Hi I am new to the forum and hope there is someone out there who can relate to my feelings and offer advice or support. I am a carer to my Mum aged 94. She has mobility, heart and circulation problems and lately a pressure sore at the base of her spine. I also care for my husband who has chronic fatigue, Fibromyalgia and depression. The house has been adapted and the three of us live together, Mum upstairs, me and my husband downstairs. I am so stressed running between the two of them and they don’t get on. Having said that, neither do I get on with my Mum. She is self centred, opinionated and tries her hardest to control my life. She never says please for anything, takes me for granted and moans constantly about the self funded cost of a carer so I can have four hours off on a Wednesday. I’m exhausted, depressed, already had spinal surgery in my younger days, recently told I am pre diabetic and so, so fed up! After three years I struggle to see how I can go on doing this. Mum just won’t see that my health is suffering. I get some respite using my NHS carer’s break money, but feel sick at the thought of going back to my caring role. Am I the only carer feeling so vulnerable?

No one else has replied, I too am exhausted and depressed, every day is the same I am sure you feel like that too.

And the moaning seems to come with the territory, the soaps too hot too cold doesn’t taste right , it’s tomatoe soup it will taste of tomatoes.

you are getting to the point of not being able to care anymore clapped out carer and then what will happen to mum -care home , the people we look after don’t seem to think about that.

I don’t get any breaks at all but 4 hours just isn’t enough for you.

you should be getting a lot more help and support, do you not have paid carers who come in, that would help, mum doesn’t want that probably.

hopefully others will advise you need to get help before you burn out.

Thank you Londonbound. It means so much that you replied. I feel a little less alone as I wake up this morning.

Hi Carol, welcome to the forum, I don’t know how I missed your original post, apologies.
Just a few questions to start with, so we can give best advice (I have to go out in a minute with Social Services concerning my son with learning difficulties).
Where did mum live before she moved in with you?
Do you own or rent your home?
Presumably if she is “self funding” she has over £23,000?
Does she give you anything for the CARE (not housekeeping) you provide?
How old are you?
Do you want her OUT!?
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Has mum made a will, or given you Power of Attorney?

Give up any thought of her understanding, being grateful. It’s a COMMON feature of the “very elderly” , ie.over 85, that they become totally self focussed. Not selfish, but self focussed. Their world has shrunk to just one room or two.
It’s not just mum getting older, but you and your husband. How old are you? I found the most frustrating thing about being older, with some health problems myself, is lack of energy and stamina, especially as I used to be super fit and super strong for a woman.
Has anyone offered you counselling? On the verge of a breakdown, it was arranged for me, and the counsellor showed me that I was still being a very obedient little girl, at the age of 60. As an adult, it was OK to say “No” to mum, as I had a RIGHT to a life of my own.
Counselling helped me set my priorities, son with LD first, as he couldn’t speak up for himself, then mum. Mum didn’t like that, but couldn’t argue with it.
I get the feeling that you never get any time to yourself either, so find some counselling.
Also have a serious discussion with your husband about what to do with mum.

Hi Carol, BB I think Carol only posted late last night. Many of us here are experiencing or have experienced similar things so rest assured you are not alone. It really does help just sharing what is going on and no one quite understands the pressures like another carer so please have a good look through the forum and when you have provided a few more details for BB hopefully we can collectively suggest some steps forward.

Carol hi - yes, ironically, many of us join the forum for the first time late at night, when all the hideous burden of our caring ‘duties’ feel the hardest and heaviest, and we are at our most despairing.

Also, ‘late at night’ is - grimly - often the only ‘me time’ we get. When my MIL (89 with dementia developoing) was with me, my ‘own’ day started at 11 pm after I’d got her up to bed after the end of the 10 oclock news on the telly (sometimes she declared she wasn’t ready for bed yet, so ‘her’ day went on even longer!).

So ‘my time’ was late, late late at night, when she was (finally) asleep (thankfully she DID sleep through the night - which is not the case so, so often with the very elderly and/or those with dementia) (loss of sleep sends us INSANE!).

However, most forum members aren’t around ‘that late’ (I try hard not to log in late at night as then I get too ‘involved’ - I did see your post last night, but didn’t log in to answer for that reason.)

Anyway, here you are, and just as well too!! You will find a LOT of emotional support here, vast amounts of sympathy, and, too, I hope the practical advice to enable you to take the steps you need to take now to CHANGE your situation, and BECOME HAPPIER (and FREER!)

Let me start that in a second post, or this one will run too long!

Hi again - if I were to ask you the blunt question:

‘If you could have EITHER your mum ‘not be a problem’ OR your husband ‘not be a problem’, which would you choose?’

Ie, would you rather have either your mum ‘sorted’ or your husband ‘sorted’ in terms of their impact on you?

I am going to take a clear bet and say ‘MUMMMMMMMMMM!!!’

Now, it COULD be that, if your husband were in good health, physically and mentally, that he would be an ‘ally’ in your struggle to cope with your mum. I found, myself, that the HARDEST aspect of having my MIL with me was that it was ‘just me’. I’m widowed, and my son was off at uni by then, and what really wore me down was that her care was simply ‘on me and me alone’. There was NO ONE ELSE to help at all, and no one to ‘moan to’ (other than a friend who also had her dad living with her so knew what caring took from us!)(er, our LIVES???).

So, had my husband been alive, even if he were out at work every day, we would have ‘shared the care’, and ‘shared caring’ is SO much ‘easier’ (or at least less stressful).

But you don’t have that, do you. OK, so you have hubby in the house, but he has care issues of his own, and ADDS to yours. He is, bluntly, ‘part of the problem’ not ‘part of the solution’.

So, to be blunt again, ‘one of the problems’ has to ‘disappear’ (or massively shrink).

And, again to be blunt, the logical one to ‘disappear’ is your mum.

More in next post…

Let’s look at your situation from an ‘outsiders’ point of view (eg, mine!).

When I read your post my first thought was: Why on EARTH did Carol ever bring her mum to live with her!!! WHY???

You describe what, sadly, can only be said to be a ‘nasty old woman’. She treats you like ‘staff’, never says please, moans about everything, moans about the ‘money it’s costing HER for YOU to get a break’ etc etc.

Now, as BB points out, this might be ‘elderly toddler syndrome’ whereby, as a very old person, she has become totally ‘self-focussed’…but you have known her all her life. So, what was she like BEFORE she became old and frail and needy?

To my mind, SO much depends on that. My MIL, for example, was a ‘very nice’ lady, I got on very well with her, I have no complaints whatsoever with her as a MIL, and for that reason she ‘deserved’ my consideration.

Do you think your mum was a ‘good mum’ to you? If so, then yes, she ‘deserves’ consideration (just how much, is a different question!).

BUT, if the way she is now is not that much different from the way she always was, then no, she does NOT deserve your consideration, however old she is, or however frail. Old age does not automatically confer ‘moral righteousness’ on us! The old STILL have a moral duty to be appreciative of what is done for them (as far as their mental powers are in place still).

Anyway, whether or not your mum was or was not a ‘good mum’ to you in the past, you have now put up with her being a ‘selfish mum’ for three years, and enough is, quite frankly, enough!

I’m sure it would be lovely to think she will end her days in her daughter’s house, being your ‘house guest’, but if her care has become too much of a burden (and it clearly has), if her behaviour has become absolutely unacceptable (it has), then there is only one option left for her - a care home.

Whether she wants to go to one or not is not an option. She has brought it upon HERSELF that you are resorting to a care home.

After all, had she been appreciative, helpful, grateful, chererful, wanting you to have as many breaks as it too, ie, if she had been a GOOD mum to you now, then you would not be wishing her to perdition, would you!!!

ie, it’s HER fault YOU can’t stand her being there, and that is why you can move her into a care home with complete justification. SHE HAS DONE THIS TO HERSELF …and whether she realises that or not, is absolutely irrelevant! (she won’t, anyway - after all, if she accepted her own horrible behaviour has caused you to wish her to perdition, she wouldn’t be so horrible to you!)

The next step is to make that happen. (ie, moving her into a care home) More anon!

Final post for now!

As BB says, the first thing is to work out your mum’s financial situation.

If she still owns property anywhere, or has more than £23,500 in savings, then she has to pay for her own residential care (until she is ‘worth’ under £23,500).

If she doesn’t, then the council pays.

However, if she doesn’t, the council won’t want her in a care home, as they will have to pay. They will ‘prefer’ (!!!) her to go on living with you.

BUT, she is only your house guest. She has NO legal right to go on living in your house, and you can ‘evict’ her at any time.

This button is the one you have to press.

If she DOES have enough money to be self-funding then all you have to do is find a suitable care home, book her in, and move her out of your house into it.

She will kick off, but she has NO ‘rights’ in this situation. She’s in YOUR house, and YOU no longer want her there. End of.

(NB - has she given you money, eg, paid off your mortgage etc? Given you the house perhaps? That changes her rights. Otherwise no, she’s just your house guest.)

Hi, so as requested some info about me. I am 69, a former primary teacher and my husband is 60. Mum did own her own bungalow, but sold it 9 months after moving in with us and paid off our mortgage, which helps us cope financially with our benefits and pensions. I admit we were struggling before she moved in. We live in a nice house, which now belongs to us, thanks to Mum. She pays me £100 a week for all bills, stairlift rental, sky Q (including sky sports for the tennis) and a cooked high protein meal at 5pm every day, which she comes downstairs on the stairlift to share with us. She has a mobility scooter and in the summer, her health permitting, she will use to do a bit of shopping for her breakfast and sandwich lunch. Otherwise I do all the shopping. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? How I wish it was!
I have no brothers and sisters and yes I do have power of attorney for her financial and health matters and she has made a will in my favour for any savings she might accumulate. She has very little savings, about £2000, but she has a good Civil Service pension, attendance allowance as well as her state pension. She helps her great grandchildren with cash as and when they need help and gave us £4000 towards buying a car which has permanent hand controls for my husband as he is unable to drive a manual car with foot controls. That’s how we get her to hospital and GP appointments. She takes £300 a month from her income to use as pocket money, I suspect most of that ends up in her locked cash tin though. She pays £62 a week to self fund a carer whilst I have four hours off and £200 a month which she puts in a savings account for me to pay for my funeral, as she thinks that is important. Maybe somewhere she does know that she is putting me under too much pressure!!
Looking back now, I did not realise what a very high emotional and physical cost there would be for her paying off our mortgage and helping us financially. We don’t ask for anything as we feel really guilty that she paid off our mortgage, but her constant rudeness, negativity and self absorbed stance on everything is breaking me.
She has always been a control freak, first with my lovely Dad, who died 18 years ago, now me.
So there it is, now perhaps you understand why we took her in. I’m seeing my GP next week re my depression.

Under those circumstances, you need to withdraw a bit and get more carers in, however easier said than done, I suspect mum may be reluctant?! It would be better if your “funeral fund” was spent on extra care NOW to stop you needing a funeral sooner rather than later.

Is your husband at all assertive? I gather they don’t get on, would anyone get on with her, she sounds really hard work to me.

Bearing in mind a care home would cost about £50,000 a year, work out when you have worked off her contribution to the mortgage.

NOTHING will change unless YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND insist.
She’s past changing her spots, so you need to develop some new strategies for dealing with her. Start by getting some counselling on the subject, certainly made it so much easier for me.

Thank you bowlingbun. I hadn’t thought of it like that - £50000 a year for a care home that is. Getting the calculator out now! Will get GP’s help with counselling too!

Hi Carol, happy to help.
My husband and I were caring for our adult son with learning difficulties and all four elderly disabled parents. All entitled to highest DLA, but one too stubborn to claim. My husband died at the age of 58, he had a heart attack in his sleep, only a couple of years after his dad. I developed a life threatening an illness, only here due to the skill of a surgeon. When I asked the consultant why I developed this problem, I was told “25 years without a holiday didn’t do you any favours”.

You must not put things on hold until mum passes away, it may be too late for you and your husband to fulfil any of your own dreams. Don’t let this happen to you.

Hi Carol
Mum may not have much in savings but she has a good income MOST of which should be going on her care.
If she does go into residential, it would ALL be taken for that so she might as well use it to pay for care now.

What tasks what you like to get rid of most?
Is she mainly moaning at you because there is no one else to moan at? I.e. does she need company/entertainment

You mention great grandchildren, but what do the grandchildren (adults) do to spread the load.? Could they help more 're hubby too?

Ask yourself why it has all fallen just to you. Do you perhaps need to learn to say “no” more often?

Also, be aware, if residential does loom, that SS may look askance at the gift of her paying off your mortgage and think she did it to deprive herself of assets so they will pay. Better that you phrase it as ‘payment to cover her share of housing costs’ for example. Ditto that the adapted car was for shared use, not a gift to hubby.

Although most of this is about Mum, the same applies to hubby, you need to start outside help and incorporating regular breaks for you too. No one, absolutely no one can care 24/7 for years,especially not as you age too… sorry to say it but it’s true. You aren’t Superwoman…

Hi Carol
I think as your mum will be self funding due to the civil service pension that it is important you get more private carers in. I believe the figures BB quoted for care homes to be at the lower end of the price scale ! You can’t change your mum but you HAVE to change the way you respond and feel about her negativity and complaints. I am sure you would still prefer to keep her at home but you MUST explain to her the choice is either a care home or remaining with you and paying for care herself, not just occasional respite . I think the fact that a mother is saving for her daughter’s funeral costs (if that is what you meant) says a lot about her state of mind. You need to see it all as “her illness” and not as selfishness/nastiness towards you. Itis essential you develop a thick skin and let her comments wash over you and find regular “me time”

Your hands are tied somewhat as you hold POA because you can not really payy ourself a wage and personally benefit from your mum’s funds. It is even more important to get in paid carers. I suggest getting a needs assssment to deteramine how many hours of care should be provided and explain to mum that you either place her in care or she funds the carers. You are there to organise her care not to provide her care. If it is likely her funds may at some time fall below the limit for self funding then make sure she does not give too much cash away which could be seen as deprivation of assets.

Re reading your post perhaps if your mum has less than £23 K Ish then she would not be self funding so even more important not to be seen as giving money away .