Hi, I’m in my 70s, my mother is in her 90s. I have no siblings so responsibility for my mother’s welfare falls to me. We are both widows and my children live 200 miles away at the other end of the country. As her needs grow, I feel obliged to take up responsibility for her, but I really do not want to. Having responsibility for myself and my home is hard work enough. My mother lives 15 minutes drive away in a retirement flat. We have always had a strained relationship sadly, but I have been providing emotional and an increasing degree of physical support since my father died almost 20 years ago. My mother has a cleaner now and has food delivered. My mother uses a walker outside of her flat because she is quite weak physically. Next week, we are sorting out Power of Attourney as she is becoming less able to grasp things. Some things I have been dealing with for the past year or so, like electricity and telephone suppliers, as well as medical issues.
I am finding all this very time consuming and wearying, sometimes not having enough time or energy to deal with my own issues. I am trying to come to terms with the fact that my responsibilities are increasing at a time when I’d like to simplify my life and take on less.
I’m hoping others experience here will help me along.
Hello Patricia. I’m glad you found this site. I’m in a similar situation to you. I am mid 50’s and have been caring for my mum (age 88) for over 3 years now. Fortunately I do have 2 sisters and a brother who do help. But I’m the youngest and live nearby so I’m her full time carer. Sometimes I feel like I have no life away from caring. I have most of Saturdays and Sundays ‘off duty’ and rely on my siblings to visit Mum.
How often do you visit your Mum? Could you persuade her to employ a carer? You say she lives in a retirement flat - are there carers on site?
I’ve just re- read your post and I realise that things like 'Power of Attourney and the utility bills are not done by a carer! However, surely once you’ve finished POA then that will be out of the way. It sounds like you have taken over your mum’s admin tasks. I agree this can be very time consuming - emails, phone calls, letters etc.
It doesn’t have to be you as Power of Attorney. It can be anyone (or more than one) that Mum wants and who is willing and trustworthy. It could be a solicitor even, but they would charge for the service. It could be your children, who I assume are adults. It could be a mixture.
Full residential care would stop the need for utility bills, food etc.
However, realistically there are some tasks/duties/decisions that may come your way. I would recommend that you have some counselling to help you work out what limits you really can or should put in place.
It’s always difficult balancing the needs and wants of the caree with the needs and wants of the carer so it’s good you’ve identified the problem early