First post and have tried to be brief – sorry! I’m wondering if anyone else has had to deal with anything similar . . . .
Husband and I have been acting as carers for the last years, first for my Dad (vascular dementia) and now Mum (Triple A, limited mobility, drinking problem). We’ve moved 5 times in 7 years to be closer, then moving further away when Dad died (Mum said we were too close & so had no life). 6 years ago we got a large flat (we rent) so Mum could live with us (she let her own apartment).
Arguments were horrific and nasty – I ignored her, kept going on holiday (twice!), kept organising her (she couldn’t be left more than 2 hrs as she’d drink too much, fall again and then be back in hospital).
Our youngest daughter died in July 2015 then Mum decided she wanted to move into a smaller place; tried to find assisted living accommodation whilst grieving but only one was acceptable. Got her on the waiting list. After 12 months, Mum decided to move back to her own place and we could support her there. It wasn’t possible for us to rent in the same complex as we had a dog, so Mum and sibling agreed we should rent a smaller flat for Mum and us move into her place.
As a result of working full time, losing 2 jobs due to stress of caring, I had a breakdown. Mum decided she wanted to go into a care home, siblings agreed and I handled all the arguments with social services (her apartment had to be discounted in the financial calculations as I am 60 and my husband is 70).
Siblings both live down south (we are in Yorkshire) so kept them updated via calls & emails. Neither offered practical helped or even moral support although I had been asking for such since 2012.
Mum had an internal bleed June last year and was in hospital, then discharged to the care home she had chosen. Still in legal wrangling with the local authority but, after 3 months of paying both rent and top-up fees, they finally agreed to partially fund her place. Instructions from Mum to give her furniture etc away to charity were followed and siblings finally came to assist.
In summary, Mum was settled initially but has now started kicking off as her alcohol intake has to be monitored and restricted and she has to go outside to smoke. Mental health services believe she has dementia but she refuses to have the necessary xrays etc.
Both her and my sister are now accusing me of theft, bullying, giving her stuff away without any consultation and that they have taken legal advice which says Mum can leave at any time.
Mum can’t prepare food, make herself a drink, remember to take her medication, bathe or move around easily. I have contacted her social worker to ask that she be assessed in order to live by herself but previous attempts at using home carers failed miserably. The care home and mental health nurses both agree that, although she has fluctuating capacity, she would not be safe without 24/7/365 care and we just can’t provide that any longer.
The current lock-down has helped me in some ways as my sister cannot visit (in November she physically and verbally attacked me) and I have to limit my visits to see Mum. On the days she has enough brandy, she is quite content to be there, on others I can’t believe the things she is accusing me of.
My sister has told my brother I should have Mum to live with us as this is her flat; I’d move if I thought Mum would be safe living by herself but I know she won’t. If she doesn’t drink herself to death, then she will fall and not be able to call for help (the apartment is in a gated community and we cannot have a key safe outside the main gates). We have tried living together and it just did not work.
Sorry it is so long – I don’t feel as though I have had a good night’s sleep in the last 10 years apart from the 3 months she was happy in the care home. I now suffer from hemiplegic migraines (the first one I thought I was having a stroke), suffer from PTSD and am trying to work full time. The care home staff are fantastic and the manager & Mum’s social worker have both informed the mental health care staff that moving was Mum’s informed decision and that it was the right one.
I wish sometimes I could just walk through a door and close it, with no way of ever coming back. I also wish my sister would stop stirring things up and then leaving me to pick up the pieces. So long a rant so thank you if you have managed to get to the very end