What is crisis point with Altzheimers?

My mums dementia is declining quite rapidly. She was diagnosed with Altzheimers 2 years ago but has had longer. Current situation is getting home care next week for the 1st time. Shes on a waiting list for care home. Though I’ve been told could take months. My brother stays with her an is exhausted. He cleans all day as she is grossly incontinent. She doesn’t wash herself etc so I’ve been helping with that hence why we’ve got a carer now helping, which will be one day a week to begin with to see if my mum will tolerate this. We’ve had a constant problem in that my mum won’t have anyone in the house. I’ve applied to get guardianship as I left it too late for power of attorney. With the way things are I wonder at what stage we will hit crisis point. When do we put our hands up and say we can’t care for my mum anymore. We need to rely on NHS care as my mum has no savings and does not own her home. Therefore all we can do is wait for a care home place to come up. We had avoided moving forward with the whole care home thing and in hindsight should have applied for this sooner. Caring for my mum is waring my brother down and doesn’t have the energy to deal with his own health. He gave up his job to care for her and has absolutely no social life, actually too exhausted anyway. I do what I can and help with her self care such as bathing and dressing. I work full time so it’s difficult at times. Her behaviour isn’t the best and I feel it’s not always down to her dementia as she does have lucid points. She’s been a very difficult mother to deal with for years even before her diagnosis. I believe she’s had mental health issues and just wasn’t diagnosed. Her behaviour towards my brother is awful at times, and he has the patience of a saint. I do ask myself why us. Does anyone have any idea at what stage social services would deem our situation unmanageable? I guess this is a difficult one to answer.

Hi Mary.

When you say “we can’t do it any more” is entirely your choice. There’s no point at which you have to care, and no point you to have to wait to reach to say it.

No one is forced to care, legally. Eleanor Roosevelt said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” For carers, no one can make you care without your consent. If you’ve had enough, tell social services you can no longer provide care for your Mum.

social services would deem our situation unmanageable

This is not how Social services work you have to outline you can no longer provide care. The level of care is too high and unstainable and this is the approach you need to take.

Immediately you need to ask for a respite placement at least for two weeks. So you can as a family gather your thoughts. What should happen while Mum was in respite have another needs assessment done. Although Social Services are looking for a placement they will not rush to find one while she is at home and you are caring for her.

I agree entirely with the previous posters.
You cannot be forced to care.
You can withdraw your care at any time.

There are always beds available for this sort of situation.
Ring Social Services and ask them to arrange emergency respite.
It will need to be an EMI nursing home, due to her incontinence etc. (EMI stands for Elderly Mentally Infirm).

You and your brother have done your very best, but the sad reality is that mum’s dementia is so advanced that she needs a TEAM of people to care for her 24/7.
Please don’t feel guilty in any way, feel proud of what you have both done.