Today cleaned mums bungalow - why do I bother

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Michele, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. Michele

    Michele Registered User

    Oct 6, 2007

    Well today me and my sister have spent 6 hours cleaning mums bungalow.

    She doesn't seem to do housework anymore. We knew it was not as clean as it should be - but boy we didn't realise how bad it was. There was so much dust and rubbish and dead bugs :eek:

    We also had to wash loads and loads of mums clothes. What she has been doing we think is wearing them then hanging them up then wearing them and so on. So basically not many of her clothes were clean.

    The room that took the longest to clean was mums lounge because she has so many ornaments and stuff. It actually took us nearly 3 hours to do this room - it was bad.

    So, anyway - mum goes off to her craft afternoon. Comes back when we are nearing the end of the clean. So I say to her, hey mum what do you think of the lounge - she walks in there and says what am I meant to be looking at :eek::eek: So I said what we have done mum. She said oh yes it is a bit tidyer :eek::eek:. By this time I was ready to just walk out - good job my sister is calmer about things than me. I just felt why did we bother.

    She then went on to moan about there not being anything on tonight - no quiz night or anything like that. And kept moaning that she was going to be on her own.

    I am absolutely shattered. My whole body hurts. And all my mother can do is not see what we have done and moan.:mad::mad:

    Sorry, but I do sometimes wonder why I bother with any of this.

    Sorry to moan :eek::eek:

  2. ella24

    ella24 Registered User

    Nov 9, 2008
    South Coast UK
    Hi Michele

    I do feel for you. I used to do exactly the same with my gran. It was soul destroying and was coupled with a 250 mile round trip.... Some of the things we found were awful:eek: I used to take spare clothes to change into for the journey home as I felt so dirty afterwards....

    Have you thought of getting a cleaner to help to keep on top of it? We found that we needed a cleaner for two hours - one hour for chatting to gran, and one hour to clean. (and it was another pair of eyes to keep watch on her:cool:) Gran quite liked this idea of having a cleaner (we used the excuses of vacuum is too heavy/you can't reach/your eyes don't spot it)

    take care
  3. PostTenebrasLux

    PostTenebrasLux Registered User

    Mar 16, 2010
    London & Oxford
    I feel for you Michelle - and your sister.

    It seems that you have reached a landmark in your looking after your mother. You and your sister took charge of washing and cleaning. At least YOU know it is clean. And sadly, from now on, it seems that YOU will be the ones to run the show. Well done for taking the initiative, realising what needs doing and putting your effort into it. This is where the process of being responsible for your mother starts. It will be easier if you and your sister decide how you both going to tackle the house chores from now on. You and your sister can become a lot closer through this shared experience and looking out for your Mother will make you both stronger - and at least the other will understand what you have to put up with. It is not going behind your mother's back, but when your mother is out, that may be your best time to tidy up unnoticed. You are sadly not likely to get thank yous, nor appreciation of any kind, and when everything is clean and "unsettled" you may even be sworn at, in addition to the groaning. But just think how reassuring to know that you Mother is clean and tidy and safe, thanks to your efforts.

    Best wishes forward and let the steam off here!
  4. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    East Midlands
    Hello Michele,

    It's wonderful that you and your sister got together to do this for your mum...but don't expect her to notice ..or even to thank you.

    She is now living in a different world where these things don't matter to her.

    My husband would be the same without me here 24/7..if he has "an accident" he knows he has to change himself..but hasn't a clue that his clothes need to be washed. Left to his own devices he would hang them on the towel rail and allow them to dry.

    Is there some way you can start to de-clutter? I've been doing this in our own home every time my husband is in respite..he doesn't notice that things have gone and it makes life easier :)

    Love xx
  5. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Oh Michelle … my mum used to announce proudly to me ‘she had done all her cleaning’ - and I could write my name in the dust!!!!!! :eek: No amount of ‘arguing’ would convince her ‘jobs needed to be done’

    Mum may well not realise all your efforts …. How is her sight? Even if her eyes are good they may not be ‘talking to her brain’ and sending the right messages ……

    I used to go in and ‘blitz’ once a week on the day mum had day care (and I took time off work to play ‘house-maid!!!) ….. But yes, sometimes I got so weary it was a case of loo and sinks disinfected …… so I could come home and start again on mine where the dust was three foot deep!!!!!!

    It IS disheartening, I know ….. But unless there are issues with something like asthma a bit of dust doesn’t hurt … just make sure ‘essentials’ (loo, sinks, fridge etc) are hygienic ….

    Can the carers not help making sure mum’s clothes are changed and put ‘in the linen’ each day and not re-hung once worn? But who does her laundry?

    It’s a swine - I used to feel guilty I spent hours at mum’s cleaning and sorting when she wasn’t there - and really she would have preferred the company … but there was no other way to get the jobs done needed to be done unless she was elsewhere!:(

    Love, Karen, x
  6. Michele

    Michele Registered User

    Oct 6, 2007
    Hi Everyone.

    Thank you for your replies.

    mmm - mum is meant to do her own laundry :rolleyes::rolleyes: - well was anyway.

    Ella - I hadn't thought about getting a cleaner - now that I think is a good idea - i will talk to my sister about that one. Because the thing is I run my own business and we are getting busier by the day - and my sister works too. So we can't really keep on top of things ourselves.

    Me and my sister have definitely become closer - which is great - we need each other through this. She is the calm one out of both of us, which I need calming down sometimes :eek:

    Oh by the way - I broke 2 nails today too :p:p:mad:

  7. lesmisralbles

    lesmisralbles Account Closed

    Nov 23, 2007
    A peck or two of dust never hurt anyone.

    If it bothered you and your sister, then you did what was right. You went in and cleaned.
    Your Mum not noticing it, well, does it matter ?. It made you and your sister feel better, and brought you both closer.

    As for clothes. As we get older, no one to impress, we dont care. And I do know, smell is not a problem, its another thing you do not notice, as age and dementia take over. Everyone else smells the smell:(

    I know how you feel, I know XX

    Barb XX
  8. Feezee

    Feezee Registered User

    Oct 20, 2009
    South West
    I feel for you. I used to take the day off work to do my dad's house - and pay for someone to do mine! Mad or what!

    It seems that the ability to see the dirt vanishes. None of my cleaning efforts were acknowledged ever, although I went away happy with the fact that at least things were acceptably clean.

    As time went on I found I was spending the time I used to do the cleaning just organising and sorting out the "situations" that cropped up due to my dad's deteriorating condition. In the end I gave up and did the minimum - handbasin, loo and kitchen sink. Everything else got left, and I would sit and "chat" instead.

    You sound so frustrated - perhaps getting a cleaner for your mother is the answer. One less thing for you to have to deal with given your busy lives, and then in the time you are with your mother, you can do something else instead.
    Hope it works out.
  9. imac.girll1

    imac.girll1 Registered User

    Feb 20, 2009
    ((((((((((((Michele)))))))))))))), now ur finished there my house needs done??????:D;):p

  10. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    Hi Michele - I can understand your frustration. In my case it's my own house!! Mum lives with us and with her dementia and Bill's Alzheimer's that leaves me and I work full time!! Some weeks ago I took a decision. Bill always used to do all of the ironing and the housework. Now he doesn't see that these need done. I have consequently got someone in to clean the downstairs of our house (I woulnd't let anyone near our bedroom - the mess in there is entirely of my own doing!!:D). I also have someone who comes and takes the ironing away and returns it done. It is costly but it has now removed all of the arguments and shouting matches which used to ensue when I realised Bill wasn't doing the work he used to do around the house. I know it's not his fault but at the end of a busy week the last thing I wanted to do was iron. We may not have the cleanest house around but at least I am a deal calmer!! Izzy x
  11. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    good for you, well done, if your mum does not appreciate your efforts I do, from a distance.
    I understand and sympathise with your frustration
  12. #12 PamD, Apr 14, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
    Our problem is Mother's attitude to washing up - rinse something under a tap, or wipe round vaguely with a hand, and it's done. (We're living with her since father died in December). It's driving husband nuts: the number of times he gets something out of the cupboard and has to wash it up before using, as well as after. Yesterday's left-over stewed apples went into the dish the cauliflower had been in.

    Though he's being even more infuriated by the way that every time she makes her milky coffee she boils the milk over in the microwave. Sad thing is that this is at least partly because she used to be making 2 mugs, now only one (we don't drink milky drinks) and can't remember that it no longer needs 2 minutes. So time and again and again there's wasted milk and the microwave to clean up.

    But everyone keeps advising us to get Mother doing as much as she can around the house, not to do everything for her...

    Ah well. She's not doing badly for 92, 7 years on Aricept. Goodness knows where we go from here - we're just taking it a week at a time as yet.

  13. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Yep Karen, mum was very proud of her little house. Every day she did her "work" before lunch. She would clean and dust and polish and hoover, and I thought she was a star. Far cleaner than I am!

    I remember after dad retired (course I didn't remember this for another ten years) he used to say he had to clean again after she had cleaned.

    When we sold her house, we saw the evidence.

    Yeuk. And I am not a fussy person.

    The kitchen was a disgrace, even by my low standards. Worktops had clearly only been wiped around the middle, no edges done in years. Mouldy food in the cupboards, rotten stuff in the fridge, severe mould in the bathroom, the toilet was caked in "something unmentionable"

    And yes, Pam, stuff was "rinsed under the tap", so not clean at all.

    Eh, aint it all a laugh! Well, it could be.

    Take care all, don't get too wound up about it.


  14. Norrms

    Norrms Registered User

    Feb 19, 2009
    Torquay Devon

    hello my good friend, well i have just read your post and the simple answwer is you do what you do because you are the kind of person you are, kind, considerate, loving and thoughtful. You are just showing your daughters love for a mother no matter how frustrating that is, you are a wonderful person, best wishes, Norrms and family xxxxxxxxx

    P>S>Err you broke two nails ???? Now thats unforgivable ! LOL:D:D:D
  15. julieann15

    julieann15 Registered User

    Jun 13, 2008
    Clothes Recycling

    Hi Michele
    Mum has always "recycled" her clothes. Even now in the home she changes at least 3 times a day and puts everything back in the wardrobe or drawers.:(

    we too had a shock when we cleared mum's flat out- fortunately for us we employed a cleaner to help us as we cleared each room(her stomach was far stronger than mine:))

    You did a great job!!

    Love Julie xx
  16. MJK

    MJK Registered User

    Oct 22, 2004
    I think some of the things we do for our parents we kind of do for ourselves. I used to go and blitz my Mum's house, wash her clothes etc when she was out of the way. She never noticed but it made me feel better! And I don't think there's anything wrong with that! We have no control over so many things it's quite nice to actually "do" something practical!

    My Mum used to tell everyone Monday was her cleaning day, but it was clear that it hadn't been for a long time. She just didn't seem to "see" dirt anymore. Clothes were put away dirty. Plates were "washed up" but often not clean, kitchen floor was sticky. She just didn't notice any of it. I used to feel embarrassed about the state of her and her house - and I know the old Mum would have been mortified, but it really doesn't matter very much. I used to gradually declutter and she never noticed. Chipped ornaments would disappear, all old papers etc.

    I think doing a bit of cleaning (or a lot) is a nice loving thing to do, but don't expect any thanks for it!
  17. Michele

    Michele Registered User

    Oct 6, 2007
    Oh Norrms - you are so lovely - thank you for your kind words :):)


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