Hello. I am caring for my mother in my own home, she is 86 and has Alzheimers.
I am finding it really hard now and I’m struggling.
I brought my mum to stay with me about nine weeks ago.
Before then, we -my two grown-up children and I- had been settling her into her own home with carers going in four times a day. Having the carers going in was relatively new, as prior to that she had been living with her partner of 20 years, but it had become a safeguarding issue as we learned he was not looking after her and he was being physically and verbally abusive. She had initially stayed with me for a few weeks until her partner had left the home and the carers were in place.
I had found it hard then doing the continual care of my mother which had been suddenly thrust upon me, it wasn’t something I was use to doing.
Being honest I must say that I was glad when everything was set up for her to be able to go back to her own home.
I stayed with her for a week or so to settle her in. However, the carers situation wasn’t perfect and we found ourselves constantly correcting mistakes that were being made, ie medication missed, doors not being locked and general duties being forgotten, it was very worrying. We had to constantly monitor the situation with the carers and do so many things ourselves, what we thought would be easier with having carers attending was turning out not to be, and it had in fact become a full time job for us. Apparently this was due to ‘teething problems’ I was told by the care company manager.
It was also becoming apparent that my mother was not as able to manage during the times she was left alone in between carer visits, we had to keep a check on her and be on call in the evenings for the sensor alarms going off, which they frequently did.
During that time we became to realise that a care home was going to be the better option for my mother. We were just beginning to look into it when suddenly the coronavirus was upon us!
Because of the coronavirus and knowing the carers would be going into my mother as well as having seen numerous others before her, I took the decision to have her stay with me to protect not only her, but also myself and my children who would have been visiting. We could then all lockdown and stay safe.
Although it has never been easy, I was managing everything much better to begin with.
Nine weeks on and I am really struggling doing it all by myself. I do live with my 24 year old son but he has ME, and a hereditary connective tissue disorder, which I also have, and he manages his OCD.
He has helped me with some things on many occasion, and allowed me to have a rest from time to time which I am so grateful for, especially when I have been ill -which is often- and although I was coping well at first, as times gone on it has all become too much. All the washing, cooking, cleaning duties, as well as the care of my mother falls to me, and I am exhausted now.
It is very hard when I am ill and dealing with pain on a daily basis, having to continually push myself on, and now my mother is needing more and more care, I can barely catch my breath. She is not able to remember to do basic bathroom, toilet tasks. Its so sad, she is becoming more and more confused.
My mother is perfectly cared for, but I am physically and mentally struggling with doing it all, and I can no longer be entertainment officer as well as doing everything else which I feel guilty about, and for complaining and thinking about myself, but I’m just being honest. I know I need help now, but where can it come from?
We are on lockdown, we are all vulnerable, and I am shielding!
My mother is also waking at 3am most nights now with confusion. I calm her down and make sure that she is ok.
I’m unable to sleep again afterwards though, and so I’m shattered and running on empty the next day.
The lovely home we were hoping for her to go into before this lockdown is not accepting new clients in this current situation, would it even be safe if they were?
I hoped I could carry on doing the care until the virus had eased off and it was safer, but I don’t know now if I can continue like this? I’m doing the best I can but its so very, very difficult because of my own health.
I would usually have to pace and manage, and without doing, my health is becoming worse.
I just don’t know what to do?.. I want to hold on to be able to get my mother into the best place like we were planning.
I don’t want to fail, I don’t want to let my mother down, or my family…Its so hard.