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Anyone ever paid for a companion/carer for anyone?

kingmidas1962

Registered User
Jun 10, 2012
3,537
South Gloucs
I've posted often and at length about the difficulties I have with my mother who is recovering (or rather not recovering) from carer breakdown. Loneliness and complete absence of motivation coupled with her depression make her hugely reliant on me. I can't keep it up.

I am having to work more, and want to spend more time with my family but can see it precipitating a downward slide in her condition if she has less company (i.e. less of me). I'd hoped seeing less of me would encourage her to do more of something else but its not happening.

Everything I suggest I get told 'its OK for YOU, you have xxx (husband, daughter, job etc etc) - I've lost everything' - I don't know how to respond to this statement, mainly because it is true, but I cant do anything about it. Does anyone else get this from their family and what do they say? Its something that leaves me dumbstruck every time.

The family home (hers and dads) is sold subject to contract and when its gone and the money is in her account money will not be an issue for her - she keeps saying she doesn't care about money if she's unhappy (which she is, very) so I was starting to think about a paid companion for her. Another 'me' if you like, to take her out and about when she isn't with me.

I have no idea if this is a good idea or not. Anyone have any thoughts or experiences with this kind of care?

I have previously suggested befriending (no good because she always wants to 'escape' from her flat which she says she hates) and she is currently back under the wing of Community Psychiatric services who have given her a list of activities (coffee mornings etc) they would be able to introduce her to (so go with her for a while to see if she likes it) but after showing me the list of things and declaring it useless it has stayed in the envelope and she has done nothing about it. She has a visit weekly from a Community Psychologist but she says that all she does is 'ask her lots of questions which she doesn't see the point of'

She has a minimal care package in her sheltered housing (assistance with showering and laundry/housework) but nothing from a social point of view - although she originally did have social visits worked into her care but cancelled them as they didn't suit her and she couldn't see the point in them 'because they can't make me better' (which is pretty much her approach to everything). She wants a magic pill to make her better. There isn't one.
 

lilysmybabypup

Registered User
May 21, 2012
1,263
Sydney, Australia
Sorry I haven't any constructive advice or experience, just letting you know my MIL is quite similar. Not sure if I've shared it with you before or not. She lost her much loved husband 3 years ago and he was the driving force in their relationship. He made all decisions, organised finances, and when she developed fibrosis in her lungs he looked after her, despite having a serious heart condition himself. He really had a more serious condition.

They moved into an Over 55's Village just before he died, but it was quite new, few residents. Now she is utterly helpless and won't do anything for herself, the village is now full and has activities, outings, but she won't join in at all. Instead, her 2 daughters are always going there to do everything for her and we go every weekend to visit for a few hours. She could do so much more, join in more, but she just sits in her chair, won't leave the unit unless someone is with her, and says, you wait until you're 80. I bite my tongue but want to say, Mum is 82 and looks after Dad, cooks, bakes, does laundry.

She is lonely and I understand she is grieving but won't do anything to help herself, won't accept advice or make friendships which are right there where she lives. Sometimes you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. I really hope you can organise some companionship, that she will accept someone else spending time with her. I think you need to step back a little at a time, I think your mum will be unhappy anyway, you can't make it worse.

Stephanie, xxx
 

kingmidas1962

Registered User
Jun 10, 2012
3,537
South Gloucs
Sorry I haven't any constructive advice or experience, just letting you know my MIL is quite similar. Not sure if I've shared it with you before or not. She lost her much loved husband 3 years ago and he was the driving force in their relationship. He made all decisions, organised finances, and when she developed fibrosis in her lungs he looked after her, despite having a serious heart condition himself. He really had a more serious condition.

They moved into an Over 55's Village just before he died, but it was quite new, few residents. Now she is utterly helpless and won't do anything for herself, the village is now full and has activities, outings, but she won't join in at all. Instead, her 2 daughters are always going there to do everything for her and we go every weekend to visit for a few hours. She could do so much more, join in more, but she just sits in her chair, won't leave the unit unless someone is with her, and says, you wait until you're 80. I bite my tongue but want to say, Mum is 82 and looks after Dad, cooks, bakes, does laundry.

She is lonely and I understand she is grieving but won't do anything to help herself, won't accept advice or make friendships which are right there where she lives. Sometimes you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. I really hope you can organise some companionship, that she will accept someone else spending time with her. I think you need to step back a little at a time, I think your mum will be unhappy anyway, you can't make it worse.

Stephanie, xxx
It actually sounds as if they were separated at birth ...
 

Butter

Registered User
Jan 19, 2012
6,738
NeverNeverLand
My son would understand some of what you are saying - although I am not ill like your mother and I am functioning perfectly well in many ways.

Sometimes we want to complain - we want you to agree we have a hard life. We want a sympathetic ear and a diversion. Fortunately, I am able to give my son a wave and a shove to get on with his own life. That is what your mother would do if she was well. But she can't. So you have to do it for yourself.

If she doesn't want to do things - she just wants to be (or is) miserable .... all you can do is maintain your care arrangements and get into a routine of visiting that you can sustain indefinitely without compromising your own health and energy.

I have started to only visit my father once a week - and not to ring every day - and strangely, that is rebuilding his confidence as he knows he's not a cause for concern He may be 89 and newly widowed but he is adapting.
 

rajahh

Registered User
Aug 29, 2008
2,794
Hertfordshire
Crossroads may be able to offer something. I have just started using crossroads and Gordon now has a companion/walker . So far it is twice a week but it is going to be 3 afternoons a week in Agust.

Nt sure how you would get your mother to agree if she rejected a befriender as in essence a companion is the same thing.

I agree though with Butter you must just steel yourself and let her stay miserable.

Just tell her you are not going to be able to come as often, and stick to it.

Not easy but necessary I feel.

Jeannette
 

kingmidas1962

Registered User
Jun 10, 2012
3,537
South Gloucs
I re-read this thread and I do sound like an absolutely horrible c*w so I apologise if I have offended anyone.

I do agree that she has had a hard time but things could be much better than they are if she took advantage of what's on offer - but if she won't, she won't.

The reason I was thinking of something different to a befriender is that when I asked about one (this was through Age UK) they will only come and visit the person in their own home for a chat and mum wants OUT all the time ... she hates staying in, feels trapped.

I did say to my counsellor the other week that I am now allowing myself to think that this might be as good as she gets ... and this is something I think more and more often.
 

Anongirl

Registered User
Aug 8, 2012
2,668
Hi KM. My mum has a befriender through Alzheimer's Society (I know your mum doesn't have Alz). She's a girl in her early twenties and they rarely stay in. My mum likes getting out too. They go looking at the shop or while the weather is nice they've been out walking the befriender's dog. Think they plan to do lunch too. She sees her about once a fortnight. They seem to get on really well.

It just makes me feel a bit better knowing I'm not the only person mum has to go out with and chat to and she's not completely reliant on me for company. I find mum refers to the morning carer as someone who she can talk to too. It just takes that little bit of guilt weight off me (just a little bit!) X
 

ellejay

Registered User
Jan 28, 2011
4,019
Essex
You don't sound like a c**, you sound like someone at a dead end.

When my mum lived in her house, she had 3 carer visits a day. My BIL would stay at hers every weekend from early Sat to late Sun. He would also go for the day on Tues, We would visit for the day Thurs. In between times, my niece or her daughter who lived close by would pop in for a cuppa, whatever. There would also be phone calls.

MUM " I'm so lonely, I never see a soul" If I pointed out that she had company every other day, she would get very sniffy & go down the " It's alright for you" & " How would you like it if your husband died" route.

I'm afraid my sympathy was in short supply with that one as from the day my step dad died mum had delighted in telling anyone who would listen (and I mean anyone, strangers on the bus, shop assistants, anyone )" I said to him, why don't you do us all a favour and just die, and he did HaHaHa " ( This started pre VasD)

SS also offered mum a "companion" but this idea was shot down in flames straight away. " I don't need strangers, my family should do more!"

Sorry, I've gone on a ramble now, but there does come a time when enough is enough,
I really don't think you're going to win this one, so it's more a case of damage limitation.

Lin x
 

Anongirl

Registered User
Aug 8, 2012
2,668
Oh and just to add, she fought about getting the carers in and she said I completely embarrassed her by getting the befriender. Now she seems to have just forgotten all that and gets on with it. It's accepted better now because its become part of the routine.
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
3,080
West Hertfordshire
Crossroads can be quite compassionate, they would prob go along with ''Jane will just take you out for a coffee and a natter'' and take her ( and stay with her) at a coffee morning.

Tell them of your plight, they may suggest something
 

Margaret1

Registered User
Nov 6, 2012
7
Herts
I've posted often and at length about the difficulties I have with my mother who is recovering (or rather not recovering) from carer breakdown. Loneliness and complete absence of motivation coupled with her depression make her hugely reliant on me. I can't keep it up.

I am having to work more, and want to spend more time with my family but can see it precipitating a downward slide in her condition if she has less company (i.e. less of me). I'd hoped seeing less of me would encourage her to do more of something else but its not happening.

Everything I suggest I get told 'its OK for YOU, you have xxx (husband, daughter, job etc etc) - I've lost everything' - I don't know how to respond to this statement, mainly because it is true, but I cant do anything about it. Does anyone else get this from their family and what do they say? Its something that leaves me dumbstruck every time.

The family home (hers and dads) is sold subject to contract and when its gone and the money is in her account money will not be an issue for her - she keeps saying she doesn't care about money if she's unhappy (which she is, very) so I was starting to think about a paid companion for her. Another 'me' if you like, to take her out and about when she isn't with me.

I have no idea if this is a good idea or not. Anyone have any thoughts or experiences with this kind of care?

I have previously suggested befriending (no good because she always wants to 'escape' from her flat which she says she hates) and she is currently back under the wing of Community Psychiatric services who have given her a list of activities (coffee mornings etc) they would be able to introduce her to (so go with her for a while to see if she likes it) but after showing me the list of things and declaring it useless it has stayed in the envelope and she has done nothing about it. She has a visit weekly from a Community Psychologist but she says that all she does is 'ask her lots of questions which she doesn't see the point of'

She has a minimal care package in her sheltered housing (assistance with showering and laundry/housework) but nothing from a social point of view - although she originally did have social visits worked into her care but cancelled them as they didn't suit her and she couldn't see the point in them 'because they can't make me better' (which is pretty much her approach to everything). She wants a magic pill to make her better. There isn't one.
In answer to your question, I do pay for a companion for my mother in order to ease the burden on me. Mum is in the early stages of vascular dementia. She lives alone and I am near enough to visit regularly but do need my time off as well. In addition to carer visits and meals on wheels, I provide her with 3 one-hour visits a day. I was fortunate enough to find a very good person, who already knew her a little from a church group. She has previously been a nurse and carer, and she is happy doing this job to supplement her retirement income. She takes on about 7 hours a week, which we keep up-to-date in a diary, to our mutual convenience. They get on well together, and do similar things to those I do - play dominoes, do a crossword, take a short walk. On top of this I have a home help for mum through Age UK and that has also worked out well. I still have plenty of visiting to do myself, and field a number of plaintive phone calls, but the system we have worked out, plus respite care, allows me to remain sane.
 

nerak

Account Closed
Jul 4, 2013
180
ireland
Sounds like she is depressed?? maybe get her to see a doc?

OR she just wants to be miserable??

My mum is a very negative woman am dreadin gher going into respite in case she upsets someone in there and they say she cant come again.

My mother dosnt like anything or anyone?????????:(
 

nerak

Account Closed
Jul 4, 2013
180
ireland
I re-read this thread and I do sound like an absolutely horrible c*w so I apologise if I have offended anyone.

I do agree that she has had a hard time but things could be much better than they are if she took advantage of what's on offer - but if she won't, she won't.

The reason I was thinking of something different to a befriender is that when I asked about one (this was through Age UK) they will only come and visit the person in their own home for a chat and mum wants OUT all the time ... she hates staying in, feels trapped.

I did say to my counsellor the other week that I am now allowing myself to think that this might be as good as she gets ... and this is something I think more and more often.
Oh please youre not a cow you are trying to help her its when they dont want to help themselves that you get annoyed.

Tried for years to get my mum to do stuff join things etc.......... was worn out with the negativity. gave up!!:confused:
 

jeany123

Registered User
Mar 24, 2012
19,036
71
Durham
In answer to your question, I do pay for a companion for my mother in order to ease the burden on me. Mum is in the early stages of vascular dementia. She lives alone and I am near enough to visit regularly but do need my time off as well. In addition to carer visits and meals on wheels, I provide her with 3 one-hour visits a day. I was fortunate enough to find a very good person, who already knew her a little from a church group. She has previously been a nurse and carer, and she is happy doing this job to supplement her retirement income. She takes on about 7 hours a week, which we keep up-to-date in a diary, to our mutual convenience. They get on well together, and do similar things to those I do - play dominoes, do a crossword, take a short walk. On top of this I have a home help for mum through Age UK and that has also worked out well. I still have plenty of visiting to do myself, and field a number of plaintive phone calls, but the system we have worked out, plus respite care, allows me to remain sane.
Well done it sounds as though you have the balance just right, I cannot believe that these mothers if they hadn't dementia that they would want to put their children through such heartache and sometimes ruin their marriages and lives,

Jeany x
 
Last edited:

Margaret1

Registered User
Nov 6, 2012
7
Herts
Well done it sounds as though you have the balance just right, I cannot believe that these mothers if they hadn't dementia that they would want to put their children through such heartache and sometimes ruin their marriages and lives,

Jeany x
Thanks, Jeany, you're right.
 

kingmidas1962

Registered User
Jun 10, 2012
3,537
South Gloucs
Sounds like she is depressed?? maybe get her to see a doc?

OR she just wants to be miserable??

My mum is a very negative woman am dreadin gher going into respite in case she upsets someone in there and they say she cant come again.

My mother dosnt like anything or anyone?????????:(
Mum is a diagnosed depressive - she's suffered from it and anxiety for a large part of her adult life, starting with a breakdown after caring for her mother, then my dad. I don't want to go the same way.

I had a long, productive talk with her CPN yesterday evening about the kind of opportunities they could offer her and it seems that they got the idea that she was a very busy, active cheerful person (this is the impression she gives off) and they were completely surprised to find out what she is really like - this is usually the case. They have promised they will be more active in introducing her to extra activities to keep her occupied - what they had done until now was just give her a list of clubs/events and wait for her to get back to them ... that isnt going to happen. Its still in the envelope. Depression saps her of any enthusiasm or motivation.

Anyway - the CPN asked me what I thought would be a sustainable level of visiting (exactly as Butter already very helpfully said), so I told her, and she said that is what we will aim to work towards, together. I hope!