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Hello again

MrsChristmas

Registered User
Jun 1, 2015
178
Hi there

I gave up trying to get help for my mum months ago after getting loads of advice and support from the lovely people hear who understand.

Hoping you are keeping safe and well during this difficult time.

Mum is nearly 95 and has lived next door to me. She is very forgetful but still is able to look after herself but really cannot manage to run her home and ALL domestic stuff has to be done for her. My brother pays her bills, I do day to day stuff and deal with emergencies. The emergencies happen every week eg mice in Mum's kitchen, trip switch going off (no electrics). I do more than neither Mum or my brother realise because I'm the nearest.

Due to the virus my business folded in March and i was able to do more for Mum than before, especially as my brother could not visit because of the virus. I'd do her shopping, do her rubbish, took her to the beach (before the real lock down), cooked her some meals because her shoulder hurt and she wasn't eating properly.

Things started getting on top of me and I grew exhausted. I was horrified to discover Mum's next door neighbour (whom I trusted) throwing their rubbish in a skip that had been left outside Mum's house for months because it hadn't been collected. It was overflowing with rubbish that didn't belong to Mum.

I knew I couldn't keep two houses going so I offered to move in with Mum, sell/rent my house to keep an eye on her but she wasn't happy with the idea because she liked her own space which I respected.

The loss of my business meant I couldn't stay in my house for financial reasons so I 've sold it and have bought another place about 20 miles away from Mum.

I've told Mum many times that I won't be around as much to help her out but will visit once a week or as much as I can. Mum cannot rely on my brother because she thinks that he lives so far away that he cannot help her. I can't make her see that she should call him if she has a problem but she just refuses. This must explain why my brother is always surprised when I tell him when things go wrong.

Things have got on top of me too so I've had to contact my GP for stress and anxiety because I have no support. I explained to him about my Mum, that I was moving and I that I was a bit concerned about how things would be once I'd moved away - I had been Mum's 'lookout' for nearly 12 years. He advised me to contact Social Care once I'd moved and tell them my concerns about her. He has advised counselling for me.

I called to see Mum today to sort out her rubbish, remove yet another mouse from behind the fridge. She cannot retain anything these days and I must admit she does look very unkempt these days. She exists on jacket potatoes and doesn't prepare any meals for herself - other than toast, biscuits or cereal.

Mum's biggest problem is her trip switch which goes off randomly roughly every two weeks. The electrics have been tested but the cause has never been found. It means standing on a table and reaching the fuse box to reset it. I've done it loads of times - because I can see when the lights go off then I pop round and reset it. If I havn't been able to re set it then Mum will just sit there in the dark until something is done because she cannot see to get to the phone to call and cannot remember what to do now. There are many things that have been done to keep mum afloat which can't be planned for.

Tonight I tried to rehearse with her about what to do if she had a problem but she just could not remember. Her capability is no more than making tea and toast now. Washing is not done, teacups are dirty, rubbish is left.

For the first time she said to me 'is it time for me to go into a care home?' I thought she was joking but she said it a couple of times...I just wasn't sure what to say..I guess I just brushed it aside because it must have taken a lot for Mum to say this - being so fiercely independent. She said that it was real blow my moving away but she understood why I had to sell. I said would she consider someone coming maybe once a week? She said she'd think about it but clearly she is frightened and realises that she depends on me more than she realised.

My brother is coming to visit this week and I suspect he will not want Mum to have any sort of care because he doesn't see what I see a lot of the time. I just can't help feeling this is the moment to get Mum the help she so desparately needs. I've told her that I believe she is very vulnerable, that she cannot walk outside her home, that her neighbour may not be so reliable if Mum needed help. I've pointed out that she is very isolated and who would she call for help once I've moved away?

What I am asking is:

At 95 is a care home the right course of action - if it is suitable? It's not what she wants but maybe it means security, safety, food, company BUT a loss of freedom and independence so precious to Mum's generation. How do I suggest this to Mum and my brother?

Is a carer the answer? If I mooted this to my brother and Mum how is the best way to sell it to them? I expect they'd both say that a carer is not necessary and that Mum manages very well but that is with my support. What could a carer do for Mum?

Should I mention the affect that caring for Mum has had on me over the past few years? I've put up with her tantrums, bad moods, sulking, demanding. I'm not complaining but it's not been a walk in the park.

In the past every time i've suggested outside help it has been batted away by both my brother and my mother - to the point where my brother has got very angry with me telling me that 'help is not what mum wants'

Advice would be much appreciated.
 

TNJJ

Registered User
May 7, 2019
1,786
cornwall
Hi😀I believe it is the right time for a care home.It would give her more security. She/you have done well with your support to keep her at home at 95.
I f your brother does not agree to it or a carer for your mum then maybe he should do more.
A carer can help with her personal care and maybe take her shopping.Do any of you have LPOA?It would help all round if you did.
 

Violeta

Registered User
May 31, 2020
11
Hi Mrs Christmas,

I think you´ve done amazingly well looking after your mum all these years and it sounds like you´ve done this more or less single-handed which is no easy task!

As you´ve moved further away now and have your own health concerns, with your stress and anxiety, I completely understand why you can no longer always be on call for your mum now, nor should you be, in my opinion.

It sounds as if your mum has been considering a care home for herself already with the fact that she´s asked you about it a couple of times and I´d take that as a cue to look into it for her. If your brother is unsupportive then ask him for suggestions for how to manage going forward and if he´d be willing to do more. I´m guessing he´ll back down soon enough!

My own mum moved into a care home last summer at the age of 71, she has AD, and it really has been the best thing in terms of security, safety, company and peace of mind for us all.

Good luck!
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
2,007
North West
Morning @MrsChristmas -so much of what you have written rings true to my own situation when mum was at home. Its so hard as your mum is of the genration that were very independent, but she has mentioned about a care home, which means she may have realised that she needs 24/7 help and reassurance. My mum didn't exactly say about going into a care home in the end but she would repeatedly say that she didn't want to be on her own anymore, and I could see how much she really meant that as things changed and she couldn't cope when I was at work over 12 hours a day. Distant family often don't grasp that a pwd has reached the stage of not coping and they don't see the distress this causes to the pwd, because they are not there enough to see it (if at all).And when they do visit it serves as a distraction for a short while.

The other thing to think about is your mums rising anxieties as she battles on alone and your anxiety knowing she is struggling which can become constant. Its fine to dictate from a distance what someone wants (the brother) and I understand he he is probably trying to honour your mums wishes, but there comes a point where old promises can't be sustained anymore and they have to be broken. Your mum sounds as if she is ready for a change so why not take the opportuntiy and give it a go and see if she takes to the care home environment -your brother might be surprised!
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,373
I think the time is now right for a care home. Even with carer visits the problem is not when the carers are there, it's when they are not. I think your mum needs 24/7 supervision. But from reading your other posts, the sticking point is your brother . All the time he takes your mum's wishes into account, it's going to be very difficult to deal with. Perhaps step back and wait for a crisis until there's no choice. My mother-in-law refused point blank to go into care so we waited for a crisis to happen and eventually she went into hospital and then to a care home