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Managing money - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Managing money

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
I was also expected to get cash for a housebound mum, physically, not mentally disabled. In the end I just got £1,000 at a time, or else mum would keep ringing me demanding money for the following day because someone was coming and she'd run out of cash. Actually, it was really just attention seeking behaviour. Whatever I did when asked, there would always be another job waiting next time. Counselling finally taught me how to deal with this.

Hate to be really crass, but have any of you very nice people ever tried saying: "no" and meaning it ??
I have been doing this with my own Mum since I was about 16, and I find it incredibly liberating. That was about the same time I started to call her by her first name, whether she liked it or not. I didn't need counselling, I just watched a couple of Clint Eastwood westerns and decided I needed to toughen up a bit when dealing with unreasonable people.
Scally, don't be daft - we're females. We're programmed to say 'yes' to everyone else's demands.....



PS - I have this image of you doing the 'This is a Magnum whatsit....and it can blow your head clean off!' to your mum....oh dear. (She might have liked you calling her by her first name - nothing more ageing than a grown up child calling you 'Mum', cos you can't deny that you you're old enough to have grown up offspring!!!)
I think I would agree with BB - this is 'attention seeking behaviour', and probably a sign of her own frustration at being so 'powerless' now. However, I do think that you are going to have to be 'ruthless' with her, by which I mean simply ignoring the emotional impact she has on you, and discounting it.

She is never going to be happy, contented, appreciative, grateful, etc, so don't expect it. Don't argue with her, or seek to convince her, or justify your actions, or apologise for them - just make statements as in 'We're not going shopping today' or 'I didn't cash any money for you today' and IGNORE her reaction. It's very hard to train ourselves to ignore our parent's emotional 'control' of us, because they've trained us all our lives to do what they want and feel guilty when we don't, but it has to be done. It is, after all, finally part of growing up (see Scally's bracing post!)

One of the real lessons I've learnt in my time caring is that part of the becoming their parent ourselves is that we 'tell not ask', we just say what is happening, and then do it (just as we would with a real child!). I think the problem for so many of us is that we desperately want our carees to 'buy in' to what we are doing for them, and deciding for them, and they won't! I know we want them to have some feeling of control over their own lives, but let that be on the 'little things' like what they have for tea, or whats on the telly, or whatever, not on the 'big things' like where they are going to live and who is going to look after them!

Once you start 'ignoring' their emotional control of you - eg, once you ignore her 'meltdowns' and simply remain unaffected by them - then you get a personal freedom that is essential if you are to continue looking after them. So what if she has a meltdown? It's so hard for us, especially women, to not care about other people's anger, especially that of our parents at us. It's very hard for us to realise that someone else being angry with us DOESN'T MATTER! It really doesn't! So what if she has a meltdown? Tough. Don't justify or apologise, just repeat what happened, and say end of subject, and if she doesn't leave it alone walk away and say you're not discussing it. Hard to start standing up to parents, but it has to be done.

As for her having too much cash in that tin can - can you not take some back out and pay it back into her bank?!

OK, she's bored, frustrated and lonely - but, again, tough. You are doing enough for her as it is.

I so know what you mean about only taking her out to stop her being bored! Although MIL is now in a 'supported living' place about 15 minutes from me (where they cook her meals and she has a lovely room with a ground floor patio, plus kettle in her room, en suite, etc), her main problem now is acute boredom.

I don't know how long the situation will (can?) last, because I know she thinks it's only temporary while I sell her Glasgow flat etc etc, and she really wants to move into an independent rented flat near me (none suitable as yet....thank goodness???), even if she did the problem of her boredom wouldn't end. She'd just be bored in a flat, with carers coming in twice a day for lunch and supper because she is 'beyond' even preparing cookchill meals or opening a can of soup etc (the place she's at does make them make their own breakfast in the communal kitchen, thank goodness!) (they take their meals communally, which she also hates!).

Basically, what she needs is the equivalent of a 'nanny' - I might start a thread on that! I suspect that she is like your mum, and wants to be taken out and about, and entertained, and given treats, and see the world and participate in it again, even if it's only seeing it from a wheelchair.......but all that requires the dedicated time of another human being.

So, in the weeks MIL has been in the supported living place (for which I am on my KNEES with gratitude!), I visit her at least twice a week, and she's currently staying with me at the weekends (though we still pay for her room at the place, which is annoying!), and I take her out for drives. And drives. And drives. I've driven for miles to see bluebell woods etc etc. It's 'utterly pointless' to me, but to her it passes the time agreeably and, as I say, she can see the world from inside my car.

Then it's back to her room, and the 'box' she lives in, and the stuff on the telly that is like wallpaper because she doesn't really follow what is on, and certainly isn't interested. She only really 'livens up' when I pay attention to her and chat and talk to her, and bring her into my life, because her own is now so, so, so boring......

She lives vicariously, through me.......otherwise she is permanently bored.

And I suspect that is not in the least uncommon when people get so old, and lose interest in their own activities.......

It's that 'companion caring' that is so essential to them now - and so utterly draining and time consuming for the carer.

Summing it up - the problem is, WE have far too much to do, and THEY have nothing to do......

Which is why, really, caring for an elderly person is really a 'job' and requires a 'nanny' to do it, either us, or 'someone else'. (I think I will start a thread on that!)