I looked for this forum because I am now having to care for/help my elderly mother who is losing her memory , maybe demntia but not diagnosed.
I have been diagnosed with dysthymia , and have been suffering depression for over 40 years, I have also been diagnosed with a behaviour disorder, and I find it impossible to tolerate most people,I live alone with a dog.Somedays I wake up feeling really down and angry at the world, I hate all the people I see whilst walking my dog , I struggle to be with myself.
So I’m strolling along with my dog trying to be patient , wanting to hide , when the phone rings and of course it’s my mother with problems she wants help with, I just want to hang up , cut her off , tell her to fix it herself, run and hide but I can’t. Deep down inside me there is some sort of loyalty and obligation to her , or I’ve just been to well trained to be polite. So I listen and say I’ll be there later by which time she’l of forgotten what she phoned for and might have even fixed or forgotten the problem as well. I’ll remind her and she’ll say NO I did not , or no it’s working fine now , so why did I say it wasn’t.
I am worried i can’t mange her and my own problems, that having to help her will get more and more involving , and she’l need more and more of my help. I don’t feel mentally or emotionally strong enough , patient enough , or loving enough and that one day I’ll lose control and just drive away , or say horrible hateful things and leave her on her own , alone with no help.
Make sure mum has all the care she is entitled to, a Lifeline, carers etc. so that when you are “off duty” you can turn off your phone knowing that if there is a genuine crisis, someone else will deal with it. It’s the only way to keep your sanity.
Hi Simon. It is hard being a carer and especially hard if you have your own health issues. I care for my mother with dementia and am finding it difficult especially during lock down. Get all the help and support you and your mother are entitled to and keep talking. Take care.
Hi Diane, welcome to the forum.
I always check with new dementia carers that they know
Their caree is entitled to Attendance Allowance if over 65, PIP under 65?
Their caree is claiming exemption from Council Tax? This can be backdated to the date of diagnosis, and it’s easy to claim. Highest amount I’ve heard of so far is £8,000 refunded!!!
Nice to meet all of you! I’m new here too.
For both of you, this is a new chapter approaching your lives which mean adjustments are to be made. Facing a new challenge in her own life, your mother will want to keep her pride and dignity.
However. As hard as things are, you want to lead your own, independent life. Whatever happens, it’s important that you make the time for you - both physically and mentally.
Can you make arrangements for professional carers to come and visit your mother? An assessment by your local health service can ascertain the level of care needed. This will enable your mother to receive a tailored care package.
Using professional carers will enable your mother to remain independent at home. Your mother may have concerns about care and feel apprehensive. Explain to your mother the advantages of a home care package and how this will be of benefit to her.
By having an assessment, there may be opportunities to discuss other practical aids like walking frames, trollies, dining trays, hand rails and even ‘easy access’ baths/showers (or aids for bathing).
Admittedly. There will be costs incurred. However. An assessment of your mothers needs will involve not only calculating the costs - but also looking into what financial support could be available.
It’s certainly worth making inquiries.
This is a very worrying time for your mother. Even if not dare mentioned. At the very back of her mind, the shadow of two words will be present…Care Home…
For many elderly people in need of extra support, the prospect of living in a care home can become a pre-occupation that is only silently borne. This can sometimes cause them to feel angry and take their frustrations out on those who are only trying to help.
Further more. Your mother’s fading memory is likely to add to her silent worries.
The reasons for, and extent of the memory impairment can only be investigated by a health professional such as the nurse or doctor. It will be worth contacting your local health clinic for an appointment or even a visit. Covid restrictions may cause difficulty but due to your mother’s situation, a visit or an appointment may hopefully be arranged.
Unfortunately. As we get older and become used to being in home - due to ill/frail health - our ability to retain memory can deteriorate through lack of stimulation.
Covid restrictions caused a ‘silent wave’ of society who have quietly suffered because their activities, outings, groups and social events have been postponed. A serious set-back for people with memory and mental health issues. We can only think positive and hope the situation will improve soon.
Your mother’s memory difficulties should be considered when being assessed for care. Ask about ‘memory aids’ as they may be of some help for your mother to live independently. Research the subject online for products and ideas. Societies/organisations/charities that deal with memory issues will have some information either online or you can contact them direct.
Where you are concerned, it’s time to take care of yourself. It’s not uncommon for people who face your predicament to feel as if they are ‘bereaved’ or may experience a sense of ‘mourning’. This can be caused by experiencing the person who they knew, loved and shared their life with succumb to illness or age related issues.
This can lead to feelings of resentment and anger, when looking out at the world full of seemingly cheerful people. That independent life you once lead suddenly seems like a distant memory as you find yourself having to attend to your mother’s needs.
All those people out there, living their lives. The harsh reality…Life goes on…
Those living their lives around you are a constant reminder of the gradual loss you experience. You already feel isolated whilst dealing with your mother’s problems.
It is understandable to feel this way. Many don’t appreciate the difficulties - such as the isolation and loneliness - sole carers experience. This could be the underlying cause of your anger.
What can make things even harder to bear are the ongoing Covid lockdowns, which clearly bring to attention the difficulties of being alone in a crisis.
It may help to change the way you perceive the world around you.
Read books about building self-confidence and dealing with people in a more positive way.
Try to avoid arguments with your mother. If there are any disagreements over tasks, simply agree and see if you can quietly resolve the problem. Regular, shorter visits may make life a little more pleasant for you both. This can allow you to do (or arrange for) necessary jobs and errands as well.
Keep the visits positive. The regular, shorter visits may allow time to take a break yourself.
Now’s the time to seriously address your depression, so you can find a way to manage those mixed, angry and negative emotions.
Have your received counselling in the past?
There are times when you need to ‘pinpoint’ as to why you are feeling this way and explore your situation. A counsellor will understand when you mention these feelings of loss you experience when trying to help your mother.
It’s trying to address those feelings of anger, isolation, feeling ‘left out’ or ‘missing out’, that ongoing hint of living ‘bereavement’ that you may be experiencing and the frustration of worrying about not being able to cope. Counselling could be helpful in all these areas.
Receiving counselling can address your current depression and behavioural problems. There’s also the need to address your feelings of isolation caused by the gradual increase of your mother’s needs.
It’s vital that you make the time to work on your own mental health.
It’s important that you show a little assertiveness when dealing with your mother. Your mother shouldn’t expect you to be at her ‘beck and call’ whenever it suits.
You may feel guilty if not available and there will always be that sense of obligation. However. Your mother will need to accept that you have your own life to lead.
Try not to hold a grudge against other people around you. You feel hate for all the people you see when walking the dog. Who knows? They may be encountering a similar situation and want a break as well. Everyone has their problems.
Try letting go of that inner anger when out walking. Go early in the morning and you’ll find many will bid you a ‘good morning’. You can too. At least give people a smile or a discreet nod of the head. Useful if you’re not sure how they will acknowledge you.
Being alone can be positive for many people, as alone does not been lonely. For some, increased loneliness can encourage a feeling of resentment towards others.
Looking at things from another angle, your mother may feel the same way. Longing for the independence she once had.
It’s looking at ways to deal with your situation in a more positive way.
Do you take the dog to see your mother? Those visits may be well appreciated and could ease that tension between you both.
Does your mother have any interests in the home? Is there any way you can encourage her to pursue some form of activity? There may be social groups or lunch clubs for your mother to join…Subject to Covid restrictions being lifted.
It’s trying to find a balance between having social visits with your mother, visiting to help out and making time just for yourself. You’re in conflict because underneath, you care.
You’ll find not all people are that bad. If you can gain more confidence in people, it may open the doors to more interests and possibilities.
There’s no easy way to deal with your situation because every part of it needs addressing, little by little. Life is genuinely hard for you at the moment because you have your own problems to deal with.
If you can arrange a care package for your mother, get some help for yourself and open your mind to the prospect that not all people are annoying, then you’ll perhaps feel more confident at looking to the future.