I've posted before about the situation with my mother: she's got vascular dementia and I live 200 miles away from her. I can't move her down here because a) she wants to stay in her own house and b) my brother and her grandchildren live fairly close by. She hasn't actually seen the grandchildren since Christmas, when they spent 3 or 4 hours with her, but if she came down here it is likely that she would never seen them. My brother does pop in for 20 mins or so two or three times a week, but he has a long commute to work and is busy with his family life, so can't do much more and stay sane. His wife and my mum have never got on, which explains the situation with the grandchildren, too. Mum has begun to forget how to cook. I was visiting last week and wanted to see how she coped, so left her to make the dinner one day. She managed to peel, chop and boil the spuds, make parsley sauce (when I had measured out the milk) and then called to me to help her. She had a couple of piles of peas on the counter and didn't know what to do with them. I told her she needed to boil them, but she didn't know how. When I suggested a saucepan, she couldn't think where to find one. Yesterday my brother phoned me to ask me to call Mum - apparently she 'couldn't get it', but he didn't know what. It was unclear what she wanted to do, but I think she wanted to call me but couldn't work out how - although she had called my brother to tell him! I gave her instructions on how to dial my number, which she tried to do while she still had me on the line. When she put the phone down, she tried to phone me, but couldn't, so I phoned her again and she told me her phone wasn't working. This morning, I woke up with a complete knot in my stomach and I'm just despairing about what to do for the best. We've got a carer starting tomorrow - going in a couple of times a day to help her take her pills and be a point of contact, but Mum's really not happy about it and says that, if they don't get on, she'll cancel the contract. My brother would be happier, I think, if Mum were in a home - but she doesn't want to go, there isn't one available in her village and I can't help feeling that the longer one can retain some independence the better. However, I don't think Mum's having much of a life at the moment at all. She's lost a lot of weight over the last year, too. I'd really like to hear from anybody else who is caring over such a distance. How do you cope with the constant anxiety? How do you get rid of the permanent anxious knot? And how do you stop being a miserable burden on your own other half?