Only Child

Hello Everyone,
I’m not waving I’m drowning

Two years ago my Mum moved in with my partner & myself as she wasn’t looking after herself, her home, taking her medication or feeding herself. The GP advised she should not be left alone .
We live the other side of the country & I was spending more time on the motorway than I was at home.
I have always prided myself with a strong patience but since I was in hospital at Christmas with clots on my lungs I have lost it, I’m struggling.
My FIbromyalgia has been in constant flare as I can not relax my body, every muscle is screaming constantly, I’m so tense around her.
My Mum is deaf - won’t wear her hearing aids & she can hear better without them. Now has glasses for long & short distance - she won’t wear them to read or around the house & especially not in public as she can see better without them!!!
Life is a constant battle with her (it’s like having a 3yr old) I find her sniggering to herself ,everything has to be repeated - shouted, repeated, then “turn your hearing aid up” & repeated again!!!
Communication, basic understanding, instructions if she hasn’t My full attention it all becomes an issue. My partner stopped talking to Mum months ago as he can’t stand how she treats me, how she makes everything more difficult than what it needs to be.
This is purely the tip of the iceberg to this (to others) lovely old lady.

Hi Wendy and welcome to the forum. Elderly mum’s can be very difficult to cope with sometimes. Your situation is much worse now that your mum is living with you. It sounds like you haven’t got any support from anyone else.
Have you thought about getting carers in to help look after mum? Your mum needs to have an assessment which will pin point her needs.
You say that ‘mum is like a three year old’ . In that case you must teach her that she has to learn to be CONSIDERATE towards you. She cannot have your attention all the time. It sounds like your mum is using her hearing and sight disabikities as a way of getting your attention all the time. Don’t allow it!
Tell Mum you’re busy and will talk /help her when you have finished what you’re doing. For your own sake you must be more firm with your mum.

Hello Wendy and welcome,
I, too was an only child and was in a very similar situation to you. The differences being that my Mum didn’t live with me but 5 mins drive away and was always very accepting of anything that made life easier for her and me. Eventually the occupational therapist, continence nurse, Social Services and Care Company were all very involved in helping out.
Mum was 90 when she moved into her bungalow (from 5 hours drive away) and just days short of 100 when she died.
For the last years I, too, was spending hours every day with her and often sleeping over if she was not too well. I had to find things to keep her entertained and busy for the hours I needed for a break for myself as well as for her own sake.
My mum was very fond of ‘talking books’. Her eyesight was very poor. The local library had a service where a lady would visit once a fortnight and bring her new CDs to listen too as well as large print books while she could still read a bit. She had a rechargeable battery operated radio and of course the TV although the colour was garish to anyone else.
I looked into our local LA website to see what was available for the elderly and there were quite a few things, many of which Mum was past being able to take advantage of, like lunch clubs, coffee mornings and so on. However there was a ‘Good Neighbours’ club and although they would have collected her and brought her home, as she was unable to walk they arranged for a ‘friend’ to visit her weekly for a couple of hours chat and a cuppa.
I got in contact with a local Care Provider and they were happy to allocate a carer to come and do a little housework or just keep her company. As she got older and more frail, the care package grew and grew until eventually she was having double carers 4 times a day to take care of her personal needs which I couldn’t manage on my own.
On my LA website I spotted that they operated a ‘cap’ system in that no-one, regardless of finances should pay more than a certain amount for care. This had to go through the Social Services and I involved them with a Care Needs assessment for Mum and a Carer’s needs assessment for me. I wanted to have her on their ‘radar’ against future needs.
Perhaps your Mum is asserting control over things like her hearing aids and glasses because she realises how dependent she has become and everything is slipping away from her. No excuse for being tough on you but the very old become very self – centred and just can’t see anyone else’s point of view.
Your own health is suffering and so are your relationships. It cannot be comfortable living with two people who do not get along. I think you could try the visiting carer option for a while but in the meantime you must start looking around for a good residential or nursing home. Start putting Plan B in place because Plan A (looking after her yourself) is going to come to a grinding halt sooner or later. Either you are going to get worse and be unable to cope at all or Mum, inevitably, is going to have needs beyond any one person’s ability to manage.Loads more I could say, but perhaps that’s
enough for now.

Hi Wendy,

And welcome to the Forum. I am ex carer but was also an only child caring for an elderly stubborn but much loved mother. If you are to continue caring for her, you need regular breaks. Who knows, she may appreciate you more when you return?? I know it is very difficult but if she gets attendance allowance, could you use it for a carer and/or cleaner to give you a break. In my own case, I used dementia sitters organised by Age UK, two lovely ladies who visited mum once a week. She refused to speak to them but I told her she was training them for the elderly, for those who really needed them!! It did give me a two hour break.

And yes, start to look at care homes long before you ever think you need them. It takes a while to find the right one and you will have it up your sleeve if the need becomes a reality.

Does mum have any mental health issues or is it “just” a case of toddler old age?

Chat to us whenever you feel you are drowning. We can offer a virtual life raft and a listening ear.

Take care, Anne

Hello Wendy
With your health suffering, and your relationship suffering, and Mum being a guest in your house, I’d skip the carers and go straight for a care home. She’d have much more to entertain her and moan about and therefore would be much happier.

Sadly the current situation is not going to improve, she will only get worse and it doesnt sound loke you and your partner should suffer any more

Hi Wendy,

Welcome to the forum. It’s a real shame that mum ever moved in with you. You don’t say how old she is, however as she gets older she will need more and more care, and as you get older, your own ability to cope with her gets less and less. I would suggest that the time has come for you to start looking at homes in your area.
Unfortunately the very elderly become very self focussed, mum will never ever want anything to change, after all, your status is little more than slave now, isn’t it? She can’t do something, you have to do it for her!
Now she needs “slaves” 24/7 to do her bidding, and that means she needs residential care.
Does she currently claim Attendance Allowance?
Have over £23,000 in savings?
Show signs of dementia?