I have been a Carer for my Mum for past 4 years, it took me a long time to realise that I was a Carer. At about the same time I took early retirement, I wanted to enjoy my life, do new things be spontaneous but I haven’t been able to. Because I am an only child of an only child and had time it just began and has never ended. I have to consider Mum when planning anything, in the end I stopped doing things. I don’t live with Mum but am only 5 minutes away. I was going up every day. Mum rings me whenever she thinks of anything. Mum’s health has slowly deteriorated, she is now housebound unless I take her out, which I try not to do too often as she has a tendancy to fall. She has no one else visiting. Mum will not accept that she needs help, she says ‘I manage’. I can’t communicate very well with her as she is quite deaf and I end up shouting, she could only have hearing aids if someone put them in for her. I have told her that help can be arranged but that it will not be me doing it. I have gradually pulled back from her now because I can’t do this every day any more, in fact I don’t want to do it at all. I feel both guilt and resentment but I am told I have to put me first. I am now seriously considering putting everything in a letter for her to read as I can’t think how else to communicate how I feel.
I don’t know your mother’s age but with a tendency to fall maybe
time to see a doctor for an osteoporosis check, just in case.
I understand how this feels. 6 years of parental difficulties, most recently with my very difficult Dad losing the opportunity of reablement because he would not help them assess his needs. We as a family have come to the end of our tethers and have withdrawn care support formally. I have today in fact just done what you have thought about doing. I wrote to my Dad, because he spent half this afternoon ranting at my daughter that we have all turned our backs on him.
Physically being there, eventually you become limited in what you can manage, needs become too complex to manage without professional input. It is very difficult to get support for a parent who has capacity, but clearly is not coping at all. Especially a parent who manipulates, distracts, gaslights and generally has screaming toddler tantrums.
I understand my Dad is afraid. If he admits to not coping he thinks he will be put in a care home. I understand his fear, I don’t think any of us need to be 80 odd to understand the thought of that loss of independence is frightening. My mom is in nursing care because her needs became too great and he could not cope, so I do see where else his fear comes from, but, she has dementia and he does not.
If you feel you want to write to your Mom, go with your instinct. I approached it by trying to empathise with him, my life has parallels with his. In the hope it may get through. I am always hopeful and probably shouldn’t be where he is concerned.
I’ve got no idea what he is going to say to it, but it’s a conversation that we just cannot have face to face because either I cry with utter frustration or we end up in a huge row, which benefits no-one!
Lynda, you need to learn some Mum Management skills.
Like you, although I was 60, I still behaved like a good, obedient little girl as far as my mum was concerned. Counselling was life changing, being “given permission” not to do whatever mum wanted. You are her daughter, NOT HER SLAVE!
Does mum have a Lifeline pendant and know how to use it? If so, you can go out whenever you want.
You do not “have to” do anything, ever again.
She might ring you, but you don’t have to answer.
As she is deaf, how does she use the phone???
You don’t say how old she is, but would she be able to use an ipad? This wouldn’t involve hearing, and she might like looking at pictures of where she lived, etc. Then she could email you, which might be easier than you having to shout?
I feel for you and can identify with so much of what you say. It also took me a long time to realise that I was a carer. I took voluntary redundancy and have done Post-Graduate study, with the view to adding to it, but that has gone by the wayside. I am 60 and would still like to live and go out and do things but at the moment it’s impossible and it looks like it will be that way for the foreseeable future.
My sister and I share the caring, but because I drive and my sister does not, the majority of demands are put on me. A big positive is that my Mum has agreed to have carers from a private agency which is very expensive, but there seems to be no other option. She has considered and ruled out a Care Home, saying she wants to be in her own home, something we all understand and ‘get’ but when it reaches the point where my sister and I are exhausted and feeling ill with our own health issues, it makes things very difficult to say the least.
It has reached the point where my Mum demands things and cannot accept that we have our own lives, problems etc, and are not there purely for her convenience. I feel bad even saying that, but that is the reality we are now living with. The carers are coming in on a trial basis, so I’m hoping it will be more successful than the last Home Helps which my Mum sent away after one day!
So we just go on day after day, at the moment there is no other option.
Is mum claiming Attendance Allowance, to help pay for the carers?
If she has under £23,000, then Social Services might pay some or all of their costs.
Have you and your sisters had Carers Assessments, to look at what help they could offer you, personally?