Am I being unreasonable? How far is too far too travel?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Brenda16, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. Brenda16

    Brenda16 Registered User

    Feb 13, 2015
    Not applicable

    I live in Switzerland, have a brother in England. Mum at moment in mental clinic but she is ready to be moved out as she is now stable.
    I found a care home in the county where she lives but my brother will not have any of it because he would have to travel 26 miles one way.

    He seems to be insisting on a home nearer to his home in another county.
    I don't have experience of the roads in England but from where I'm standing I think it should be possible for him to travel 26 miles to see his Mum.

    I had everything lined up only to hear from the Manager of that home that my SIL had called to say they want my Mum to be nearer them.

    I don't want to be unreasonable because, after all, they have to do most of the work.
    I do whatever I can with the help of Internet (how did we ever get on without it).

    Is a round trip of 52 miles too much?
    Please bring me down to earth and in the right frame of mind. I'm going round in circles here. I mail the home only to get the reply that my brother has called it off.
    Right now I'm frustrated and angry because the mental health authorities are saying that Mum is stable but the clinic is an unhealthy environment for her to be in as there are some "very ill people there" and she should leave asap.

    It's so very difficult being so far away and wanting to help.

    Many thanks for your time.
  2. reedysue

    reedysue Registered User

    Nov 4, 2014
    It does not sound far to me, I have to do an eighty mile round trip just to go to the supermarket.
  3. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Hi Brenda16
    Looks like you've been doing a sterling job looking for care homes.
    I do, though, tend to agree with your brother that 26 miles is quite a long way.
    I visit dad 4 afternoons a week and he's only about 6 miles away - but across town and sometimes traffic is bad. I wouldn't want him to be much further away, to be honest.
    However, if your brother will only visit once a week - maybe it's not so bad. Maybe it will take 45 mins each way - totally depends on roads and traffic conditions.
    If he thinks it is too far, though, then I guess it is too far - as he's the one travelling.
    But, I can't help thinking that he might have brought this up earlier. And now he has, I'd be tempted to ask him to review any other possibilities himself and let you know which he thinks are within range. You don't want this happening again.
  4. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    East Kent
    Speaking personally. I would listen to your brother and SIL.
    IMO it would be best to have your Mum close to your brother, it wild make it much easier for them to keep a closer eye on mum and her care in the home and perhaps they would be able to visit more often.
    A 52 mile round trip in many parts of England could take quite a time, also what if their was an emergency.
  5. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    Her home town or closer to your brother, the geography is not important to your mother, unless old friends and neighbours are going to visit her on a regular basis. Your brother does have a point, the closer to family the better, who knows what kind of emergencies there may be in the future. It will not just be a quick half hour drive, lots of other things to take into account like traffic, time of day, working full time and then factoring in a visit to care home. Look for a care home closer to your brother and sister in law.
  6. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    North West
    If you decide he's right then do follow Shedrech's suggestion and ask him to find a home he thinks is suitable.
  7. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    It depends. How often would he be going? How is his own health? What are the other pulls on his time in terms of work and family? Is he a good driver (I ask because one of my relatives is terrible and although she's driven often and for years she's never relaxed into it and every trip is an ordeal for her, or so it seems)? etc

    Fifty or so miles won't take much more than an hour on normal-ish roads with normal-ish traffic conditions, but if he can only go after work and before going home to his family, for example, then in some parts of the country even fifty miles can take far longer because of traffic jams during 'rush hours'. Add grotty weather and reliably unreliable preparations for it as far as our roads, and the distance could be a bit of a hassle.

    So I'd say ask him why he feels the distance is too much. There may be valid reasons.

    My other thought is that, going on my own experiences with my mum, shorter visits are very often better for her and this is how it's been for a while. So it's great if I can pop in for 20 minutes as and when, and stay longer if she's up for it or leave sooner maybe after only minutes with her and a quick chat with the staff. An hour+ round trip might make that kind of stuff harder.

    One last thing to think about, as I'm sure you have, is what are the options. If this place is as perfect as you can get and there's nothing as good near your brother then that has to be a consideration, even if he has further to go. Your mum will be living there 24/7.
  8. Brenda16

    Brenda16 Registered User

    Feb 13, 2015
    Not applicable
    Hi Shedrech

    Trouble is the M25. If it's free of jams, then he could get to Mum in 25 minutes.
    My brother is a busy man and I really don't think that he would visit that often.
    Our Dad was also in a care home with Alzheimer's and we know more-or-less the path that my Mum is on and that the time is just around the corner when Mum won't know who we are. In fact a friend of mine became so upset when she visited her Mum that the carers in the home told her she really didn't have to come every week.

    My thoughts are such that Mum should be able to go to the lovely home I found, get her out of the mental clinic environment and be happy that she is safe and sound.

    I appreciate your reply Shedrech but I still think a round trip of 52 miles is not that far. I would most certainly do it.

    Somehow I feel as if my brother is playing some kind of waiting game - what for: who knows?

    Actually, to be honest I'm venting my anger here. On the day before my Mum was sectioned (police present) and taken to the clinic my SIL said to me on the phone that I should come over because Mum would need to take things with her and for my brother to have to pack her underwear was not right. They actually didn't want anybody from the family there at the actual "being taken from her home". I said I couldn't come over because of matters here and she said "If that was my Mum I would be over on the next plane". She hit me in the gut when I was down and I just collapsed.
    So maybe my venting here is because of her.

    Sorry, ya all. I feel that I can just let go when I'm with you on Talking Point.

    I want to stamp and scream at my brother: Do something. NOW

    Blessings to you all. Thank you
  9. sleepless

    sleepless Registered User

    Feb 19, 2010
    The Sweet North
    My dad is 75miles from here and even though a lot of that is motorway (not a busy section) it takes me an hour and a half to get there, so three hours travelling, which I find tiring. My sisters live much closer and can be at the care home in ten minutes and twenty minutes.
    More frequent, shorter visits are best in my opinion, so I would listen to your brother and his wife.
  10. Brenda16

    Brenda16 Registered User

    Feb 13, 2015
    Not applicable
    Hi Lin

    Very good point regarding keeping an eye on Mum.However, if there was an emergency I would do the 900 km trip from here so he can do the 52 miles.
    In fact on two occasions I dealt with emergencies from here. One was my Mum was becoming afraid of Dad'd violence and I got him into a home with the help of the Social Services within 2 weeks (my brother was away on holiday).
    Then my Dad was admitted to hospital in a dehydrated condition. My brother was on the other side of the world and I kept it to myself (we had agreed on this previously) and I arranged from here for Mum for to be taken to Dad's bedside for "the last embrace and kiss".

    Bottom line, Lin, is that he didn't visit Mum even once a month when she was alone, not eating, not washing herself, breaking TV several times which meant she was just sitting alone in her home.
    So maybe this sounds cynical but I don't believe he'll go to visit Mum very often at all.
    Somebody else asked regarding his health, driving abilities, well he's fine. As for going in after work - no chance.

    Sorry, I'm sounding really bitter. I'm a fighter and I can't stand things not being done.

    thank you
  11. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    #11 Shedrech, Oct 28, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
    Hi again Brenda16
    I felt that there was more to this than a question of distance - which is why I wrote the last few sentences.
    Being blunt - I think he should have raised his concerns much earlier in the process. However, he didn't. And he was happy to leave all the arrangements to you - with you being in another country. It's hard enough to be in the same location and get this right.
    So you will not 'win' with him. He clearly will not compromise, so I'm afraid you must (screaming loudly in the background to let it all out).
    Now - I agree with others - the decision has to be his BUT by that I mean that he has to do the hard work and choose the home.
    It's no good him 'allowing' you to make a choice and all the arrangements and then shooting it down - that's just setting you up for a fall. And it's not fair on your mother.
    And Sil's guilt tripper was a wonderful way of throwing it all back on you too (not sure why she couldn't pack her MiLs knickers?). I'm sure you would have been there if possible. The fact was, your brother was there and surely is more than capable of dealing with any situation.
    So - tell him calmly but briefly that you honestly thought the home met all the criteria you had both set down - if it doesn't; he must find one and he must do it immediately in view of your mother's situation.
    Then leave it at that.
    You've done your bit for now.
    Yep - TP is a great place so keep posting :D
    PS Just read your last post. I appreciate all your concerns - but in the end if he cancels your arrangements are you in a position to have your mother moved against his wishes? If so - go ahead and deal with the fallout. If not, you have little leeway. In the end it doesn't matter what game he is playing, you must focus on the outcome for your mum. Caught between a rock and a hard place - I'd throw it all back on him.
  12. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    Like Shedrech, I thought that there was more to your post, but it was such a straight forward question, rarely happens on here. If they have an alternative closer offering same high standards and service as the one you have found, then consider it, but if they haven't, stick to your guns with the choice you have made, its not like there is a perfect care home on every corner.
  13. Brenda16

    Brenda16 Registered User

    Feb 13, 2015
    Not applicable
    Hi Schedrech

    Everything you write is correct. But I can't do it. If I throw it back at him maybe he'll continue to bide his time and Mum still remains in the middle of it all. Gotta think about this one.

    Don't you hate the things that come into one's mind? Sometimes I can't stop these thoughts and scenarios going round and round in my head. For example, Mum is still in the clinic (9 weeks) and could have left 3 weeks ago and what are my thoughts? The clinic is free and we will be self-funding. ?? These thoughts are making me sooo angry.

    I'll be over in 2 weeks so I guess bruv and I will have to have a talk.

    Something I must add: my brother is a lovely man and I love him to bits and even though we're a long distance apart, we're still very close. Not so SIL

    Holy Moses.
  14. Brenda16

    Brenda16 Registered User

    Feb 13, 2015
    Not applicable
    Wow. how sensitive you all are to me and each other. Unbelievable. Is it because we're all going through such a lot that our antennas (is that English?) are so sensitive to what is written.

    Trouble very often is that people don't talk. I do but appreciate some can't. But not talking is negative in the long run.

    I'm frightened of my brother's reaction to me saying he should now look for a home.
    I don't like arguments. Well actually, who does? I'm rambling so I'll stop.

    thank you all
  15. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    May I just ask
    Has the Care Home place you arranged been turned down and so lost? If it has been turned down, it will not stay open, the home will find an occupant if it is not being paid for. So that option may already be closed and you may HAVE to find somewhere else.
    I'm not wanting to comment on your family relationships. You're right that most family members want only the best for the PWD, the problems and frustrations arise when individuals' ideas don't match. I've found even face to face talking doesn't mean that you both understand the same of what is being said.
    Totally recognise and sympathise.
    Take a little time to breathe
    You'll work your way through this
    Very best wishes
  16. Brenda16

    Brenda16 Registered User

    Feb 13, 2015
    Not applicable
    Hi Shedrech

    SIL spoke to the home yesterday. I mailed them today to ask if the room is still available but so far have not received a reply.

    You are so very wise. I will take a little time to breathe and sleep on it.
  17. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    My hubby lives further away than that, and I use public transport to visit him. A car journey would take half an hour to 40 minutes, depending on traffic/road conditions. Using public transport, I need a whole day! I've done the journey both ways and we use back roads here, which can be eventful when there's roadworks.

    What I'm immensely grateful for is the grade of care my hubby gets, which is absolutely fantastic. That's all I could ask for. A few more miles isn't a bother to me. I'd rather he was well looked after, and he is.
  18. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    I was very glad my mother's CH was just a short drive away. Quite apart from anything else, she would tire very quickly - an hour was usually plenty and often it was more like 45 minutes - and later on she'd often be asleep anyway. But if so, it was no big deal to pop back later, or the next day.

    Latterly, when she'd had a fall or wasn't well, I was particularly glad to be close by.

    Personally I would think that those who are going to be doing most of the visiting should have the greater say as to location.
  19. Brenda16

    Brenda16 Registered User

    Feb 13, 2015
    Not applicable
    I really don't think my brother will visit my Mum that often. If he didn't do it when she was still living on her own - wouldn't allow anybody in to help. House smelt as she did herself. I feel doubtful that my brother would go more than once a month in the knowledge that she is in a home and safe.

    Also, I feel that my brother should also consider my journey. I'm flying in from Switzerland and am a city girl - don't really know how all the different train systems work in England (when I was a girl it was British Rail). If my Mum's home is way out in the countryside I've got no idea how to get there. I've never driven "on the other side of the road and I don't intend to start at my age".

    I just wish my brother would be honest about how often he would actually go to see Mum. I have asked but, as always, got no reply.
  20. Brenda16

    Brenda16 Registered User

    Feb 13, 2015
    Not applicable
    Hi Witzend

    I agree with you totally. However, when Mum and Dad were still at home I saw more of them than my brother did.
    He visited them and later when Mum was alone about once every three months.

    I feel very bitter about this and am angry that he's insisting on the home being near him.

    The home I found is actually outside of London but does have a tube station so admittedly that would be helpful for me.

    I don't get it. Here on the Continent 52 mile round trip is nothing. We travel that far to go to have a meal or visit friends just for an evening.

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