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MUM'S THE WORD - Carers UK Forum

MUM'S THE WORD

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hello all,

Just introducing myself to you all, I'm Bev and care for my 84 (soon to be 85 year) old Mum who lives a distance of 182 miles away from me. I'm Disabled myself so careing across such a distance is a well and regularly driven road down the M5, usually at times I'd rather be tucked up in bed.

Emergency dash to re-set the fuse box, on Boxing Day 2010 when most of Britain was snowed in comes to mind here Image

It's a certainty that Mum has Vascular Dementia, but she's canny enough to understand what she's being tested for, so plants the heels of her size 4's down hard when I try to talk her into being tested. She has serious bouts of confusion and anxiety also Paranoid delusions, and now she's experiencing several other mental and physical complaints, including dizziness and nausea. I admit that there's times I handle discussions with her badly, especially if my own condition (End Stage COPD) exacerbates. Today was one of them and I confess that I raised my voice and she started crying down the phone...but you don't want to hear about that..not here when I'm trying to introduce myself.

There's not much to say really, I'm medically retired, have been for the last 15 years, and live with my Son who in turn tries to care for me. Being that I'm a very independent lady, my Son finds it less painful on the ear, if he stays back and let's me go at life Image He is however very practised at being there for me, at the precise moment when I need him. Otherwise we do both get on and do our own thing, but I have to say he's a very supportive son and lovely guy to boot who works as a lecturer.

No doubt like most who find their way here, I'm dealing with a situation that I've never encountered before, the careing bit I'm used to, my youngest Son was disabled from birth. No it's Mum's worsening confused anxiety and the loss of understanding and memory that's beginning to take a toll on me.

My Mum and I were never close, but despite having an older brother, it's fallen to me to 'look after her' in her old age. I see it as her right, she's my Mum and it's I who has a responsibility to see to her well-being, no matter what harsh 'words' have been thrown my way over the decades. I think I've coped well upto now, but these last 6 months have been some of the worse as Mum's condition has deteriorated . I've now hit the part on the road signposted 'Where do I go from here' and am standing at the crossroads, kicking frustratingly at the dirt wondering what to do next.

I'll stop here I think, otherwise this will turn into an epic.

I look forward to reading your posts, which I'm hoping will be full of advice.

Take care all, stay Safe and Sane Image

Bev
Hello Beverley. Great to have you with us Image

Thanks for introducing yourself and describing your situation. Well, I dont really have any advice as such. Sounds like you have been doing a really good job thus far. But it must be such a strain being that distance from your mum. And I'm really sorry that things seem to be deteriorating the past few months. Assuming that means she needs more care, if that does not come from you then what other options are there then ?

I stay with my mum Monday to Friday, but I get calls on the week-ends, ranging from light bulbs that have blown to distress over not being able to open bottles. No helpful neighbours sadly.

Anyway, I'm not sure where exactly you go next with your situation. But you are the expert to be honest. What do you think are your options, given your mother's state of functioning AND your own circumstances and 'needs' ?

We are a friendly and supportive bunch. Loads of experience and understand very well the stresses and strains of being a Carer.

Welcome Image

Robert
Hello Bev and welcome to the forum.

Caring at a distance is hard, but caring whilst you yourself also need care must be nigh on impossible. Does your Mum have any sort of care package provided by Social Services in place ? If not that might ease your burden a little.

As to getting her formally diagnosed - that is important. I was able to get my Mum examined for Alzheimers by telling her that her GP needed to do a 'general' health check-up following a spell in hospital after having a knee replaced (she was 83 at the time). I'd previously briefed her GP about my concerns so he was quite willing to connive in my little deception. Perhaps you could try something similar ?
Hi and welcome.Hope you find the Forum useful and fun. Image Image Image
Hi there Bev and welcome to the forum.

I fully understand how caring at a distance can be so very difficult! My only advice would be to try to get an assessment organised with social services to assess the needs of your Mum. I think it is important, if possible to, attend the assessment too. I was fortunate that I built up a very good relationship with the social worker that was allocated to Mum and she was aware of the fact that I lived away (I live in Spain and mum lived in Bristol with me visiting for a week every third week).

In view of the distance that you are away from Mum, I personally would suggest that any care package that is put in place (however Small it may be initially) does not rely on you. Travelling that distance at the drop of a hat is no joke when you are 100% fit without the difficulties that you have yourself). In my own experience, both through working in the NHS and through caring is that as soon as the "powers that be" know that you are available, you will be included in any care plan! It is hard to take that step back but it doesn't mean that you can't still go along and care/visit whenever you want, it just means that a safe package can hopefully be put in place which is not reliant upon your own input.

Much of this will I assume depend upon your Mum...when I first started travelling over to Mum she told social workers I was very happy to spend 2 weeks in 4 over with her! My Mum did not sadly consider that perhaps this would cause me any problems or that my husband would mind being alone half the month! Life makes it far harder to reduce your caring input that it does to increase it!!

Keep well yourself (Mum had COPD so I know how difficult it can be for you too) and if I can help in any way, let me know.

Bell x

PS...sorry for such a rambling welcome, I may not be a carer any more but I still lurk around and probably ramble on quite a lot...see, still doing it now!!
Good Morning everyone,

I can't thank each and everyone of you enough for your warm welcome and kinds words of advice.

Perhaps this isn't the correct forum to go into detail what, where, how and when. I came here yesterday only with the intention of introducing myself and gave you all 'Chapter and Verse' (See Bell I too can ramble, so you have a friend in me Image in fact rambling is one of my favourite past-times Image )

I'll have a wander through the Site and post in the right forums rather than take up time and space in here. So see you all on the other-side of the Newbies Forum and once again thank you.

I look forward to getting to know everyone a lot better over time.

TTFN

Bev
Morning, Bev. Pleased we haven't managed to scare you off Image

Oh I would also suggest thinking about asking for an Assessment from Social Services if they are not already involved. If nothing else, a dialogue with someone can be really useful in helping you to take stock of where things have got to, plus what you are realistically able to offer, and the options available. And if they are already involved, maybe ask for a review ?

Yes, it often happens that new folk only plan a short introduction but then it becomes a somewhat longer mini novel ! Perfectly okay to do that. We learn more about you that way. And bear in mind, that some people will find reading what you say not only interesting but actually quite useful. They wont always post a reply but I do know that people get support in all sorts of ways from reading stuff and feeling less isolated. So no, not just rambling -

Take care,

Robert Image
Hello Bev, Thought I would also welcome you. My mum is exactly the same age as yours but I am "only" an hour away. The local cab service knows me very well for emergency dashes.

I don't have any great words of advice for you as I think the others have already done that. My mum has carers twice a day, refuses to go to doctors re memory (or for any other reason), wears a Careline (does your mum have that at least). I too have reached the crossroads. Where do we go from here? Do I move closer? Do I move in? Do I work less? I have a mortgage to pay so no options to give up work.

So I have no answers sadly for you or me. But look forward to getting to know you through your posts. The Forum can and often is a lifeline for me and many others.

Take care, Anne
I too care for an elderly mum, only six miles away though, and that's bad enough. I'm gradually getting to know all the local paramedics, due to falls. You can't keep driving up and down the motorway indefinitely, and I don't think you should move - if your mum is going downhill quite quickly you won't be able to manage to care for her in view of your own health problems. Is it possible for you to spend a few days in mum's area, and arrange appointments to go and see the GP, Social Services, local Alzheimers Society, whoever might be able to help? GP's tend to consider their patients in splendid isolation, in my experience. Mum really needs a network of people locally who can support her without always calling on you, but whether or not she will accept it at the moment is doubtful, at this stage. It might help if you kept a diary of what mum was doing, so that when you speak to "The Professionals" you can give precise information, which might make them take more notice.