don't think we are looking after her well enough


Registered User
Jan 9, 2006
I have been trying to look at mums situation as an outsider looking in for a while now and have come to the conclusion that even though we (my brother and I) think we are looking after mums best interests, we do think we are failing her somehow. Don't get me wrong, we try very hard to feed her, keep her clean, wash her hair, keep her house clean and lookmafter her medication. BUt what do we do now that she has got very very aggressive ( sometimes to the point of violence) when we are trying to help her. She will not even let me in most of the time and she actually said the other day that she hates the sight of me and doesn't ever want to see me aghain (I know I know it;s the illness not mum") but inreality she physically will not let me do anything practical for her. If I pick a duster up we end up wrestling ovber it. If I try to mop or vacuum round for her again we end up in a tussle because she wrestles them out of my hands. She says she "is not stupid and can look after herself" She obviously cannot. her clothes are dirty because she refuses to change them, her body and hair are not as clean as they should be - her house is minging (sorry mum but it is!) and I feel that we owe it to her to get her somewhere that she will be looked after properly . We went down the carers route but she would not let them in. She lets my brother take her something to eat but invariably when he gets there (we both work full time) she starts complaining and saying she is not eating this S**T and usually ends up giving it to the dog. She is not losing weight and is not physically frail so obviously is getting enough sustenance from the rest of the **** that she eats (crisps, biscuits, chocolate and sweets usually!) but again, we (or should I say I) feel that it is not enough and we owe her a better quality of life. Her day consists of getting up and sitting in a chair by the window......... that is it no reading, no watching tv, no conversation, nothing just sitting inthe window doing absolutely nothing and again I feel she needs some sort of stimulation (don't know what form exactly but just something!)
Am I being realistic. I don't want this to sound like a "cop out" I would do anything for her, she just won't let me. I feel my btoher is in denail in so far as "if mum's at home then she isn't that poorly" kind of attitude. he does try and do things for her too but she just won't let us she thinks there is nothing wrong. (a common and classic tale I know!) but what does anybody else think?
Thanks for reading this and sorry for rambling.


Registered User
Feb 17, 2008
Maggie you can't do anything she doesn't want you to My step mum is the same but she has dad to do it.
sorry to say this but it could be the time to say enough is enough and see about her going into a nh, yes it is heart breaking but she will be well looked after and have good meals, you would be able to visit with a clear head which in turn you can look after her better.

your post sounds just like my situation only we have dad but he is at the end of his tether.

sorry all I can do is send you a Big Hug


Registered User
Mar 27, 2008
Hello Maggie

The things that you want for your mum are the things that lots of people using Talking Point are wanting for their loved ones. OR they've come to terms with the fact that their loved ones are no longer able to read a book, be stimulated by the things that they once were.

The first thing that popped into my mind was "is she a danger to herself or anyone else?" and she doesn't seem to be from what you have said. So whilst she's not endangering herself, maybe you can just let go and keep Social Services and her GP informed. Maybe that way, SS or the GP will be able to help you decide when the time has come for mum to be cared for adequately. At the moment she is eating, albeit ****, but she's eating. She's not losing weight. She won't die from dirty hair and so the house is minging!! So what. Maybe forget the dusting and is you get a chance discreetly do essential cleaning if absolutely necessary.

Don't know whether this helps but I really hope you find the assurances that you are looking for.

Love Helen

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Maggie,

Of course you are not failing your mother, you are bending over backwards to try to help her.

Are you being realistsic?
Well you are, but sadly your mother is not tuned in to your realism.

Helen and Heartbroken are right.
There is no point in having constant battles with your mother by trying to make her do what she doesn`t want to do. However painful it is for you, it can`t be more painful than these disagreements.

Visit when you can, make sure she is safe and has food in and try to step back.

I know it isn`t easy. My mother had a water meter installed to reduce her water bills. Then she wouldn`t flush the toilet. The smell? My mother had long lost her sense of smell so was unaffected, for me it was awful.

You are attemping the impossible. Just keep reminding yourself your mother can`t help it.

Love xx


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
and I feel that we owe it to her to get her somewhere that she will be looked after properly .


we (or should I say I) feel that it is not enough and we owe her a better quality of life. Her day consists of getting up and sitting in a chair by the window......... that is it no reading, no watching tv, no conversation, nothing just sitting inthe window doing absolutely nothing and again I feel she needs some sort of stimulation (don't know what form exactly but just something!)
Hi Maggie, it does sound as if you are considering a NH for your mum.

Honestly, can you give her any more support at home? She won't let you do anything for her, she is neglecting herself, and she is lacking stimulation. You and your brother cannot do any more for her than she will allow you to do, so things are not going to get better.

Is she better living like this, or in a NH where her meals would be prepared and she would be encouraged to eat, she would be regularly washed and dressed in clean clothes, and she would have stimulation?

I know it's a hard decision, and I can understand your brother's reluctance to accept that the time has come, but I don't think it would be a 'cop out', I think it would be the best way of ensuring that your mum has the care she needs.

Just my opinion, of course.



Registered User
Jan 9, 2006
thank you so far for your replies it makes me feel so much better just reading them. We shall carry on for now and I shall try not toget stressed out because mum isn't acting like mum any more. I think the problem is mine because I just don't want to accept that mum would be h appy living the way she is, but inr eality she doesn't care any more so i shouldn't let it "stress me out".

We will plod on and see what happens. She has a visit to the MATS clinic in a couple of weeks (if we can spruce her up and get her there! :eek: )
Thanks again for your kind words. I will keep you posted.
Maggie x x

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Don`t worry about `sprucing her up`. Just get her there. It will not be a reflection on you :)


Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent
Hi Maggie

I have walked your road, as many of us have. My mum was the same, and I thought I was doing good for her, but in reality when I think back, all I was doing was robbing her of a bit more dignity by doing her housework, that after all for many many years had been her job. So, my advice would be, lob out the mouldy food, give the loo a quick swish when you can, and leave the rest alone. We tried the carer route too, and I never worked out how a frail lady of 4'6" could drag a spin dryer from the kitchen to behind the front door to stop them coming in!!
Heart breaking though it is to see your mum letting things slip both personally and in the home, but if its upsetting her seeing you doing 'her job', is it worth it.

Once in a while, grandson would take mum out for the day, and the rest of us would sneak in after they had gone, bleach for Brittain, give her home a 'good old do' then leave before she got back home. Mum never said a word, whether she just didnt notice, or just plain pride, who knows.

When it comes to the timing of a NH, only you can decide on that. I would suggest though, ready or not, doing some research before you hit crisis can be a good idea, at least you have plan B in the background.

Best wishes


Registered User
Apr 19, 2008
NH or not

Hi Maggie - all these posts so echoe what we do/did (mums back in hosp)- hubby/grandchild distracts - gets mum to show him the garden/or I'm in the bathroom a long time! whilst I bleach for Britain (those wipes are brilliant)didn't know I could clean so fast, throw away any mouldy food from the fridge If I could find any amongst mums cake which she 'collects' on her numerous shops check eat by date on cake, spirit dirty clothes out & clean clothes back in place, make sure theres cash/contact tel numbers in her pocket in case mum 'shops, 'look' at ornaments whilst i polish, & yes it did leave me a quivering wreck evn though mum finally agreed to visits from home care to encourage to eat better. Now mums had another do & back in hospital vulnerable & more confused - cross 'cos they don't give her any food!! but at least she's had a bath 1st time in many many weeks.When mum comes out to whrever all i want is mum to be safe i don't think my gp can cope with scraping me off the floor of her surgery any more. Good idea to call nh a hotel & i don't expect the next months to be easy but we'll keep battling. take care everyone.


Registered User
Jan 21, 2008
Port Talbot
This could have been my post!

Hi Maggie!
As I read your post I had to smile with relief...It could have been me writing it! It really helps to know that what you are going through is in a strange way "normal" for the illness.
Had a breakthrough last week with Mum (Doreen) I made an appointment for her to have a perm. How did I get her to go? Told her that we had to go for a blood test! When we stopped at the local shops I said that I had something to do and she had to come in with me! Anyway it worked!
What is more my hubby spent the time in her house cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. She didn't notice that though but at least WE know it is now clean. I's daughter had some good ideas which we also manage to do. In fact my younger daughter has become worryingly good at "stealing" dirty clothes.
Haven't managed a bath yet and next week we have the opticians hurdle!
Anyway any more ideas would be very welcome.
Lots of hugs SueG


Registered User
Feb 20, 2008
West Yorkshire
Dear Maggie
Reading your thread, it reminded me of when I tried to keep dad at home for a while. That was difficult enough and he was co-operative! I really sympathise with your situation, you are doing the best you can for mum, but unfortunately dementia is a bit like fighting a losing battle. You really have been given excellent advice on your thread. You will know when its the best time to put mum in a home.
take care


Registered User
Feb 13, 2008
Oh Maggie

Its just like I am reading about my circumstances, but its not my mum its my dad. However, mum is still here but is ill herself. I'm afraid at the moment I can't really put my words to you that you may want to hear because you have just struck a cord with me and I'm just totally devastated not just for your sitatuation but for my own. This is the closest thread I have read to date to my circumstances.
When I am able to digest this I'll come back to you.
Take care
Love Andrea

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