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Feeling anxious and guilty ... help!

Cornflakegirl

Registered User
Nov 19, 2019
15
0
Hi all,

I've posted a few times in the last 5 years, just a quick recap my dad died 5 years ago and we knew something was wrong with mums memory. After he died I has a miscarriage and my partner lost his job, I took over all my mums stuff - finances, taking her to hairdressers, taking her shopping/doing shopping and could see her mental state deteriorating - whilst looking after my then 4 year old and trying to keep my own career going.

I tried to get her to GP many, many times but any suggestion that there was a problem with her memory was met with glares, her shouting at me and an argument so I kept going and helped her as much as I could, she lives a 15 minute walk away. Things got worse and the lockdowns obviously were no good for anyone, especially those with Alzheimer's. During the first lockdown she called me daily to ask where my (dead) father was, was 'seeing him' daily and it was very, very stressful for me and my partner/son as it affected my mental health.

After the lockdowns when the hairdressers reopened we tried to get her back into her routine of going to have her hair washed and blow-dried each week (she can't do herself because of bad arthritis pain) but she'd either call me to cancel or my other half would turn up to collect her and she would have forgotten/was still in her nightie/had forgotten and didn't want to go.

A chain of events forced me to finally bite the bullet and contact the GP - she fell down the stairs while I was there ... luckily didn't hurt herself badly, but she'd forgotten an hour later that she'd even fallen. Shortly after she had a burglary in her house - called me and told me there was a man in her kitchen - I thought she was hallucinating ... but her back door had been broken into (I sent my partner round to check asap and called the police). Again she'd forgotten it had happened the next day.

I had to trick her into going to GP under the guise of a health check - GP could clearly see there was something wrong. A month later she had a memory assessment at home and Dr said she had Alzheimer's and put her on Donepezil. I tried to monitor her on it but as I have a young child (now 9 but 4 when my dad died) ... I couldn't keep track. She took too many and we think this caused a massive hallucination - a few months before last Christmas we got a call at 5am in the morning and dog walkers in her road had found her wondering around in her nightdress saying she'd just been to cinema and she was trying to get back home to her mums house. She said I was her mum to the very kind WPC.

We took her off Donepezil after discussing with Dr at memory clinic until such time that she had carers who could monitor the medication. Then things went back to our 'normal' with me going most days and trying to do all her shopping, coax her to go to hairdressers, sort her bills, navigate her moods and hallucination's/delusions. I could see her house and her getting dirtier and dirtier and managed to persuade her to get a cleaner eventually. I also got a tracker for her handbag in case she wandered again but so far hasn't. Also a CCTV monitor for hallway which notifies me of movement and I can see what kind of state she's in, make sure she's up and about. I realised she'd not been cutting her toenails and some had curled round ... she always has socks and shoes on so I was mortified when she complained of pain one day and I got her to take her shoes and socks off, and two badly ingrown toenails and fungal nail infection. Now have a chiropodist who comes once every 6 weeks.

Things were getting very stressful and over the last year I've been put on sertraline for anxiety, had counselling and now also taking HRT as I am peri-menopausal. Two weeks ago I got to mums and let myself in (it was 3pm) and found her naked from the waist down on the floor in her bedroom , with no idea what had happened or why she was on the floor. She had her handbag with her and a pee soaked pair of pants inside. She couldn't get up and I tried to move her but couldn't, and also was worried she may have broken something because she has osteoporosis.

Had to call ambulance and this resulted in a two day stay in hospital. Luckily nothing broken but they said she needed more help and they put a care plan in place for her for 6 weeks, 4 visits per day. I was dreading it, she was so angry with me during the assessment and didn't understand the need, she couldn't remember being in hospital obviously.

I was amazed that when the carers started she accepted it, they have to let themselves in with key safe keys and she has just not questioned it, the first week she seemed happier, looked cleaner, was dressed every day and I felt massive relief that she wasn't on her own for large parts of the day and that I could soon take the odd day off from visiting without worrying and feeling guilty. I'm always behind on work and I feel like I'm spreading myself WAY too thin, all the time.

However, this week all has changed the main carer who come in morning, lunchtime and nigh time seems to be annoying her. I've met her and she seems very nice, an older lady 64 and a little bossy but kind and has managed to get my mum up, washed and dressed every day which is a miracle (when it was a different morning carer at weekend she was in her nightdress and refused wash). She's been incredibly helpful and helped me get a urine sample from mum for me to take GP this week (she's been having bleeding and there is a scare of cancer - that's a whole other issue ) but from my point of all she's been amazing and has a good heart.

My mum was moaning about her the other day, doesn't understand she's a carer - thinks she some 'weird woman' that has 'latched onto her' and comes in the morning and stays ALL DAY and stops her from going out or getting things done (clearly she doesn't - she comes for an hour in the morning, 45 mins at lunchtime and 45 minutes at 8pm - a younger carer does teatime).

She doesn't want her to come, is annoyed and it's clearly distressing her. That said yesterday when I went round she didn't mention her and seemed happy - she didn't even know a carer had been in. Earlier in the week she was following her and the other carers around saying "You're such a good girl". However, today she's clearly annoyed again and feels like she can't get rid of her . I'm gutted. I think part of the problem is my mum is hard of hearing and the carer is lovely but wears a mask high on her face and is from Angola with a strong Portuguese accent, mum can't hear and so she speaks louder - things are getting lost in translation maybe.

I know mums been so much better since having carers in (she was never dressed, used to sit around in a dirty dressing gown, would stay in bed all day until I got there and sometimes if I couldn't go would stay in bed all day because she'd forget it was her house and get scared to come downstairs . I plan to self-fund when the 6 free weeks run out and wanted to stay with the same agency as I really like the staff and the carers I've met so far, but if mums not happy what should I do. Do I ask for a different carer or would it be the same with anyone. Her short term memory is so bad now, she talks to school photographs of my son and tries to feed them and speaks to the television .... I can't go back to doing it all myself again.

I was just starting to feel like I'd got some life back and could take my son on holiday and relieve the pressure on myself but now I'm feeling incredibly guilty and don't know what to do. Any advice for those who've had similar experience of person not liking carers etc ... please get in touch, I'm struggling x
 

Marler19

Registered User
May 16, 2021
79
0
Keep going with the carers @Cornflakegirl ! People with dementia are never going to be completely happy and at some point you have to do what they need, not what they want! I totally understand how stressed and unhappy you are - I too have tied myself in knots trying to do what my mum wants and keep her completely happy, but someone with dementia is never going to be completely content. The best thing you can do is look after yourself and actually the care team sounds brilliant!!
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
12,180
0
Yorkshire
Hi @Cornflakegirl
I agree ... you've found a good team and you trust them so if possible keep them ... they know your mum now and sound to be finding ways to support her even if your mum moans at times

You've done so well for your mum, she's fortunate to have you
 

T1000

Registered User
Feb 3, 2022
108
0
@Cornflakegirl so sorry to hear this sounds very distressing, with luck the carers are able to cope with her not remembering, or if she has anxiety, and this can take some pressure off you. This then may help your anxiety.
 

Cornflakegirl

Registered User
Nov 19, 2019
15
0
Thanks so much for all your replies - they mean so much and just what I needed to read this morning. I've got so much to sort out for mum at the moment, but hoping in a few weeks time things will settle down I can focus on my son who's feeling a bit neglected of late i think. Thank you as always for your support xx