New to the forum

Hi everyone, I’m new to the forum and really struggling. I’m 50yrs old and a full time Carer for my Mam, who will be 91 next month. I gave up my job to look after her, after my Dad passed away 3 and half yrs ago, as she did not want to go into a care home. I have been in a psychologically and emotionally abusive marriage for 8yrs and in May this year, decided enough is enough and have started divorce proceedings. My Mam then ended up bring admitted to hospital end of June, and as she was unable to return to her home after being discharged, came to stay with me. She has since had a further 2 admissions to hospital but is on the mend now. My Mam is an extremely difficult woman, she gets very moody, if I am not in her bedroom at the ‘alotted’ time to sort her meds, give her insulin injection etc. I do absolutely everything for her, I have no support from anywhere, and have no siblings. I have also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia in October last year, and the pain and fatigue can be so debilitating. My Mam has macular degeneration, therefore is partially sighted, poor hearing and poor mobility. I am finding it virtually impossible to cope, (not with her care) but with her constant moods if things aren’t done when she wants things done. She can be extremely nasty (and there’s no excuse for it as she does not have dementia or any illness which changes personality). I am constantly extremely stressed, as she doesn’t like waiting for anything. This, coupled with the stress of my divorce, is becoming unbearable. As I left work, to care for her, I now have no money, I receive carers allowance, and Mam pays me a bit on top of that. My Mam said ages ago, that as I finished work to look after her, she would help me financially towards a house, as I gave up my financial independence to care for her, however, during a particularly nasty mood a couple of days ago, she announced she was going to go into a home as ‘she was sick up to the back teeth’, and told me to ‘go to hell’ I must admit, I had lost my temper with her at the time and told her a few home truths, which she didnt want to hear. I said to her that I wished she had told me this before I handed my notice in, as she is now dropping me right in it, as I only receive carers allowance, have no money, am going through a divorce and will have to move out of my home and will be unable to afford to buy a house and pay the bills, I feel i have given up everything for her, even my identity, as I dont have a life of my own, I live hers, and now, when I have become surplus to requirements and dont seem to be meeting her expectations she announces that she has decided she wants to go into a care home. I do her washing, meals, medication, hospital appointments, chauffeur, finances, shopping, deal with her mail, personal care, take her out etc etc and yes, it would be an awful lot easier on me if she does in fact, go into a nursing home. I just wish I had not given up everything for her. I feel my life is a complete mess. I’m 50 with no job, unable to support myself, and unlikely to be able to get a job being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Life really doesn’t seem like living at the minute…would never do anything btw.

Fiona, welcome to the forum. I’ve just read your post. You have certainly been through a very difficult time - giving up your job, marriage problems, coping with your ill mum as well as your own health and financial problems. No one should ever have to cope with all that.
For now I’m just going to write about your mum’s attitude towards you. It sounds like your mum treats you in a way that is totally unacceptable. BUT - to get your mum to change YOU Fiona will have to change, too. Your mum has turned into a bully - don’t allow this anymore. From now on YOU are in charge, not MUM.
You decide when to give Mum her meds and insulin injections. I guess that your mum calls you when she wants things like her meds. Well, this has to stop. You decide when to give her her meds etc - perhaps have set times when you do this or whatever suits YOU.
When your mum calls you don’t stop what you’re doing and immediately go to her. Instead let her wait for awhike till it suits you. Mum will get annoyed and cross to begin with but you must remain firm and calm to let her know that you are not going to be treated like that anymore - YOU deserve bettter.

Thank you, I have recently, over the last few weeks, started to make her wait (as I have 2 rescue dogs, 4 rescue hens and 5 ducks) to see to in a morning, before I go and sort Mam out. I am up at 6.30am 7 days a week, the reason I get up so early is to take my painkillers and give them time to start working, before I start with everything so that the pain isn’t as bad. Due to my Mam having to come and stay with me, I have rented a stairlift for her (however Mam paid as I couldn’t afford to), I managed to get an electric adjustable bed (free), have got her a rollator, a wheelchair and also a bath lift (all second hand). A few weeks ago, she was quite proud in the fact that she had managed to walk up and down the stairs (while I was out walking my dogs). I asked her to promise me she would not do this again, and to use the stairlift, which she did. Then, just over a week ago, after I had bathed, dressed her and got her downstairs, I said I was just going for a short walk with the dogs. When I returned, she was nowhere to be seen. I walked to the bottom of the stairs, and here she is, halfway down the stairs, looking behind her! I didn’t want to say anything, in case it startled her and she lost her balance, so waited until she had turned to look forwards. I asked her what she was doing, and she said she had gone up to get a toilet roll (when she knows there is a downstairs toilet, which she uses regularly, which always has toilet rolls stored). She said she was fine and could manage. I couldn’t get up to her, as there is not enough room for 2 people side by side due to the stairlift!. She continued to come down, got to about the third step from the bottom, then fell. I couldn’t catch her. After managing to get her into the sitting room and she said she was ok, I was really angry with her. I said she had promised never to do this again, she knows she can’t see well, she knows her hearing and balance are very poor, and she knows her dressing gown is too long for her to use the stairs, so what on earth made her think this was a good idea. I then noticed her head was bleeding, so ended up with yet another trip to the hospital (which could have been avoided). She had only been discharged from hospital 2 weeks earlier due to breathing difficulties! She doesn’t seem to like me going out of the house at all, and the only time I do, is to walk my dogs or get the shopping. Back in August, I was only in the back garden for a couple of hours, doing some tidying on and off, and she wasn’t speaking to me when I came back in. (You would think I had gone on holiday for 2 weeks and not told her!). I try and take her out, but it’s hard, as I have her wheelchair to lift in and out of the car, then push her around everywhere. Then, when we get back, I can’t even have a rest, as it’s time to do her lunch, or dinner. I haven’t had a break in the last 3 and half years and I’m totally worn out. I honestly feel as old as she is. On one hand, she’s saying, no need to rush, just do things in your own time. Then the next, she’s in a mood and not speaking to me if something isn’t done for her when she wants it done and the moods kick in. I find now, that when I am walking the dogs (which I have always enjoyed, as it gives me time to myself, however brief), that I am not even enjoying this anymore, due to feeling stressed at how long I have been out etc and always feel I am having to rush everything. She wont watch any films, all she enjoys, are game shows…over and over again. I haven’t watched anything I like since she came to stay with me. It’s almost as if she’s taken over the house plus my life aswell.

Sounds a bit like my life!

My still unemployed 18 year old cousin is living with us at the moment and I insisted she either study or look for work. I made a list of shops and businesses in Epsom that seemed appropriate for her to work at plus I also wrote down the name and number of the local community college for her to call. Nada. She is being lazy, all she wants to do is watch television or paint her nails. I’m not having it, today I made her empty the dishwasher and do some cooking and ironing for me. I also have two small children as well. It is hard, isn’t it?

I literally forced her to babysit and tutor her little sister and brother one day about six months ago. We now have a written agreement. She is not disabled, just lazy. What are your mom’s cognitive abilities like? Is she seeing a therapist or counseller?

Can your mom work or not? You need a break seriously. I recommend a needs assessment done by a social worker working for the local council pronto. The NHS has useful information on all aspects of caring.

Hi Fiona,
Circumstances have landed you in a very difficult position which is having a dreadful effect on you. There’s no ‘almost seems’ about it. Caring for Mum has taken over your life and your home.
The decisions you have taken regarding her have all been with the best of intentions but it’s not working is it?
Mum has said she wants to go into a Home and you have said your life would be so much better if she was in a Home. Wouldn’t that be something to work towards? It sounds as if she needs to be in a Home anyway because you cannot possibly watch her/stand next to her/look after her all on your own 24 hours a day. Especially as she is set on defying you, proving she can do things she can’t, and bossing you about.
You are in the process of getting yourself out of one abusive relationship, which takes courage and determination (well done), only to find yourself in another which you didn’t expect, thinking it would be your escape route.
If you could call upon those qualities and make a decision, Mum still living with you but under control and with Carer help for a while longer, or Mum in a Home so you can begin to sort out your own future, and keep posting, then the people here will help as much as they can with suggestions and information.
The first step is to decide.

You said you are not enjoying your alone time any more? Can you afford to move her into a care home or not? I think it is time to research care homes. Visit a few local ones to see what they are like too. Trust your gut instinct.

Don’t forget to ask questions. The following website is a excellent source of information on British care homes and recommended. Speak with your local council. Ask for care home recommendations. You can print out a two page checklist of questions found on their website

There are also useful tips and advice on care homes worth looking at.

Have a look at the website.

Thank you everyone for your help and information, it is much appreciated. I have looked into nursing homes (as this is the type of care she will need, being 91 (next month), partially sighted, hard of hearing, diabetic and requiring insulin injections (which I currently administer), plus having heart, kidney and thyroid problems, and poor mobility, all of which I manage currently. She has never wanted to go into a care home, until the other day, after an argument. As she has mental capacity, this was her choice after my Dad passed away, that I would care for her, (even though I never really wanted to be a Carer), I didn’t want my Mam to be unhappy somewhere she didn’t want to be, which is why I handed in my notice at work. It is since this argument, that she now announced she was going to go into a care home (therefore have been looking into things the last couple of days). I now… 3yrs on, just wish, that I had never handed in my notice and given up my financial independence, to care for my Mam, who was adamant she never wanted to go into a care home, only to change her mind after an argument.

Fiona, I had counselling when I was about 60.
Recently widowed, recently disabled, my mum living 6 miles away still seemed to feel I should do whatever she wanted, as I was her daughter despite the fact that I also had a disabled child and a business to run and 30 tons of lorry spares to deal with!
Mum was still behaving as a parent wanting an obedient child.
I was still behaving like a child who felt guilty saying “No” to her.

Counselling helped me sort out my priorities, and I think it would be really helpful if you had counselling, aimed specifically at dealing with mum. It was life changing for me.

Now for a few questions, to help find the best way forward. There is a reason for each one, although they seem a bit random!
What has happened to your mum’s old home?
Did she own or rent it Is it now empty and sold or returned to the landlord?
Are you an only child?
Do you own, or rent your own home?

Hi Fiona.

Take advice from bowlingbun! I have listened to her in the past and have taken heed of what she says. The result of which is that I often re-read her advice when I’m having a “down” day and feel better for doing so!

Good luck.

Joan x

Hi, thank you. My Mam owns her own home. It is currently empty, however what she was going to do, was look into renting it out, so that once something happened to her, It would pass to me, and would be a bit of an income for me (since I handed in my notice to look after her in the first place) as due to my disability, I may find it a lot harder getting or keeping a job in the future. I say ‘she’, I have been the one looking into this for her, as well as other options. However, if she does go into a home , this will now have to be sold to pay for her nursing home fees.

Sorry, just realised I haven’t answered all your questions! yes, I am an only child, and currently my hopefully soon to be ex husband, own our home, however it is mortgaged, and we are only 3 years into our mortgage, therefore not only is there a substantial part of the mortgage still outstanding, but on top of that, as the mortgage is still relatively in its infancy, there is also a mortgage redemption fee to pay in addition to the outstanding mortgage.

The moneyadviceservice can help with your mortgage issues or try

Would it be possible for you both to move into mum’s house. As you are disabled the council could not then take the value of the house into consideration when calculating care home fees!

Sorry for the late reply. I looked into it, however as my Mum lives in a residential area, I am umable to take my ducks and hens, plus, her home is much smaller than mine,.therefore we would be on top of one another all of the time. My animals are my only outlet and I really don’t want to give them up, as then, I will have given everything in my life up that I enjoy, and all I will have left is just my caring role. My Mam was going to see if she could help buy my husband’s share of the house, so I wouldn’t have to move, and live with me, as it would give us both the space, but if she now goes into a home, she will need all her assets to pay for her nursing care, which now leaves me with no job and no home.