Sister not coping with caring for mum. Lots of shouting and crying.

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Greggy59, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. Greggy59

    Greggy59 Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    My sister took my mum 94 to live with her & her husband last year as she could not bear to think about putting mum in to a care home. This was a brave thing to do and I did have long talk to my sister about how difficult it would be looking after mam as her dementia increased. My sister is now not coping. Mum is very confused she spends her time walking to and from her bed room wanting to be in bed but no sooner as she lies down she is up looking for my sister. Mum get so freighted when my sister is not there Mum follows my sister around the house. My sister never goes out she can't leave mum with her husband as he cant do mums toiletry needs. My sister is not coping. Mum is 24 hr care. Mum can't communicate very well and need help with all aspects of daily living. It is heart breaking to watch this awful illness take over my strong proud mum.
    What is happening now is both my sister and brother in law are shouting at mum. I know it's not easy and must be very frustrating for all of them. Mum is now crying a lot which is also very upsetting. On my last visit I had a long talks with both my sister and brother in law I managed to get my sister to visit a number of care home and we decided on nice home. However my sister still felt she could not put my in a home. Both my sister and her husband feel that mum will be left in a corner and will deteriorate quickly.
    Tonight I rang my sister and she was very stressed saying she had had a awful day she had taken mum out with her to do her shopping and it had all gone wrong with mum screaming she wanted to go home. While I was I talking to my sister mum came in to the room and all of a sudden my sister was shouting at her then I could hear mum sobbing It was horrid. When my sister got back on the phone I told her she should not shout and she said mum was going to sit in the arm of a chair and almost fell. I have had word with my brother in law about how they tell mum off and he told me that they were the ones coping with mum 24/7. I totally understand that this is not easy but the shouting can only make mum more frightened.
    My sister loves my mum dearly but this can not be right.
    My sister needs a break. I have tried to get her to take mum to a day centre but she always says she is going to do it but then never does. We now have social worker but thing seem to take so long and there are so many forms to fill in. I have recently been granted deptyship from the COP for mums finances so take this on help my sister. I fill in all the forms and try to organise as much as I can. I don't live near my sister and work with a teenage family to care for.
    I did get my sister to take to the local Alzheimers society but she never seems to follow up on any of their advise. Both my sister & husband are very cross that they are not getting help but at the same time they don't seem to want to take get advise or pursue what is available. My sister is type 1 diabetic and also has a terrible memory she forgets what's people are telling her.
    I love my sister very much and I know she is doing her best but I just feel that the situation is getting worse. I do not know what to do. The only support I can give her is on the phone. I do ring every day so she can use me for sounding off. I try to visit every six weeks to help. But I now dead these visit and come away so upset. Tonight I can't sleep as I am so worried. I don't know what to do.........
  2. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    #2 Katrine, Nov 16, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
    Hi Greggy. Your sister may have all sorts of good reasons for keeping your mum in a household environment, but I would suggest that this might also be about money. I hope I am wrong about that. I am glad that you are getting a SW involved, although they may not actually do very much unless you can get it across that your mum is very vulnerable and her current living arrangements no longer appear to be in her best interests.

    As you can see, but your sister cannot, this situation must not continue as it is. Your mum would appear to be unhappy and frightened. Any benefit she might have derived from being looked after by her own daughter is pretty well lost. The reality is that she is dependent on the care of two stressed, shouty, resentful people who used to be her loving family but are now frequently not kind or loving towards her. She is feeling increasingly confused and insecure, but following your sister around all the time results in greater stress and frustration for your sister, not the reassurance your poor mum is seeking.

    I would go so far as to suggest that your mum is at risk. She is already experiencing a level of unintentional emotional abuse, due to carer breakdown. It is not disloyal to your brave sister and her OH to tell the SW that your mum's needs have increased substantially and that they can no longer cope as lone carers. They were doing a great job, but the task is too much for them 24/7, in a claustrophobic domestic environment.

    I think your family needs help from an outreach worker from Alzheimer's Society, or AgeUK. Someone who does not have a funding agenda, and who can calmly help you to make plans. The question "what would you really like to happen next?" should be asked. Even if what each person wants may appear to be impractical, discussing your wishes will clarify the personal agendas involved, and flush out the guilt monster. Sometimes carers cannot let go of any aspect of control until they receive validation that they have done their very best for the person they care for.
  3. Ellaroo

    Ellaroo Registered User

    Nov 16, 2015

    I care for my mother who lives with me for 6 years and have respite periods which enable me to care for my mother who is 89 . Care homes arent brilliant... 2 night staff for 21 people. I can understand why your sister is keeping mum at home.
    Good luck
  4. Greggy59

    Greggy59 Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    Hello . It's not about money my sister just wanted to care for mum but I feel it just all too much and she cannot cope. She wants to care for mum till the end. When she took mum it was with the best intntentions. My sister and her husband are very kind but I just don't think they know how to care for mum now. I am going to ring the outreach worked this moring to see if she will visit.x
  5. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    I think they know how to care, however they are breaking down. They need help now.

    If your mother was sitting on wrong place, can their room be changed removing the wrong place.

    Can they have some kind of respite or extra care.
  6. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    When you have had to cope with everything yourself without outside input you begin to think that you're the only one who can properly care for them. You are breaking down but you don't want to relinquish control as you think that's what's best for your loved one. I had to arrange day care for my OH when it emerged that he had to be supervised all the time and I was working. I basically had no choice and it was the best thing that could have happened to him. But when it comes to respite, I've been very reluctant so far and have only arranged a week now because someone offered me a place on a carers retreat. I'll be fretting like mad and writing an instruction manual for him, only to find out that I've probably fretted for nothing and the world didn't stop because they showered him in a different way.

    So I can really understand what your sister and her husband are going through. They are shouting because they are at the end of their thether and they need a break. Please don't be angry at them but try to get them to accept help. Why not force them along a bit with a Christmas present of a weekend away? If you speak to a social worker, emphasise that both your mother and your sister need more help than they are getting, seeing that your sister also has health problems and can't be expected to ruin her health even more. If you blow it up into a big safeguarding issue, your mother might be forcibly removed - I would do this as a last resort only. She clearly needs protecting from their shouting but I think if your sister accepted help and maybe some stress counselling, the situation could be brought under control.
  7. Risa

    Risa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2015
    Hi Greggy59

    Can you find out from your sister if there are specific issues she is not coping with? For example if your Mum is keeping them awake at night or if she is sundowning most of the time, then her medication could be tweaked to see if this improves the situation.

    If your sister and BiL are finding that they get no time to themselves, could your Mum go to daycare or have a sitter so that they can have a bit of time away from your Mum.

    If your sister is struggling to get your Mum washed and dressed each day, again a carer coming in might be the solution.

    Things like getting in a cleaner or having groceries delivered/buying ready made meals from places like Wiltshire Farm Foods can make a difference as they become one less chore to do.

    Are they being realistic as to what they expect of your Mum? Perhaps going out shopping is too much for her or it would be better to take her to a place where it could be more interesting for her (like a park) or a cafe where it might not be so crowded.

    It sounds like your sister is very overwhelmed and possibly depressed. Maybe the idea of getting help sounds too much for her to deal with? Would you be able to complete the necessary paperwork/make phone calls on her behalf to get things in motion? If your sister was able to attend a dementia awareness course or go to memory cafes, she could pick up tips for dealing with situations.

    I feel for you all but if your sister and BiL are losing their tempers with your Mum, it is only going to make your Mum more distressed and harder to look after. From personal experience, I can't be a full time carer for my Mum but I was able to help my Dad (who was getting very overwhelmed and low) by taking admin off of him and acting like a PA. He tells me what he needs and my job is to make it happen whether it is dealing with bank payments, getting prescriptions renewed, making GP appointments or suggesting places to take Mum for outings etc. Sometimes being able to rely on someone else to organise bits and pieces can make a difference.

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