Anyone know what to do?

Hi all, im new here. I really am at the end of my tether and need some advice from people who are in the same situation/have had similar experiences.
I have been ‘caring’ (I find it odd to use that word as I haven’t always been a physical carer, only sometimes, the majority of my ‘caring’ role has been emotional and support as well as physical) since I was young. My mothers condition has deteriorated over time and now she is pretty much house bound, as she has to use a wheelchair. she does not have any other family or a partner, so I am her sole means of emotional support, which is the bit I find the most draining. Over the last 5 years it has got progressively worse, and now I really am at my wits end. every time I see a call from her flash up on my phone, instead of thinking ‘oh great its mum’ etc, all I feel is ‘oh god what now’. She does not understand how anything she goes through (and the fact that she only has me to talk to about it) could possibly be stressful for me too. i tried to talk to her about how things affect me, and all i get is a sarcastic ‘well sorry for bring such a burden to you and such an inconvenience to you’, or ‘im your mum and you should want to support me, i’d do it for you’. It has become even worse since I moved out. Before that it was pretty bad - my partner works shifts and so we only got to see each other once a week. I would stay at his for one night, and she couldn’t even leave me alone for that 24hours. if I didn’t speak to her when she rang/messaged me, she would have a massive go at me, accuse me of ignoring her, saying how she obviously wasn’t as important as him etc (im not sure if she is genuinely jealous of him, or possibly the fact that I have a partner and she doesn’t?). Since I have moved out she messages me every day, says I don’t care because I don’t go round to see her every week (i work full time, its a 40mile round trip), and overacts to everything I say. she is moaning at me so much, that I have no desire to go round to see her, which makes things worse. I have felt more stressed out by her since I left than ever before. im worried it is going to start affecting my relationship, as I feel like all I ever do is moan to my boyfriend about how much shes driving me crazy. I have felt more and more negatively towards her over the last few years, and I hate myself for it, but, for want of better phrasing, I just cant be bothered with it anymore. I want to just get on with my own life, and actually look forward to seeing her, rather than only making contact because I feel I have to, and that she will have a go at me if I don’t.
I think her problem is that she is SO emotionally dependant on me, and I don’t know what to do about it. i’ve tried for years to get her to join clubs/classes/social groups, to volunteer etc, with the hope of getting her to meet new people, but she just wont (and then moans about how lonely she is and how she never goes out and does anything). I know for any parent having theor child leave home is a big thing, and that it must be worse for a single parent, but im an adult with my own life to live. I feel like im finally doing something for me, and I want to be happy, but this is really getting me down and putting a damper on what should be a really happy new start in my life. I just don’t know what to do.

How old is mum? What is wrong with her?

Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon situation.

paragraph from the above web page

Some signs that you are still in an unhealthy “child” role with an aging parent:

You feel guilty if you are not doing what they want you to do
You feel incapable of saying no to requests
You feel controlled and judged
You are not taking responsibility for your own finances or other adult responsibilities
It is important to remember that if you have not established a healthy peer or same-adult-level relationship with your parent thus far, it will not get better as he or she ages. Consider what you need to do to fully seperate as an adult and take full responsibility for your choices and your own life. One area many people get stuck in is approval. If you are still making decisions related to your parents to garner their approval, you have not fully seperated in a healthy way. We all want to be liked and approved of - but if you find yourself making certain types of decisions only because you cannot bear the disapproval of a parent, it is time to become more independent and take full responsibility for your own affairs.

sunnydisposition - feeling guilty, yes, feeling judged , yes, but I do not make decisions to seek approval, nor am I not taking responsibility for my own ‘affairs’ (whatever that would be). the point of my post was how do I reduce my mothers dependence on me, so that we can have a better relationship

We need a bit more information about mum to give best advice, starting with how old she is and what is wrong with her.
What is appropriate for someone who is 40 isn’t appropriate for a 90 year old.
I’ve had a very dependent mum too.


I wonder if your mum needs to be somewhere with more support - you say she is deteriorating.

I know you have said she hasn’t wanted to join clubs up to now, but if she was somewhere where there were others if there was a communal lounge she would meet others.

My own mother used to be in a sheltered housing complex where they had coffee mornings, fish and chip fridays, book sales, clothing sales. They form close bonds with staff and yet still keep independence.

Some of the residents even got together for a games night.

Dependent on your mothers needs of course as we don’t know them all as to whether sheltered or residential would suit. But nowadays they do extra care where residents can have more care.

Others on here may well have looked into it.
A needs assessment from social services would be a good idea.

Extra detail will help others give specific advice.

Good luck

Hi Leeniepe,
What your mum expects of you is unfair and unrealistic. There are no easy solutions. It is very tough for you that there is no support from anyone else in your family.
Elderly/disabled people can be very selfish (if allowed) and manipulative.
I think the way forward is for you to be tough. Tell her you have a full time job, a home to run and you just cannot cope with her needs anymore. She has a choice - either she had carers in to help her every day or she has to go into residential care. Your mum won’t like it but it’s best to sort things out now before the situation gets even worse. You decide what you are prepared to do eg visit and take her out two times each week.

Please tell us how old mum is and what is wrong with her.

she is 60 and has a multitude of health problems that all come from a spinal cord injury. this has resulted in her gradually loosing mobility and problems with motor control, bowel/bladder issues etc

thank you very much for your reply. I don’t think she’s quite at sheltered housing point yet but its an idea i’ve introduced to her, as she is very resistant to new things, and it is definitely something she will need in the future.


she is 60 and has a multitude of health problems that all come from a spinal cord injury. this has resulted in her gradually loosing mobility and problems with motor control, bowel/bladder issues etc

Is CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare a factor here :

Is CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare a factor here :

thank you for the link to this information. I vaguely remember there was some question a while ago about whether social services or the NHS had to sort out my mums care, and someone (no idea who) decided it should stay with social services. This may be useful for the future though.


I vaguely remember there was some question a while ago about whether social services or the NHS had to sort out my mums care, and someone (no idea who) decided it should stay with social services. This may be useful for the future though.

From the CHC rationing thread :

**_NHS guidelines state that at a full reassessment, a team of professionals should try to see the care recipient in person. Family members should also be invited to attend and given ‘sufficient’ notice.

However, some families say only one nurse attended their meetings, which means some funding decisions are being made by people who have never even met the patient concerned.

‘I now rarely attend assessments where a full multi-disciplinary team is present,’ says Fiona Lower, a former nurse who now helps families at reassessments.

'The nurse is unable to make a recommendation on their own; a recommendation is made following a team meeting at an office. > This therefore denies the patient, the family and advocates the right to comment prior to a decision being made._**

Full sp on the MAIN CHC thread … this section :


Once you accept that

mum’s condition is only going to get worse and worse
she is always going to expect youu to do something before asking anyone else
ultimately it will be something YOU do that will change things for the better for you, you can begin to sort things out.


It is your choice!! Mum does not have a say in this, her choice is whether to stay home with carers or move into residential care.

First step has to be getting Social Services to do a new Needs Assessment for mum and Carers Assessment for you.
Both should be WRITTEN.

I think you could consider getting your Mum a visitor from a church or an elderly project etc. My Grandma had one and they do this at a good neighbours scheme near us. Its for people who don’t go out and need some support etc.I’d look at this as a first step and tell Mum you cant do everything.
I’d also look at the social services needs assessment as previously mentioned.
Lots of elderly people don’t want to do to groups/clubs etc, My Mum is exactly the same she wont. Maybe your Mum would benefit more from a 1-1 person?

Hi i saw your message and my situation is very similiar i would say its important you do.look after yourself and preserve your relationships and emotional dependance is very hard

Hi Leeniepie, I expect with the virus situation things have got a bit worse. I would advise getting onto the social work department to get a care package in place. If no adequate response get on to your MP.
Hope things have since improved for you and your poor mum. I’m 70 and quite disabled, for the past year I’ve had my granddaughter as my official Carer since she became 16. Her home life was not ideal and she had no job or the hope of getting one. I try to keep things light and let her get on with her own things as a teenager should. None of us are living an ideal life and I try to look on the bright side. What else is there to do. I like the tv and have all the channels, sometimes the choice is too much. You tube is wonderful for watching people doing things like exploring the countryside and wild camping, going places that I would love to go. Also Listening to music and reading. If your mum could achieve contentment with small things I’m sure her life could be much happier. I’m not a real “joiner”. Some people are not suited to clubs and groups. That doesn’t mean they can’t be happy and enjoy the bits of company and communication they are presented with.
All the best to you and your mum and I hope things are improved for you. Xx

You say you don’t think she’s quite at sheltered housing point yet but its definitely something she will need in the future.

If she lacks mobility, motor control, is wheelchair dependent and has continence issues, who is providing the personal and social care for her on a daily basis (personal hygiene/intimate care, laundry, shopping, cooking etc)?

Sheltered housing has many different types, anything from fairly independent living for the 50+ where a warden visits once a day, semi sheltered care which can involve the residence having their own apartment but wardens on site, and very sheltered housing.

I had a quick look at my local housing association that is for the over 50s and they offer housing with care, supported housing, sheltered housing and very sheltered housing as the types they offer. Another local housing association has similar tiers - enhanced sheltered, extra care and close care for the types of properties they manage.

I am a carer for a lady in her 70s with mobility issues. When she had greater mobility a few years ago, I took her to view a lovely studio flat in a great care home that had its own cooking facilities and TV which was in the nice part of town and right next to her beloved bus route. She could have joined in the social activities and enjoyed cooked meals in the other part of the property if she wished or kept herself fully to herself.

As it happens, she was disgusted and disappointed with what was on offer and turned it down. As a result she has now suffered in her own general needs housing association flat that she’s been unable to leave due to steps for over a year, feeling very isolated and lonely which then led to poor mental health, poor personal hygiene and issues relating to nutrition as she can’t cook for herself.

As you are finding out, some people are resistant to taking responsibility for their well-being and cannot make any changes that would improve their well-being, or see the impact of the way they run their life on the others around them.

You cannot change mum, but similarly the only power she has over you is the power you let her have. Only when forced to move will she move, and the more you do for her the longer that will be. Only when you reduce the care you give will change happen.