Aunty and Mum~ comments please.

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by PINKS, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. PINKS

    PINKS Registered User

    Feb 23, 2007
    4
    Hello
    Hard to put a short title for my problem! My Aunt, with Alzheimers, lives close to my mother, her sister. My cousins are a very caring and close family and I really don't want to upset them but they seem to be blind to certain things which to me seem obvious (maybe I'm in the wrong). My mother spends a lot of time with my aunt and my cousins don't think she needs to but the amount of professional carer time they are providing means that if Mum didn't visit my Aunty would be on her own for many hours at a time. She has someone coming for an hour and a half on the days family don't come. So they get her up give her her main meal and perhaps do one or two chores or take her to the hairdressers and back and then she'd be left from early afternoon to the following morning alone. She doesn't think to turn on a light or television or radio herself so would be sat Zombie like for most of that time. Mum shares memories with her chatting and watching programmes she knows her sister would have chosen and suggests she gets up and moves about a bit and such things but they don't seem to think these things matter. I've read about the importance of trying to keep a routine on the Alzheimer's website.

    My siblings and I have been discussing this lately because Mum has been run ragged and it would be much easier for her if there were more care hours but the cousins really can't see the point. They have been persuaded to think about a personal emergency alarm at last and are considering moving her closer to one of them but we wonder if she'll get the time that Mum's been giving her and suspect the move will be disorientating for her, causing a decline. We're in a very difficult position because obviously it IS their decision but we really care what happens for both our Mum's sakes. Has anyone got any similar problems or comment to make?
    PINKS:confused:
     
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi PINKS

    Welcome to TP.

    What a very complicated problem. There are so many different points of view to consider.

    Your aunt: suffering from AD, and you feel needing more care than your cousins are providing.

    Your mum: wanting to help her sister, but finding it a strain.

    Your cousins: wanting to do the best for their Mum. Perhaps relying too much on your mum and perhaps resenting interference?

    You: concerned about your aunt, feeling she needs more care than the cousins are providing. Concerned about your mum, feeling she is doing too much. Anxious not to fall out with your cousins.

    Is that a fair analysis? If so, do you think you could organise a meeting with your mum and cousins, and talk over all the issues calmly. I think that's the only way this can be resolved without creating ill-feeling, and that would make the whole situation so much worse.

    I do sympathise. These family problems are so difficult to resolve amicably.

    Good luck, and let us know what you decide.

    Love,
     
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    To reiterate what Hazel said: it may be your cousin's responsibility to take care of their mother, but it's YOUR'S to take care of your mother, and it sounds as if she can't go on much longer like this. Family meeting, if you can arrange it, sounds the way to go, but sound out your mother first about just how much she'd like to do: she may end up offering to do more than she is comfortable with just to solve the problem.

    Jennifer
     
  4. Robbie

    Robbie Registered User

    Feb 22, 2007
    9
    East Yorkshire
    Hi PINKS

    In my experience when someone is experiencing AD and still living at home it is only their long term memories that help them continue to cope at home, so a move at this point rarely works and usually makes thing harder. Also the provision of a personal emergency alarm is often ineffective and they rarely get the sense of it and forget ,how to and to, use it. Also often when it is set off accidentally a voice comes over the speaker and confuses the user more (depending on the service rendered). The idea of a family meeting is a good one but often needs a 'referee' is there a CPN/Careworker involved who could take that role?

    Robbie
     
  5. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    All for family conference, but must admit would have little faith in the "care alarm" system for anyone with AD.

    Lionel has one around his neck in the care home, because he is unable to stand or do anything for himself, and likes to spend some time on his own in his room.

    Care alarm was wonderful at first. Always remember to just press for assistance. Three months down the line and he forgets. Forgets to press when he wants to toilet usually, but yesterday I found him on the floor as he wanted to open his door, thought he could stand himself and fell over. I said"why did you not press your buzzer". He just looked blankly at me.

    Do hope you can get something sorted out for all concerned.
     
  6. PINKS

    PINKS Registered User

    Feb 23, 2007
    4
    Alarm Or More Carer Hours

    I was interested in Connie and Robbie's opinions on the Care Alarms. So if you were advising my cousins you would suggest more care hours in preference to the personal alarm?

    If only I could think of a way of convincing my cousins that more care hours is the way to go and not moving Aunty. Am I alone in finding it amazing that a truly caring family can see nothing wrong in leaving their mother alone for hours on end and expecting her to eat her main meal soon after getting up?:confused:

    My Aunt doesn't seem as bad as some of the people described on this forum but I don't see her when she is 'bad' and I believe my Mum has helped considerably talking about shared memories and getting her to do word games and crosswords with her. I'm equally sure that this is helping my mum and if Aunty Connie was moved there would be a large hole in Mum's life. (Mum is 82):(
     
  7. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    hi PINKS, I think care alarms are brilliant if you can remember how to use them. my dad could never seem to remember to put it on ...... and would take it off at night, and i'd always worry he'd fall out of bed the 'wrong' side and not be able to reach the alarm. he got very confused when the 'alarm people' used to call him to test it, and i think thought he was having audio hallucinations.

    it's horribly difficult to come to terms with really believing that the person you love isn't able to cope anymore.
     
  8. PINKS

    PINKS Registered User

    Feb 23, 2007
    4
    appreciating your empathy

    Hi
    I really appreciate everyone's empathy. Hazel you really summarised the difficulties well and it is complicated. The difficulty with a family meeting is that most of my family are overseas and my cousins are very assertive and talkative so Mum and I would, I feel be overwhelmed and probably not get our views across properly. Mind you we haven't done so well trying to get them accross using e-mails either but at least that way I can get input from the rest of my family. A mediator would be a good idea possibly. Where do I find out about a CPN? The local GP? Originally the cousins said they were going to seek and consider professional advice, I wonder if a professional would advise moving Aunty and not increasing her care hours.

    Mum is now saying maybe it would be best if her sister were moved but I know that is because she just wants this all to be over as she hates conflict. She would hate it if it had a bad effect on her sister. An increase in care hours would also be a relief to her but she's afraid that conflict might rear its head again. I doubt it if Aunty had the appropriate care.

    We are thinking of getting Mum away from the situation for a while. Partly in the hope that the family will witness the ill effect on my Aunt. (hard to do because we don't want Aunty to suffer but it would only be short-term)
     
  9. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi PINKS

    That sounds like a really good idea. It will give your mum a break, let your cousins see whether or not your aunt can manage without the extra care, and give any ill-feeling a chance to calm down.

    Very good thinking!
     
  10. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    1,213
    south lanarkshire
    Hi Pinks
    I think you have a really good idea.
    Get your Mum away, for a break.
    If it is not very long, although I would suggest a week, your cousins can then see how much your Aunt depends on your Mum and your Aunt will not suffer in that short time, then your Mum can have a rest.

    Alfjess
     
  11. Robbie

    Robbie Registered User

    Feb 22, 2007
    9
    East Yorkshire
    CPN's are usually accessed through the GP however some will take 'self referrals' look in the local phone book for Community Mental Health Teams (C.M.H.T) there is usually one dedicated to older people. They will listen and advise about the best referral route.

    Robbie
     
  12. PINKS

    PINKS Registered User

    Feb 23, 2007
    4
    Relief For Now

    Hello everyone
    The latest on my Mum and my Aunt is that the doctor independantly advised my cousins that it would not be a good idea to move my aunt and that she should probably have more care hours so they are arranging this. It should improve things for now anyway. Meanwhile Mum will go away for a week to stay with family when we can arrange it.

    Thanks again for all your empathy. Much appreciated.

    Pinks;)
     
  13. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,561
    Kent
    Hi Pinks, Good News. At least you`ll get some breathing space and your mother will get some rest.
     
  14. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi PINKS

    Great news all round. Well done.
     

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