Mother pretends she doesn't need Care


My mother has acute myeloid leukaemia and is 77 years old. Her condition is incurable and terminal. This is because they consider her too old to get a transplant. She is surviving on chemotherapy to reduce the leukaemia cells. The leukaemia and the chemo together are knocking her back. My sister and myself together are now looking after her 7 days a week. Going in to see her, do the shopping, help her dress if needed and doing all the cleaning and washing and most cooking. We take her to all doctor and hospital appointments. We keep her house clean and her clean and tidy. We both keep our mobiles next to us at all times, as there have been some occasions where she has had to go in to hospital. The trouble is she tells everyone she is fine and the nurses and consultant she is doing very well. They believe her. I can’t believe they don’t realise the chemo makes her so sick and weak, she can barely move or eat and that she can’t be left alone. It’s so frustrating when the medical staff and my mother seem to be colluding in this fantasy. She can’t bend down to put her socks on, cut her toenails, take lids off things. All they see is my mother clean and smartly dressed walking in to chemo with my sister. They can’t be that naïve surely. We hoped to get attendance allowance and yet despite giving her only a few weeks to live at the first diagnosis, they are reluctant to say she needs help. Her own doctor who hasn’t seen her for over 5 years in person, says the same thing. Still alive are you and good for you type thing over the phone. My sister and I feel really let down and isolated. We won’t leave my mother alone as she has a cataract too and gets confused, but the lack of help is very disappointing. Anyone else had similar?

Keep a diary. Take photos. Take a day off. Then mum might realise how much help she needs.

I think you will find that in these cases the medical profession. Are trained to go along with the patient thoughts and wishes. You may need to find a way of asking Mum questions. In front of the professionals to tease out the answers you are looking for. Mum doesn’t have to except anything about her diagnosis. If she doesn’t want too. However, it does help professionals to inform of how daily tasks are being completed. i.e. question how are you meeting you daily routines such as bathing and dressing. Mum will possible answer yes OK. And if she isn’t you can intervene. By saying Mum needs support to get dressed etc. The time it takes etc etc. You can get an O/T referral or do a self referral. Obviously, Mum will need to agree to a visit. The O/T can then make an assessment report. All the way along Mum must agree and give her permission. when you do the attendance allowance form. It would be a good idea to contact Age UK. They are proficient in helping to complete the form.