1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

I'd be grateful for anyones advice & thank you.

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Mother goose, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. Mother goose

    Mother goose Registered User

    Jul 5, 2012
    247
    Co.Sligo, Ireland
    I've posted on here few times, about my 85 yr old Mum who is in N/H since last Christmas. We live in southern Ireland & our youngest son got married in England 3 wks ago. I had asked my brother months ago, if he & his wife would look after her for the few days, if we took her over on the plane, as we were staying in a hotel & they live only an hour away. He said, they could sort something out. I spoke to him many times after that & was no mention of looking after our mum.

    She got MRSA bug few weeks before the wedding, so she couldn't go anyway & the head nurse suggested not to take her as she would be confused. I accepted that, but didn't hear from my brother until a few days before the wedding & he asked me what had I decided to do. I said, what could I do, I didn't hear from you, then told him about the MRSA. My brother & his wife were at the wedding, but neither of them asked me how our Mum was, which really upset me, her having the MRSA. My son was even more upset, as neither of them spoke to his new wife or made an effort to say how she looked etc.

    My son said to me, the next time we see them, will be at Nan's funeral. The last time my brother spoke to our Mum was Christmas day & I'm always ringing him. I've stopped now, then this eve my brother rang our landline. My husband answered & he was so chatty to my brother, who said he & his wife were going on holiday to Italy at the weekend. I was trying to say I didn't want to speak to him tonight, but my husband handed the phone to me. I found it so hard to be chatty, remembering how he & his wife were at our son's wedding. At the end of the conversation, he asked how our Mum's MRSA was, I said she had it when we were at the wedding. I get on well with my brother & wife, but I just couldn't talk to him properly tonight. I heard my husband say to him, have a great holiday, but I couldn't bring myself to say that to him. I didn't know if I should have told my brother, that I was upset he didn't ask how our mum was & that our son was also upset they hadn't talked to his new wife. I wasn't myself when I talked to him tonight, so I thought he would've noticed, then asked me. I could then have told him.

    I have just had a row with my husband, as he said, I shouldn't be telling him what to say to my brother, that he will be friendly to him, if he chooses to be. He said, if he was annoyed with one of his brothers, he would expect me to still be nice to them. I hate confrontations with anyone & avoid them. My eldest son wanted to ring my Mum last week & I asked her if she got a call. She said, was it B ringing, meaning my brother. In her eyes, he can still do no wrong. My brother said, he'll ring us when they get back from holiday, which will be a surprise if he does. I just don't know how to deal with the situation, especially if it's affecting my husband & myself.
     
  2. MeganCat

    MeganCat Registered User

    Jan 29, 2013
    356
    South Wales
    Hi
    My brother never rings to ask how mum is, I used to ring regularly to update him, but like you I got frustrated and angry at his apparent lack of concern. Even when she was really poorly in the winter (when I did ring him in case he wanted to rush down - he didn't - and spent most of my free time for 6 weeks at hospital with her) you'd have thought he'd have rung! To find out how she was if nothing else, no hope of any moral support.
    Now I have hardened a bit and think sod him, he has to live with his own conscience. I have enough to worry about without concerning myself with how he might feel in the future. Thankfully, for her feelings, mums memory is non existent now and she wouldn't remember if he'd visited or not - she would be really hurt if she knew.
     
  3. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    Hi MG,

    Sorry to hear about the trouble in the family. My question is how was your relationship between your brother and the rest of the family before the onset of your mum's illness? If he has become distant since she got ill, it could be that he cannot deal with it and his apparent lack of interest is because he is upset about it. A lot of people react like this - in denial I suppose we would say.

    Could it be that the reason he rang you before the Italy trip was that he had thought about what happened with the wedding and realised he had behaved badly? Maybe he was ringing to try to make amends. You said that this time he did ask about your mum, so that's another indication he might have been ringing to make up for things.

    Why not try telling him directly how you feel about what has happened? If it's possible to do it without making the relationship worse, I think that's your best bet. Or if not you, as you hate confrontations, could your husband talk to him about it? They seem to get on well. I think it's a good thing for your husband and your brother to remain on good terms. That will be good in the long-run for all of you.

    Best of luck,

    LS
     
  4. Isabella41

    Isabella41 Registered User

    Feb 20, 2012
    901
    Northern Ireland
    Mothergoose, early on in mum's dementia journey I used to get very irate as how I perceived others were caring/not caring or being involved with mum. I then got to thinking that the only person I am responsible for is me. I can't force others to care if they don't wish to be.
    Women by nature are more caring and empathetic. You said your brother did agree to look after your mum when the wedding was on but he then did not bring this up in subseqent conversations he had with you. Its entirely possible that in his mind this arrangement had been agreed so he saw no need to go over it again. You then say your mum contracted MRSA so was unable to go to the wedding. When your brother contacted you a few days before the wedding you then told him about this. You appear upset he hadn't contacted you sooner but he was unaware of the MRSA. You go on to say that at the wedding your brother did not ask how your mum was. Its entirely possible he did not think it appropraite to bring this up on what was a happy occasion. Again you comment that your brother and his wife did not make any comments as to how the bride looked and that they did not speak to her. I agree that this seems decidly odd.
    I am at a loss to understand how you have taken offence at the latest phone call from your brother. You talk about how upset you've been over a number of things you feel your brother has said or done/not done but it very much appears that your brother is oblivious to all this. Rather than directly addressing this and saying outright "I'm upset because of..." and giving him a chance to respond and sorting it out you say that you hoped because you were not yourself your brother should have realised and probed you for what the matter was. This is too high an expectation to place on anyone. People can only address issues once they are aware of them.
    I'm sorry but I am also in agreement with your husband. If he chooses to speak to your brother then that's up to him.
    It really does come across that you have alot of unresolved issues with you and your brother and these can only be resolved if you actually talk about them. If you find direct conversation too difficult you could start by writing down what you feel all the outstanding issues are and sending this to your brother giving him a chance to respond. The chances are this will be a bolt from the blue to him and it will all be sorted very quickly and you can go on to enjoy a better relationship with him.
     
  5. Mother goose

    Mother goose Registered User

    Jul 5, 2012
    247
    Co.Sligo, Ireland


    Thank you for your reply, Megan Cat.
    Your brother sounds just like mine. I agree with your comments about the future.
    I hope you are able to cope ok. Thinking of you.
     
  6. Mother goose

    Mother goose Registered User

    Jul 5, 2012
    247
    Co.Sligo, Ireland
    Thank you for your reply, LS.
    When my brother & myself were growing up, in my Mum & Dad's eyes, he could do no wrong, yet didn't do much. It has carried on & my Mum still thinks the same, even though he doesn't ring her often, etc.

    My Mum has lived near us in Ireland for 7 yrs & my brother & his wife have been over 4 times, in that period. Before alzheimers, he only ever phoned every few mths & when he did, my Mum always said, It's so lovely to hear from you. At the time, if I hadn't phoned her for a few days, she'd be really annoyed with me.

    I know he wasn't ringing to make amends, he was telling me about their hol & at end of conversation, asked about our Mum. I know my husband wouldn't talk to him about it, so I will deal with it myself. I do get on well with my brother, but he's one of these people that if you say anything to him, he gets upset. Then I feel guilty saying anything, so it's a vicious circle.

    Last yr he hadn't rang our Mum for several mths & when I spoke to him, I said, have you forgotten you have a Mum. He said, I've been so busy with work, which I know he was, but in 2/3 mths, he could have spent 5/10 minutes to talk to her. My Mum's memory has got lot worse, but she actually said recently, out of sight, out of mind.
     
  7. Mother goose

    Mother goose Registered User

    Jul 5, 2012
    247
    Co.Sligo, Ireland
    I agree with you, Isabella 41, that we can't force others to care if they don't wish to do.
    When I'd asked my brother if he would look after our Mum for the wedding he said, I'm sure we can sort something out. I have a feeling he didn't discuss it with his wife, as when I spoke to him, he said, I couldn't find anywhere to stay & they only live an hour away from the church.

    Their own son got married 3 yrs ago & as we were having to stay in a hotel, it wouldn't have been suitable for our Mum at the time. As they have 2 spare rooms, I asked if they could look after her, as would be better her staying in a family home. My brothers' wife said, they had a lot of their son's friends staying, so no room for our Mum. They only had 1 staying, so she could have stayed, but couldn't go to that wedding either.

    Yes, my brother was unaware of the MRSA. I have been ringing him every couple of weeks the last 2yrs up until then & as Megan Cat said in her same situation, I got frustrated as it was me always phoning. I mentioned that he & his wife didn't ask how our Mum was at the wedding, they also didn't speak to any of my husband's family, who they know well. I do get on well with my brother, but as I said in my reply to LS, if I say anything that I'm not happy about, he gets upset. Then I feel guilty, its a vicious circle.

    I have been looking after our Mum last 2 years with the help of home help. My husband is very good & looks after her bills etc & keeps any eye on her bungalow which is being rented. She has been in N/H since last Dec & spent Christmas day with us. I rang my brother so he could speak to our Mum on Christmas day.

    He rang N/H on mothers day at 11am & staff were too busy to put him through, so he asked if they'd tell her he called. That aftn, I rang him to say we were taking our Mum out for dinner as mothers day. I said, we'd be back home by 3 O'clock & I was taking her back to N/H at 6, if he wanted to speak to her in between that time. That If he wanted to ring, I'd ring him back to save him paying for the call. Said, he & his wife were going down the road to nearby café for Tea & cake & not sure what time they'd be back. He never rang to talk to our Mum. He sent her an e.mail to N/H in Jan, hasn't spoken to her since Christmas day.
     
  8. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    7,963
    North East England
    He might not have spoken with her.....but it doesn't mean he doesn't care.
    It might be that his wife is unsympathetic, but he does not want you to think badly of her, so it's easier if he's the bad guy.

    You will never know if you don't ask. .....but it will be a long lonely time after Mum is gone if your family has drifted apart.

    Keep the links tight, even if it's your husband who does the talking.....one day you might need a brother.
     
  9. Il Gufo

    Il Gufo Registered User

    Feb 27, 2013
    203
    Oh Mother Goose I do feel for you. A lot of my early posts on here when my lovely Mum was first diagnosed were rants about my brother. He is 18 months older than me and we have NEVER got on. We sadly lost Mum in January and the strangest thing has happened. Someone has taken my surly brother away and replaced him with a man who is easy to talk to, understanding and sympathetic :confused: My sister's husband has a theory. He reckons there is only so much niceness allocated to each family - and we had to wait for Mum to pass before our brother could take up her niceness :) It's a pity she never lived to see our new relationship, but I know she is looking down thinking "About bloomin' time that pair got on"!
     
  10. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    Hi MG,

    Thanks for explaining all that. I think you are in a fairly typical family situation where one person (usually a daughter) is there for the parents, but almost gets taken for granted in a way, while another sibling (usually a son) goes off, doesn't keep in touch, but remains the Golden Boy in the parents' eyes. Perhaps it's because they get in touch so rarely that when they do get in touch it does seem special. But it sounds like your mum has seen through this now, with her "out of sight, out of mind" comment.

    Anyway, I think in the current situation, the main problem is the lack of communication between yourself and your brother. You say you try to avoid confrontation and also you don't like to say anything to him because he gets upset and you feel guilty. I Can understand that, but I think that now is the time to take the bull by the horns and tell him directly about how you feel. You do say that you get on well with your brother, so it sounds like there is every possibility that if you take the plunge and talk to him, even if he gets upset at first, he will soon get over it and take notice of what you are saying.

    The bottom line is that nothing is going to improve if you don't talk to him about this.

    I can sympathise - my own mum goes bananas 9 times out of 10 if I try to talk to her about anything related to my dad, but it has just got to the stage where I grit my teeth and have to do it. Yes, it's stressful, but nothing can be achieved if you don't talk to a person about what you would like them to do.

    Anyway, best of luck.

    LS
     
  11. Mother goose

    Mother goose Registered User

    Jul 5, 2012
    247
    Co.Sligo, Ireland
    Cragmaid, your words are very true, your quote, If your family has drifted apart.
    Sadly, my Mum & my Dad, fell out with her own Mum, 2 younger sisters & her brother, when I was a child, I am in my early 60's now. Because of the fallout, I wasn't allowed to see my aunts, uncles & cousins, which upset me as I wanted to be part of our family.

    It wasn't until I met & married my husband & we had our 3 children, that I could then have contact with my 'lost family'. I decided as I was then my own person, if I wanted to visit my other family, I should be allowed to do so. My Nan, my Mum's own Mum was delighted to have contact with us again & to get to see our children.

    I remember when my husband was at work & we only had one car, I got the bus to my Nan's house with our 3 young children, who were at the time 6 months old, 4 & 6 yrs old & the buggy too. The bus journey took about 45 mins, then a 10 min walk, but I loved being able to take them to visit her. She had such a welcome for us & had cakes & goodies for the 2 boys', which they loved. My aunts told me, that my Nan loved to see us coming. I remember sadly my Dad saying to me, what do you want to go & visit her for & said the same when I went to visit my aunts & cousins too.

    I still keep in touch with my Mum's 2 younger sisters', my brother didn't. As I was an adult by the time I got to meet up with my cousins, we were like strangers. I feel a lot of regret that we couldn't all have a family life together. My Mum & Dad used to go to Spain for many months of the year & they were there, when her Mum was in hospital & very unwell. I contacted my Mum & Dad to tell them, but my Mum decided it was too late to see her own Mum, so they stayed in Spain. My Nan died a short while after & hadn't seen her daughter, my Mum for over 25 years.

    So I know what it is like to have a family that has drifted apart. I certainly wouldn't want to fall out with my brother, as we get on well. I will to talk to him & hope he accepts that he could make more effort to contact our Mum, as I know she would really love to hear from him. My husband & myself are close to our daughter, who lives nearby with her young family & we are close to our 2 sons's & their families, who live in England. I am also close to my husband's 3 brothers & his sister too. I have plenty of family to turn to & have lots of chats with, which I love.
     
  12. Mother goose

    Mother goose Registered User

    Jul 5, 2012
    247
    Co.Sligo, Ireland


    Thank you for your reply, Il Gufo.
    I'm sorry to hear you lost your Mum, in January.

    That's amazing how your brother has changed, since losing your Mum. It's great you can chat with him & he obviously listens to you now. I'm sure your Mum would be very proud of you both.
     
  13. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    1,056
    GLASGOW
    Its not just brothers. My sister has never been clise to my mum except for a short period of around 3 years when they starting going on holiday together. Once my mum could no longer function on holiday my sister basically backed off and said she is too ill to be involved. She even got a call from a&e when mum was taken to hospital by ambulance. She told them to call me and never contacted me to find out what happened.
    Its very sad but i think some people are just not capable of caring for others. Its best to forget about them and just carry on. It only hurts you as they cannot see they are doing anything wrong. They can only see life from their own perspective.

    My perspective on this? This is the story of MY life and i am the author. I write it my way. They choose their role in my story. I will look back with no regrets. Will they?
     
  14. Mother goose

    Mother goose Registered User

    Jul 5, 2012
    247
    Co.Sligo, Ireland
    Thank you for your reply, Quilty.
    I agree with what you said, in your second paragraph.
    You have obviously done everything possible to help your Mum & will have no regrets. I know I have also done everything to help my Mum & more, in the last few years & I will continue to help her. I certainly won't have any regrets either.
     
  15. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    1,056
    GLASGOW
    You only person whose behaviour you can change or have expectations about is your own. Dont be angry at your brother as its self destructive. Your mum will pick up on your stress and unhappiness. Its hard but try to let it go.
     
  16. Mother goose

    Mother goose Registered User

    Jul 5, 2012
    247
    Co.Sligo, Ireland


    Recently my Mum said to me, you'd think B's wife would remind him to call me. I said, your his Mum, he shouldn't need his wife to remind him of that. When she says things like that, I know she'd love to hear from him.

    Every so often I take my Mum out for tea & cake, which she enjoys. Yesterday, I decided to take her out for lunch & she kept telling me how she was enjoying being out. We went to a few shops after & she couldn't wait to get her chocolate, which she loves. I'm glad I took her, it was nice to see her happy out & it made me feel better knowing she enjoyed it.
     

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