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At a point where we are struggling to cope

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Talking Point' started by HarryC, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. HarryC

    HarryC Registered User

    May 29, 2016
    Hello good people of Talking Point, I have posted a few times with various issues with mum.
    Mum has lived at our home for two years now, starting out living in our sitting room, with a chemical toilet and my wife having to help her upstairs and bathing mum. When we sold her flat we built a purpose built granny annex to the back of our house which made things easier. Eventually it became too hard for my wife to care for mum full time so carers come in twice a day to get her up, washed and dressed, then washed and ready for bed, my wife (who suffers with osteoarthritis) doing the rest.
    My brother and his wife live just down the road but do nothing except moan if mum says about something that mum alleges happened in the few telephone calls they make to her. The carers do not do any cleaning and mum has now reached the stage where she gets up in the night, removes her incontinence pants and urinates over the floor and bed, takes of her night clothes to wipe it round. This week we have run out of bedding as my wife can't keep up with the washing, the smell is permeating through the whole house, in spite of constant cleaning it must have soaked through the laminate floor and soaked the underlay?
    Much to the disgust of my brother and his wife we have decided that for our own sanity after Christmas we will have to put mum into the home where she has been to for a couple of respites. Mum has 30k in her bank and dad left a reasonable pension but I am sure the care home fees will soon use that up (almost certainly another reason my brother and his wife are so anti)
    We have done everything possible and the annex could be so perfect and cost a good sum of mums money to build (although almost certainly less than 2 years of care home fees?)
    I feel terrible making this decision, but my wife has gone above and beyond what you would expect a daughter in law to do with my help when I'm not at work. I am getting closer to retirement and I want to enjoy it with my wife, surely that's not too much to ask?
    We have to accept that every penny mum has and the pension she gets will go and we will just be left with memories and no inheritance, but we just want our lives back and be happy again.
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    No one can blame you for that HarryC and family members who criticise could always offer to have your mum move in with them.

    My mother`s capital and money from the sale of her bungalow was used for her care. It was not my inheritance while she lived, it was only my inheritance once she had died. The fact there was nothing left was unfortunate.
  3. Oh Knickers

    Oh Knickers Registered User

    Nov 19, 2016
    Hi Harry,

    You can only make decisions with the window of information you have at the time. You and your poor wife have done the best you can. It gets to the stage where it is just too much.

    When doing my research for local care homes for mother I identified 3 I liked the look of. When phoning them I asked what would happen when mum went below the £23,250 ish. They said she would then be moved to the Council rate and she would get the Council Care Home top up - @ £150 pw. The Council will have contracts with care homes. As the Council are paying for so many beds they will get a bulk buy discount which will be less than what self funding residents are charged. Your mum's pensions and any AA (Attendance Allowance) will go to the cost of the care home fees.

    Contact your local Alzheimer's Society or Age UK and they will be able to help guide you as well. Scroll down the page and put in your post code. The local contact numbers will come up.

    Alzheimer's Society

    Age UK

    Good luck.
  4. LadyA

    LadyA Volunteer Host

    Oct 19, 2009
    I've followed your posts Harry, and you and your wife have gone beyond what can be reasonably expected, with what help you have available. With the best will in the world, you and your wife can't do what a fully equipped, fully staffed Care Home can.

    If you are thinking "after Christmas", then it's time now to be looking around and checking out local Care Homes, and getting your mother's name down on waiting lists. Don't make an appointment to view, just turn up (although avoid mealtimes, if you can, on a first visit). Take a look not just at the accommodation, but at the residents and the staff and how they are inter acting. It's not always the most modern, state of the art place that will be the best in terms of care given. Good luck.
  5. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    My thought is that "after Christmas " is a long time to have to cope with these problems.
    Is there any way you could persuade your mum to wear something that she can't remove, so she can't take her inco pants off. I'm thinking some sort of onesie, possibly back fastening. Or would this distress her too much?
  6. HarryC

    HarryC Registered User

    May 29, 2016

    I am so so angry and hurt. Mum urinated again in the night all over her bedroom floor, my poor wife has to face that as her first task of the day (I have to be at work).

    I told my brother that with the unpleasantness and the wetting, we are at the end of our tether. His response " we thought it was heading that way, the way (my wife) was towards mum" people have seen mum and wife in the doctors and my wife is not nice to my mum and reported it to my sister in law. These busy bodies don't understand that if you are not direct with people with Dementia (like with small children) you won't get anywhere.

    Then came the next body blow which would make my wife explode, "such a waste of money building the annex, I suppose you can use it for something" couple that statement with the "thought it was going that way" statement and you have an ungrateful attitude by a son and wife who have done next to nothing over the last two years.

    Bottom line they think the way mum has deteriorated has been engineered by mainly my wife. Well time to start looking at the most suitable home as (like my brother and wife) we want our life back and mum in a place where she can be happy they can cope.
  7. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    Hi HarryC

    Sounds like you and your wife have been doing everything you could possibly do to try and cope with your mum's condition. I can certainly concur with your position on being assertive with your mum. My wife is a happy little soul but often gets confused and I find I have to "take control" to get her to do things. So for instance, when I suggest that we give her her morning wash, she will initially say that she doesn't want to. A gentle, but firm "come on, off we go to the bathroom" gets the result we need.

    Regarding your brother (and SIL), (and apologies if you've already tried this), could you say that you and your wife need to go away for a week and suggest that they stay at yours to look after your mum? That way, they may get a small insight into just how big a task you have been taking on all this time?

    Either way, you've got to consider your own health and if your brother doesn't step up, then as the young people would say "he can do one!":D

    Good luck.
  8. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    #8 Duggies-girl, Sep 14, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017

    Some people care some don't. My dad is nowhere near the stage that your mum is. All my dad needs at the moment is for someone to spend some time with him, have a chat, share a meal, watch some TV with him and take him shopping as he can no longer drive. I see him every day, he is still capable of doing his own cleaning and washing so I let him as I believe it is good for him to do things while he can but he needs a little company and some help with his bin collections and a few other things. I have started checking his fridge daily to see what he has eaten.

    I have now stopped working so that I can do more for him while he is still ok. He does not live far, probably a ten minute drive.

    Brother and wife are both very busy and live a five minute walk from him. Dad says he has not seen them. Nosy neighbour has not seen them for weeks. When I popped in to tell them about his blood test results I realised I was boring my brother. He is not interested. He said "we do phone him regular" I checked dads phone, 2 calls in two weeks.

    They are continually on facebook posting pics of themselves having days out, in pubs and restaurants. I really do not want anything to do with them anymore but my dad probably would not like that so I have to grin and bear it. I am dreading him getting worse as I know I will get no help whatsoever and I am 60 now and I can see what my future will be for a good while yet.

    Thing is my dad is a lovely man with a lovely nature and would give anyone anything. He deserves a little time and care and he is no trouble at all, just a bit of a worrier and repeats himself a lot.

    Sorry for the rant but I so sympathise with you and I think you have done all that could be asked of anyone. Don't feel guilty when she goes into care. You and your wife have earned a good rest and you must make the most of your retirement. Your wife deserves a medal and lots of hugs. Treasure her.
  9. MIA56

    MIA56 Registered User

    Dec 22, 2016
    Harry, it sounds like you have a really great wife who has put everything into your mums care. However, the time has come for the professional help to ensure your mum and your dear wife both have the quality of life they deserve. Your mum without this horrible disease would not want you and your wife to have to do what your doing.

    As for your brother, we all have family members who just don't get it. You won't and can't change him but you can change what is happening now.

    Don't wait till Christmas the outcome is still going to be the same.

    Good luck with your search for a care home and once your mum has settled you can treat you and your wife to a lovely holiday which you both deserve. Your mum will be well looked after and of course you can visit her upon your return.

    Take care.

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