I’m Jools. I’ve been caring for my mum for the last few years. She is currently undergoing tests for dementia, which took a while to organize given her reluctance, denial, and the added bonus of the pandemic! The last few months have been trying, to say the least, and I’ve been close to breaking point a couple of times. We used to travel a lot, and mum’s struggled being housebound so much. Until I get a diagnosis (fingers crossed it’s this week), I can’t move forward with meds, or even a rough timeline, so I have an idea in my head where she’s at with the illness. I’ve a fair idea, though, and it’s heartbreaking to see her in distress. Then I get pissed off because I can’t get through to her that there aren’t any children in the house, the television and bookcases aren’t trying to steal her stuff, and feel guilty for getting irritated.
I’ve never felt so trapped, and that makes me feel guilty, because caring for someone is about them, not me.
I have a brother and a sister, but they are, at best, unreliable.
I bit the bullet a few weeks ago and booked myself a holiday in 2022 to Croatia. By then I think mum won’t be living with me, as she’s regressing fairly steadily now, and I’ll arrange respite care.
I don’t know how to deal with some of her moods. Answering the same question over and over isn’t too bad, but when the aggressive tone starts to kick in, I struggle not to bite back.
Are there any tips for distracting someone who sees people that don’t exist, and gets frustrated when i can’t see those people? I’ve tried various things. Puzzle books. Walks. Documentaries with animals. Sitting and talking to her. But I have to work, too. I work from home, and try to fix a routine that works for both of us. It sometimes works.
She refuses to have another sitter, which puts a lot of pressure on me, but fortunately her sleep patterns have, for the most part, settled, and I manage a few hours each night.
Sorry to rant. I guess I needed to purge.
Thank you to organizations like Carers UK (and Versus Arthritis who’ve helped me work through my ailments). Forums like these are a lifeline to so many. xx Jools xx