Overwhelming guilt!

Hello all

My mum was widowed in 2021 and moved from her home of 50+ years to live in a retirement block near me (2 minutes drive!) In the 9 months she has lived here, her physical health has massively deteriorated. She can barely walk, she keeps getting recurrent urine infections, she’s not eating enough, and loads more. We have arranged private evening carers for her to cook for her…not that she’s eating a lot of it!

I just feel,like I’ve not looked after her properly at all. Like I haven’t picked up on her illnesses quickly enough. She can’t stay with us…we have no downstairs space for her to sleep in. And I have a job and young children and can’t be there all day with her. My sister is 2 hours away and we have used a care home as respite care. We think we’re going to have to go to a care home long term. Which makes me feel worse. Is my guilt over all this normal??

Thanks for reading my rambling.

Normal feelings and responses.
Don’t beat yourself up. You can’t know what you don’t know.
You were doing your best in good faith.

Nothing to be guilty about, you did the right thing for your mum at the time, she had the health and mobility to manage then but things have changed and you need to review the situation and make new decisions. In a residential home with a professional team of carers to give her care and know the signs for infections and have the intervention protocol for them.

Lack of appetite - when did she last have the doctor examine her?
It could be anything.

There is no instruction book.

Your mum needs a Dr assessment regarding her appetite and her weakened legs/not being able to walk far and everything else and discuss going into a home and it would be best if you can be there with her for the appointment.

My fathers legs were weak from his 90’s and now my mothers legs are weak in her 90th year.

No matter how much you learn to spot the early warning signs there will be times they will be missed.

Your mother going into a home is not a failing.
It is getting your mother the care that she needs, looking after her best interests.
You still love her and care about her.

In her current place she will be isolated if she can’t get out to see others, albeit they can come to see her.
In a home, she will have 24/7 care, professional teams and other residents around to converse with and some activities.

Have you got POA for your mum? Financial and Health and Welfare?
If not you need to get it done as it takes up to 6 months, you can go onto the Gov.uk website and do them, you don’t need to fill the box to inform anyone, it makes it take longer.
POA future proofs, it gives you control if your mother loses capacity for decisions, without this the authorities and care homes make the decisions as her agents in her best interests, not you.

Please keep checking back for responses from others over the next few days.

Selina, how old is mum?