Long term carer - dealing with mother’s control issues and delusions

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by Glentoran, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Glentoran

    Glentoran New member

    Jul 21, 2019
    5
    Male
    County Donegal, Ireland
    Hello folks,

    I’ve been an unpaid carer (now aged 53, single male) to both my parents since 2012. My late Dad died in 2016 and my mother’s mental health is now deteriorating.

    While she doesn’t have a formal diagnosis of dementia, it is suspected by one of her GPs in the practice we attend in County Donegal. She has had delusional incidents since last year. Lately, she is refusing to go into respite care (available to me every 6-8 weeks) because she claims that the carers in the respite home are facilitating sexual relations with the patients. Right up to this week my mother has refused to allow me to report this. However, the local Public Health Nurse has confronted my mother with her refusal of respite, and my mother is incandescent with rage that, as she sees it, she is being “put out of her house”.

    I’ve been on antidepressants since early 2017 and have to get up at nights, usually one night in three, to toilet my mother. She does not want to pass water in her pad in case she wets the bed. I get three hours off each day Monday to Friday and the Health Service provide carers to get her up and put her to bed. Nevertheless, each time since my father died that I have wanted to go away for a few days there has always been friction around this, despite my providing live in help for her in my very rare absences. Now, since an extended hospital stay last year to do with her chronic arthritis, she is on the respite lists, but considers this to be like Colditz. Despite this, the local public hospital is friendly, has lots of activities, and provides excellent care for the two single weeks my mother was in at the end of March and the end of May.

    My mother has alienated my brother in London and now my sister in law, due to her rigidity and bad temper. Few of her friends and relations want to see her due to her harsh judgements, and my Scottish fiancée walks on eggshells around her on her few visits here. My own health mentally and physically is suffering. However my mother is constantly angry about even the idea that I need any break, citing the help being given as sufficient break for me. She cites looking after her own parents before their deaths in rural Ireland in the 1950s. However, it is now getting to the point that I can’t look after her anymore due to her rigidity. Judging from her bad temper, this will cause her to break with my brother and me when that inevitably happens.

    Any views on this situation? To my mind it will not end well with my own health broken if I do nothing.r
     
  2. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    5,716
    Male
    Bristol
    Welcome to Dementia Talking Point Glentoran.
    Sorry to read of your problems, it so hard to be a carer when your own mental health is suffering and you should not have to carry on if you are in danger of a break down. I don't know the situation for respite care in Ireland, but my partner who has vascular dementia refused to leave the house so I could have respite a coupe of times recently. I went anyway, despite her protestations and she was fine with the same carers who come in anyway just making extra calls for lunches and medications. I suspect the claims are made up to stop her having to go to the respite home, so best to leave that be I think.
    You will get better ideas from others with more experience of care homes and respite, but it may be worth your while adding Ireland to your location as we have a few members in your country with a better understanding of the situation.

    I just found the Irish dementia helpline, on
    https://alzheimer.ie/?gclid=CjwKCAj...kc8xmfrFyfzo-z6Vm6Yy8OurmoOpfEyRoCf_UQAvD_BwE and hope they can help you.
     
  3. Glentoran

    Glentoran New member

    Jul 21, 2019
    5
    Male
    County Donegal, Ireland
    Thanks very much for your reply. Respite care is fairly decent here, I think however that my mother’s mental health issues are now seriously impacting on my own. My mother has always been pretty intransigent, it made her a good businesswoman but it is making her mental decline a lot more intractable to deal with. Am interested in other folks experiences of this kind of situation.

    Regards,

    Con.
     
  4. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,414
    Female
    In general terms, most people with dementia will never agree to go into a care home, and it is common for them to insist that only a relative does the caring, they will even refuse care at home from professional carers. But you just have to go ahead with organising this and ignore protests. You can only do so much and when you reach your limit, don't let it go past that to try to keep the peace. My mother has dementia (she's now in a care home) and I found it was best to go ahead and make arrangements, I never discussed them with her beforehand because she didn't grasp the issues and just became very anxious if she thought change was afoot.

    If you arrange respite/carers it may lead to a break with your mother, and if so, that's sad. But on the other hand she may realise you are the only relative still speaking to her so she may avoid alienating you. My friend's father had dementia and he was always threatening to disinherit her for perceived wrongs, but after his wife died he realised he had run out of options so kept his peace with his daughter.
     
  5. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,744
    Female
    Scotland
    I am taking my husband to respite today for a week. I don't discuss it with him beforehand but just say on the day that we are going. He forgets almost instantly and just knows he likes the idea of a trip out. Perhaps the main difference is that he is a sociable person who likes people and I know he will enjoy the company. Yes he will wonder every day if he is going home to me but he won't be worried about it because I am very straight and honest. I tape an A4 sheet to the front of his wardrobe in the care home saying when I will be back to collect him and the carers point to that when he asks.

    Respite is rare and in my opinion essential for my wellbeing.
     
  6. Normaleila

    Normaleila Registered User

    Jun 4, 2016
    653
    Hi Glentoran

    You have a Scottish fiancee. Does she live in Scotland? Is your plan to move there eventually? Is your current situation threatening that relationship?
    I haven't mentioned your mother because it's not all about her. You have a right to your own life and you have dreams and plans, I'm sure.
    You have to think about your own health and your own future.
     
  7. Glentoran

    Glentoran New member

    Jul 21, 2019
    5
    Male
    County Donegal, Ireland
    To Normaleila -

    The answers to your questions are Yes, Yes, and No. Thankfully.

    With respect to respite my mother has been scheduled for a week at a different Community Hospital, on 8th August. The staff will be warned that my mother is extremely prudish about male attention and we’ll see how that goes. My mother has been told and so far, appears to accept this because of the change of location.

    I have also told the Public Health Nurse that I will only continue caring for my mother as long as she accepts care offered on a six weekly interval, and will review the situation at Christmas.
     
  8. Glentoran

    Glentoran New member

    Jul 21, 2019
    5
    Male
    County Donegal, Ireland
    Some further progress.

    My mother has now been offered an additional week’s respite at another nursing home which comes under the HSE Respite scheme. This will happen within next five weeks - and it is the nursing home that my mother expressed a preference for full time care. Now all I need to do is to keep things calm til I get away...
     
  9. Cazzita

    Cazzita Registered User

    May 12, 2018
    430
    Good luck with it all - you deserve a break! Look after yourself x
     
  10. Guzelle

    Guzelle Registered User

    Aug 27, 2016
    347
    Sheffield
    Fingers crossed
     
  11. Glentoran

    Glentoran New member

    Jul 21, 2019
    5
    Male
    County Donegal, Ireland
    Indeed, thanks folks. My mother has however claimed to the morning carers that the first week of respite is off - it isn’t.
     
  12. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    5,716
    Male
    Bristol
    Good luck, Glentoran. That denial is sadly not unusual, but hopefully on the day your mother will be more accepting.
     
  13. Guzelle

    Guzelle Registered User

    Aug 27, 2016
    347
    Sheffield
    They always do this. My OH is going out with a support worker from the dementia team next Friday afternoon and is saying he wants to cancel it already!
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.