Who to tell?

I worry sometimes that I’m bordering on the edge of diminished responsibility. I have no one to tell however.

Mum has Alzheimer’s Disease with debilitating OCD. Thing’s were dreadfully difficult and then she broke her hip and spent 10 days in hospital after they skillfully fixed it. I was frantic she would contract Covid and had 2 tests as she picked up viruses in hospital. She dodged the Covid and left hospital with a fixed hip but now things are absolutely shocking. She’s refusing to walk and hasn’t walked since she’s been at home. Now a month. She can do, but won’t. I don’t know if it’s delayed depression or shock.

I’m one of 3 “mature” age siblings. One lives just a 10 minute walk and the other lives with us. My sibling that lives close by could easily visit by coming just to the window to “see” Mum but doesn’t. I feel as if I’m one of 3, but taking the weight just on my shoulders alone. Mum won’t really let me care for her, but insists I run around after my other sibling and I just feel run into the ground. Mum no longer sleeps and therefore as I sleep in a chair next to her since she had the accident neither do I. I don’t resent my loss of freedom or independence one iota but I just wish my siblings would realise that if I weren’t there, then their life would be so very different. No one offers to pick up a few things from shops and mums insisting she wants to die and I’m completely out of my depth. I don’t know who to tell about mums frame of mind and if I did, what repercussions might that have.

I’m currently using negative coping strategies and it’s not a good situation. Mum won’t have carers in the house and as she has 'capacity" the healthcare workers accept what she tells them.

I don’t know what to do at all and apologise for talking so long.

Hi Tina,

As a short term measure - stop sleeping in the chair next to your Mum. That way you will be more rested and getting a proper sleep each night. As your Mum refuses to walk anyway - she is safe. If she starts to walk when you aren’t there - also great. If she did fall, then call an ambulance to help her get up. Is she having physio?

It is time to stop running around after your other sibling. If they want food - then they will have to buy it, just buy the basics and things for yourself. If they want clean clothes, then they need to wash their dirty ones. The more you do for them, the less they will do. Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do about the other sibling who lives in their own place.

Ultimately, post Lockdown, what would like to happen? Your Mum to accept carers or for her move into residential care?


Tina, how old are you?
Have you always lived with mum?
Does she own or rent the property? This is a really important issue!

Sadly, your family are happy for you to care for mum, because they are lazy and put themselves first, and always will. I had a similar problem in many ways.
The only power any of them have is the power you let them have. They have no right to expect you to do anything, not even mum. I’m now 68, now widowed, it’s too late for me to realise many of my dreams and it makes me very sad at times.
When mum was discharged she should have been given 6 weeks reablement care. Did that happen?
If you don’t put yourself first, no one else will!
Make an appointment to see your own GP and say how you are feeling, that you CANNOT do it any more.
If mum is at a different practice, tell mum’s GP what is going on too.
Make yourself less available. As far as sister is concerned, say you are too busy.
Sleep in your own bed. Consider videoing mum on your phone as evidence. It is very dangerous for her not to get up and move after replacement surgery.
Who is managing her benefits? Is she getting Attendance Allowance? Claiming EXEMPTION to Council tax due to her dementia?

Hi Tina,

My mum had dementia and then broke her hip. Walked very badly afterwards and refused to do some of the physio. What did the hospital say about your mum’s inability to walk? Are there any follow-up appointments for her hip? In my mum’s case it seemed that the operation worsened her dementia and the brain do longer sent signals to her legs if that makes any sense.

There are really two options for your mum unless you continue as you are - either she accepts more care at home as surely if she cannot walk, she is going to need support with washing etc or she moves into a nursing home. If mum has a diagnosis of dementia, I would also argue the fact that she has capacity - one tends to contradict the other.

As for your siblings, sadly this Forum is littered with tales of useless relatives and how one person bears the brunt of caring. You can certainly stop caring for your sibling living at home. Now is the time to take a stand.

As for who to tell that you cannot continue as you are - there are two ways to go, one to your GP to say that you cannot cope and need support. And also to your local Social Services for an urgent care assessment. Be very clear with Social Services that you and mum are not coping and that you refuse to do any more. It is important that you look after your own health in order to be of any help to mum, however difficult that can be.

I wish you well, not an easy situation,