Awash with guilt......

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Tig, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. Tig

    Tig Registered User

    Aug 14, 2007
    6
    Tayside
    Hi there,

    I posted for the first time on Talking Point when my mum was firstly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I don’t think I had any particular pressing issues at that time; however that situation has changed.

    Her condition has deteriorated, not only is she becoming more and more confused but she is often verbally aggressive – particularly towards me. She also has problems with money, she has withdrawn a lot of money from her account in the past few months and a lot of it cannot be accounted for – it is suspected that she may be hiding it in the house but there is no evidence of that yet.

    She is currently in a specialised day care unit four days per week,she has a Care Worker go to see her for an hour, one day a week and I spend some time with her one day per week. Looks like a busy week, but outwith these times I just worry about her. She lives at home on her own, her husband is in a care home as he has problems of his own and she was unable to care for him. She is adamant that she will not be going there too; that is one thing she is pretty clear about.

    I feel so guilty because I wish it would all go away. I have not had a good relationship with my mum and I find it hard to cope now, maybe because that mother-daughter bond does not exist, however I would consider myself a caring person and would certainly not turn my back on her, but I find the situation difficult to cope with. Every Saturday we do the same thing, which includes going to see her husband, and I am exhausted after it, feel as if I am trading on glass some of the time and look forward to a large glass of wine when I get home.

    I do get some support from my sister-in-law, who has actually had a much better relationship with my mum. My brother, who is her ex-husband, lives miles away, he does not however keep in touch with his mum, not even phoning, which makes me really angry. I also get support from my partner; he usually has the wine waiting for me when I get home!

    I made a career change earlier this year, which means that not only that I am still going through a learning curve but it is a job where I have a high level of responsibility, so I cannot give any more of my time. I currently work 08:00 – 17:30, which excludes travel time so to do something after this is impossible (my mum lives about an hours travelling time away).

    Mum’s Care Manager told me that she would become more compliant as time went on, but there is nothing happening that would make me think that would be possible just right now. I don’t think she is particularly safe at home or functioning outwith day care, time spent with Care Worker or myself

    I don’t want to walk away from my responsibilities, I just feel guilty about wishing the problem would disappear.

    I would appreciate views of other post users who may have experienced what I am going through just now. I am not posting to make myself feel better, I am really just looking for some support – I could really do with it just right now!

    Regards,

    Tig :(
     
  2. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    3,388
    Buckinghamshire
    Dear Tig,
    here are so many of us that family and so called friends disappear of the face of the earth instead of helping.
    Many people come onto T.P. who like you find themselves looking after a parent that they did not have a good relationship with before A.D. To those people like yourself you have my greatest admiration and respect. My own husband, my soul-mate was diagnoised at 58 with A.D. and when Peter was 61 was placed In E.M.I. Unit. I chose the best one that I could find and I know that he is receiving the 24/7 care and in the last stage, I feel guilty over it. As I am disabled I know in my heart he is in the right place and the safest place for him.
    Do you have a Local Alzheimer's Branch near you ?
    Age concern, Princess Royal Trust, Help the Age are organisations that have so much support as well as the brilliant support I have received from T.P.
    I wish you all the best. Christine
     
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,594
    Kent
    Hello Tig, welcome to TP.

    When you haven`t had a good relationship with a parent, and they become vulnerable, there`s often a sense of duty or conscience, together with self inflicted emotional blackmail, that causes you to to become involved.

    You whole life is suddenly taken over by this parent who might not have been an important part of your life for years.

    I can only suggest you try as hard as you can to ensure your mother is cared for, and safe. But you cannot ensure that level of care 24/7. It will be up to your mother to decide when she feels she needs looking after. And it is not your sole responsibility.

    I was in a similar position with my mother. I organised day care for her, did all her washing and ironing and shopping, but we did live 10 minutes away. I hired a cleaner who lasted 5 minutes because my mother thought she wasn`t good enough and gave her the sack, and we cooked her evening meals. That was as much as I could possibly do, because I was working full time.

    There came a time when my mother demanded more than I could give and I told her I couldn`t do any more. She was the one who decided to go into a Care Home. She felt unsafe at home and was becoming nervous.

    To be honest, her admittance to a care home was rather premature and if she`d been living with me, could have been delayed. But I couldn`t have had her live with me, it wasn`t an option.

    So do what you can for your mother, Tig, and try to stop feeling so guilty and worrying so much.

    Love xx
     
  4. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    Dear Tig.i am gonna be wholeheartedly truthful with u now.like it or not there are reasons your mum declines help and withstands that she is ok on her own home.The hard part is getting her to understand your concerns over her well being.may i suggest that you approach mum with the concerns u have,however don not eleaborate,suggest moving into care home as an intermediate purpose,so as to give you lot a break.tuff one.hope it helps elainex
     
  5. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    1,314
    Dear Tig, I can honestly relate to what your saying I find myself of late wishing the same thing then feeling terrible. My father should be in a care home and he is also adamant that it's not going to happen. I can't turn my back on him and he can't manage there on his own. Dad's mobility is not very good at all and he often falls. I told him that I have drawn a line in the sand and if he can't manage to walk around on his own with his frame then he will have to go into care. Well that went down like a lead balloon as he already resented the fact that he was depended on me and now knowing that I won't be willing to move in there 24/7 it's a unhappy situation. Dad has and always will put himself first and I just do what I feel is right for me and sometimes it's not what I feel like doing.

    Dad, hasn't a diagnosis of dementia but has similar symptoms his health is poor and he takes a lot of medication. My mum has being in the care home now for 7 mths and I wish things were better there but I do my best and that's all that can be done. I worried all the time about dad living on his own and the what ifs. Now I just accept what I can't change and what ever comes with it, as dad is still of sound enough mind to make those decisions, just not appreciative of what I do for him, this is part and parcel of selfishness, I think.

    My only advise to you would be, do what you feel is right for you and not what you feel others expect you to do. Take Care. Taffy.
     
  6. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    9,222
    Dear Tig, don't feel guilty.Just do what you reasonably can without driving yourself to extremes. Is it possible to ask for a new care assessment for your mum to try and get additional help for her in her own home? You could stress the misgivings you have about your mum's safety for a start. How about talking to your sister in law to see if she would be able to pop in some weekends to allow you a break? You may feel heavily responsible and duty bound, but actually, there are others who are duty bound also to keep your mum safe and supported. And very few children are ideally placed to look after their parents at the time when the parent succumbs to dementia, know how to do it and are in the right place at the right time. It's a long journey, the course of dementia and you need to pace yourself otherwise you're gonna end up overly frazzled if not worse. Love Deborah
     
  7. Tig

    Tig Registered User

    Aug 14, 2007
    6
    Tayside
    Thanks to everyone who replied to my post and for your understanding and support. I have made moves to engage my mums Care Manager to hopefully get her more help at home - but I will have to wait until after Christmas/New Year when everyone is back at work :rolleyes: I just feel I am dealing with this on a week to week basis and as my mum is being really off with me just now it's pretty difficult. Thanks again.

    Tig
     
  8. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    Dear Tig,

    How "good" to find someone else who doesn't have a good relationship with their mother, but appreciates that they need to the right thing. That is me. There have been times when I have actually despised my mother, and the only thing that has kept me going is the fact that my wonderful dad chose her for a wife (for 55 years) and never onced criticised her, so she must have been a good wife to him. But now she is mentally ill, I find my despising has disappeaed, I now need to do my best for my dad's wife, and will do so.

    I, too, wish the problem would go away, but it won't. I feel guilty at only visiting twice a week, or three times a week, or every day, when there are people on this site who "can't bear to not visit at least twice a day", and I find it a bind to visit once a week. My visits are dull and miserable, mostly taken up with complaints about food or physical discomfort, there is no conversation or laughs or stories to tell. And mum is supposedly only in the early stages though she is in the care home cos she wanders at night.

    Well, Tig, we can't do much about that, I have just accepted it. I am doing my best for her, cos it is a duty. I have arranged for the local church visitor to go every month and give her communion, I have notified all her old friends of where she is in case they want to visit, I have sorted out her hearing aid, and her false teeth, and of course the financing of all of this cos mum is self-funding. I find it all a bind, wish I didn't have to do it, but it has to be done.

    I think we feel the same, you and I. How brave of you to say how you feel, no point in pretending otherwise. Send me a personal message if you need to, cos it is true that many people on this site don't understand what it is like to be looking after someone that you would rather not be doing.

    Hope it helps you to know that you are not on your own. But like you, I will do my best.

    Much love

    Margaret
     

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