My Caring Dilemma

Hi all,

I’m a 37 year old male from Yorkshire who just wanted to post on here and let it all out because sometimes it gets too much for me. I’ve been feeling really down for a long time now. I did post on here not too long ago but then never managed to follow it up as life and caring got in the way.

I’ve spent days and days reading through the various threads and topics with tears running down my face because I know how some of the posters feel. I know how it takes over your life and how lonely you end up getting because you end up forsaking your own life.

I “care” for my Mum who is in her late 60’s - she has diabetes and osteoarthritis. I also help with 2 siblings: 1 is in her 40’s and I believe she has learning difficulties (they’ve never been diagnosed by the GP though) and 1 is 40 but has long term nerve damage. He can’t urinate normally and has to put catheters in to empty his bladder. He had an operation done to put a nerve simulator inside him but it didn’t work and now he suffers from intense pain in the leg they put it into. He also suffers from manic depression and can easily be set off which leads to a huge bout of unhappiness, vomiting and various other things. I know he must be in a lot of pain but when he is on one of his downers, the whole room is filled with a negative aura and it ends up getting everyone down.

I work part time and the rest of the time is either spent going to appointments with Mum, cleaning and cooking or just keeping her company. I don’t really have much of a life. Once I get home from work, Mum wants me to stop in and keep her company even when others are at home. I think she gets very lonely. Her husband died 10 years ago after being diagnosed with cancer. He was very controlling and more or less ordered her round like his own personal slave all their married life. So after he dropped dead, she has no one to boss her around or tell her what she can or can’t do. Towards the end of his illness and before his death, he became a complete “diva”. I know one mustn’t speak ill about the dead but he had us running around after him like mad people. He would demand food when he was told he could no longer eat and then vomit it all out which would then have to be cleaned up before he demanded another dish, which would then get vomited out, had to be cleaned etc etc. The abuse that came out of his mouth in the last 12 months was awful. I will never know how much pain he was in and how bad it got for him, but some of the things he would say just made us wince. I remember him saying once that he would be better off left to die out in the street because we had done nothing for him - that’s after like 5 years of weekly appointments, cooking, cleaning, doing everything for him, running here there and everywhere, catering to his every whim and fancy.

Anyway, Mum’s health has deteriorated over the last 10 years. She has lost a lot of weight and her arthritis has gotten worse too. Not too long ago, she was placed on methatrexate which I believe is a chemo drug. Since then, she’s lost even more weight and is now about 6 stones - most of her teeth have dropped out so she struggles to eat which makes me worry even more about her. I try to make soft food and soups for her but she doesn’t always like it. I sometimes cut up food for her into small pieces but this is not always possible. The others are too engrossed in their own woes to help out. Mum is almost always tired too, constantly nodding off until the ***** next door slam a door and she jolts out of her daze. I wonder if she gets any sleep at night? I know she worries about her kids mainly the 2 I have mentioned, especially my brother who can’t urinate on his own.

I’ve been in a “caring” role for close to 15 years, 10 years with Mum and about 5 years with her husband. By “carer” and “caring” I mean I help out and do most of the daily living things (cook, clean, appointments, financial stuff) but I don’t claim anything for it nor would I want to. I’m not posting this because I want help with money or finance. I’m posting because I feel so lonely. I don’t have a life other than work and that is stressful as any job can be working with young people who are homeless. I also wanted a release. I have a lot of friends and acquaintances but they just don’t seem to understand how it takes over your life. Some think I am exaggerating or being dramatic but then how would they know as none of them are still at home with parents and do not have caring responsibilities. I never make plans with any of them because Mum might want me to stay in and then it’s just too much hard work so I just don’t bother. It’s her house I guess so I have to follow her rules.

As much as I love Mum, and I love her a LOT, she has also become quite controlling. After work, she gets upset if I go out in case she needs me and it’s only once a month or once every 2 months that I am “allowed” to stay out. I normally book into a hotel and just sit there and cry but those 24 hours don’t last long and it’s back to running around after everyone at home. I’m not a caged up beast, she does “let me” go out to the gym once or twice during my non working days but she makes me feel bad for leaving her on her own - she’s not on her own because the other 2 are still there but I don’t think she can have a genuine conversation with them. Normally, I just end up crying in the shower at the gym - forget workouts, I just head straight to the shower and cry.

I used to be so full of life and confident and full of energy. Now I just feel miserable and despondent - my speech impediment has also come back! I have to put on the fake smile for work but it’s fake. I feel so tired normally. I’ve not slept properly in forever. On top of all of that, we have awful neighbours who slam doors day and night continuously. Unfortunately, the council won’t get involved because Mum’s house is owned and so is the awful people next door and apparently it’s fine to slam doors all day and night as per the environmental health team (I work in housing and they only get involved here if both properties are council owned). The Police won’t do anything either. I’ve talked about moving with Mum but she is adamant she will not be forced to move from here and would rather just suffer. We’ve had the discussion about moving numerous times over the years and I now just cannot be bothered bringing it up again. We end up falling out and then she just ignores me for weeks on end so it is really awkward.

Does anyone else sometimes feel the need for a hug or someone to just put a hand on their shoulder and tell them it’s OK? I feel so lonely at times with all kinds of thoughts careering through my head at night when I can’t sleep and I normally get out of bed with that awful knot in my stomach which is followed by a run of loo runs. I also hate the same old same old my life has become. I so want out but just don’t see any way unless Mum passes. I feel horrible for thinking it but sometimes I wish I could just break free and run off into the sunset and never come back. There is so much I want to do with my life, like travel, have a girlfriend, go exploring etc. Life is such a chore at the moment. At times, I just wish I would not wake up!

I’ve accepted she will not move from here and I have also accepted I will be in this “caring” roll unless I drop dead or Mum passes. However, I just wanted to get it all off my chest and thanks so much to anyone who has read this all. Oh my, it looks a thesis I wrote. Apologies.

Welcome back OTV,

you aren’t alone in how you feel.

Your Mum wants you to stay with her every evening, but she doesn’t need this. You need to look after you too, your wellbeing is as important as everyone elses.

What did you used to enjoy doing in your spare time?


Three carees and work is simply too much.

On top of that you have all been emotionally abused for a long time. From what you have written about your dad, he was not the father he should have been, and you have all been to hell and back as a result.

It sounds like you have become the family slave, becoming a substitute “mum” to your siblings, or is no one capable of making good decisions because of the legacy of dad’s behaviour?
Everyone expects you to do things for them, and it’s time they all started to take responsibility for themselves.

I’m assuming you all live in the same house? Does mum own, or rent it?

The answer to this is desperately important. If mum rents it from the council, you probably don’t have any right to stay there after she dies or moves into residential care. You, your brother and your sister will be made homeless by the council!

You know you need to take control and sort this out, but everyone is used to you doing it all for them, and I’m wondering if you were always conditioned to help mum and do everything she couldn’t.

It took counselling for me at 60 to realise that was what had happened to me! It’s not going to be an easy job, but it can be done.
Counselling turned things round for me when I was on the edge of a breakdown, trying to please everyone else all of the time so never had any “me” time at all.

I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but I think all your family members need counselling, to get over dad’s behaviour, and sort themselves out individually.
Ask your GP what counselling is available locally.


I agree with BB 3 carees is way too many.

I have 2 and at times it feels too much, balancing their needs with mine.

Have any of of your carees had a needs assessments from social services?

It is concerning that you are not able to enjoy the brief times you get to go to the gym and you are in tears. That is definitely suggesting you are overwhelmed. Which anyone would be with a job as well on top of everything else .

If it was me, I would be thinking about the other options for your mum. Like sheltered housing. She sounds lonely. My mum was in one which was lovely. Her own flat and company when she wanted

You may get more of the life YOU want then.

I would suggest going to your GP as well.

1 Like

Please talk to your GP about how you are feeling, you need help and support. I am thinking of you and hope things get better for you. There is also Signpost who support carers and they may be able to help you.
Best wishes and stay strong as you sound like a really good person.

Hello and welcome!

3 carees is too much. I only care for one family member and even then I find it hard at times. He is not the reason why I am frustrated most of the time however. No that is a post and story for another time.
What are your interests? If you love sewing, I recommend trying to find a good sewing club that is fairly local to you. Do you enjoy making art or not? Talk with your GP as well. You need a break pronto from caring. When was the last time when you had time to yourself? Find some more opportunities to just chill out. Even if it only is some time spent out in the fresh air on a community allotment, planting things or walking that still counts.

What about supported living? Explore all possible supported living options. Here is some more information on supported housing schemes in Britain for you to look at. Your rights in supported housing - Shelter England

Hi Melly1, thanks for replying.

Mum really struggles with basic things like opening and closing doors due to her osteoarthritis. Poor woman can’t even go from the front room to the kitchen without struggling with the doors. I know she somehow manages but to see a fully independent woman become what she is now breaks my heart. For some unknown reason, I feel guilty for this. Don’t ask me why but I do. Does anyone else feel this way about someone they care for?

I can’t remember what I enjoyed doing in my spare time. I’ve not had any for such a long time. Like when I said I go to the gym, it’s almost on borrowed time and the time starts ticking down as soon as I am out of the house. I like walking and would love to travel but it’s just not going to happen in the near future unless something drastically changes.

Hi bowlingbun, thanks for replying.

Yes, we all live in the same house which was owned by Dad. I’m not sure whose name it is in now! I guess it would go into Mum’s name but we never had it changed.

I don’t know if I have become the slave or let myself become the slave. The 2 siblings at home don’t work and could help out with a few bits and pieces but they don’t. My brother does help and do some of the cooking once in a while so that is always helpful but it’s not often. It’s dependent on his mood and how he feels. When his depression gets really bad, he just sits in a corner with his head down and pukes up a lot. I’ve noticed this happening more and more lately. My sister will only do very basic stuff. Again, I am not sure if this is to with her learning disability (it’s never been diagnosed but there are things she does and says which make me think something is not quite right - she has to put both feet on the same step when going up or down and various other things, or she simply can’t be bothered. I mean why would anyone want to lift a finger when someone is going to do everything for them? I’ve had numerous chats with them asking them for a bit of help but it always falls on deaf ears. I’ve even tried doing a rota but that’s not led to any changes. My sister can’t cook and that’s fine but if she helped with a bit of tidying up or even a bit cleaning, it would be a big help. I think after asking for help for so long, you eventually just lose interest in asking for it and just do it all yourself.

I work in Housing so I know how awful it can be when parents die and the property cannot be passed onto a child. Thankfully we are not in a Council property. Mum does regularly tell us to think about getting a house so there are no issues in the long run. I’ve always been good with my money and could put down a large deposit on a house so I tend not to worry about that. It’s not like I go on holidays or anything so my earned money is just saved up – obviously I buy food and groceries and I pay for all the DIY to the house. I don’t have to pay any board though and I think Mum thinks she is doing me favour by doing this but she isn’t.

“I’m wondering if you were always conditioned to help mum and do everything she couldn’t” – you’ve put it very eloquently. That is exactly how I feel. I remember being the “second Mum” from age 13 when I realised how much my Mum was struggling. I learnt to cook and clean then and have done it since. Sometimes I feel like that is my worth but when I compare my life to other friends, I just want to move out. There are other siblings who have moved out but they have no need for us and don’t even bother visiting. My oldest sister has not been to our house for close to 10 years. Her kids are grown up so she does not need us to babysit. Even if she came and kept Mum company for a few hours it would help but she won’t and doesn’t. Again, it was like trying to get blood from a stone. We’ve asked numerous time for a bit of help but she just can’t be bothered. If she came to sit with Mum for an hour every few days that would lighten the load but she simply just doesn’t care.

Can you tell me how I would request counselling? I’ve tried going to the GP with a list of things I want to discuss but always bottle it at the last minute and make up a non-existent rash or some such. It’s so hard asking for help and I almost always feel embarrassed. Is there anything in particular I need to say? I know if someone wants Council accommodation, they would need to use certain buzzwords, are there any for counselling? I just feel so awkward because if I let my guard down and open up, I will just be in a flurry of tears. I opened up to a friend in real life (not online) a few months ago and I just cried and cried and cried. I wasn’t able to get any words out. That friend has sort of avoided me since so I always feel bad for telling people how I really feel.

Right, it’s almost time to go home so it’s back to cleaning and cooking and keeping Mum company. Wish me luck. I’m so tired!

Thanks again for reading my thesis and the replies. It means so much to me. If only one of you could put a hand on my shoulder and tell me it’s going to be OK. I so need that. Sorry if I sound ridiculous.

Ask your GP about counselling. They should ideally refer you. Failing that you can refer yourself.


Has your Mum had a recent occupational therapy assessment? They can assess her needs and provide all sorts of gadgets and equipment to make her life easier.

Does she see a consultant? She may be a candidate for replacement surgery.

It’s also very important to keep moving with osteoarthritis and not to stay in any position for too long.

Yes, it is hard to see someone you love in pain, however, you shouldn’t feel guilty. Mrs Average (forum member) used to advice members to replace the word, “guilty” for “sad” - it’s sad that your mum is in pain and struggling - but not your fault.

Looking after yourself IS important, its easier to care when we are rested, we are more resilient.


Dear ontheaversge,

I am old enough to be your mum and feel so very sorry for you and the position you’re in.

PLEASE , PLEASE go and see your GP and let him know how depressed you feel. In my humble opinion you do sound to be on the edge of a nervous break down and if you become more poorly you won’t be in a position to care for anyone!!

You say you work in the housing department. And I’m sure that if you ask the Human Resources department for a confidential meeting and tell them your predicament they will be able to offer you advice/counselling …Could you not approach your line manager and explain the position you are in?

I know it’s easy for me to suggest these things but it’s you who has to grab the bull by the horns so to speak and actually do something before you crack up!!

Another suggestion is that you actually book a weeks holiday …tell your Mum and your siblings who live at home and the other siblings who don’t that you are going and just GO!!! Again easier said than done I know. It will be hard but you need to do somethinf drastic for your own mental healrh well being.

Also take the advice of others who have responded to your post, especially bowlingbun.

We are all here to listen and support you in the best way we can.

Stay strong. Things will come right in the end I am sure. And I know that your mum, in her heart of hearts, wouldn’t want you to make yourself ill in caring for her.

Sending you the biggest virtual ((hug)) ever from a Yorkshire mum!!

Joan xx

Hi cloudygal, thanks for your response.

My family would not want to get involved with SS. I’ve mentioned it to them before. Mum thinks they would take her away and put her in a home and it’s not nice seeing her cry like that. She won’t understand nor will she accept it. If I try to talk to her about it, she just completely freezes me out.

I know all about sheltered housing and wardens and what not. Although my expertise is with young people and homelessness, we also work with older people now and then. There is a sheltered scheme about 10 minutes away from here but it’s a big fat NO from Mum. She would rather just lay on the floor in her home and die on her own than go into a home. Sorry, this makes no difference and I don’t even know why I am mentioning it but I am from an Indian family and homes/care/sheltered accommodation is not the done thing. If someone was to send a family member to a care home, the rest of the family would be frowned upon. I remember when my Mum’s husband got diagnosed with cancer and it got really bad, the GP came to ours and told my Mum to put in application to be his carer (or something along the lines), Mum went ape shit and said “how dare you, I am married to him, I have to look after him, I am not his carer, I am his wife”!

We’ve actually got a diabetic check for Mum next week and we go to the same GP, so I am going to try and get an appointment to see if I can talk about counselling. I’ve really been struggling to sleep so a few weeks ago I asked for some short term aids but I was told no and told to go to the gym in the evening! If only.

Thanks again for your advice.

Hi martin1909, thanks for your response.

I am going to look into counselling when I go to the GP. I appreciate your advice.

Hi thara_1910, thanks for your response.

I like walking and nature so that could be something I could look into. I will see if they have a local group or even some kind of befriending walking group.

I play some games on my mobile phone now and then. I know I can play the game silently on my mobile when I am with Mum and she has nodded off or whatever. Normally after we have eaten or even on my non working days, she is laid on the couch and I sit next to her and silently plod away on my game. I can’t sit on my laptop because it would bother her if I was typing and I don’t want to disturb her rest. Also, when I can’t sleep at night, I can play my game without bothering anyone in my room. The game is absolutely a huge waste of time but it’s almost like I can leave my worries temporarily and become a marvel superhero and disappear for a bit.

Thanks for your reply.

I have some more people to reply to but I will do that tomorrow. I need to give Mum her pills and then it’s off to bed with her. Thanks again everyone for all your help. I truly appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. It almost feels like I have a few new online acquaintances and that means a lot.

At least I have a bit of an action plan now. I know my problems and issues won’t disappear overnight but it feels so good to let it all out. I am also going to start writing a list of things to mention to the GP. It almost feels like I have been given a lease of life thanks to all your replies and advice and support. Thank you so much.

If you are OK financially, then invest in some private counselling. Ring the surgery and ask if there is anyone that they work with. That was how I got my current counsellor. £30 an hour sounds a lot, but it gave me my life back. After a few weekly or fortnightly sessions, we then agreed that I could make an appointment whenever I felt the need.
I was also in the business of helping others, and my guard was so high I was really afraid to let it down because the flood gates would open and never shut again. However, the counsellor just let me go at a pace I was comfortable with. The first few sessions just seemed like me nattering non stop for an hour, but then I realised that after every session I was a bit better. The counsellor realised what made me most unhappy, and then we talked about how I could “manage” mum’s expectations. I’d never said “No” to mum, and still didn’t, instead I would say “let me do this before you give me another job”, or “I started this and I’m keen to get it done” but always going at the pace I wanted to. It sounds so simple, but it really worked. I no longer felt guilty at what I couldn’t do, but happy about what I could do, especially in comparison with my brothers who did sweet FA!

This could be the best money you ever spend, but make sure you get someone qualified and experienced. I suspect if the surgery realise you are happy to pay, they will immediately give you a name.
Your sister needs to be assessed, it sounds like mum has always shielded her from the real world?
How did she manage at school?

I’ve just read your most recent comments. I didn’t realise you came from an Indian family (my lot is like the UN!) but I know that there is a strong culture of family looking after each other. If mum just had a Needs Assessment from Social Services, she might be eligible for someone to help her in the home, through direct payments. Then you could pay someone from the same ethnic group to care for her when you are at work. Would that be a possibility.
If your sister could be assessed, then maybe she too would be eligible for help or Direct Payments? (Does she get any benefits at the moment?)
If they both got DP’s then the same person could possibly care for both of them part of each day, which would take a load off your shoulders. Don’t worry about replying to me specially, you have so much going on, but maybe I’ve given you a few ideas to think about.

The ideal situation would be for them to have care regardless of what you were doing. Then you could stay in the same house as a valued part of the family, feeling that you were valued and cared for in your own right, not because you were back to do their jobs for them!!

Hi, it’s me again!! The Yorkshire mum!!!

You mentioned about writing a list for when you go see your GP.

A great idea!! In fact why don’t you write the list and when you see him/her just GIVE him/her a copy of the list. This will ensure that you don’t suddenly “back out” of telling the GP everything :grinning:!!

Anyway good luck in whatever you decide to do!

Big hugs again.

Joan xx


So sorry to hear about your problems. It is really tough when family won’t accept help. It definitely sounds as though some counselling would help.

I met an friend with South Asian heritage for lunch this weekend and I know she would relate to a lot of what you are saying about care being frowned upon in her parents community… Her saving grace in this situation as her parents have got older and she has a sister who has been poorly has been support from the South Asian community. Her parents go to a temple and have lots of support from there.

Does Mum belong to a religion? Could you seek out some company for her from local temple/mosque/church/relevant community group etc? They might not be able to help with care as such, but might be a way for your Mum to make some friends. This might take the pressure of you a little bit for being her soul source of company etc in an evening? Just a thought?

Equally if there are other extended family members who would frown upon care, perhaps you could shame them into helping more???

Hi Melly1, thanks for your response.

We had the OT assessment about a year ago. They’ve given her these hand splints which she wears more or less all day and they gave her some really fancy gloves which she wears at night. I think her circulation is really poor because her hands and feet are always cold. We used to have regular appointments where she put her hands in a wax bath and she loved it but those appointments are no longer running. It was so sad a few weeks when we were going to cook chicken and she was trying to help me cut the chicken up but she just couldn’t. She struggled no end and ended up in tears. I felt so bad for her.

She does walk around the house and I do some of the exercises with her that she was asked to do by the arthritis clinic. It cheers her up, bless her soul.

I think we are due to see the consultant in March. They keep telling her to have steroid injections but she is not interested in them at all. Trying to get her to take the methotrexate was bad enough.

Thanks for your reply. I like the bit about changing guilty to sad.

Hi Joan_1501, thanks for your response.

Your response gave me a lot of hope. You’ve also just reminded me about a pack we were given from work with regards to our wellbeing. I can access up to a few sessions of counselling or talking free of charge to keep me sane and in good health so I am not signed off from work long term. It’s confidential so it won’t be divulged back to my manager. I will take the paperwork home with me and see if I can fill the forms in and get some help. I reckon it will take a long time but at least I know I am heading in the right direction.

The organisation I work has a carers network but in the year since I joined, they have not had any meetings. They have arranged a few but they keep getting cancelled. From what I have heard, they hold sessions once a few months and people can just sit and chat. A bit like AA but for carers. I would really love to go to something like that. Sometimes you just want to let it all out with people who would understand. I struggle to do it with friends because their response is “lets’ go clubbing / let’s go get drunk / let’s smoke weed”.

Have you ever done the “book a week away” and how did you cope? When I do my random hotel stay once every few months, I feel so guilty. Mum always walks me out the door and the look on her face as I leave makes me feel so guilty. I guess she feels so lonely. Don’t get me wrong, before I go, I clean and tidy the whole house up and always make sure food is ready so they can just put it in the microwave or on the hob. Then as soon as I am back, I will do all the cleaning again. The thing is, it’s just the horrendous thought of going back to all of that which exhausts me.

I’ll start writing a list tomorrow because my working week will be over after today.

Thanks so much for the cyber hug, it was very much needed. I really appreciate your kind and helpful words.

Hi bowlingbun, thanks for your response.

I will chase up the counselling from work first but I am more than happy to pay. If the sessions were run during the day, I could always take some time off as I have all my leave from last year to take. Mum would never know what happening because she would think I was at work.

You mention that your brother did sweet FA. How did you cope with that? I have 2 siblings that do just that. I’ve just cancelled them out of my life. If they can’t see how ill and needy Mum is and how exhausted I am, I have no time for them.

It almost feels like because I am the youngest one and not married therefore without “responsibilities”, I’m just expected to do everything. I read another ladies posts on here and that was the same for her. I think her sister was married and had kids so the expectation was that she would take over caring for her parent because she had no responsibilities.

Sister is a good few years older than me but I know she struggled at school. She failed all her GCSE’s and came out with no skills whatsoever. When she talks, she repeats sentences again and again and when you ask her a question, she gives a response to something completely different. I think she is on PIP but I could be wrong. I don’t really have a relationship with her. Sorry if that sounds harsh but looking after Mum is more than enough on top of work and daily struggles.

I will look into the needs assessment, I am not too sure what it is but I know Mum would say no to anyone coming into her house. It’s just one of those things. She knows there are tons of things she can no longer do but she will keep trying. I guess it must be hard for her to go from doing everything to not being able to do anything.

Hi Sally_15301, thanks for your response.

Is your friend Hindu? Mum’s a Muslim and women don’t go to the Mosque. I know they have an older person’s group for women but she won’t go. I know there are some people in our area that go, I think it’s like a luncheon group and they do activities like poetry and crafts. It’s bad enough getting Mum to go to the hospital / GP appointments because most of her life she was caged up at home and not allowed out. I think she is petrified of going out. She lost all her personal skills during her marriage. I’ve told her I would be more than happy to go with her to the first one but she goes all frosty and then just ignores me so I try and not bring subjects like that up.

My auntie who lives near us used to come and visit Mum often but she is now almost 80 and has dementia amongst various health issues, so she no longer comes over. I know the last time Mum and I went to hers, they had a little catch up and then my auntie thought my Mum was her Mum. Auntie burst into tears – “Mum I thought you had died, you’ve come back” which really upset Mum. I do hope Mum never gets dementia because I don’t know how we would manage with that.

Unfortunately all of Mum’s siblings are 75+ with numerous health issues, and sadly for them, most of their childen / grandkids don’t care so they are suffering in silence. They tend to ask one of my brothers for help and he always goes to help them but he doesn’t do anything for Mum which is a bloody shame but it is what it is. He just seems to think because I am at home and not married, it’s all down to me to do everything.

Can I ask a quick question to you all. In your caring role, if you bring up new ideas to your caree and they just follow it up with a swift no, how do you bring it up again without being frozen out? If I mention social services or outside help, Mum just blanks me completely and then it’s really awkward because she will ignore me for a few days.

It’s bad enough going to the arthritis clinic with her. The consultant tells her they want to inject steroids into her wrist, she says no and says if you mention it again, I am leaving. LOL.

Thanks so much for all your help and advice and for reading my lengthy message.

Hey - sorry suggestion not helpful. Yes friend’s family Hindu.

But hold the thought of that older ladies group. Could you contact them and explain your Mum’s reluctance? They may be able to have some suggestions to get her there? If a religious group they might be prepared to reach out to her at home at first? I am sure she would benefit. Could you just take her without telling her when you are going?? If she’s anything like my Mum she wouldn’t kick up a stink whilst there to save face (just give you a hard time after??)

I can TOTALLY relate to your issue about getting a no to everything from my cared for person. This was both my Mum and Dad. Being older generation British there was also a lot of feeling that “family should do it”. We let things go to far Dad and things got into a total pickle. I vowed this wouldn’t happen again with Mum. So we’ve been firm with her that we have to have help in. We started with a cleaner as a starting point? That might feel more acceptable to her and take some of the burden off you? We’ve then built up to someone popping in to make meals when we can’t. She actually quite likes these people now.

We have recently forced Mum into going to a memory group (she has dementia) and BOY did she kick up a stink! My sister was brave and just took her to the first one without telling her. She was VILE before and after the first few. However, she has got used to it. And I would say almost enjoys it now. And it definitely does her good. Sometimes you just have to brazen it out for a longer term benefit??

Finally sad to hear about ailing other relatives. This sounds harsh, but do you care what they think if you got some help from social service? Sometimes you just have to do what is right for you regardless of what others think. Having been there and worn that t-shirt I can say that it WAS hard at the time to get help, but things are so much better now. I really hope they can be for you too. Keep posting, even if just to have a rant. You are not on your own.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Having been a carer for 40 years, 10 carees, I would do things very differently if I had the time again. Here a few ideas to think about.

Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own happiness.
This applies to you, and equally to your mum.
Clearly your siblings are putting theirs first!
If you are lonely, then you need to do something about it, but that will only be possible when you dump the guilt - you have nothing to feel guilty for, you didn’t give her the arthritis, and you are doing more than anyone else. Maybe a gentle reminder now and then?

You have a RIGHT to a life of your own.
No one has a right to control someone else - although some have a good try!
If you love a parent, you want to help them if they are poorly BUT you cannot fill in the other gaps in their lives.
If someone is lonely, they can either moan about it, or do something about it. You are not a social organiser.
If you have all suggestions rejected, then maybe say “Mum, I can’t live your life for you. I’ve given you lots of ideas but you turn them all down. it’s your choice to stay home alone when you could be with …”

It’s not your responsibility to make mum happy!

Hello again!

What about a nice care home? This is a online care home directory website that you might find useful. All areas of Britain are covered and there are lots of useful reviews on there as well. Plus they have some handy checklists of questions which you can print out and take with you. Don’t forget to ask for some contact information.
The search box is also a nice feature to use. I also recommend making a list of care homes in the area to visit. Additionally it is always a good idea to have a short list of questions to ask in case. Make sure to trust your gut feeling. Remember that finding a care home is a lot like searching for a new house or school. You will know when you have found the right one seriously. Hang in there!

Do you have any hobbies or not? Walking is a good one. Have you ever heard of the U3A movement?

Hey Sally_177031,

I love the way you handled your caree. I don’t think Mum would relent and if I took the measures you did, she would throw me out which would not be good because I would not come back and she would be well and truly snookered. I do like your va va voom and wish I had done what you did about 10 years ago when she wasn’t as frail as she is now.

The elderly women’s group is done via the Council’s social services and you have to register with them first. It’s very well attended and from what I recall, they have a waiting list. There are no specific groups for elderly Indian ladies but I will look into it as I do have some contacts in adult social services. Like you have said, although I know the answer will be no, there is no harm in trying is there.

Hi bowlingbun,

Loads of excellent advice there. Because I have been a carer for such a long time, it’s hard to get out of that mentality. I’ve worked with people who have suffered years and years of domestic violence so I know it will take an age for me to sort myself out.

I truly appreciate your advice and wisdom. At least I have got things in motion now thanks to your help and I am not just withering away worrying myself silly.

Hi thara_1910,

Thanks for the information re: the care homes. I will look into it but again, from Mum’s end, it will be a no. I don’t understand her old school mentality where she thinks she has to trooper on. If only she accepted the help, it would be fantastic. If she did go into a home, I would go and see her daily and spend time with her, it’s not like I would just leave her on her own.

I will look at the U3A movement too. Is that for carers or carees? I just had a quick skim and it said it was for people who are not working?


I checked through my work self help pack during my lunch. It appears I can have 5 30 minute sessions over the telephone to chat to a trained person about a whole horde of issues - this included noisy neighbours, carers and various other things. This will be perfect for me even if it’s just chatting to someone and getting it off my chest. There is a free phone number which I will call during the week.

There’s also information about counselling but to be fast tracked, it would be £60 per session. I will have a think about it before I go ahead and take the offer on.

There’s also a free physiotherapy or massage for employees who are having issues with stress. I might as well put my name down for that too.

My brother went out for a walk today and met a friend, so that has cheered him up a bit. The negative aura he gives off is offputting.

Thanks so much to all of you for your help and advice again. I know things won’t change overnight but I am glad I am making a bit of progress. I feel like a bit of a man on a mission thanks to all of you.

Hi ontheaverage!! It’s me again!!

I am 73 and my mum is 93. I am an only child with one married daughter who lives fifty miles away and she has a 12 year old son.

Ever since I retired at the age of 60 I regularly visited mum who used to live in her own bungalow. She had no friends or relatives to visit and was not the type of person who could mix easily with others. Wouldn’t entertain day care. Saying that, I did persuade her to go to day care…she went three times but didn’t like it!!! Gradually her health declined and I was sometimes going three times a day (she lived about six miles away from me and thank goodness I could drive!!)

I tried to persuade her to have carers in but her answer was always “NO YOU ARE MY DAUGHTER AND IT IS YOUR DUTY TO LOOK AFTER ME…I DON’T WANT STRANGERS LOOKING AFTER ME” etc etc

Eventually I decided that I really needed a break and she did actually agree to go into a home for a fortnight whilst we went to Lanzarote!! BUT…the week before our holiday she changed her mind and said she wasn’t going!!! I "lost the plot " with her. .I was so angry and upset and even asked someone from social services to visit her to see if they could persuade her to change her mind. But she wouldn’t! !! The social worker said I needed the break and should just arrange for her to have carers going in and meals on wheels and then go on my holiday. The social worker also said that she would bob in as well to make sure she was ok.

So we did go but oh the stress I was under. If my husband had said “well we won’t go” then I wouldn’t have but he just kept saying "we are getting on that plane "!!!. I felt so guilty. But I organised private carers and meals on wheels and told mum that we were going. The day before we went she followed me round the bungalow banging her zimmer on the floor saying “I don’t know how you can leave me when I’m poorly!!!” It was awful!!! But we went!!! My daughter visited her at the weekend and texted me to say her grandma was fine! !!

So you see it can be done but it’s awful and not easy! Getting on that plane was terrible, I really felt that i was abandoning her .But honestly it was worth it in the end. In fact I’m glad we went for two weeks as it took me quite a few days to ‘unwind’ and start enjoying our holiday!!

And when we came back home I told mum that i wasn’t going to visit every day and that carers would come on the days when I stayed at home. She wasn’t happy at all but I stood my ground and she eventually got used to the idea but regularly berated me!!! (Developing a thick skin helps :grinning:)

Eventually her health deteriorated(she also has dementia )and she has now been in a nursing home for a year. And that was anorher nightmare!! She hated being there and constantly wanted to return home but she lacks the mental capacity to understand that she needs 24 hour nursing care. Again she berated me saying that I should be looking after her etc. etc. Finally over the last four months or so she has begun to settle and I can now enjoy a much better relationship with her. She has always been a good mum and we have always got on well and with hindsight she was probably frightened of becoming more dependant on others and certainly didn’t welcome old age.

Well…I’ve gone on a bit haven’t I? ???

So, in a nutshell it’s certainly not easy being a carer but you HAVE to think of yourself some time and take drastic action to remain sane! !!!

Chin up, best foot forward and do what you have to do. …GET HELP!!! PLEASE!!!

Love from Joan ((:grinning:)) x