Giving a carer a break?

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Spoke to mum's sister last night ('Saint Sister' - know many here have one of those in the family!!!). Hasn't seen mum since .....??? Doesn't bother to ring me ..... to report 10 phone calls in one evening etc etc etc ..... which all crawled out the woodwork last night when I rang HER .... Full of advice about mum should be reading newspapers/going out more...... (WWWHHHHAAATTTT?)

Whether it was her 'guilty conscience' during course of conversation she offered to 'have mum' for New Year's Eve - TO GIVE ME A BREAK???!!!

Now, call me an ungrateful so-and-so... but I pointed out mum may become very disorientated having an overnight stay anywhere but her own relatively safe and familiar little bungalow......... is 'Saint Sister' certain she can manage assisting mum up and down her stairs to the loo during the day - or to make sure she doesn't wander and fall downstairs during the night? Is she prepared for mum appearing 'rude' to other visitors?

At which point, 'Oh, there'll be no other visitors, I'm on my own on New Year's Eve.....'

I probably need say no more... except I am still considering this amazing offer of 'respite' from mum's beloved sister ... and wondering whether driving for 2 hours on NYE to 'deliver' her to said sister and daring not have so much as a glass of wine to toast the New Year as I will have another 2 hours drive on New Years' Day to 'collect' and re-orientate mum....... Just WHO is this all about?????

Ho, hum,

Love, Karen, x
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
Oh I would turn the tables on her and say

Sister please go to Mums and baby sit on New Years Eve because anything else would be too disorientating for Mum and she will be impossible for you to deal with for days afterward

So one brief respite evening for you would simply result in a week of stress
 

TinaT

Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
7,095
Bolton
A White Lie!!

I go along with Helena, tell Aunty you have checked with some specialist Alzheimer Agencies (us!!!!) and the advice was not to move mum to another house as it would 'set her back'. So aunty would have to go to mum's for the night. Offer to supply the bedding, bed etc., anything ......so that she can't think of an excuse. You have nothing at all to lose as going to Aunty's will inconvenience you and realy be a useless gesture on her part.

In a clash of stags, the dominant one wins!!!
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Sadly, the only way for Aunty to go to mum's is STILL for me to do the 2 hour round-trip drive to pick her up .... and take her back ... (she CAN drive but won't) I'm on a 'no-win' here, aren't I?

Karen, x
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,117
Kent
What`s wrong with public transport for Aunty. If she really wants to help, it`s up to her to find a way. Put the ball in her court Karen. She could probably have a whole couple of days with mum to give you a well deserved break.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
While I would agree with the "send Aunty to her sister's" rather than the other way around, I assume she's in her 70's or 80's, and no matter how unhelpful she it, I'm not sure it's reasonable (or even wise at that time of the year) to expect someone of that age to drive those distances, or alternatively get public transport. I think you'll either have to grit your teeth and drive her, or grit your teeth and say thank-you but no thanks.

Jennifer
 

BeckyJan

Registered User
Nov 28, 2005
18,972
Derbyshire
Yes Karen - I think you are in a 'no win' situation, at least with Saint Sister!!

Can I suggest you find some other help??? - pretend NY day is another day - perhaps you can get a sitter and see NY in on say ???? 2nd 3rd 4th January - what the hell -just get someone else who understands the situation.
Having said that perhaps you should keep trying with Saint Sis - you never know she may just want to help you and it may do her good to learn the true situation.

Keep trying best wishes Jan
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Grannie G said:
If she really wants to help, it`s up to her to find a way. Put the ball in her court Karen. She could probably have a whole couple of days with mum to give you a well deserved break.
THAT, Grannie G, about sums it up..... she doesn't really want to help, does she? She wants to pretend she does but is not prepared to make the effort - she has a choice, I don't. ... while she 'stays away' and leaves me with all the running around she can stay firmly in denial..... and keep criticising me.....

Absolutely brilliant idea!!!! I'll invite her to mum's ..... pick her up ..... suggest she stays a couple of nights at least ... and then she can start seeing things for how they are..... and then, and only then, offer to take her back to 'reality world'.....

Wow! Why didn't I think of that???? Keep you posted!!!!!!

Bless you, thank you!!!!

Love, Karen, x
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,117
Kent
Karen, let us know how you get on.
No matter how old your mother`s sister is, there`s nothing worse than empty promises and negative suggestions. Either she wants to help or she doesn`t . If she wants to, there is always a way. If she doesn`t she should be quiet and not talk for the sake of talking.
I`ve had this in my own life and nothing makes me more angry. Life is hard enough for carers without insincerity, particularly from family members.
Take care, love Sylvia x
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Grannie G said:
Life is hard enough for carers without insincerity, particularly from family members.
Take care, love Sylvia x
Well said, Sylvia. That really is the pits.

Karen, don't let Saint Sister get away with it. It's just hypocrisy. You need a break, and she should be prepared to give you one.

Good luck,
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Well, here's an update quicker than I thought!

Just had a call from 'St Sis' who has been thinking ..... (shame she hasn't done much of that these last few months, huh?) ... apparently she's thinking about having to watch mum constantly in case she wanders ... given stairs and all that .... and maybe it isn't a good idea after all ... so I can I 'just bring mum over for the day' sometime over Christmas (and of course me stay with her) - but to check (with St Sis) first because she's got other people coming and she'll have to let me know when it's convenient ..... GGGGGGGGGGGGGrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!:mad:

I'm surprisingly calm...... knew when I first posted this thread to stick a grin on it - somehow knew it was all going to be laughable.......

Love all, thanks for the support .....

Karen, x
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Tender Face said:
I'm surprisingly calm...... knew when I first posted this thread to stick a grin on it - somehow knew it was all going to be laughable.......
Karen, how can you be calm? I'd be jumping up and down with rage. What on earth did you say to her?
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,117
Kent
Karen, you are calm because you didn`t expect anything different. I hoped you told her what to do with her suggestion!
 

Cate

Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
1,370
Newport, Gwent
Hi Karen

What a let down, this has to be worse than no offer at all. But putting another slant on it, you have saved yourself ££££ in petrol, the stress of getting mum ready, the stress of getting her there, being on pins that its going OK (you know you would have been a tat worried to leave mum in her charge), and the stress of the drive back. AND you dont have to say 'thank you'!!!!

How about contacting a Nursing Agency and getting a night sitter for NY Eve, give yourself a treat (maybe you could pass around the hat to cover the cost, and just maybe Aunty would dig deep, selfish moo!).

Best wishes
Cate
 

Charlyparly

Registered User
Nov 26, 2006
221
Lancashire
Ooohh that's annoying isn't it?

Do you know what I'd do? I would say that I had also given it second thoughts and realised how stressful it would have been for everyone concerned anyway. Not to worry Aunty, I'm going to take your advice and get Mum to read the newspaper when the clock strikes midnight.

Then - I would grit my teeth and chit chat on the phone (quite regularly to avoid suspicion) and let her tell me what her Christmas plans are.

Then when she says "Oh I've got Mrs Miggins and her Muffin Makers over for a few drinks on New Years Eve" BINGO!!

I'd pack everything up, regardless of how much hassle it is - and make a surprise visit to sis' house with Mum.

....whilst her "guests" are there...

"We're only stopping for a couple of hours Auntie and are driving back tonight. Just thought it would be nice for the two of you to see each other" :eek:

Then watch her squirm and dig herself an enormous hole.

Then on the journey back home, I would watch all the fireworks going off and giggle myself stupid.

Happy New Year Aunty!! ;)
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
My mother's younger sister (who was genuinely very fond of her and did do a lot to help) wanted to take her to her place for a fortnight's holiday, but we never did manage to arrange which fortnight, she always had something more urgent she had to do, like a tennis tournament or hoards of other relations coming to stay.
 

Lucille

Registered User
Sep 10, 2005
542
Hi Karen

Oh how your post resonates with me! My mum's partner made it quite clear he wanted 'no responsibility for her welfare or care' because 'it's not him who has the problem' He left his set of keys on the back of her door and I only found out he'd done it by chance. However, he likes to be seen to be doing things; taking her out for her tea now and then; offering lifts to relatives when she was in rehab. Then to me, whingeing that he shouldn't have to do these things.:confused: And off he stomps with a face like a welder's bench.

I've come to the conclusion that what he's doing is confusing mum even more; but what can I do? His guilty conscience drives him and perhaps that's the same as St Sis. But it's all a bit 'bolting horse', isn't it? Grannie G's post of yesterday evening is bang on. You do what's right for you and your mum, Karen. In this case, St Sis ought to put up or shut up. As carers, constructive NOT cosmetic help is what we all need!
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Charlyparly, where have you been all my life?????:D :D LOVE your style!!!!!!:) I look forward to you sharing much more here - what an amazing first post!!!! Thank you, x

Just to clarify, mum lives on her own and I have no (well a few) qualms about leaving her as I have already this evening in her small but (so far still) familiar bungalow, (although she does now refer to 'sleeping downstairs' when she's dozed off asleep on the couch) .... complete with grab rails, Care on Call buttons etc etc - not to mention the should-be-sainted-neighbour next door...... knowing I am five minutes away if I am alerted by her or others that she needs me ....

Call it me being smug just now.... but quite frankly, I feel 'St Sis' has shot herself in the foot .... no visits for months ... tells me what I should or should not be doing .... and the minute I point out what an overnight stay in a rickety old house might mean for mum - well she pretty damned quickly backed off, didn't she????:rolleyes: Perhaps now (me forever optimistic) she'll start to think more carefully before she criticises ... faced with one small challenge - she wouldn't hack it.......

She's inadvertently provided me with a little bit of self-esteem about what I do do for mum......:) (and wouldn't she just hate it if she realised that - well I ain't telling her!!!!!:p )

Love all, Karen, x
 

Charlyparly

Registered User
Nov 26, 2006
221
Lancashire
Hi again!

Glad to hear I made you feel a bit better - if only for a short while!

As Tina rightly said, you should feel very smug. In fact, you should allow yourself time to sit down in an armchair and feel so smug that your facial muscles start to hurt.

Saint Sis is the sort of person who makes my blood boil, but who would also give me the motivation to keep plodding on.

I have all the time in the world for the those who are able to hold up their hands and say "I can't manage to do this - it's too much", because at least they have been honest and brave enough to admit it. St. Sis' comments about your mum not doing enough, reading etc etc, are based on her own denial, guilt and ignorance - if not all three.

When all is said and done my dear, you should sleep soundly at night and feel safe in the knowledge that you do everything you possibly can, you do what is right - and that because you don't react to her ludicrous comments by doing your fruit and beating her within an inch of her life, you are the better person, inside and out.

Now get yourself in that armchair and have half an hour of "smug time"

Parly xx :)