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help with mother driving me mad! - Carers UK Forum

help with mother driving me mad!

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Hello all,
new here. I'm 67, retired animal park manager. My 89 yr old mum has lived with me for just over one year after giving up her bungalow. She was not looking after herself at all well, forgetting to bathe or dress, no longer able to cook etc. I had microwavable meals delivered to her but eventually she forgot to heat them and just picked on bread or biscuits or fruit and was unable to remember if she'd eaten or not if I called her. So the only solution was to move her in with me. My brother works so that was not an option. She has dementia and is progressively declining but still cheerful. The trouble is she doesn't want to bathe, wears the same clothes every day, doesn't clean her teeth, plate or her few own, her eyesight is failing, she has deaf aids but wont wear them. She is quite mobile but uses a stick if we go out. She spends hours daily in the toilet just mopping her nose. I empty three baskets of tissue daily! I estimate 2 loo rolls per day. She also makes this herherherming noise all the time if I'm not actually engaging her in conversation, as is she's clearing her throat but gp thinks it's behavioural. then there's the ridiculously loud coughing,gagging, screaching in the bathroom every visit at 20minute intervals. Sort of driving me crazy. I try to be kind and understanding but it does my head in! I look after all her needs, food, bathing (such as it is), clothes, meds, toe and finger nail cutting etc. She seems to have lost all ability to empathise with me...my back is bad and I'm a bit bent in the mornings...she just laughs. Also I have COPD which makes physical activity difficult. We both spend a large part of our day in our beds which I know is not good for either of us but I find it so frustrating to be around her but unable to hold a conversation partly through her deafness (What dear?) and partly because she forgets whats been said within minute, if not seconds. Memory of a flea she calls it! I do have daughters who live quite close but they are working and just have such busy lives so not really any help. My father is 87 and lives an hour away and I can't drive that far now and he has cancer and mobility problems of his own, so I feel a bit isolated with mum. I should add that I am increasingly alcohol dependent and constantly feeling guilty for that.
Oh well hope some of you will forgive my rant. Just needed to offload so thanks for reading.
Welcome to the forum, Janet. I am sorry to read of your situation. I don't really think there was no option but for you to take your mother in, but it's too late to decide that now. Have you had a needs assessment from social services for your mother, and a carers assessment for yourself? She needs carers and she may need residential care. There are so many people on this forum in your situation. And the problem is, things are not going to get better for you. You need to consider what your mother's financial situation is - she may need to pay for her help. But it is not doing anyone any good, even her, if you are ruining your own life and health to look after her. I think your mother needs more help than you can give her. If you at least had carers in to deal with her personal care it would be a start.
I hope others will be along soon to give you more advice than I can (I was caring for my brother who died last year.
Hi Janet, welcome to the forum. No need to apologise for the rant, I suspect that you have reached the stage that I call "Clapped Out Carer Syndrome" where you have given too much for too long and there's nothing left to give? In that case, a specialist residential home is probably the only option left.
There is no shame or guilt whatsoever in reaching this point, lots of us here have ended up with just one option left. It's not your fault that mum has such high needs due to her behaviour. One person cannot cope with another 24 hours a day!
I'll write a longer reply in the evening (son with learning difficulties home today) but it would help if you could say whether your parents are separated or would like to be together again? Between them, do they own their own house? Do they have over £46,000 between them? Is dad in his own home, or care home? (Sounds like there are lots of problems, but mum is the most urgent issue).
No advice but I can relate to everything you have put Janet especially the refusal to clean teeth. I am the carer of my much older husband and we are in similar situations.

I can also relate to the danger of becoming alcohol dependant - I too became a little too reliant on a bottle of wine after a bad day, and realised there were too many bad days. I have managed to control it but it is such an easy trap to fall into, and alcohol is a depressant and does not help the next day!

All I can say is that you cannot go on like this long term for your own physical and mental health. There are people here who can offer much more help than I can, but I would say see your GP and work at getting all the help you can. Sadly it does sound as though your mother needs far more care than any one person can provide.

Take care of yourself Janet. x
Yes, it does look sadly as if the time has come for residential care for your mum.

My SIL almost became an alcoholic while she tried to keep her mum with vascular dementia at home (next door) - her own sister (also next door!) REFUSED to countenance 'their mum!' being 'sent away', and for two years the two of them were driven to a nervous breakdown and exhaustion - and my SIL 'hit the bottle'.

This now years later, and my SIL is STILL 'vulnerable' to being an alcoholic. She has a very, very difficult and dangerous relationship with it still, because of become so dependent on it when she was her mother's carer.

Alcohol becomes 'self-medicating', the only 'escape' from an intolerable situation.

So, yes, I'm afraid that means the 'intolerable situation' that you are in has to be changed, and that, sadly, means residential care now.

If you think of it this way it can help you come to terms with it - that the only reason they have to be in residential care is that they have lived as long as they have. That's the way I think about my poor MIL in a dementia care home at 92 - she 'should not' have lived this long, and become this incapacitated.