How to care for two close relatives at the same time ?

Skellei

New member
Feb 11, 2024
6
0
Just after some advice/ guidance.

I have been the main carer, ( along with my wife) for my elderly mum who lives close by and has (undiagnosed) dementia.

in October my wife (aged 55) was diagnosed with stage 3/ 4 cancer and now also requires a lot of my care, 24 hours a day.

my mum is becoming more demanding because she’s lonely and if I’m honest, my priorities are now elsewhere which causes a lot of conflict. I also have to protect me because I now seem to be a single point of failure/ dependency so I cannot allow myself to fail.

i have carers visiting my mum 3 times a day … and I visit most days so I am not really neglecting, her, except she can’t have my time anymore. My mum refuses help/ support from anyone else.

Anyone else in a similar situation who has advice on just what to do in these situations. There is only one of me after all
 

sheepfield

Registered User
Feb 4, 2024
126
0
I've mentioned this very subject in another thread! I'm caring for my autistic husband and his mother has started showing signs of dementia though she's been hiding them. Things seem to be making an appearance since she had a fall about a month ago and accepted help from social care. I wonder if my mother in law thinks that I have enough on my plate with her son too.
You're quite right, there's only one of you and only one of me so we must look after ourselves. I have a mum and sister who are quite well and support from carers groups too. Just a cup of tea and an hour to myself in the company of other carers has been uplifting. I try to do something each day just for me.
My strategy is also to delegate some of the support to other people. My husband has an autism support worker and goes to a weekly mental health group. Social care seem to have been quick off the mark in supporting my mother in law now that she has consented to a referral. I can see that a change in routine has been upsetting for your mum.
Caring for two people at once seems to require even more of those boundaries but also life hacks. My mother in law seems to remember how to cook microwave ready meals so I've got some of those and that's maybe something that she can do for herself. I'm hoping to get a dishwasher as it's so time consuming and I have to rewash things after my husband has had a try. There's so much to think about so I schedule time each day to relax, be present and take my mind off everything.
 

Graybiker

Registered User
Oct 3, 2017
316
0
County Durham
Hi, I live with my dad, 91 mixed dementia & also have an adult autistic child who lives independently but needs support.
I’m sorry you’ve found yourself in this situation as I know how hard it is.
I’m afraid I have no specific advice, but, try not to accept the guilty feelings. There’s only one of you & you can only do so much & please, do take time out for yourself. I think sheepfield’s advise is excellent
Take care of yourself
x
 

Skellei

New member
Feb 11, 2024
6
0
I've mentioned this very subject in another thread! I'm caring for my autistic husband and his mother has started showing signs of dementia though she's been hiding them. Things seem to be making an appearance since she had a fall about a month ago and accepted help from social care. I wonder if my mother in law thinks that I have enough on my plate with her son too.
You're quite right, there's only one of you and only one of me so we must look after ourselves. I have a mum and sister who are quite well and support from carers groups too. Just a cup of tea and an hour to myself in the company of other carers has been uplifting. I try to do something each day just for me.
My strategy is also to delegate some of the support to other people. My husband has an autism support worker and goes to a weekly mental health group. Social care seem to have been quick off the mark in supporting my mother in law now that she has consented to a referral. I can see that a change in routine has been upsetting for your mum.
Caring for two people at once seems to require even more of those boundaries but also life hacks. My mother in law seems to remember how to cook microwave ready meals so I've got some of those and that's maybe something that she can do for herself. I'm hoping to get a dishwasher as it's so time consuming and I have to rewash things after my husband has had a try. There's so much to think about so I schedule time each day to relax, be present and take my mind off everything.
I did see your post which I found useful and sort of prompted mine

My mum is very good at finding things for me to do which I know is just an excuse really to get my time. The problem is these quickly escalate into multiple urgent calls (e.g. I was getting calls at 2 am on Sunday morning telling me that I need to bring dog food because theres only 2 tins left - she only uses 1 a day and when I checked there were 4 left). This then quickly gets into conflict because as part of ‘protecting me’, I don’t always take her calls/ look at my phone (Bad son) so the next time I see her (which is most days) I get appropriate feedback :). I do feel very guilty because I can almost here the ‘ I wouldnt have ignored you when you needed help when you were little’ sort of thing but what helped was another post that said this is basically a conflict of my mum needing companionship to the real medical/ caring needs of your wife and others (e.g. carers) can provide that companionship so that makes me feel less guilty. I do still feel guilty at doing things for me though (which I know I need to do) - could be sat with my mum whilst she grills me on my wives cancer rather than going to the gym :)
 

sheepfield

Registered User
Feb 4, 2024
126
0
Yes, please try not to feel guilty for looking after yourself. I was unwell with anxiety not long after moving to live with my husband and I don't want to return to that state. The more that others can do the better for me.
I wonder if it might be possible for your mother and wife to spend time together then you can care for them both simultaneously? I visit my mother in law with my husband but now visits to his mum are upsetting my husband so this is no longer possible for me. I'm going to start visiting her separately, which will eat into my daytime time, but I can try to ensure that she is fed etc. I'm looking into evening activities like a choir and dancing so I still get my me time.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
5,212
0
High Peak
I don’t always take her calls/ look at my phone (Bad son)
No, you're really not, you're one person struggling with far too much on their plate.

I suggest you clone yourself. I'm thinking 6 clones to cover your mum's needs including one to take all those frustrating 'crisis' phonecalls, several more to look after your poor wife (I really hope she's ok...) and at least 2 to pick you up when you fall over from total exhaustion...

No? But @Skellei , something has to give and if it's you, you won't be able to care for anyone and then what will happen? I know you don't want to have to choose or at least prioritise but you can't do this alone. Social services have Duty of Care when it comes to your mum, not you. So call their emergency helpline, tell them you have reached 'carer breakdown' and can no longer care for your mum. She may not be willing to accept outside care but this is about safeguarding - her needs come before what she wants and it's up to SS to make sure she is looked after.

Make that call...
 

Skellei

New member
Feb 11, 2024
6
0
No, you're really not, you're one person struggling with far too much on their plate.

I suggest you clone yourself. I'm thinking 6 clones to cover your mum's needs including one to take all those frustrating 'crisis' phonecalls, several more to look after your poor wife (I really hope she's ok...) and at least 2 to pick you up when you fall over from total exhaustion...

No? But @Skellei , something has to give and if it's you, you won't be able to care for anyone and then what will happen? I know you don't want to have to choose or at least prioritise but you can't do this alone. Social services have Duty of Care when it comes to your mum, not you. So call their emergency helpline, tell them you have reached 'carer breakdown' and can no longer care for your mum. She may not be willing to accept outside care but this is about safeguarding - her needs come before what she wants and it's up to SS to make sure she is looked after.

Make that call...
Thank you. I can really identify with the need to clone myself. That’s what it really feels like
 

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