Newbie & struggling

Hello. Ive been looking after my mum since beginning of October. I gave & effectively moved in. Im married & husband very supportive. He is still at home. For past couple of weeks Ive split my nights between staying with my mum at night & at home. When I do go home I only go for the evening & night & am back at mums in the morning. Im an only child. Im early 50s & mum is mid 70s.

Mum & I recently had covid so I obviously had to isolate with her.

I have to say Im struggling emotionally & have felt quite lonely. My hubbie is fab but has several siblings so they all have each other in relation to their mum.

I feel guilty for saying Im struggling & feel selfish.

Amyway just wanted to introduce myself.


Hi Lisa, this isn’t really sustainable long term.
Can you tell us a bit more about mum?
Does she own or rent her home?
Have over £23,000 in savings? (Yes/No)
Claim Attendance Allowance?

Hi & welcome Lisa

I feel guilty for saying Im struggling & feel selfish.


You can forget that straight away. You have already stood up to providing help. The thing is we are put in these positions overnight so not time to reflect. Some carers having been in this position for years. Become adept at knowing what to do etc. You need to start thinking what you are providing is a temporary situation. And you need to put this idea also into Mum’s head. That in the longer term changes need to be made. If she wishes to remain in her own home.

There is help it’s being sign posted to it.

for Mum
For you

Take a good deep breath there is help!

My mum was housebound for about 30 years, dad’s work took him away regularly.

I had two brothers who worked away, I lived nearest, so mum always turned to me first, although my son was brain damaged at birth and had severe learning difficulties.
I did little jobs to start with, and gradually more and more.
I was brought up to help mum, one brother was 8 years younger than me, he used to call me his “Little Mummy” which really says it all!

The crunch time for me came when I was newly disabled after a car accident, virtually unable to walk. My son had moved from residential care to supported living, against my wishes, loads of problems. I was recovering from major cancer surgery. My husband had just died, leaving me with his business to run and 30 tons of vintage lorry spares to sell.
Mum had just had major surgery, and finally accepted outside carers, but was saving jobs for me as I did them better!!!

On the verge of a breakdown I had counselling, and this made me realise that I was still behaving like a good little girl, but I was an adult with lots of other responsibilities and mum had no right to expect me to do things for her.
It was fine for me to keep an eye on things, but my role had to be more like care supervisor, not provider.
Start by looking at the jobs you are doing, make a list.
Getting dressed, undressed, bathed, fed, changed are all things that paid carers can do, and should do.

Don’t neglect your husband and married life. You never know what life has in store for you.
We went through a stage when all four parents and son were entitled to highest DLA Care. Soon after his father died at 87, my husband died of a massive heart attack at the age of 58.

Sit down together and decide what, if anything, you are both happy to do.
Leave the rest to someone else supporting mum with the basics at home, or she moves into residential care.

You can help find that someone, check benefits, manage her money (I hope you have Power of Attorney) and do little jobs the carers won’t. Mum’s carers would never pick any of the beautiful roses in her garden, or pick her raspberries.

Thank you for the replies.

Bit of a long story about mum. Fit & independent and driving up until Sept this year. Taken to hospital with breathing difficulties twice in 2 weeks - last stay was for 2 weeks and discharged early Oct. Found clot in LV in heart and heart failure. COPD which we suspected. Looking back over summer - she wasnt right but wouldnt tell me what was wrong -dont think she knew. She was off her food, sleepy and struggling to walk. I had done some research and thought it was heart failure - hindsight is a wonderful thing… Anyway was just under 5 st in hospital and isnt much more now. Has no appetite - a combination I think of her condition and meds - she tells me nothing different so what can I do - ie, she can swallow etc. Says she cant taste or food tasts odd. She is under dietician. The meds and condition have made her very sleepy and give her very vivid dreams. Unless I “tell” her to get up out of chair and have a walk round she wont. I am staying with her about 3 nights a week but all ad hoc at min. We only live a 5 minute walk away. I have looked into and completed form for attendance allowance but says condition has to be for 6 months.
When she came out of hospital she was very very frail and we were thinking of selling our house and moving in with her (her house is bigger and is my childhood house) but its becoming apparent now as she gets herself up, dressed and to bed - I sit here most of the time watching her sleep and making her tiny amounts of food and fortified drinks that dont always get eaten. I help her with her shower - that may not be needed - not now at least.
We’ve had a few run ins about the eating and I and my hubbie and have told her obviously what the outcome would be if she doesnt eat -she is aware but says she is trying,
she owns her own home ant not much savings. She is very proud and being an only child we are very close and I cant consider carers - if it came to it then as I say we will have to move in. Such a hard situation as on 1 hand I am saying its too much for me and on the other I wouldnt want carers. She has 2 sisters - but she isnt good at keeping in contact and I speak to them more. Her sister did stay with her for 2 nights in Oct as we went to my hubbie’s brother’s wedding.
Sorry for waffling.

Many of us have struggled to get our mums to cooperate with us. You are not alone.
The older and more frail people become, the more they are in denial about what they can and cannot do.
They also become very self centred, losing the ability to see just how much others are doing for them.
It’s not fair making you run two homes, I would suggest getting a “cleaner” to help you with the “heavy work” like kitchen, bathroom, vacuuming, when you are also there.
Once mum becomes accustomed to this, you can gradually get this “cleaner” to keep an eye on mum, do the meals, etc. etc.
Incidentally, the elderly also lose their sense of taste and smell. My mum was like a bloodhound when we were small, such an acute sense of smell, but in later years, complained that whichever food delivery company she used, it all tasted the same. In fact, she was losing her sense of smell and taste.