I am 65 years old and care for my 85 year old mother. She lives 5 mins away from me in a sheltered accommodation. I retired 4 years ago when my father was put in a care home due to dementia. My mother couldn’t look after him because she has limited mobility. She had a hip replacement which left her with one leg an inch longer than the other but she didn’t do her physio and has made herself an invalid. She does nothing at all for herself and I can’t encourage her to try. I blame myself for doing too much in the beginning for her. I do all her housework, shopping, Cooking, laundry and personal care. I go every morning , make her breakfast and leave her a snack for lunchtime and a flask of coffee. I go back every tea time and do her main meal. Both times I stay for approximately 2 hours. She sits watching tv all day and occasionally gets up for toilet but nothing else ( sometimes she doesn’t make it so she wears incontinence knickers) I ask her if she would like to go out but she always has an excuse. She’s very kind and has all her senses. Great at doing crosswords and puzzles etc and keeps up with current affairs. I feel guilty if I sometimes get resentful but I’m only human after all and feel as though my needs come second and I feel bad saying that I have plans for the day even though I still do my visits before and after.
Joan you not the first or the last to find yourself in this situation. However it isn’t fair and as you say can make you feel resentful. That is perfectly fine to feel this way. Because you are doing far too much. I’m never sure is being nearer or far away better.
It’s about sharing the load but we just drift in to these situations. It’s time to make alternative arrangements.
Have you and your mother had a needs assessment. If not it’s time to contact Social Services and ask for one. If mother refuses you can still have one.
You needs to put in place extra daily help. This can be introduced slowly but surely. A bit by bit approach you need days off not just parts of days. You don’y say if you have your own health issues. Either way you are entitled to a life.
She is NOT very kind, she’s being awful, completely and utterly self centred.
You’ve got to make yourself less available. Go out for the day, just don’t keep going round all the time. Then either she gets up and does things herself or arranges a carer. Is she claiming Attendance Allowance?
Hi Joan, I have recently found myself in a position similar to yours. It is exhausting and frustrating, my mother lives 25 miles away and is having visits from carers twice daily but insists myself or my sister stay overnight. Maybe we too are giving her too much of our time but the guilt is terrible, unjustified because we are doing as much as possible but its still there. I sympathise with you as i know how draining it is but do ask for help, best wishes to you.
Jacqueline, your mother cannot INSIST that you do anything at all!!
The only power she has over you is the power that you let her have, she has absolutely no right to tell anyone what to do. She has to decide for herself either she manages in her home with the carers, or she goes into residential care where she can have staff available 24/7.
The only power she has over you is the power you let her have. Why are you doing this?
It took counselling to make me realise that I was still behaving like an obedient little girl as far as my own mum was concerned, because helping was good, refusing to help was bad.
The counsellor gave me “permission” to see things differently. I was a grown woman, with a business to run, a disabled adult child, and with knees so bad that i used a walking stick.
I would suggest at the last minute saying “I can’t come tonight mum” or “I’m going away this weekend” or something.
How old are you? Sixties? Don’t you want to enjoy your own life?