessment it should be easy to show how her needs are increasing, and that is really important.