Hi, I’m new to the forum. I am the main carer for my 81 year old mum. My brother and son help when they can but both live quite far away. My father passed away last November during lockdown and my mum is obviously still mourning him. We are currently in the process of moving home because of her needs and the fact I need more space. I’ve bought the house but having a lot of work being done. We are near the end and it should only be a couple more weeks.
The problem I’m having is I think my mum is deliberately not looking after herself so she gets sick and can join my dad. There has been occasions when she has said she doesn’t want to be a ‘burden’ which she is not at all. She is now getting anxious that she will have to now do things on her own and is currently very reliant on going everywhere with me. She recently asked us to organise a family get together, which we did and enjoyed. Then she sold what was left of her shares and split them between myself and my brother.
For the last few days she has had a UTI and hasn’t told me until today. She is refusing any help and not even trying to drink to flush it through. I’ve told her I will call an ambulance if she starts to deteriorate but she just has a go at me. This isn’t the first time this has happened, it’s the fourth and every time she has ended up in A&E. I am getting the distinct feeling she is hoping it will kill her. My dads anniversary is next month which I don’t think is helping.
Has anyone gone through this who can advise me what to do? Do I ignore her and hope she has the sense to let me know or ring an ambulance? Or do I ignore her and focus on just getting her help whether she likes it or not?
Many thanks for any ideas or support. X

I was widowed when I was 54, 15 years ago. It’s unbelievably awful. As the Widow Fog clears there is the realisation that this is how it is going to be from now on, and it’s scary! I’m very capable, at 23 I was arranging to ship steam engines round the world, but at 54 it was scary taking the car out because if it went wrong I’d have to get someone other than my husband to fix it. He was a mechanic who used to mend some of the largest machinery in the world! Be patient with mum, she is still learning to live in a “new” world, but she must learn. She won’t if you are there as her husband substitute. Is she taking at anti depressants? Having counselling? Does she own or rent her house? Have over £23,000 in savings?
At my husband’s funeral, I was given a lecture by a friend of his about learning to live again. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but it was the right thing to do! Do NOT spend the money mum gave you, and tell your brother! Keep it in the bank as if she ends up in residential care the council will expect you to return it!!! Tell mum that either she bucks her ideas up or she is going to end up in a nursing home. It’s her life, her choice. You cannot do everything for her.
How old is she, and what support does she need for daily living?