Remote support and feeling helpless

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by TraceyKimS, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. TraceyKimS

    TraceyKimS Registered User

    Nov 4, 2015
    Hi, my mother and father in law lives in Lincolnshire and me and my husband (their son) lives in Surrey. My mother in law was diagnosed with dementa on Monday. For one reason and another I am the one who instigated the doctors appointments and am the main contact for anything to do with everything that has gone on, including attending the doctors appointments. I feel completely helpless mainly for living so far away and just don't know what else I can do to help them both. Is anyone else in the same situation as me?
  2. MsFliverty

    MsFliverty Registered User

    Remote support

    Hello TraceyKimS,

    This is my first post. After hovering on this forum for a few months I saw your post today and that prompted me to register in order to reply. I too am a remote carer, with a mother almost 400 miles away from me. Trying to do things remotely is extremely stressful so I really do empathise with you. Since August I have done 5 x 800 mile round trips as my mum, who had been living alone with carers in sheltered housing fell and broke a bone in her pelvis. As you can imagine this required hospitalisation and for the past 8 weeks she has been in a specialist geriatric hospital. But that is still some distance away from her original home. We have just been told that she will not be able to go home and advised to start looking for residential care. There is also questions now about mental capacity and the subsequent dealings with social workers and nursing staff by telephone. Added to that the stress of not knowing if telephoning my mum in hospital is helping or hindering. She is always pleased to see me when I make it up to visit .....but I worry as to what she is like when I'm not there. The only relief now is that she is cared for.
  3. TraceyKimS

    TraceyKimS Registered User

    Nov 4, 2015
    Remote support

    Hi MsFliverty

    Thank you so much for replying, it such a relief to know I am not on my own in this situation. This is all really new to us as a family although her memory has been getting worse over time but just didn't realise how serious it was getting. Every one is in such shock including my poor in-laws. My mother in law is devastating bless her and my father in law just doesn't know which way to turn, hence my complete involvement, which I really don't mind as I am really close to them and luckily they completely trust me. I am so sorry what you are going through, it must be horrendous, and hope you are ok.
  4. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    Nothing but admiration for those who care from a distance. Welcome to tp.
  5. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    Now your MIL has a diagnosis apply for attendance allowance in her behalf maybe? This could help pay for carers she may need or equipment.

    You should also try to get them to have an assessment carried out by local authority to see if any adaptions are needed in the house, or support like day centre etc as the earlier they are on the social workers radar the better for when it gets worse, hopefully not for a while. It will give father in law support and a break too if they agree to it, and respite eventually when needed.

    Sorry to hear of the diagnosis but at least you are doing all you can and maybe now is the time they would consider moving nearer to you before things get worse? TP will help you with lots of advice support without judging you too.
  6. MsFliverty

    MsFliverty Registered User

    I think there are more than a few of us who care from a distance - and it brings its' own guilt & worry just the same as if you were next door. I do hope that you can get some assistance for your in laws. In my case, it was identified probably 3 years ago that my mum needed some help and I was lucky to get 3 visits a day and then put in a private carer just for around an hour a day every 2nd day which was excellent; the private carer really organised my mother, sorted correspondence, made doctors appointments, made sure there was food in the house etc whereas the council carers, although excellent, just did the washing & dressing & making sure Mum had something to eat. Luckily Mum was quite amenable to having people come into her home which isn't always the case.

    In retrospect, I think my mum realised that things were not good; she had recently (May time) started to ask all the time as to when we would visit next - we can only come up in the school holidays as my children are still young - and I can only think it was a cry for help.

    The good thing is she seems very settled in the hospital; we are so lucky, she has her own room with a lovely view plus an en-suite. The only thing is that I feel a bit guilty as she technically does';t need to be in a hospital but things move so slowly and I am now finding my way regarding care homes & finances. And then I worry about the actual move to a care home and getting her settled in again as I know I will have to visit and facilitate that as well.

    Does your partner have Power of Attorney? If not, would definitely recommend that someone in the family gets it set up as soon as possible. My mothers district nurse strongly suggested, 3 years ago, when my mum was first diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, that I get it done. Me, in floods of tears thought I couldn't possibly - but I am so glad now that I did as it makes life much easier all round.

    I am just focussing on the practicalities at the moment which gets me through. Hopefully your in laws have good neighbours - might be worthwhile alerting them to the situation, even if all they can do is to act as an early warning system.

    There is so much good advice and support on this forum; I think all professionals dealing with elderly people should be made to read it! Wishing you strength and courage and do let us know how things go.
  7. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    When my father was diagnosed, I was 400 miles away! Fortunately one of my cousins, eventually, after a lot of nagging from me, took out POA. I did get a request to come and sort him out! I said if you can't do it, I can't. And so it proved. I was thrown out..again! When it can't to the time for father to go into Care home, until the estate was settled after death I did that run 18 times over the 18 months it took.
    There was no way I could have done hands on caring during that time.
  8. Tears Falling

    Tears Falling Registered User

    Jul 8, 2013
    I am another long distance career. My mum has dementia and my dad is the career. The distance between us is south coast to central Scotland and it is so difficult. My dad is doing an amazing job. I am the reader, the finder outta and the gather of information. Dad and I talk I then seek and tell him what he needs. He then takes information and uses it to try and make life easier.

    The distance is the worst thing though. I want to be there to help to be with them. I have found it so important to keep talk to them both. Go,support my dad, to hear what he is saying and to try and provide some normal for him. For my mum we talk and I listen to her. Her confusion, her upset her sadness etc. We have a strong relationship.

    So keep loving them. Let them know they can talk to you and share what they need to. Look at the website here to gain information and detail,about the help that is available. Talk to them about the importance of power of attorney. Keep loving them. Ensure you continue you to attend your own relationship and look after you ass well as others. Dementia is all consuming and in my experience is quite rapidly changing and incredibly distressing. Hence the importance of looking after you too.
  9. TraceyKimS

    TraceyKimS Registered User

    Nov 4, 2015
    Remote support


    Thank you all so much, it is very much appreciated. I am so glad I have found this forum as it will really help me and the family get through this and help my mil so much. :)
  10. Moorcroft

    Moorcroft Registered User

    Nov 4, 2015
    Hi. I've just joined the forum. I am also a remote carer, for my mother who is 200 miles away. We are trying to get her moved from her present home, to a bungalow near me, but it is a slow process. i am finding the present situation very stressful. I've just spent 3 weeks staying with her, caring for her.
  11. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    ... And the most difficult bit is often leaving afterwards. You have to get on with your life and all its demands - but worrying about how they'll cope without help is gut-wrenching.

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