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Part time carer - Carers UK Forum

Part time carer

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Hi everybody. I am a part time carer for my elderly mum; she lives with my sister who works full time and her husband, who doesn't work. I look after her a couple of mornings a week, a day a weekend and take her for her hospital and other appointments. In between I try and work part time on a zero hour contract and also look after my family, including hubby who is off work with anxiety and depression. My sister has had enough of my mum, and wants her in residential care, which mum doesn't want at all. Mum has all sorts wrong, and I would like her to have a social assessment, but my sister won't hear of it. Sister wants (and needs ) breaks every 6 weeks, and is now demanding I go and stay over every 6 weeks so she can go away. Her son/daughter in law have been helping with this up to now, but can't anymore due to personal circumstances. I am feeling rather down, and don't have any say in what is happening to the situation. Am I being selfish feeling like this? I would love to take Mum off her hands, but still have my family at home and nowhere for her to be.
How about a three way compromise.

How about if your mum does move into residential care - BUT, comes and spends time with you and your sister as well?

When I first moved my MIL into residential care, she was most unhappy about it (I'd taken her in with me, and she loved it! But it 'ate my life'.....). BUT, twice weekly she came to me for 'sleepovers'. I fetched her before lunch, she had lunch with me, out for a drive, back to me, tea, TV, 'at home', then the next morning I drove her back to the home in time for lunch.

For me it was 'doable' - I got my own life back when she was in the Home - and for her it gave her 'some' of her 'homelife' with me.

Something similar might work for your sister, yourself, and your mum.

Care homes are so often seen as 'all or nothing' which can make them very 'scary' to the caree, not surprisingly. But by 'sharing the caring' you can spread it all around, and still have your own lives AND some 'home life' for your mum.

Sadly, if you are self-pay, you don't get any reduction in the fees for when they are not in the home!

You could 'time slice' in any way that suits you all. I did twice weekly, but you could do weekends, or whole weeks at a time, then nothing, or whatever works out.

It does require you mum to be sufficiently capable of physically being transferred between Care Home, you, and your sister.
Hi Sally, welcome to the forum. Clearly mum NEEDS a lot of care, and sadly, the amount she needs will go up and up and up until she passes away.From now on, focus on what she needs, not what she wants.
She will always want to stay where she is with her two daughters sacrificing more and more of their own lives, only because she's very elderly, she has probably lost the ability to see how much you are both doing for her. This is a common problem with many elderly, especially the over 85's, they become entirely self focussed, rather than selfish.
So how much care does she need? Don't let this become some sort of sad "tug of love". It's really hard to see our parents become very frail and very dependent. I've lost all four parents in recent years, my mum was bedridden for a year before she died, a nursing home became the only option left.
Your sister is being very contradictory, refusing a needs assessment from Social Services, but saying she wants her to go into residential care. You also seem to be having problems accepting mum's increasing frailty. Your first duty must be your home and your family.
Ask your sister to write down everything she does for mum in the next week, and you do the same. Then put them in order of problem, which is worst. It can be anything you like. Then compare notes and draw up a "Master Sheet".
In the meantime, ring Social Services and ask for a Needs Assessment for mum, and a Carers Assessment, for you, and one for your sister. These should be done well away from mum, so that you can be perfectly frank and honest, cry, etc.
Wait and see what Social Services come up with.

Does mum have over £23,000? If so, she will be expected to pay for her own care - and that can include the care you and your sister provide. Has she arranged a Power of Attorney? Claimed Attendance Allowance? Does she pay her sister for living with her?

Go and have a look at local residential homes, the one my mum was in was more like a hotel with nursing care, but it was expensive. If mum has under £23,000 then Social Services might pay some or all of her care fees, but not all homes accept patients funded by Social Services.
So if you and your sister don't know much about mum's finances, this would be a good time to talk about what she has and where it is. It's really important that this information is kept together, as Social Services will want to do a financial assessment.
In some areas, homes have "respite beds", and I would urge you to investigate this further. Resiential doesn't mean that someone is abandoned, it just means that there is a team of people to do all the boring stuff 24/7, especially when continence becomes an issue. Then you as family can visit, and have a good mother/daughter relationship again.
Don't dismiss anything until you've tried it.
Hi Sally
I'm wondering if a halfway house solution would be to have some outside Carers coming in?
That way both you and sis should need to do less at times, but could then do more at other times? You perhaps could do less in the weekdays but do more for respite times. Full residential sounds a big step.
I'm wondering if sis doesnt want an assessment because she knows they will recommend Carers coming in.

And only a side note, how come both out of work husbands aren't in the equation more? I know yours has anxiety, (as does my son) but some mild responsibility or light duties can build esteem while being useful too.
Full residential IS a big step, however, sometimes it is the only option left. On the other hand, IF regular planned respite in a residential care home is available in the area, then you and sister both have a weekend off every so often. I know my mum's home was so nice that having had respite, people didn't want to go home! It also meant that the transition from own home to residential might be delayed longer with regular breaks, and when the time came to move into residential full time, if required, mum would know where she was going, and also know many of the staff. So much depends on the local homes.
Hi Sally

Unless you and your sister are thinking of funding mum's full time care home then she will need an assessment first anyway as Socila Services won't provide any funding without a full needs assessmnent first.
If your mum will be self funding but has high needs and multiple conditions please look into Continued Health Care Funding- hard to get but worth knowing about -just encase she may be entitled either now or in the future.
Thank you to everybody who has replied; firstly for taking the time to be interested and secondly for all your advice; quite a bit to think about. I am very grateful to you all. :)