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Caring for someone you don't like

lushr

Registered User
Sep 25, 2020
135
0
thanks @jennifer1967 and @canary it’s just hard i’m processing, reading, learning... i actually feel less guilt now because i know why i don’t love my mum, because she never loved me,,, apparently there’s a thing called emotional hunger.... that people mistake for love...

why couldn’t the alzheimer’s keep her intellectual side and destroy her inner child instead? now i know ehy this last few years has been so difficult and yes my therapist has been closely holding my hand exile i fugire out what she knew after a few weeks of meeting me.

i’ll keep doing the work..
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
6,123
0
N Ireland
I'm in a similar situation with my mum. It's not that I don't like her although she can pretty unlikable a lot of the time! My mum is moving into sheltered accommodation next week (woop woop!) as she's been living with us for the last 8 months. I can't wait to get my life back. I'm also getting more and more frustrated because my brother has never been any support whatsoever and mum constantly moans about him whilst sending him big, fat cheques for Christmas, birthday etc whereas I don't even get a thank you for running myself ragged organising her life. Anyone else find this? Is it part of the illness because I just don't understand!
I think that latter aspect of your post isn't so much related to dementia but to basic human nature. Such behaviour seems to be as old as time - it's even mentioned in the parable of the prodigal son that's contained in the bible!
 

Lucy Young

Registered User
Feb 16, 2021
31
0
@lushr - it must be incredibly frustrating to see all that money disappearing and know that if she didnt have dementia it would come to you when died; and the feeling that you deserve it all to make up for what she put you through is understandable.

But its not your money - it belongs to her all the while she is alive. Please put any thought of an inheritance out of your mind and start a new life without her.
This is great advice. I'm sure my mum will end up in care and bang goes my inheritance but my peace of mind and freedom is worth so much more x
 

Lucy Young

Registered User
Feb 16, 2021
31
0
I think that latter aspect of your post isn't so much related to dementia but to basic human nature. Such behaviour seems to be as old as time - it's even mentioned in the parable of the prodigal son that's contained in the bible!
Yea, I was just having a rant ;). As you say, such is life!
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,259
0
South coast
I think that latter aspect of your post isn't so much related to dementia but to basic human nature. Such behaviour seems to be as old as time - it's even mentioned in the parable of the prodigal son that's contained in the bible!
True, but it does seem to be a feature of dementia that one relative seems to become the "golden" relative who gets everything, while another becomes the "scapegoat". At one stage mum was telling all her neighbours how I was abusing her and she wouldnt even let me into her home because I was so evil, and at the same time was singing my brothers praises when, in reality, he hadnt visited her for years.
 

Lucy Young

Registered User
Feb 16, 2021
31
0
True, but it does seem to be a feature of dementia that one relative seems to become the "golden" relative who gets everything, while another becomes the "scapegoat". At one stage mum was telling all her neighbours how I was abusing her and she wouldnt even let me into her home because I was so evil, and at the same time was singing my brothers praises when, in reality, he hadnt visited her for years.
That's exactly it, it's so bizarre! I was going to start a new thread about this to see if anyone else has experienced the same but I can't remember how to do it! No pun intended...
 

lushr

Registered User
Sep 25, 2020
135
0
scapegoating one child is a common behaviour of narcissist parents.

we know dementia strips away a lot of the mental faculties of an adult, cognition, decision making and so on.
we know that dementia patients take on the traits of a 3 year old child, they are all about themselves, they can’t understand that other people have feelings.

and a narcissist shares these traits too. so i guess there’s some logic to the fact that a dementia parent will take on some seemingly narcissistic selfish and cruel traits simply because their brains don’t have the development and understanding they once did.

for me, unfortunately it turns out my mum was always a narcissist. this can mean my mum triggers me more now because the behaviour is reminiscent of what i experienced when i was younger..

but back to the scapegoating, i hope this helps you understand it isn’t really your parents choice.... it is the illness stripping away the ability to decide, decipher, be fair, etc.

in my experience of non dementia parents, the carer child is always the scapegoat, maybe because the parent is in the mental habit of protecting the other children that aren’t carers from criticism. maybe trying to stop themselves from thinking cruel things about the far away children? which then becomes the habit-formed thought, while the cruel thoughts for the caring child go unchecked.

but i’ve seen a few times where the trust and love is actually secretly reserved for the carer child. they won’t let anyone else know how they really feel on the day, or what they need. the true trust is with the one that was there for them. it’s unspoken, but clear from an outside point of view who really has the closest bond.
 

Obho

New member
May 11, 2021
3
0
I'm in a similar situation with my mum. It's not that I don't like her although she can pretty unlikable a lot of the time! My mum is moving into sheltered accommodation next week (woop woop!) as she's been living with us for the last 8 months. I can't wait to get my life back. I'm also getting more and more frustrated because my brother has never been any support whatsoever and mum constantly moans about him whilst sending him big, fat cheques for Christmas, birthday etc whereas I don't even get a thank you for running myself ragged organising her life. Anyone else find this? Is it part of the illness because I just don't understand!
I, too have drifted into being the only one caring now for a mother who is, in my opinion, a narcissist. I have a golden brother who denies Mum has any problems, never sees her unless for getting large sums of money. All her benefits, financial, practical and health are being organised by me, to make life easier for her, and I am staying in and maintaining 2 properties to be near her. My expenses are colossal and I have no financial support as a part time carer, just state pension. It is a nightmare as I am the only one who truly knows her. And yes, I am a woman, single and 70 years old
 

Lucy Young

Registered User
Feb 16, 2021
31
0
I, too have drifted into being the only one caring now for a mother who is, in my opinion, a narcissist. I have a golden brother who denies Mum has any problems, never sees her unless for getting large sums of money. All her benefits, financial, practical and health are being organised by me, to make life easier for her, and I am staying in and maintaining 2 properties to be near her. My expenses are colossal and I have no financial support as a part time carer, just state pension. It is a nightmare as I am the only one who truly knows her. And yes, I am a woman, single and 70 years old
I had to step in because I knew my brother wouldn't and I couldn't just leave her. I became a carer by default which is not what I wanted but social services have just left me to get on with it despite saying I couldn't cope. I have a husband, two young children, a home etc. It's not fair that you have to take all of this on, are you getting any help whatsoever? Have you spoken to your GP? I have been advised that to keep on at the GP, ask them for help and get them to remind social services that THEY are legally responsible for mum, not me.
 

lushr

Registered User
Sep 25, 2020
135
0
@Lucy Young im sorry, i know that feeling, i didn’t have a choice as an only child.

but once i had the dementia diagnosis and could tell social services she was not feeding herself or washing, getting lost on walks and making mistakes like microwaving her coffee with the spoon in the cup exploding the microwave, which basically means she can’t be left alone, they gave me the referral for a nursing home.

i then had to find financial advisors and nursing home agents to help me find the right place and know how to do it... i was way in over my head. but it was better than being trapped as full time carer giving up my home and job to look after her.

im not in the uk though so...
 

Mum’s Drudge

New member
May 16, 2021
6
0
I’m so relieved and glad to have found this forum as I too am in a full time “caring” role with my mother with whom I’ve had a very difficult relationship all my life. Much of what has been written here resonates strongly with me. I’ve had to change my whole life, move into my mother’s house and have become her full-time carer. I’m 49 I’m constantly exhausted and am alone in all this as my mum has pushed away most of the people who have known her. I have one sister, she lives in a different country and actually hates mum and has no involvement at all with any care. As others have said it is too hard not to feel like a very bad person when you cannot feel affection for the person you care for, especially when seemingly most of the information or advice about caring for somebody with dementia revolves around having a close relationship with that person. I too am in the situation where mum is verbally abusive or belittling with me but she is delightful and appears sociable with others - in particular the social workers that have recently been involved , when I came apart at the seams. I am now very aware of the term “confabulation” and how this is a common behaviour in somebody suffering from dementia. But I have found it more difficult because my social worker seems oblivious to the fact that confabulation is a part of dementia and that my mum will appear perfectly rational and capable when this is not in fact reality and is mum’s way or her brain’s way of protecting herself and fighting for survival on some level. The hardest part of this is that she tells people that she does everything herself and that she doesn’t need help and they believe her and up until very recently nobody; doctors or social workers or people that knew mum previously, would believe me that there was anything wrong with mum. I have learned a great deal about dementia thanks to the Alzheimer’s Society and I would like to be able to feel that I am being compassionate but most of the time I’m so exhausted and feel belittled by my mother all of the time, it is nearly impossible to find any compassion. I guess, the very fact that I am living here in her house and that I’ve changed every aspect of my previous daily/weekly routine to now be here, to make sure she’s clean, dressed appropriately, fed a more balanced diet (rather than all those chocolate biscuits that have been mentioned in another post), that she is kept safe and has somebody fighting for her to get proper medical help, must mean I have some compassion somewhere, even if it is just as if I was caring for any human being ,not necessarily somebody I am related to or with whom I’m supposed to have strong emotional connection.
Being unable to have any proper conversation now, due to dementia-related communication problems; the inability to follow a train of thought or process information and my mum’s refusal to wear hearing aids (even though she has significant hearing loss in both ears) is extremely lonely, exhausting and very depressing. Mum and I never shared the same wavelength and are polar opposites; spiritually , politically and emotionally. She always was a very judgemental, pessimistic , detached, cold person lacking empathy or sensitivity and has always been really difficult to talk to , way before any dementia appeared. Finding out that others are experiencing the same emotions of guilt when stuck in this position, when there’s nobody else and you feel a huge sense of obligation to not abandon this family member, has helped me feel less isolated. My mother is 91 and apart from arthritis and now the dementia affecting her mobility, she is remarkably “healthy” for her age and I see that I could be in this position of sole full time carer for quite a number of years which is so overwhelming to think about for too long. Mum refuses any help, so for the foreseeable future , I will have to continue somehow even though she doesn’t listen to me and refuses to use her walking aid , her hearing aids and will continue to get increasingly unsteady and will have more falls , whether I’m here in the house and garden or not.
I have to leave her occasionally to go and get groceries et cetera and she promises she will not go outside on her own but of course she does and she does not use the rollator . I am anxious all the time and worried about finding her lying on the ground or in the house , unable to get up or unconscious or dead , when I get home again. I somehow have to stop the feeling of being trapped here due to guilt and the fear of what might happen if I’m out and she does fall and either really hurts herself or dies as a result of it. She will not let anyone help and will not let anyone from social care come and sit with her while I go out. It feels like a prison of sorts and I hate it and I know this is all affecting my own health quite badly. I don’t know how long I can continue. I imagine that there will be another crisis (there have been two already during these last two years of me being sole carer).
I hope I will make better use of any respite offered in future rather what happened the last time when I was so ill and exhausted as well as trying to catch up with all the jobs in the house, (that I had not been well enough to do or allowed to do, while Mum was at home) instead of taking the time to rest and discover that I still have some life of my own. That was mum’s first experience of a care home when I needed that respite following another TIA - which she told everyone had not happened and that I had made it up. At least it was a positive experience for her while she was there. I was torn between the relief of her not being in the house and the guilt of her having to go away into a care home because I couldn’t cope any longer. There were three weeks of respite but when mum returned I was just still so tired and stressed and didn’t feel ready to start the role of carer yet again when there is no thanks or appreciation or any warmth or affection in either direction. I feel for anyone in this kind of situation. There really is no solution in this impossible kind of relationship - you will always feel bad I think and I don’t think the inevitable death of the person you care for will necessarily bring any great relief and that subsequent grief will be quite complicated and I imagine I will feel a great deal of guilt and I really will need somebody to help me through that when the time comes.
 
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Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,075
0
Welcome to Dementia Talking Point @Mum’s Drudge. It sounds to me like you are getting very close to carer burnout, and now is the time to start thinking, at the very least, about having some extra help at home. If your mother would be self-funding (having savings of over £23,500) you can organise this yourself, if not go back to social services and tell them what you've written here.
I wouldn't dismiss the idea of a care home out of hand. It sounds as though your mother settled well last time. Having a loved one in a care home doesn't mean you abdicate responsibility for them, just that you are part of a team doing the caring rather than having to do it all on your own.
I'm sure others will be along soon with more ideas and advice, but in the meantime have a look round and maybe start your own thread. I found having my own thread really useful when going through the process of deciding when it was time to move my own mother in to care.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
15,259
0
South coast
Hello @Mum’s Drudge
Im sorry you are finding it all so hard. The reality of caring is that it is easy to slide into and hard to get out of and all the while you are keep your mum safe Social Services will not be interested.
You definitely need help. I know your mum doesnt want anyone else in, but there comes a time when you have to change from enabling their wants to enforcing their needs and I think you have reached this point.
I was also interested to read that your mum found respite a positive experience. This sounds to me as though she would gain a lot from a care home. Why not book some respite with the option of it becoming permanent? My mum moved into a care home and she settled, made friends and was happy there. She was looked after in a way I could never have done, because there were a whole team of people looking after her and far more opportunities for socialising and activities than I could offer. I felt that moving her to a care home, although sad that she had reached that stage, was the best decision that I made for her.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
10,366
0
Yorkshire
hello @Obho
a warm welcome to DTP

you are giving up a great deal to care for your mum, she is fortunate to have you looking after her, but at what cost, financial and emotional, to you

I hope you have read the responses on this thread and maybe have some ideas as to how to get more support .... as long as you provide all the care for your mum, Social Services will be happy for that to continue, as will your mum

you've organised so much for her ... maybe it's time to go back to your own home and let your Local Authority Adult Services know that your mum needs an urgent care assessment and a care package with home care visits as you cannot continue to provide the level of care she requires ... you also have a right to a carer's assessment

keep posting ... it helps to a share with folk who understand
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
73,477
0
Kent
My mother was also a vain and selfish woman and estranged from my sister and I took on the responsibility of her care.

I did just what I had to do to keep her safe and get the best support for her.

There was no way I could have given up my job or moved in with her. My husband and I shopped and cooked for her and dealt with her laundry. When she started to wander we arranged day care for her , first at home and later at a centre Monday -Friday.
We cared for her at the weekends.

As her dementia progressed and she was at risk when alone, especially during the night, we sorted the best residential care we could find and told her she was going for a holiday.

I visited at the weekends just to make sure she was being looked after properly and my husband visited on Wednesdays when he didn`t work.

There is no need to sacrifice your lives for a parent you do not really love. Doing your duty and keeping them safe, in my opinion is enough.

I know this sounds cold but it is not uncaring. My mother took up most of our free time but it was never enough. She always wanted more.

I had previously cared for my grandmother who I really loved , when my mother wouldn`t and thought I deserved a life too.
 

Obho

New member
May 11, 2021
3
0
hello @Obho
a warm welcome to DTP

you are giving up a great deal to care for your mum, she is fortunate to have you looking after her, but at what cost, financial and emotional, to you

I hope you have read the responses on this thread and maybe have some ideas as to how to get more support .... as long as you provide all the care for your mum, Social Services will be happy for that to continue, as will your mum

you've organised so much for her ... maybe it's time to go back to your own home and let your Local Authority Adult Services know that your mum needs an urgent care assessment and a care package with home care visits as you cannot continue to provide the level of care she requires ... you also have a right to a carer's assessment

keep posting ... it helps to a share with folk who understand
Thankyou Shedrech...
Am now reading responses as it puts things into perspective - but all of us poor people out there - my heart bleeds.
Funnily enough I am now home and staying here till there is a REAL emergency.
AgeUK has been brilliant - they directed me here.
I find ordinary life stressful because I am not safe where I live (am selling my lovely home because of it) and if i leave to visit Mum I worry for the home's safety.
Today after a particularly loud and difficult phone call, because my mother is getting deaf and cannot manage hearing aids well i e hear me, I have altered settings on iPhone and this has resolved issue (turned off wifi calling)! Hooray. Small steps. We did today discuss 'care home' which will be good for her I believe...now to start managing all that that could entail. And the last minute change of mind...
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
10,366
0
Yorkshire
hi @Obho
that all sounds more positive
though not good about your own property ... I hope you get a buyer soon
definitely wise to look into residential care for your mum
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
2,553
0
North West
I always said if mum went before dad I wouldn't care for him as I would for mum. I think knowing when we can't care is just as important as knowing when we can. Its tough though, because many of us are not heartless and we wouldn't stand by and let someone suffer either, even though we may not like them. I think if I was caring for dad now, my view of the world would be very different and my lines in the sand clearly marked.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,525
0
My husband and his sister vowed they would never provide hands on care for their mother, years before the dementia diagnosis. Their mother emotionally and verbally abused them both growing up and when their father died suddenly, she became even nastier , developing mental health issues before the dementia. That's not to say they didn't make sure she got professional help, firstly carers, then eventually full time care. It's only a sense of duty which prevailed. Not everyone is cut out for the caring role
 

Mum’s Drudge

New member
May 16, 2021
6
0
Welcome to Dementia Talking Point @Mum’s Drudge. It sounds to me like you are getting very close to carer burnout, and now is the time to start thinking, at the very least, about having some extra help at home. If your mother would be self-funding (having savings of over £23,500) you can organise this yourself, if not go back to social services and tell them what you've written here.
I wouldn't dismiss the idea of a care home out of hand. It sounds as though your mother settled well last time. Having a loved one in a care home doesn't mean you abdicate responsibility for them, just that you are part of a team doing the caring rather than having to do it all on your own.
I'm sure others will be along soon with more ideas and advice, but in the meantime have a look round and maybe start your own thread. I found having my own thread really useful when going through the process of deciding when it was time to move my own mother in to care.
Thank you Sarasa,
I have copied what I wrote, done a bit of careful editing and I think I will print out my “essay” and bring it with me to my own GP appointment this week and that it may then be shared by the social work team. Thank you for seeing it as a valuable piece of writing that may be useful in trying to seek more help. It’s a very long piece to expect anyone to take the time to read but I think it’s hooefully a full description of the picture here - we don’t get a chance these days to really explain when we’re in a quick two
or three minute meeting with a GP . I will be following the week’s programme of zoom talks here in Northern Ireland which Alzheimer’s Society are running. I’ve done a CRISP course and hope to do another soon as that has been of invaluable support and help to me. I know I would not have coped without my Alzheimer’s society support worker and the courses and information provided by the charity . This is a very isolating situation to find myself in and I’ve welcomed their very sincere and useful support .
Thank you again.
 

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