Hello I am mad with my family

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by zippy, May 24, 2007.

  1. zippy

    zippy Registered User

    May 24, 2007
    My mum collapsed at home about 5 years ago. She was paralysed down her left side, could see double and her voice was slurred. However nothing was diagnosed - when I asked about a stroke a few days later they said it was too late to tell. Physically mum recovered but when she left the hospital I realised that she wasnt the same person. Since then we have gone through stages - mum tends to find a level which we adapt to and then suddenly this goes down again. My mum lives on her own and at the moment copes well - I am there to fill the holes - go to the doctors, sort out pills, do a bit of shopping but most of all give her support when she is upset about losing something or is frustrated by her loss of memory. We are now at the stage where mum rings me up sometimes in the middle of night to ask me when im coming home. I have to try to bring her back to the present time by reminding her that I am forty and married with two children. At the moment this is working but I know one day I will lose her to the past. This really upsets me and I think of how frightening this must be for mum to be all alone wondering where her family have gone. I am the youngest of four sisters and have always been close to my mum. I also live the nearest about a ten minute drive away. The eldest sister is really good she tries to come up once a week to do a few jobs and see mum - we talk on the phone and she is very supportive. However the other two have completely isolated me. They visit mum when it suits them and just turn up unexpected. This upsets mum because she worries about meals for them etc. I went out with my family one sunday and one of my sisters visited. My mum had a fall and couldnt move her arm and my sister didnt even tell me about it! I found out when I went to mums the next day and had to ring my sister to get information so I could tell the GP. I put the phone down on her because I was so mad:mad: . Then she came and stayed with mum for a week and completely took over and the other one ( who cant cope with mum like this) came up to visit. I knew though that when all the dust had settled they would dissapear again and guess what - they have! The GP has referred mum and we are trying to build up a support network. Mum wont accept any help which is a bit of a problem - only from family - which is another problem!!! I spoke to my sister ( the one that cant cope ) but she told me that she has got a life and its just unfortunate that I live so close! The other one takes mum out for the day occassionally and well thats her job done. :rolleyes: How on earth can we support mum in her own home if nobody will give a bit of input? I wouldnt mind but one of them has no job and no kids and is only 40 mins away! I have two kids of 5 and 13 and I am doing a degree and I go to mums nearly every day! At the moment I am off for the summer so I have got the time to give mum but when I start back in September I could really do with a bit of support - also they dont seem to understand that mum will deteriorate as time goes on and we really need to pull together now. Sorry i am moaning and going on about me when I should be talking about mum - am I being unreasonable and selfish? Am I doing something wrong? Why are my family being so nasty when I am doing my best? We used to be so close and now they dont even talk to me. Dont they realise that I find it hard too - I see her nearly every day and speak to her on the phone everyday (sometimes more if shes lost something!) but even so I still miss her.
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi Zippy,

    Welcome to TP.

    I can see how frustrated you are about the lack of support from your sisters, but if you read posts from other members of TP you will find you are not alone.

    In almost every family there seems to be one member who is willing to take responsibility for a parent who becomes in need of support, while the others either refuse all help or offer a token.

    I`m afraid you can only be accountable for your own actions and cannot make others do anything they don`t want to. They have decided they don`t want to be carers, while you are taking the lions share.

    You are not being unreasonable and selfish. You want the best for your mother and feel that could be organized if everyone did their share. Sadly others don`t want to do their share and you will have to accept it.

    It makes it even harder that your mother doesn`t want strangers in. I know how that is as my husband is the same. I`ve decided to carry on caring by myself until I`ve no option other than to get outside help in. But I am retired and don`t have a young family to care for.

    You can only do so much, and time and conditions will guide you.

    You can let off steam on TP. We are here to support each other. I`m sorry I can`t offer something more constructive, but someone else may have something better to suggest.

    Take care
  3. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    Hi zippy,

    Have you thought about using the summer holidays as an opportunity to get your mother accustomed to the presence of an outside carer?

    Some people who would not normally tolerate a "stranger" in their house can begin to get more comfortable with the person if a familiar family member is also there initially. This may seem a bit self-defeating at first to pay someone to come in while you are still there but it can build up confidence on all sides.

    Ideally the care agency could find a carer that matches your mother's needs/personality well. The next step would be to try and ensure that all, or mostly all, of the visits could be done by that same person (not always practical).

    Take care,

  4. zippy

    zippy Registered User

    May 24, 2007
    Thank you

    Thank you for your message of support. It has been a huge relief just to let off steam and talk about my frustrations. My own family (husband and children) are there for me but sometimes they need a break from me ranting! I have read some messages and have taken great comfort in knowing that there are people out there who understand. Thanks:) :)
  5. zippy

    zippy Registered User

    May 24, 2007
    Hi Sandy

    Mum has seen a community care officer and I was present. I have managed to pursuade mum to have frozen meals delivered so I could monitor what she is eating but although mum says yes today this could change! An occupational therapist is going to get in touch with me and so is a community nurse so I am gradually introducing different people in - making sure that I am present when they call. However mum is very independant and doesnt like the neighbours to know that she is receiving help - which really causes some problems. Also even though I am really close to mum I can see that she is starting to see me as ' the baddie' as I am the most interferring daughter! Mum has been ringing the two sisters who dont do much complaining about me wanting to put her in a mental hospital! I just want mum safe and happy in her own enviroment.
  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi Zippy, don`t worry about your mum seeing you as the `baddie`. This again is common as the sufferers seem to take it out on the one closest to them, the one who tries to introduce change and medical help, and the one who is seen to be interfering.

    I say don`t worry, but I know it is upsetting, as you are the one trying her best and you get all the aggro.
  7. JulesLK

    JulesLK Registered User

    May 22, 2007
    Hi Zippy

    Sorry to hear you've been getting aggro for the support you've been trying to put in place for mother and I do understand, as sometimes I am 'that woman' to my father who doesn't care about him.

    It's good that you have support from of one of your sisters and from your husband and children and I am sure they understand when you let off steam. We all need an outlet at times ! Unfortunately as an only child I don't get much help except from my 21 year old son (bless him). He does the shopping some days for my mum (who now needs a wheelchair now to get out of the house), collects prescriptions etc. and amazingly my dad takes more notice of him than anyone else !

  8. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    south lanarkshire
    Hi Zippie

    Yes, there is always one in the family who has to shoulder all the care.

    Is it possible to have a family meeting with your sisters and ask them what help they could provide, even if it is just taking your Mum to Doctors/medical appointments? Ask them what they would want for your Mum as things become worse. Try to keep calm, easier said than done!

    My Mum like your Mum, didn't want any outside help. To begin with, I arrived with the carers and introduced them as friends/neighbours, from the village, just up the road etc.(Mary, Morag, Lindsay, whatever).
    I asked them to remove their badges, first. At first, we just sat down and all had a nice friendly chat, until they could visit on their own and slowly slowly Mum allowed them to help her and Dad
    The problems arose when the regular carer was on holiday or sick and another carer who hadn't been briefed, in how to handle mostly Mum or indeed wasn't even aware, that my parents had dementia and believed Mum and Dad had taken medication and had, had breakfast already and so left after 3 mins.

    You must look after yourself, if it takes being deceitful telling small lies, to get the help both you and Mum needs, then there is nothing wrong in that.

    But take care of you first, or you will be no good to your family or your Mum, as I have discovered.

  9. zippy

    zippy Registered User

    May 24, 2007
    Hi Alfjess

    I know I should be more calm with my family but its really hard - I need to save all my patience for my mum who is the most important person in all this. I think they dont realise just how much she needs us either that or they are in denial. Its like when the community care officer visited, they didnt even ring to find out how we got on - I dont see why I should have to ring round everyone when Ive been running around all day, as I need to sort my own family out. (God im so angry!!!!):mad: I think the idea of introducing carers gradually is a great idea and I will give this a go. Im a rubbish fibber though - i will have to work on that one!
  10. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya Zippy,
    As previously said, we can only be responsible for our own actions.
    If your siblings want to know about mum, they will phone you - and if not, you just have to get on with what you have decided is right for you to do. We all make our own decisions - you may not like the decisions that your siblings make, but it is theirs. try not to waste your energy on being angry.
    Love Helen
  11. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Cannot quite agree with the following: and I quote

    It is just that there is usually one "who will shoulder all the care"

    Along side that you have those members of family, siblings, children, whoever who just do not want to know. My advice, "Just ignore".

    Do what you can........you can then live with yourself......you cannot ever be responsible for anyone else.

    Take care to 'look after you'.........then you can continue the caring role.
    Please don't waste time on negative emotiions, you cannot win.

    Love n,hugs,
  12. fearful fiona

    fearful fiona Registered User

    Apr 19, 2007
    I agree with Connie. You can't force other members of the family to help out. Although I have sometimes found that if I actually ask my brother to do something he will do it (providing it doesn't clash with anything else he is doing!) but it's just a lost cause expecting him and his wife to do anything spontaneously. Feel sorry for them really .....
  13. nemesisis

    nemesisis Registered User

    May 25, 2006
    smp! zippy

    there are only two of us but my brother (carn't cope) but my husband is one of eight and when his mother was dying of cancer three of his siblings could not (cope) not him bless who was at her side till the end . I am so sad that siblings feel it is ok to dump on the remaining son/daughter while they go on merrily guilt free!
  14. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Dear Zippy,
    I do feel for you! I'm so fortunate in that my two sisters do a great deal even though I'm the major carer. That has come about because my circumstances and location (I'm only 10 minutes from Mum) make me the best person for the job. But if I couldn't do it, my sisters would. I know I'm blessed in this way.

    On the other hand, my brother is exactly like your siblings - very little use at all!!

    I do think it would be wise, as suggested, to call a family meeting and lay the cards on the table. PLEASE only do this when you are feeling calmer as it could really be disastrous if you tackle it while you are feeling so angry!

    Could you get someone to "mediate" the meeting? Possibly an old friend of the family? A beloved aunty? Your minister? The others need not know that person is there to keep the peace! You could just say that he or she is also concerned about your Mum and wants what is best for her. . . . . ??

    Then you can point out the level of care your Mum needs (don't be surprised if the others don't fully understand - even my dearest sisters sometimes think Mum can do more than she can!). You can point out that your responsibilities limit you to ................. (whatever you can manage. IMPORTANT! If I were you, I would definitely say I am abe to do LESS than you realy can do. Whilst ever you say you can visit every day, etc. they will be happy to let you do so!!). Then you say something like: How can we "as a family" meet the other needs of our Mum???

    If you can manage such a meeting with your family, it could help your sisters to realise that they have to take some responsibility OR to agree to other ways to ensure her needs are met.

    At the end of the day, you cannot change others - as has already been said. But at least you can see clearly what they will or won't commit to, so you can plan accordingly. And just possibly, they will start to see it is their problem as well. (Well, we can always hope!! ;) )

    Thinking of you.
  15. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Zippy, that's excellent advice from Nell.

    If you think you can stay calm, it's the best chance of getting some help. But it's important that no-one loses their temper, otherwise the situation could be ten times worse!

    Good luck,
  16. zippy

    zippy Registered User

    May 24, 2007
    Thank you all for your support

    I think I was a bit emotional yesterday - it all came flooding out! You see my sisters do not realise how I feel as I keep it inside - I am not one for confrontation! (they are bigger and bossier than me!) I found it so easy to let my frustration out by writing it down - I feel a bit embarressed :eek: but I felt so much better after my rant! I went to see my mum today and she is having a good day - which makes me feel happier as I am going away for the weekend. My eldest sister who is great has spoken to the other two but to no avail they think that we are making a fuss about nothing. I think you are all right I cant be responsible for their behaviour only that of my own - they can live with it and thats nothing to do with me. Hopefully one day they will understand and we can all pull together. I will write soon x
  17. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi Zippy,
    Don`t be embarrassed, this is what TP is for. It`s much better than having a family row. ;)

    Have a good weekend.

    Love xx

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