who is this person?


Registered User
Apr 19, 2008
My mum doesn't feel like my mum anymore. We seem to be playing at role reversal except she doesn't want my help. How many times do I hear, "Do you think I'm stupid" "I know what I'm doing" "I don't need any help" when all the evidence is to the contrary!
Don't get me wrong, independance is great and needs encouraging but absolute determination is something else and oh so hard to cope with. So what do you do when she insists on 'cooking' you a dinner where the potatoes are raw, the meat burnt and the veg oversalted and to add insult to injury the plate and cutlery still have traces of yesterdays dinner on them? And what do you do when like a child she picks at old wounds on her legs until they become infected. How do you tell her that she needs a bath more often and her clothes are far from clean. And what do you do when she reaches out for your hand and tells you that she loves you and thanks you for being there? Weep, for her situation and your loss. Thats all for now..........


Registered User
Jul 7, 2007
Hello frazzled53,

Welcome to TP. Looks like lots are having a Saturday morning "lie-in" ! (as if !)

Your post was so familiar to me - have gone thro' this with my Mum - think its just a way of still claiming some independence while she still can.
In the end the help we gave had to be "as a favour" - if she picked up on any criticism there was trouble - so I'd say " I'll just do this quickly for you Mum then we can go out/watch that TV programme/whatever" We eventually managed to get her a cleaner - saying it was her reward for all those years of working hard - she was persuaded that this meant she was quite posh - so it worked for a while.

Clothes I just took whenever I could and washed them at my house - including checking the wardrobe for all the filthy things she'd re-hung.

Yes, baths were a problem too - we got a bath hoist which her carer could use (years down the line) but the best hope was to get her to my house and we'd both have a "girly " afternoon together on a Sunday - have showers, do hair, nails etc - even face packs if I could manage - a bit like a pre-teenage sleepover party if you know what I mean. I think the fact that we did it together helped and she didn't feel any implied criticism. OK - once a week for her wasn't enough but better than the smelly alternative !

Oh and I got the meals too ! Can laugh now but its so heartbreaking at the time. Eventually tried to manage this by stuffing her freezer with pre-prepared M & S stuff - only had to be re-heated.

These are all practical tips which may or may not work for you but I never ever coped with the genuine "thank you's" and sudden cuddles- filled up every time. It's so hard isn't it. There may come a time when you don't get these - so please make the most of whatever affection she can still give while you can.

Sorry to end on such a "downer" but again - welcome to TP. There'll be lots of help and support for you here.



Registered User
Aug 6, 2007
I am so sorry to hear how things are for you and for your mum. It sounds heart breaking. My mum has been similar but has not cooked me meals thank goodness! This is partly because she has never got to grips with her new cooker!
Has your mum got help? I can only speak from personal experience which may or may not help you. Although my mum would not take much of anything I said on board the occupational therapist from the psycho- geriatric older peoples services (part of the team of the consultant who has prescribed her medication) has been an absolute god send. She has been able to talk my mum around (not with every thing I might add!) Mum now has help with her clothes washing and she is changing her clothes. I don’t know exactly how they have managed it but they have! There has some blips e.g. if the carers tells or checks on mum she gets very defensive and agitated or if they is a new carer. But if they have a relationship with her and some how manage not to make her feel she is losing face she lets them help her.

I don’t know if you have read the information on the web site but I found that helped me to cope and manage it all a bit better. I have also been told by the OT that mum finds it embarrassing to have her daughter care for her. It just may be there needs to be some one else who can help support your mum.

My mum will let me do shopping with her, food and clothes and will let me take her to the hairdresser. When she come to my home I ask her to help me with food preparation and I ask her to do things like check the veg, basically I supervise her! But she thinks she is doing it and in fairness she can peel and cut veg but she can’t time or cook stuff. I am a bit lazy re washing line’s and clothes but always peg clothes out when mums here because this is a skill she still has and she loves doing it. I know the OT has said care agencies can support in this way.

I don’t know if you have help but it sounds as if some support is needed both for your mum and for you. Have you and your mum had a carer’s assessment from social services and has she been referred to a specialist consultant? Are you tapped into any support? It may be that you post often and other people know this so I am sorry if I just saying what you already know.

I am sure other people will post and provide helpful suggestions. In the meantime I hope that others understand and helps a little. I am sending you vibes of love and support I understand how heart breaking it all is. Keely x


Registered User
Dec 10, 2006
Ilford, Essex
Hi frazzled53,
Yes, ditto, I am losing my mum too. Its like she's getting further and further away from me and as much as I call her to come back, she can't hear me. Its the most dreadful disease. We do have to become more and more resourceful in the way we deal with things. The other day, because my mum doesn't ever clean her teeth, I showed her her tube of toothpaste and said that I could get toothpaste like that one for free so she should try it to see if she likes it and then I would get her some!!! It worked. Same with bubble bath. It would seem like some huge joke if it wasn't so so sad.
Sharon x


Registered User
Apr 19, 2008
Its so good to hear other peoples comments and to know that there are some people who really understand what I'm talking about, thanks to all those who replied to my first posting - I feel better for sharing ---does that sound corny? Its not meant to.
My mums situation,and mine, is a little complicated by the fact that my Dad is the one she relies on the most but he is not in good physical health and is older than my mum. He gets very frustrated and really needs a break but mum won't leave him alone for a while 'in case he can't manage'. The only way I can get around this at the moment is to take them both out places and let him wander alone while I keep mum busy but it doesn't last long before she wants dad to take her home again. He tried to get her to go for a coffee with him at a day centre but she won't wear that one! Dad also seems to be struggling to accept the fact that Mum isn't as able as she was and feels that she is doing all these strange things on purpose. Does anyone have any opinions on whether its a good idea for us both to move nearer to each other, not share a house but maybe be neighbours? I'd be interested to hear your views or any other suggestions on this, thanks, not so frazzled today.


Registered User
Apr 18, 2008
The Borders, Scotland
Dear frazzled53
Great name by the way. wow your posting sounded exactly like my mum "Do you think I'm stupid" is always hovering in the background of everything like a time bomb waiting to go off. The worst bit is that sometimes it is all okay - almost like my mum but then without warning it is someone else with very nasty tones and accusations. Seems to be the way it goes. I want to make a video for myself in case I am unfortunate enough to have this illness - I want my default setting to be trust, not distrust - but my partner laughs and says that I'll think the video is trickery!! alas he is right - the human condition is not that far removed from other creatures in distress - the reactions of all these dear mums are only natural in the face of a hideous feeling of confusion. Best wishes Pebble


Registered User
Nov 29, 2005
I live in west wales
Hi Frazzled
I can understand so clearly what you're experiencing at the moment. My Dad, although very caring and supportive, often seems to feel that Mum is doing or saying odd things deliberately. I just try to remind him that 'It's the illness, Dad'. I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to lose your partner a bit at a time.

From what you say, you don't live near to your parents - mine live close by which is a blessing as things are at the moment. Dad desperately needs a break and I'm lucky that I can bring Mum to my home every week. She never wants to leave my Dad and gets a bit agitated throughout the time she's with me, always wondering what he's doing, when is he coming, when is she going home. I tell her that I need her help - and try to find things that she can do. She pairs up socks and can still peel and chop veg - after a fashion! And when I just can't find anything for her to do, I tell her that I want company 'Otherwise I'd be on my own all afternoon'.

By the time my Dad comes to join us for a meal, several hours later, he's like a new man. He says he never thought that being on his own could be so good - just a few hours of peace and quiet.

Do your parents have any support where they live at the moment? How would your Dad feel about moving? There will be people on this site with much more worthwhile and helpful things to say than me - but I really understand how things are for you.

Thinking of you