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Am I wrong? Uproot life to take care of mum?

Toopie28

Registered User
Jun 7, 2022
31
0
I care from afar. I live in the US and Mum is in the UK.
Her dementia has progressed to paranoia, hallucinations, depression( hiding things, not finding and thinking people come in middle of night to move things).
She's not ready for a home yet (and I know if I even tried, she'd just run away)
I came over from the US to try and get helpers to come over twice a day to sort her for keys and locking/unlocking door.

Everyone I speak to just blatantly ask me when I'm moving back. They keep repeating that I must move back to "take care of mum".
Not even, get my own flat and have even an ounce of a life - no, I have to live with her and be at her beck and call.
Mum won't even hear of helpers.
Oh and she's so much better when im here since I do everything for her. ( Which is fine, I know everyday tasks are just so difficult for her)

I've spent all my adult life in the US, it's all I've known.
At my age, (50) trying to get a new job, rent my house in US, just make that HUGE move is so overwhelming to think about.

Am I wrong to NOT move? I knew this would happen when I came over but the more I see mums decline, the more I think maybe they're right.

I am going through my own depression thing right now due to mum's condition so that won't help down-the-line.

Has anyone gone through this (be it near or afar)
Thank you.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
5,044
0
Nottinghamshire
No @Toopie28 you are not wrong. Even if you gave up your life to care for your mum there is no guarantee it would work. I suggest you tell anyone who thinks that would do to politely mind their own business.
BTW I don’t think it is too early to move your mum to a care home. Maybe have a look on line at homes in your mum’s area and look at some when you are next in the UK. Not all homes are alike and I’m sure there will be somewhere that will suit here.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
67,275
0
71
Dundee
I agree with @Sarasa. Please don't give up your job and your life to become a full time carer. It sounds as if your mum needs quite a high level of care. I too think the best way forward is to begin to consider care homes.
 

soguilty

Registered User
Aug 27, 2018
23
0
I care from afar. I live in the US and Mum is in the UK.
Her dementia has progressed to paranoia, hallucinations, depression( hiding things, not finding and thinking people come in middle of night to move things).
She's not ready for a home yet (and I know if I even tried, she'd just run away)
I came over from the US to try and get helpers to come over twice a day to sort her for keys and locking/unlocking door.

Everyone I speak to just blatantly ask me when I'm moving back. They keep repeating that I must move back to "take care of mum".
Not even, get my own flat and have even an ounce of a life - no, I have to live with her and be at her beck and call.
Mum won't even hear of helpers.
Oh and she's so much better when im here since I do everything for her. ( Which is fine, I know everyday tasks are just so difficult for her)

I've spent all my adult life in the US, it's all I've known.
At my age, (50) trying to get a new job, rent my house in US, just make that HUGE move is so overwhelming to think about.

Am I wrong to NOT move? I knew this would happen when I came over but the more I see mums decline, the more I think maybe they're right.

I am going through my own depression thing right now due to mum's condition so that won't help down-the-line.

Has anyone gone through this (be it near or afar)
Thank you.
IToopie28 - I think you are definately not wrong. Even if you did take the enormous step of uprooting - how long would it be for? Of course the thought is overwhelming.
Your emotions must be all over the place - it's unbearably hard to witness a mother's decline. If it's possible to get the necessary help over here I think that's the first step. Her hallucinations and paranoia and dementia surely need social services input. You need to know she's being cared for.
I send you hugs and more hugs.
 

Linsac

Registered User
Aug 14, 2020
91
0
No definitely do not give up your life in the US. She may only be able to stay at home for a short while if she progresses further and then she will have to go into a care home. Does she currently have a care package in place?
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,895
0
South coast
Please dont give up your life. I know there is a lot of social pressure, but I would lay money on the people saying you should move back to look after your mum have never had to care for someone with dementia.

When you say that your mum is not ready for a care home, do you know what care homes are like in UK, or are you thinking about memory care facilities in the US? I have not been to US, but I am told that they are different. Your mum sounds at about the same level s my mum when she moved into a care home and I really dont think that it is too soon. It took mum a good few weeks to settle, but once she did she was happy there and she was very well looked after. She once said to me "everyone here loves me" and she was right - they did.

So, you see, they are not all bad. In fact, care homes in UK vary an enormous amount. You will probably need a secure home that caters for dementia. If however, you feel that you really do have to look after her, do a trial run first. Come over for two or three weeks holiday and stay with her to see what it is like. I was thinking of having mum come and live with me, so I invited her to stay with me to try it out. I lasted no more than a weekend. She was much, much worse than I had realised and was up all night terribly confused and woke me up every half an hour because there were "noises in the kitchen" (there was nothing). I just knew I couldnt do it and started looking at care homes.
 

TheBeetle

Registered User
Jan 28, 2022
18
0
In my experience, people who don’t actually do the caring are very quick to tell you what you should be doing without actually understanding what a huge undertaking it is. I would ignore them entirely. If they feel so strongly, they are welcome to take on the caring duties.

As you say, your whole adult life has been in the US, and although it is a truly horrible and cruel disease your mum is living with, your own life matters just as much. Moving would be a massive upheaval, and from the sounds of things, your mum’s dementia has progressed to a level where quite a high level of care is required and to echo others, a care home is probably the route to consider.

If it helps, my dad was extremely reluctant to move into a care home (and was at a similar level to what you have described) and from the minute he moved in, he’s never been happier - although this is very much the exception to a lot of families experiences, it does and can happen - so it might not be the fight you’re expecting.
 

Deedee1137

Registered User
May 4, 2022
20
0
My 87 year old stepdad always used to say “don’t let me end up like my dad”, I never knew him but knew he was in an institution as it was called back then, my stepdad always said don’t put me in a home, I cared for him for 7 years after making a promise to my mum on her death bed that I would care for him as long as I could. Xmas 2021 he got a UTI resulting in sever delirium, which myself and my siblings could not get our heads around. He ended up in hospital for 3 month, after he’d only been in for 2 weeks SS asked if I was taking him back into my care, I had to refuse which broke my heart. At that point he couldn’t swallow, feed or drink by himself, couldn’t walk or talk. Delirium started to pass after about 2 months but we as a family had made the decision of a CH. He‘s now been there 3 month and has accepted he’s there permanent and has said it’s nice to go down and be with other people instead of sitting on his own with his own thoughts.
I see him almost everyday and yes sometimes I think why did I do this, then I check round his room, he‘s packing and unpacking needs a little help getting dressed as he puts items on in the wrong order, needs prompting for drinks, toilet and showers. His mobility is quite bad and when he’s tired can hardly walk.
I am starting to get a bit of a life back after giving everything up to be his constant and to be fair I’m much happier in the knowledge he’s looked after by professionals who do care.

So the answer to you is don’t give up your life in the US as it’s a long road to start living your life again.
 

LynneMcV

Volunteer Moderator
May 9, 2012
4,305
0
south-east London
I agree with previous posters, it would be unwise to give up your life in the US at this stage.

i don't want to upset you and I know you have said that she is not ready for a care home yet - but as she lives alone and is having paranoia, hallucinations, depression and believes people are breaking in to steal things I think it might be wise to start considering care homes as the next step.

i know of one lady who was showing similar behaviours and it progressed to her regularly banging on neighbourhood doors at all times of the day and night to confront people she thought had stolen from her. It was a scary time for all concerned.

None of this is easy and I hope you find the right way forward in your own particular situation.
 

Toopie28

Registered User
Jun 7, 2022
31
0
Oh thank you all.
You don't know how much this means to me.

I am also here to look at some homes. I know it will happen be it this trip or the next. (care homes in Scotland)

When I mention to mum to just "visit" and see how they are and will be good as she can take care of people as well, she just breaks down sobbing. It's heartbreaking.

I was adamant when I got here that I would be strong and ignore the comments, but they got to me.
And you're right, none of these people have any idea what it's like. They cannot even imagine!
I'm here every 4 months for one month and by the end I'm completely drained, numb and worn out, yet mum seems so much better.

Again, thank you. I cherish all your advice since you all have experience.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
67,275
0
71
Dundee
I noticed you mentioned Scotland in your last post. I'm sure you will already be aware of the process here (I'm in Scotland) but I thought I'd post these links just in case. Alzheimer Scotland has a 24/7 Helpline if you ever need it.




 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,895
0
South coast
I wouldnt take your mum with you when you visit care homes @Toopie28
Im afraid that it very much a feature of dementia that by the time they need a care home, they have lost the ability to understand their own needs. In their own minds and memory they are coping at home just fine and have no problems, so they are unlikely to go willingly.
Therefore you have to either use subterfuge and "love lies" or wait for a crisis. Its much better to have a planned move into the care home of your choice, rather than an emergency placement in where ever has space, or an emergency admission into hospital, but sometimes the crisis occurs before you can organise anything. My mum moved into her care home after a TIA (mini stroke) meant an emergency admission to hospital. Fortunately a friend found mum on the floor of her home before she had been there long. Mum went from hospital to her care home and lived there for the rest of her life. It could have been a lot worse.
 

Pork Pie lady

Registered User
Mar 16, 2013
146
0
Anglia
Moving and changing jobs are 2 very highly stressful events and you will be leaving all your support system in another country. Put these things together with the depression you are already suffering and that your mum will only get worse it is highly likely that you will not be able to cope. Please put your own wellbeing first, it won't help anyone if you need looking after as well.
I hope you find the support and understanding that you need.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
4,173
0
Dorset
You say that your Mum is so much better after a month of your care but you are completely drained. This proves that she would be so much better with 24 hour care and company in residential care and that there is no way you could manage to care for her permanently because you wouldn’t last the distance and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, just a factual statement of the strain it would put you under.
She couldn’t run away if she was in a secure unit. Do you have Lasting Power of Attorney set up yet? If not and she is believed to have the capacity to grant it, you need to get that done as soon as you can, you can’t just decide to move her.
As for the people who ask when you are moving back to look after her, what a bloody cheek! It would be bad enough if you lived in this country but to expect you to move across the world is beyond belief! Ignore them, it’s nothing to do with them unless they are family, in which case they should be doing the care if they are that bothered about it!
 

Vixi

New member
Jul 3, 2022
1
0
I care from afar. I live in the US and Mum is in the UK.
Her dementia has progressed to paranoia, hallucinations, depression( hiding things, not finding and thinking people come in middle of night to move things).
She's not ready for a home yet (and I know if I even tried, she'd just run away)
I came over from the US to try and get helpers to come over twice a day to sort her for keys and locking/unlocking door.

Everyone I speak to just blatantly ask me when I'm moving back. They keep repeating that I must move back to "take care of mum".
Not even, get my own flat and have even an ounce of a life - no, I have to live with her and be at her beck and call.
Mum won't even hear of helpers.
Oh and she's so much better when im here since I do everything for her. ( Which is fine, I know everyday tasks are just so difficult for her)

I've spent all my adult life in the US, it's all I've known.
At my age, (50) trying to get a new job, rent my house in US, just make that HUGE move is so overwhelming to think about.

Am I wrong to NOT move? I knew this would happen when I came over but the more I see mums decline, the more I think maybe they're right.

I am going through my own depression thing right now due to mum's condition so that won't help down-the-line.

Has anyone gone through this (be it near or afar)
Thank you.
I’m in the exact same position as you and don’t know what to do. I’m seriously thinking I may have to stay in uk,here on a visit from Nz, my mum is very strong willed and won’t even visit the dr, I’m so upset and feeling overwhelmed,
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
3,356
0
No, no @Toopie28 I am of the firm belief that children are not bought into this world to care for their elderly parents and I think most parents would agree with me. Unfortunately dementia can bring out the worst in some people and they can only think of their own self preservation. I have told my son that if I get dementia then he is to dump me in the nearest care home and if he can't get me in a care home then he should leave me on the doorstep of the social services and run like hell. If I cry he is to ignore me, Parents have a duty to do the best for their children and then let them go and live their own lives.

Seriously though you have made your own life in the states and that is where you belong. Sort your mum out and then go home, she will be fine. I gave up everything to look after my dad and even moved in with him at the end but I got no thanks from anyone, not even dad because he had no memory and did not realise that I was living with him. My dad had none of the problems your mum has, no hallucinations or paranoia, he was just a perfectly lovely elderly gentleman who had no memory and was not capable of boiling a kettle. It still drove me nuts. I don't think I could have coped with your mum, in fact I know I couldn't have. It will wear you down and probably make you ill. No and no.

As for neighbours and friends, ignore them, you and your life is none of their business. They are trying to guilt trip you or they may be genuinely concerned but your life is still none of their business. Your mum sounds ready for a care home to me, she obviously cannot look after herself so it is the only option.

If you do this and move in with her you will regret it everyday, you will have no life and you will become just a carer, I know this because I have been there and you are giving up so much more than I did. I got go home occasionally because I lived near but you won't get the chance, you can't pop home to the states, your life as you know it will have ended.

I will be honest, you are going to feel guilty if you go home but if you stay you are going to end up feeling worse, you will feel resentful and you will still feel guilty because you can never do enough. Get your mum the care she needs and then go home to your own life.

Sending you some strength.
 

hollyg

New member
Jul 4, 2022
1
0
Hi Toopie! Sorry you are going through this. I think you should be careful. Your mom probably wouldnt want you to give up a job without a new one waiting. What most people I know do is have the sick person come to move in with them. Especially if they have a house and a nice life.
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
6,342
0
Chester
My mum had a crisis and could no longer stay in her own home (historic hoarding and lack of house maintenance for 30 plus years)

She said she wanted me to look after her in my house, and I just said no.

Her dementia wasn't as advanced as your mum's and so I found her a sheltered extra care flat and she then moved into a care home more recently.

I hadn't actually found this forum when I told her no, I could just see it wasn't possible, I worked and had 2 young children and life was already a juggle.

If her house had been fit to live in I would have been tempted to arrange carers for her there, but I am certain she would have rejected these and life would have been a nightmare (she lived 200 miles from me).

I completely disagree with your statement she is not ready for a care home yet - a care home is needed when someone isn't safe to live on their own, and if your mum would turn carers away then she isn't safe to live on her own. If she can't manage every day tasks she can't manage. Full stop. Hallucinations and paranoia are care home indicators however well someone is managing.

My neighbours are all 20 years older than me and they all said I'd done the right thing and were so glad I'd done it for my sake.

My friend looked after her elderly MIL (no dementia) and found it hard. Some years later when her FIL became frail she knew she couldn't do it again and her FIL went into a home (he agreed as no dementia).

Good luck - it will take time to organise - but a home is the right thing.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
12,480
0
Yorkshire
Hello @hollyg
Welcome to DTP

I agree that Toopie28's mum of old would no doubt want them to lead their own life as they have been doing

I appreciate that for some families it works well for all to live together ... however, it's not feasible for either person to move in this case ... caring for someone with dementia becomes full time and it's not something that all can do ... arranging for home care visits or residential care when the time comes is as much caring for a person in its way sometimes it is far better for the loved one