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Guilt selling out on mum

Honfers

New member
Sep 15, 2021
2
0
My lovely mom was diagnosed 3 years ago with altzheimers, I was subsequently made redundant so became her carer, she was a very glamorous, career driven and bright woman. She divorced twice (2nd after step dads bankruptcy) but managed to own her home outright by retirement. She was proud but also bitter about everything she had lost over the years. My sister and I both have young children so neither of us can be with her all the time. She became a wonderer, would go out without any notice at any time of day or night. Finally we got a social worker and a care package but despite mum being picked up by an ambulance at 10pm one night because she had fallen and smashed her face, the social worker insisted that we leave her at home so that her ability to live alone was assessed. She had alarms (lifeline) installed so that I would know if she went out, she had the fire brigade out because she set fire to the kitchen! The last straw was when I had been alerted to her going out and I found her walking on a busy road, in her nighty with red lipstick on her eyes. I called the doctor who put her in to hospital so she would have to be assessed. When the ambulance came it broke my heart because I knew it was the last time she would be at her home, the last few months have been awful, she was initially placed in a home miles away after leaving hospital, then we were allowed to move her, covid cases stopped her being moved several times and prevented us from visiting. My sister and I have had to clear her home and dispose of many of her belongings. But we have got through it! Today though, signing papers to sell her home has completely tipped me over the edge! Her mum also had altzheimers and she told us both that if she ever got like that we should push her off a cliff! I feel so guilty that we have sold her home, that we have put her in a home, that she is still here despite how much she would have hated it. She sometimes knows us but other times looks frightened and doesn't know who we are. Sorry for the long post, just needed to vent.
 

nellbelles

Volunteer Host
Nov 6, 2008
9,350
0
leicester
Welcome to DTP @Honfers
Can I just say you and your sister have really stepped up for your Mom you should both be so proud of your achievements.
To understand these comments you will need to read other posts on the forum you are both on a difficult journey.
The forum is a non judgmental safe place to ask for advice and to vent when needed.
I hope now you have found the forum you will continue to post for support and to share your experiences.
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
266
0
Please do not feel guilty about placing your mother in a care home. Very few families manage to keep their relative at home until the very end. Most families are defeated as the strain of caring gets too much / the person becomes a danger to him/herself and others / the person's behaviour becomes so extreme that s/he cannot be managed at home. Your mother's wandering and fire-setting certainly put her in the second category. There can be no doubt that she needs 24 hour care in a secure setting i.e. one that she cannot leave.

I think that you have been running on adrenaline, lurching from one crisis to the next, and that it's only now that you have the space to take stock and grieve. What I learned from placing my mother in a care home is that a decision can be the right one but it can still be painful.
 

spandit

Registered User
Feb 11, 2020
311
0
I felt a bit guilty selling my father's home but with care bills being so high, it was necessary and having it unoccupied and 150 miles away was stressing me out too. You have nothing to feel guilty for. You have anger at this cruel disease and nobody to blame or bring to account for it. If you didn't love her you wouldn't feel like this but you know that since pushing her over a cliff wasn't an option, you had no choice but to care for her in this way.

You now have the comfort of knowing she is safe. She may be frightened, she may not be happy, but she's safe. You can start getting your own life back without worrying constantly what she's up to.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
74,389
0
Kent
Hello @Honfers

You haven't sold out on your mum you've taken responsibility and done what had to be done however painful it was.

I took a weeks leave of absence to clear my mothers house when she went into residential care and was looking over my shoulder whole I did it in case she would come walking back in and catch me. It's the most awful job to have to do but you did it.

I had three bags, one for the bin, one for charity shops and one if there was anything I wanted to keep. My mother treasured her belongings but sadly there was more for the bin and the charity shops than there was for me to keep. Even though she never knew this I felt so sorry for her.

It really is painful when it comes to this.
 

Fiona F

Registered User
Apr 12, 2020
43
0
57
Southampton
My lovely mom was diagnosed 3 years ago with altzheimers, I was subsequently made redundant so became her carer, she was a very glamorous, career driven and bright woman. She divorced twice (2nd after step dads bankruptcy) but managed to own her home outright by retirement. She was proud but also bitter about everything she had lost over the years. My sister and I both have young children so neither of us can be with her all the time. She became a wonderer, would go out without any notice at any time of day or night. Finally we got a social worker and a care package but despite mum being picked up by an ambulance at 10pm one night because she had fallen and smashed her face, the social worker insisted that we leave her at home so that her ability to live alone was assessed. She had alarms (lifeline) installed so that I would know if she went out, she had the fire brigade out because she set fire to the kitchen! The last straw was when I had been alerted to her going out and I found her walking on a busy road, in her nighty with red lipstick on her eyes. I called the doctor who put her in to hospital so she would have to be assessed. When the ambulance came it broke my heart because I knew it was the last time she would be at her home, the last few months have been awful, she was initially placed in a home miles away after leaving hospital, then we were allowed to move her, covid cases stopped her being moved several times and prevented us from visiting. My sister and I have had to clear her home and dispose of many of her belongings. But we have got through it! Today though, signing papers to sell her home has completely tipped me over the edge! Her mum also had altzheimers and she told us both that if she ever got like that we should push her off a cliff! I feel so guilty that we have sold her home, that we have put her in a home, that she is still here despite how much she would have hated it. She sometimes knows us but other times looks frightened and doesn't know who we are. Sorry for the long post, just needed to vent.
I feel horribly guilty too, so I feel your pain. I know from reading so many posts on this forum that everyone else going through this wrestles with a whole range of emotions - anger, frustration, sadness and a LOT OF GUILT!

My mum is 91 with quite advanced Alzheimer's. She's now in a lovely care home, following a fall in April when she broke 2 vertebrae. She was in hospital for 2 weeks before being transferred to a nursing home on a 6 week D2A placement (Discharge To Assess). She had a multi-disciplinary team assessment, &I had to take part in an online meeting, having previously submitted my own assessment using the same criteria across a number of domains. The upshot was that mum had deteriorated to the extent that it just wouldn't be possible to her to return home. She was living alone in a bungalow right behind our house, with carers 4 times a day & me backwards & forwards after work, weekends etc. We managed to keep her at home for a few years longer than we might, but I had to accept that she needs 24 hour care (guilty feelings accepting this, of course).

She doesn't remember being in hospital, being in the NH, or me taking her in the car to her current CH. She knows me in as much that I'm important to her, but doesn't always know who I am, & doesn't remember ever having a daughter (I'm an only child). I'm so lucky to have found such a wonderful care home & she has generally settled in well apart from a few hiccups, but they quickly addressed any problems & she's settling better. She doesn't keep asking to go home, however when I visit she says things like when she's back home she must get some more flowers for the garden. I don't think she knows where she is, & it varies from time to time where she thinks she is or how long she's been there.

So now we're having to sort out her bungalow with a view to either renting or selling. This is where the next big ugly pile of GUILT comes flooding in!! I'm gradually going through mum's whole house & all her personal things & papers, letters, & stuff that was my dad's & my grandparents etc. It's slow going & I'm trying to be realistic about what to keep & what should go to charity shops, or what should go in the bin or to the tip. This is SOOOO hard, I feel a total traitor sorting & clearing out her home behind her back. I feel awful! I have to do most of this myself because I won't let my husband go through all her clothes, belongings & personal stuff because he's too ruthless & would throw things out that I want to keep! His mum was a minimalist & very unsentimental, so it was quick & easy clearing her house after she died, plus he's got siblings wo helped. I come from a very sentimental family, & we keep everything! He can help with heavy stuff, (or spidery things in the garage!)& taking things to charity shops or the tip, but I need to do most of it myself. But boy do I feel guilty & upset!
 

Marler19

Registered User
May 16, 2021
41
0
@Honfers you have done the right thing! We have just had my mum admitted to a care home after the police told us she wasn’t safe at home. I have yet to face dealing with her possessions and house but I completely understand the feelings. My mum too was a dynamic and independent person, very forceful, and it has been heartbreaking. However, this is Alzheimer’s not the person they once were, and I keep having to remind myself of that! In the moment she can be very cheerful in the home, and she knows she loves me but now is adamant I am her granddaughter (she doesn’t have one, just grandsons!). Her own mother, who has been dead 52 years, is also popping up a lot. All I can say, is it does get easier though I know I will never stop worrying about her or finding it sad.
 

ChrissieM

Registered User
Jan 9, 2021
34
0
I had the same issue with Mum`s house which is currently on the market for sale. The same feelings of guilt, sadness etc. However I had the added upset of my sister-in- law deciding without telling me and without my consent that she had decided to go through all Mum`s personal stuff (including personal diaries) despite both myself and my brother having POA for her property. She bagged up most of the stuff and took it to her home. My brother buried his head in the sand and just let her get on with it as he can`t stand any confrontation. When I found out what she had done I sent her an e-mail explaining how upset I was and that she had no right to do this (as it would be akin to my going through her own mother`s personal items) . She then returned all the black bags to Mum`s house so I could go through them but she had made it clear via my brother that she was very unhappy and I owed her an apology as she considered she was trying to help! Needless to say I have had no contact with her and have no wish to do so. Mum is in a care home approx 2 miles away from where my sister in law lives. She has been to see Mum once in 9 months despite Mum (when she was well) being very financially generous to her and the grandchildren. It is so hard dealing with Mum`s dementia, the situation with Mum`s house and now the `family issue`. The follow on misery , dementia brings has no bounds.
 
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Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
266
0
It is a very peculiar feeling clearing the PWD's home before s/he has actually died. Like Fiona , we are - or at least my parents and I are/were - very sentimental about personal possessions. I found it very hard to decide what to keep and what to throw away. I was put under pressure from both my siblings: from my brother to clear the house as quickly as possible so that it could be let and from my sister (who lived abroad and wouldn't come over) to locate and keep specified items for her. As a result, I must have taken away about thirty boxes of stuff. My sister treated me with suspicion but when she eventually came over she took away very little of what I had set aside for her.

After my mother's death both my brother and sister had sentimental feelings about the house and contemplated buying the others out. I had no such feelings. Yes, the house had been our family home but we had grown up and left it long ago and as our parents were dead it no longer meant anything to me. It might have been different if the house had been located in a holiday area and could have been used as a holiday home but the house was in a new town (no disrespect intended) and I didn't want to be in a business relationship with either my brother or my sister any longer as I had found letting the house very stressful. I could never be sure that my brother wasn't cutting corners and exposing us to legal liabilities. He could be irascible if I questioned him and I didn't want any more of the stress. It was a great relief to me when the tenants left without any trouble and the house was sold. I feared some horrible legal mess.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,716
0
@Honfers, it is a horrible thing to have to do. It feels like your mother has died, even though you know she is still there. What I found helped was just being very hard headed and hearted about it all, and just doing what had to be done without trying to dwell on how my mother might be feeling. I was chatting to a friend the other week who works in Mental Health A&E and she says that's how she gets through coping with the things she sees in her job.
I'm sure some people think I don't care about my mother, which is far from the truth, but remember you are important too, so look after you.
Round here we have a stick to bash the guilt monster with. It might be your turn to have it.
 

Fiona F

Registered User
Apr 12, 2020
43
0
57
Southampton
Thanks everyone for your replies. It's good to know you understand & helps me feel I'm not so alone in this horrible situation. I've got a few days off work, so I'm just psyching myself up for another day of sorting out. I will get my stick out to bash the guilt monster!
It must be awful when siblings make things more difficult. At least I don't have that complication.
 

spandit

Registered User
Feb 11, 2020
311
0
Clearing a house, especially when they're still alive, feels like a burglary. We knew he was never going back there but dragging his old bed outside to put on the bonfire felt really strange. We ransacked all we could over several trips but eventually sent the clearance company in. Doubt we missed much of value but he was moving from a 4 bedroom detached house into a single room so no way we could bring everything. Still have half a barn full of stuff...
 

Honfers

New member
Sep 15, 2021
2
0
Thank you all so much for your kind words and reassurances, I'm very lucky that my sister and I are on the same page, my brother in law is helping too but only by taking things to the tip/charity shops that we have agreed on, my sister has all of her jewelery but only because she has a safe and neither of us can cope with going through it at the moment, I trust her 100% I think we are going to have to spend an evening with a bottle of wine to go through the many boxes of photos and the more personal things when we are both ready. Again, thank you all.
 

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