HI, I’m still not sure if I am using the forum correctly, but here goes. A while ago, I wasn’t even sure I was a carer, but now I know for sure that I definitely am! My mother is 91 and is still living in her own home, but with increased support. She is just out of hospital after a fall, and is considering going into a Care Home.

Where has my life gone?? Everything is about her and without meaning to sound selfish, there is nothing to look forward to. It is overwhelming, dealing with all aspects of her care. How do other people cope in this situation? I am feeling totally overwhelmed and whenever I do have any time to myself, all I want to do is sleep. It’s an endless cycle and every day brings a new problem. I must sound very harsh and selfish. I would do anything for my Mum, but it’s all getting on top of me.

Please help, any advice welcome. xx

Have you had a needs assessment done? This is a useful resource on care homes http://www.carehome.co.uk. Lots of useful tips on care homes and questions etc as well to ask. To get a social worker to come out to do a assessment of need, you need to contact your local council.

Good luck! They should also do a monetary assessment in addition to determine how you will afford services too. What do you think she needs help with? My recommendation is to make a list. Be sure to ask probing questions. Pay close attention to reviews as well as your gut feeling. Look at inspection reports. Don’t forget to request a copy of the report afterwards.

There are lots of care companies and providers out there. You can obtain a list from your local council or search online. Visit the link that is provided above with additional information.

Hi Sue,
You do NOT have to do anything for mum. She needs carers or residential care.
Is she claiming Attendance Allowance?
Living in her own, or rented home?
Have over £23,000 in savings?

Tell your mum how you feel (I’m assuming she is still able to have a conversation with you). Tell her that as a carer you are entitled to time off (it’s 4 weeks off every 26 weeks that you are caring for her). It is really important that you have regular breaks.
i was in a similar situation to you and I felt like I was just ‘my mum’s carer’ and wasn’t allowed to be ‘me’.
Have you a partner and family?

If mum is considering going into a care home, then support that idea - but you will need to sort out the finances - hence my earlier post.
You are very fortunate having a mum think of this, because usually the “very elderly” i.e. over 85 just lose the ability to see how much anyone else is doing for them. I know my own mum, who loved me, did this towards the end of her life, but she had so many health challenges to deal with.
How old are you?

Thank you so much for all your replies, even just reading them makes me feel less alone. I am 60 years old and am on my own, no partner or family of my own. My sister and brother in law, particularly my sister, do help and we share some of the care, but, whether it’s because I’m on my own, or because I live nearer my Mum, it’s me she asks or should I say, orders around the majority of the time. She is still in her own home, but realistically needs round the clock care I think, I’ll see what happens when she is assessed.

She has not has an assessment carried out since she last came out of hospital in June, so I’ll organise that asap. The Rehab Team have been in touch to say that they can come out to assess her mobility etc, so that’s a definite. As I said, she originally was considering a Care Home and my sister and I went to see one, which was very nice and when we told her about it she seemed to be positive, then changed her mind and said she’s fine in her own home and has everything and everyone she needs there and we are only a phone call away. I know we cannot force her to go into a care home, however, having spoken at length to my GP, he advises that we bring the subject up again and see what her reaction is.

it’s like the more I do, the more she expects me to do, and I know I need to be firmer about boundaries. Rhona, you have hit the nail on the head, I no longer feel like ‘me’, and simply like my Mum’s carer. She doesn’t consider for one second that I might have a life of my own. Although I am 60, I still want to ‘live’ and, having my own health issues to deal with, it would be nice, or should I say heavenly to have some time to do them while I still can!!

I have checked out the nhs website, and will be more proactive and seek out support wherever possible. I think I’ve mastered the forum, many, many thanks again for all your replies, they are a lifeline.

Hello there!

Yes, as bowlingbun says you are lucky that your mum is at least contemplating a care home (even though she is now saying she can manage at home!!!).

As the GP advised bring the subject up again! Let mum know that you would still visit her regularly as she might be frightened that once she goes into a home no one will go see her.

Even emphasise to her your own health problems …add a bit on if necessary! !! The elderly do tend not able to empathise with others!!!

I am 72 and mum is 92. I supported her for years at home and whilst in one way I enjoyed looking after her I eventually became resentful at he time I was spending with her. I am an only child but do have a very supportive husband and life seemed to be passing us by.

You are entitled to “have a life” id your own and need regular breaks otherwise you will become more poorly and no help to your mum

My mum eventually was admitted to hospitsl because of hallucinations and from there went into a nursing home. That was in January this year. She was not happy at all but has now become more settled.

I am no longer resentful and now have happy times visiting her (except when she natters on abou wanting to come hone😀).

So good luck. And bowlingbun is the best person to listen to . She knows what she is talking about with her life experiences.!!

I don’t know you but sending you a big ((hug))!!!

Joan c

Hello starsue34
Big Hugs to you, I know how you feel, I feel the same.

My mother-in-law is almost 90 and is still living in her own home, she started having carers back in April because this time last year I was struggling alone, they’re only there 30 mins in the morning 5 days a week. Myself and husband look after the house and every aspect, although it’s mainly me, hes full time, I’m part time, only a few hours as Im her carer. I left my teaching special needs job last May because I wasn’t able to reduce my already reduced hours to care for her more. It was time for a change anyway. I couldn’t cope with the stressful demanding challenging job as well as caring.
I do most practical things, he does a few bits, all she still does is cook, just about, and personal care, Shes severely anxious since the shock of her husband dying, and she moved closer to us, but she stopped driving, socialising, now is housebound, She’s rather die than go into any kind of residential Care Home.

You said it in a nutshell - Where has my life gone?.. in the last 6 years, Ive bought up my son, now 15, and feel I’m going backwards, I feel trapped, overwhelmed and feel like I can’t look forward to a future until shes gone, which obviously makes me feel incredibly guilty all the time. Plus shes now so frail, her mind is going, and its heartbreaking. She was more of a mum to me than my own, so I love her a lot.
You don’t sound harsh and selfish, it’s perfectly natural for things to get on top of you, I get it, I really do, I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of advice because I’m in the same boat, always happy to lend an ear though, it is good to talk, I don’t tend to speak to my friends and family, I bottle it up and try to be jolly when I’m not with her, but it gets me down.
What I will suggest if you haven’t already, is go online and fill in a Carers Assessment. Find out if you’re entitled to any financial help,
I joined this forum today out of desperation find people that understand Take care x

It’s really important to understand that the “Very Elderly” just can’t see what anyone else is doing for them, they become totally “self focussed”. Can’t remember where I read this, but I’ve seen it said so many times on the forum, and my own mum, who I know loved me, was just the same.
I’d call in to see mum, about 6 miles away, to say hello and have a chat. She was physically poor, but for years mentally as bright as a button, always watching TV or radio. I could have a better conversation with mum covering a wider range of subjects than with anyone else I ever knew. I never doubted that she loved me ever, but it didn’t always seem like that!
After a series of very long hospital stays, although she was always glad to see me, the “hello dear, how are you?” changed to “hello, before I forget”…and she would reach into the pocket of her reclining chair, get out her notebook, where all the jobs for me were listed. How I hated that notebook! The more I did, the faster the jobs came.
Ultimately, counselling helped me take control of the jobs, I chose what I did, when I did it, how fast I did it.
No one MUST do something for someone else.
Once you feel more in control, the better it is.
Then you realise that what you are doing is for the love of that parent, not because you must do it, life becomes a whole lot better. Try saying “I can’t do it today, but maybe next week”. Also if you always say when you are going to be back, if they want you earlier, say "I’m sorry, I can’t do that (and do NOT explain why, it’s your business if you are having a rest or a night of passion!!!) but I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon.
My top tips are

  1. Turn on your answerphone, and leave it on. Listen to the messages but make a rule of never going immediately unless it is a matter of life and death.
  2. Always plan your days off. If she can’t manage without you for just one day, it’s time she either had more care, or residential care.

Just in case it’s needed … a guide to home care services … what’s out there , and who provides them :

What you could do is gradually add things you like doing to your weekly timetable. For instance if you’re with her all day you could say that you’ll ‘arrive later on Monday because you have a class to go to’ or you ‘now meet up with other carers on a monday morning for a chat’ or so on… This will give you some much needed ‘me time’ and help you feel more in charge of your life.
I got to a stage where I really needed to be with other people, not just mum all the time.