How much is enough?

Lost my Dad to dementia just over 3 years ago. He was resident in a care home for the last 2 years of his life and my Mum visited every day. Because of this Mum broke the habit of visiting friends and socialising etc, she stopped eating and drinking regularly and eventually made herself ill - she was hospitalised and diagnosed with vertigo and delirium.

Mum is home now and has careers twice a day - they only go in and check Mum has eaten and had a drink - Mum takes care of the house herself. My brother and I take care of Mums finances, shopping etc - everything is done for her. Mums memory is terrible, it is not dementia (that has been tested) and she often forgets that people have visited and/or phoned so she thinks she is alone more than she is. Physically she is very fit.

My problem is how much care is enough? I work full-time. I am constantly being contacted by family members or mums neighbours updating me on what is happening (for example if mum needs a pain killer or if she has refused visitors etc). I understand that people are doing this for the right reason and am appreciative but its all too much. My brother lives closer to Mum so he calls in a few times a week. I see Mum on a Sunday when I take her out (if she will go) and take her shopping down. I see her during the week if there are appointments to be attended etc.

I don’t sleep well, I am constantly stressed and Mum is always on my mind. I went on holiday and was even getting calls from Social Workers when I was away. How do I switch off? It is getting to the point that I am avoiding phoning Mum because I know all I will get is complaining - then I feel bad because I don’t know if Mum cant help the way she is or she just cant be bothered. I really don’t know which way to turn.

Hello Angela

Firstly welcome to our forum, it sounds like this is a really difficult situation, juggling work and care can be very stressful, both emotionally and physically. I’m not sure if you know but we are running online zoom sessions for carers to get together and chat informally. People say they’ve found it really helpful and supportive and it’s nice to be able to take a little bit of time for yourself. There’s no pressure to share any more than you’re comfortable with. Join up details are here:

We are also now running a weekly Share and Learn sessions, where we run a series of fun and relaxed online sessions where visiting speakers who share tips and skills on a range of topics - please have a look at the link and see if one grabs your attention.

Do join if you’d like to, we’ve had a lot of new carers join the sessions recently and it’s a great way to meet other carers.
with best wishes

How old is mum?
Does she have a Lifeline pendant?
I had to leave my answerphone on all the time in the end, trying to run a business from home with endless calls was just impossible.
Mum should have an assessment from Social Services, and an updated care package.

How much is enough? You are already doing too much if no one will leave them alone. Once mum has a Lifeline, give them the number and let them sort it out with Social Services!

Many thanks Ingrid.

I shall look into it

Mum is 79. You are right - I can put my phone away during working hours - thank you


Hi Angela
It needn’t be just work hours you put your phone away. Some out of hours times too.
My lovely late husband had deliurium very badly just after a stroke. He constantly phoned me ,all hours esp at night. Upsetting abusive calls, which wasn’t like him. Eventually I switched the phones off, just for a couple of hours, as I was near a breakdown myself. Felt the guilt, which I learned to kick away. Hubby was eventually diagnosed with vascular dementia and was in a nursing home.
I agree with Bowlingbun. Another assessment is needed, and sadly I feel another dementia test should be completed.