Really struggling with low mood

How do others cope when they’ve just about had enough?

It really hit me yesterday morning when I went over to do my ‘shift’ at Mum’s but the slow boil started in the week. My Ghost Sister [GS] and I have been doing a night each although she’s tried everything to work it to her advantage ‘because it is easier for her’. I’d been getting fed up of the mess she left behind when she had been looking after Mum but I discovered that she had not bothered to empty Mum’s commode which she’d used the night before. We only found this out in the middle of the night when I heard Mum go to use it and went to see if she needed help Mum was so upset. GS hadn’t even bothered to check so this is now another job I have to do on my arrival each day.

Yesterday I got in to do my bit and the kitchen was in chaos. Breakfast pots were sitting around, cereal not put away and all kinds of crap left about the place, the bed wasn’t made and she hadn’t bothered to turn on the heater so Mum had no hot water. GS was just sitting merrily on the sofa chirping about how exciting the rugby was. So I have to plunge in before I’ve hardly got my coat off.

I’m running ragged. If I’m not at work - something GS has not experienced for nigh on 30 years - I’m up and down the parkway to and from Mum’s, doing Mum’s laundry or I’m sat in front of the damn computer trying to organise stuff for Mum. GS does sweet fanny adams. No, I tell a lie, she brought in 4 cans of soup and a walking stick which she presented to Mum like it was the crown jewels.

If you ask her why she hasn’t done X, Y or Z she looks so puzzled and insists she didn’t know it needed doing or some such nonsense.

I’ve had to reorganise my entire life, change my non working day at work to accommodate hospital appointments [GS doesn’t drive and Mum has made it plain that she doesn’t want GS to come with her anyway]. We were supposed to be off to a concert tonight but we won’t be going because I haven’t yet had time to sort out a small wheelchair for Mum. Then I have to listen to GS chirping about the lovely meal out she had last night and isn’t it wonderful that she is able to get some ME time.

I’m either going to blow and get myself arrested or I’m going to hide under the duvet and cry my eyes out. I’m absolutely running on empty.

I’d be glad of any advice on how to pick up my spirits and cope with all this.

Quite frankly, Nikki, sharing your Mum’s support with GS isn’t working out. It is causing more grief than it’s worth.

I suspect that even if you wrote out all that your sister needs to do to care adequately for your Mum, she would fail to do it properly.

Would you be better getting your Mum a Needs Assessment and sharing your Mum’s care with paid care workers?



I know your sister SHOULD help, but you now have all the evidence you ever need, and much more to show that she will never EVER help properly.

YOU ARE NOW IN CHARGE. Your role is now that of “parent” for mum.

YOU are also the one working, not having a life, not going on holiday. If you want these then YOU have to do something.
Counselling would definitely help, before you have a breakdown, or a car accident because you are so tired.

Mum’s care needs are such that she needs either regular carers in the house OR residential care.

I know from my own experience how difficult this time is. Once you accept that mum will now get progressively worse until she dies, and there is nothing you can do to stop that, it gets easier in some ways.

Your role as “parent” is to make sure that during this last stage of life she is warm, comfortable, with everything she NEEDS.

Contact Social Services today and ask for an UGENT needs assessment for mum, maybe with emergency “reablement care” or similar in the mean time (may be called something different in your area, but emergency carers should be available to ensure no elderly person goes into hospital if it can possibly be avoided) until they can sort out something more permanent.