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Sibling suggested move to his house

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by DougFlo, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. DougFlo

    DougFlo Registered User

    Dec 19, 2011
    15
    My mother has dementia and lives in semi-sheltered accommodation. We have just returned from a 10 day holiday, when my sibling came to stay with my mum. He lives over 300 miles away.

    As soon as we were back from holiday, my brother has suggested that as he considers my mum has deteriorated since he last saw her 6 months ago. He also mentioned that one morning she did not recognise him, which has probably shaken him.

    At present, Mum lives about 250 yards from our house and can feed, clean and dress herself and of course does get confused. I visit every day to chat and prepare an evening meal.

    He wants to move her to his house, so that he can provide more mental stimulation for her, as he will go to 3 days a week at work.

    At the moment I am totally against this. Mum has lived in this area for over 40 years. She has a familiar routine and when she relocated 2 years ago from a larger house to the sheltered accommodation, it was very distressing for her.

    We have a support network of my partner and adult daughter and I work very locally. Mum also has one remaining friend who still visits her.

    I cannot understand the logic of him thinking this would be better for her. She would be in a location she doesn't know, in a remote village, with my brother who has no family. Mum does not have any friends near where my brother lives. He has no contingency for support if he was away from the house or having to work away.

    In fact, I am really cross about this suggestion and feel it is more rooted in his guilt for living so far away and being feeling helpless and not in the best interests of Mum.

    Any advice would be good. THanks
     
  2. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    2,951
    I think you are being completely realistic about the situation. Can you arrange a meeting with your sibling and social services? Can someone explain that your mum is ill and not suffering from mere lack of mental stimulation? What about the days when he is working or wants to go out?
    I am sure these are all things you have already suggested.

    If your mum is settled where she is then it is best to leave her there until more care is needed.

    I have no idea how you would get it across to your brother successfully. Do you have POA for health and for finance?
     
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,540
    Female
    South coast
    I think you are probably right.
    I also think that, like a lot of people who dont know much about day to day living with dementia, he has vastly underestimated how much work it is going to be. Living with someone with dementia is a whole new kettle of fish.
    So many invisibles think that they know better how to look after them and it sounds like he thinks he can improve her dementia with mental stimulation!!!
    Tell him to come onto this site and read the stories so that he knows what he would be in for.
     
  4. DougFlo

    DougFlo Registered User

    Dec 19, 2011
    15
    Yes we do have POA, but joint with my brother!
     
  5. CynthsDaugh

    CynthsDaugh Registered User

    May 5, 2015
    140
    Salford, Lancashire
    #5 CynthsDaugh, Sep 1, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
    Moving your Mum so far away from all she knows would be a big upheaval for her, and I think your brother has possibly not thought this through enough, or appreciated the deteriorating nature of dementia.

    I moved my Mum (80) to live with me last year, although she did actually want to and was as much for physical need reasons as her dementia. Your brother thinks he can provide more mental stimulation for your Mum - would it just be him or other groups etc as well? One of the main reasons I got my Mum going to daycare is that I thought just me would not be enough stimulation. Where your Mum is it sounds like she gets a few people visiting her. Also my Mum was very confused for about the first 6 weeks of being at mine - diffuculty remembering where her bedroom/bathroom were etc. This really distressed her. Not having contingency in place is also a worry - my neighbours all have my phone number and key in case anything happens while I am out, but I make sure I am never more than 1/2 hour away even at work.

    Having someone with dementia living with you is hard - it took me a long time to get used to having someone else with needs living in 'my space'. Is your brother prepared for that if he has lived on his own for a length of time?

    I hope you can convey all your concerns to your brother so that he understands that it's in your Mums best interests to stay where she is.
     
  6. DougFlo

    DougFlo Registered User

    Dec 19, 2011
    15
    Thanks for your message. He has always been single and never lived with anyone. We actually find him quite selfish as he never has to compromise.
     
  7. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,041
    Your brother obviously doesn't understand but from his lack of knowledge and understanding of dementia it is not necessarily a wrong conclusion to arrive at that more mental stimulation will solve the problem but alas, whilst some days it may help it will not cure the disease. Whilst you have grown, learnt with her through her dementia he has not so the bombshell of not being recognised is a traumatising one, (am not saying it is any less traumatic for you though), kicking off a guilt reaction, but her dementia isn't his fault either. Huge guilt reactions can result in an over compensation attempt, i.e. he must do so much more to make up for it.

    You have all the burden it seems and a stable situation that is working, worth heaps for maintaining your Mum's sense of security. He needs to be made to understand that to interrupt this would be very detrimental. If he only works 3 days a week then maybe he could commit to visiting on a more regular basis to provide that extra stimulation and also to maintain his relationship with her. He is in a state of shock if you ask me and no one makes good decisions then, he needs support too as do all family members of someone with dementia.

    I would recommend TP to him as others have suggested.

    All the best to you
    Sue
     
  8. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,714
    Female
    London
    He obviously hasn't thought this through, but be kind to him, it sounds like he wants to help. Make a pro and con list and calmly explain why a move would be detrimental to her. Suggest other ways he can help, and maybe you can look into day care or sitting service so he can't accuse you of not giving her enough stimulation. Just remember she is his Mum too and his suggestion is probably borne out of guilt. Ask him what his exact plans are for giving her that mental stimulation and how he plans to deal with all her care, especially on the days he is working. Has he though about the disruption to his long-established routines? Chances are that he hasn't.
     
  9. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,826
    UK
    Show your brother this:

    I am 60 years of age, well actually 61, birthday yesterday.

    Always lived alone apart from flat sharing in the 1970's. very independent, self employed, social life, lots of friends, lots of travel.

    2 years ago, moved my mum 100 miles to live with me, being the only single sibling. Today, no social life, little conversation and no free time. 2 or 3 loads of washing a day, no self employed status/ no work, due to letting clients down too often [rest of the world may say they understand Dementia, but they don't] My once tidy home is now slowly turning into a care home for one and actually not looking that great. Had to employ a number of people to help me with jobs that in better days I would do myself and where is the money coming from!!! All of my bills have more than doubled, especially heating. I have not celebrated the last 2 Christmas and New Year.

    You HAVE to live in the world of a Dementia sufferer, there is no negotiation here. I try really hard to keep one foot in the real world, but it is so tiring and honestly I just look forward to putting my mum in bed and then curling up in my own bed with my laptop catching up on emails and t.v. The content of my emails as you can guess are full of telling people how hard each day has been.

    If your brother was upset that his mother did not recognise him, then wait till she is living with him and each and every day she asks him where he is! When he is actually there beside her all the time.

    At the moment your mother is happy and importantly safe where she is, try to convince him of this.

    Tell him to enjoy his single life a little longer, the time to move your mother will come soon, but sounds like not yet.
     
  10. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,041
    I live alone too and maybe others see me as selfish, I don't know. We all reflect something of our own circumstances too when we view another's. Living alone may mean you don't have to compromise but it also means you have no one to help with any of the chores, no one to make you a cup of tea, no-one else to cook the dinner, no-one else to share a decision with, no one to give you another perspective on a situation, no other face to greet you in the morning or say goodnight to, so it isn't all easy ( and I'm not bemoaning my lot either but often feel misunderstood, not least because of my dementia symptoms). Maybe having spent time with your mother in your absence has made him wonder how on earth she manages being on her own if its all down to her, what he obviously isn't aware of is all that you do for her to enable her independence. It may also have awakened a fear of his getting older and being alone and that the lack of mental stimulation applies not to her but him.
     
  11. DougFlo

    DougFlo Registered User

    Dec 19, 2011
    15
    Hi. I understand your points about the difficulties associated with living on your own, I was simply stating it from our perspective :) No offence intended :)
     
  12. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,497
    Female
    Near Southampton
    If your brother really insists on doing this then I would suggest that he has your mother to stay with him for a few weeks as a holiday whilst retaining her own home of course.
    This should give him a clearer understanding of what caring for someone with dementia entails.
    It will also give an inkling of how your mother would cope with a move.
    It may all work out but better a trial run first and not too much harm done if it doesn't.
     
  13. DougFlo

    DougFlo Registered User

    Dec 19, 2011
    15
    She did stay with him last year for 2 weeks and she was totally disorientated. One of the reasons he came up this year to stay with her is because he thought it would be too stressful for her the other way round.
     
  14. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,041
    No offence was taken, I assure you:) just offering the other perspective:)
     
  15. AndreaP

    AndreaP Registered User

    I can't imagine that his motives are anything but noble. The fact that he doesn't understand dementia means he thinks he can take on this responsibility and improve mum's quality of life. And he also feels some guilt I suspect that you are the carrying the load. Perhaps he thinks this is the last thing he can do for his mother and he doesn't want her to die and be left with the guilt of having done so little.

    So kudos for that. But of course blind Freddy can see that moving mum would be disastrous for both of them. He clearly hasn't a clue this disease is progressive and her care needs will eventually dominate his life.

    I think you lay all this on the line. Ask him how he will like getting up multiple times a night; finding the kettle boiled dry on the hob and the kitchen sink overflowing. How will he like changing incontinence pads and watching her every second should she start to wander. The endless circular conversations and questions, the answers to which are immediately forgotten. Tell him all this and ask him why he would want to inflict this on himself and mother. He needs to read this forum.
     
  16. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,497
    Female
    Near Southampton
    In that case, how can he think it would be helpful to make this move permanently then?
     
  17. DougFlo

    DougFlo Registered User

    Dec 19, 2011
    15
    Not sure at all! None of it seems logical to me :(
     
  18. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,826
    UK
    I guess he thinks the anxiety/stress will pass after a short time and she will settle into her new home??
     
  19. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    1,056
    GLASGOW
    I think you should try to he as kind as possible to your brother. He does not understand dementia and is clinging to a hope that he can make your mum better. It must have been a huge shock. Why not suggest that he moves closer so that he can see her more often? Let him know he has a role to play. I think he he trying to fix things and we all know that is impossible. Its a rubbish situation all round. Be glad he wants to be there at all. So many here have family who just walk away. I do. I thought i could keep my mum in reality so i feel for your brother. Love to you both. Quilty
     
  20. Beetroot

    Beetroot Registered User

    Aug 19, 2015
    363
    It seems he may have read something that suggests that stimulation and exercise can help without reading the rest of the book. It might be an idea if you send him suggestions for reading, or he rings the Alzheimer's society and talks this through with one of the nurses for an expert view. If he's working three days a week, could he come and stay with you for a couple of days every so often and take the load to give you some time to yourself without having to have one eye on the clock all the time?
     

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