Caring from a distance

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by mogga, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. mogga

    mogga Registered User

    Jun 17, 2009
    My mum was diagnosed last year with Alzheimers and I am "watching" her get increasingly confused and frustrated by it all. I am an only child and live 400 miles away. My mum lives alone in sheltered housing. Her nearest relative is an older sister who finds it very difficult to deal with and lives 20 miles away. I used to chat to my mum every night for half an hour as I drove home from work (hands free of course) and tell her all about my day. Now all she talks about is the weather and the children in the park opposite. The longest call is no more than 10 minutes but if I am honest that is sometimes 8 minutes too long as we have the same conversation 5 or 6 times. After she has rung off she rings back 5 minutes later and we have the same conversation all over again. I can get anything up to 30 calls a day and she has started ringing my work too. Is anyone else in a similar position being so far away? What help can you get from social services/councils/etc?
  2. Scottie45

    Scottie45 Registered User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Hi Mogga

    Hello and welcome to Talking Point,i am sure you will find the site very useful,there are a few on here who are long distance carers so i am sure they will be along later with lots of help for you.Does mum have a Social Worker,or a CPN,does she go to memory clinic,and is she on any of the tablets for the memory which does not cure it but does slow it down.My mum is on two of the tablets and she is still in her own house,but i am there every day and do most things for her.Hope you get some more help you take care Marian x
  3. suszyq

    suszyq Registered User

    Mar 30, 2009
    Phone calls seem to be a common problem. We have caller ID and I choose whether or not to answer the phone, it was hard at first. But I soon realised that most of the time she didn't remember phoning. Both my brother live a long way from my mother and it is very hard to cope with it, There is support out there, try the local Alzheimers society and either Age Concern or Help the Aged will do visits but not all areas. Then of course there's the memory clinic, social workers etc. Your local council may be able to help you as a carer. It requires a lot of research, the internet is useful! Good luck.:)
  4. Stephen Hants

    Stephen Hants Registered User

    Jan 2, 2007
    I'm in a similar position. I have arranged carers and a sister can visit one day a week. I get phone calls but with Caller Id I decide which ones to answer. It isn't easy though. I'm currently debating whether to decorate a room and buy new furniture/carpet but it's not an easy thing to do from a distance. I get the same conversations on the phone these days and it's not easy
  5. Barry

    Barry Registered User

    Oct 14, 2006
    Hi Mogga,

    I wish I could give you an easy answer to this quandary! What can I say except that I do understand how you fell although my own situation is somewhat different and even more distressing for me as my children live in the UK but I live in Indonesia so where talking thousands of miles away and I can’t just pick up the telephone for a chat! As for any social services help or advise (I only wish) as it doesn’t even exist where I live, so for me it's thank goodness for TP;)
  6. NewKid

    NewKid Registered User

    Mar 26, 2009
    Hello only from an only

    Hello, welcome to TP. I am an 'only child' too (used to feel this was a stigma - people declaring 'oh you must be spoilt then' - now it's more of a badge of honour for doing it all alone.. at last some recognition of the state of play for an an 'only'! Give us a break you stereotyping lucky big family people! Anyway, I digress... !). Also I am far away - though 'just' 100 miles in my case. Haven't anything useful to share I'm afraid, just empathising, but my Mum used to know every intricate detail of my life, remember my friends, ask questions, show interest... long phone calls were the norm. Now she asks the same thing: how are the children.. how is my husband (at least she still remembers the names at the moment), when am I coming, thank you for phoning. Done... dusted. It's hard, because you have lost a confidant and a mum, and part of your family history... cos there is no-one else who really knows the inside track.. . I have accepted it now, and adjusted my expections, I make the calls to show I care and I like to hear my Mum's voice, but I know I miss the old relationship more than I would ever have expected when Mum was unpicking all the details of my life! Good luck with this journey and take care.
  7. AnnS

    AnnS Registered User

    Apr 26, 2008
    See whats available

    Hi Mogga,
    Your not alone. I'm about 400 or so miles from my mum. She is now in a fantastic care home but when she was in her own home I had similar problems. The phone calls got shorter and more repetitive. As it became apparent mum needed more help I worked with the social work department to introduce more support (ok I admit I phoned them a lot and put everything in writing) However I got a care plan in place which meant she had visitors every day to make sure she had taken her meds and was eating. I then started getting meals delivered so that at least I knew she had food at home. Phone calls at work are a difficult one. I appreciate it depends on your manager. I decided I wasn't cutting mum off if she phoned me. I spoke to my manager and explained that I was going to get calls as mum was a bit confused. Arguably I made it difficult for myself but I'd do the same again if I had to repeat it all. I also got calls in the middle of the night when she really got times mixed up. I found myself developing a level of patience that I never knew existed. Whatever you do just make sure you look after yourself in the process.:)

  8. mlovell

    mlovell Registered User

    Jun 10, 2009
    North East of England
    I live down the road form dad but often work away form home a couple of days a week.
    phone calls are the bst thing for us. When I see him in person he tend to run through a list of things that are worrying him and that I have promised to sort out and I just check things! check he has eaten stuff form the fridge, check nothing in there needs throuwing out, check he has taken tablets, check he hasn't hung urine soaked clothes over the rediator to dry!
    However on the phone he is always pleased I've called, I tell him where I am and he telsl me something about somone he knew who had some connection to that place!
    He even ends by thanking me and and telling me to take care!

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