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Young children and mother recently diagnosed with dementia

Kellym

New member
Mar 24, 2021
3
0
Hi this is my first time posting, my mother was recently diagnosed with dementia. She lives about 4 hours away with one of my brothers but their relationship is strained. My eldest brother has gone up to live with her for a month or so to sort out power of attorney and doctors appointments. We are considering moving her in with me and my family - 3 kids (4,7,9) and sharing care with my sister who lives about 20 minutes away. I wanted to know what its like caring for an elderly parent while having young kids? Will she need consent supervision? We rent at the moment but are hoping to buy soon. I don't think the house we have is suitable for her moving in. Will a move this big have a huge effect on my mother, with things like muscle memory? I feel so lost and unsure what to do. I keep reading different forums and panicking it will be all too much. My mother looked after my grandfather and her aunt when they had dementia and its a mixture of good and bad memories. My mother has it in her head she is moving down even though I told her we (my 3 brothers and sister) have to figure out a plan. Any advice would be really appreciated. Thank you.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
2,877
0
Hi @Kellym and welcome to Dementia Talking Point. This is a very friendly place and you'll get lots of support and advice here.
So sorry to hear about your mother, it must be so difficult when you live so far away. I guess due to Covid restrictions you haven't seen a lot of her in the last year, has your brother been keeping you up to date with the symptoms that have led to a dementia diagnosis.? I'm glad your other brother is there sorting out POA etc. Are you all going to be her attorneys or just him? Whatever you decide its a good idea to make sure you all keep talking to each other so you are in agreement about what is best for your mother. My husband and three siblings came very close to totally falling out with each other over his mother's care and it took a lot of texts, zoom calls and compromise for them to start working together on sorting out a care plan for her.
As for moving you mother in with you, I'd think long and hard about it. Not only will a move to a strange place probably add to her confusion she will probably want you to put her first, difficult when you have young children. If you think a move near you is good idea, I'd be looking at either extra-care sheltered accommodation or a care home for her. That way you can still be involved in her care, but it won't be your full time responsibility. This website Care Home UK is a good place to start your research. Of course things are tricky due to covid restrictions at the moment, but things should start to ease in the next few months.
I'm sure others will be along soon with their ideas.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
1,282
0
The points that worry me are that children can be annoying and dementia can progress into aggression and violence, that is not a good mix.

Wow, that is a negative start to a post, I am so sorry !

The truth is that the correct answer depends on so many things.

As dementia progresses then the person cannot be left on their own at all.

I would worry about you,
I would not be capable of looking after the children, and maintaining a happy marriage plus looking after someone with dementia.
When you look back on your life time spent with children of those ages can be very pleasurable, you need to be thinking of mum living at least ten years.
If you do all move in together then just make sure you don’t look back and realise what you have compromised ! The only winners in life are happy people.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,374
0
High Peak
Looking after someone with dementia is a 24/7 job, especially when they deteriorate. But even in the early stages they can demand your constant attention. From what you've said - that you have 3 young children - I can't see that you have a spare 24/7 to offer, even if your sister helps out!

There's also the question of your house being unsuitable so you would need to arrange your house purchase first. Also, have you considered the costs? You may well have to stop working to look after your mum or pay for sitters/carers (the latter would come out of her funds - have you set up Power of Attorney so you can manage her finances? If not, do it now!) Then there's the cost of food, heating, extra washing, etc. Will you be charging your mum rent/keep to live with you?

But my biggest concern is your children. People with dementia can behave in bizarre and difficult ways that can be really hard for a child to understand. (It's hard enough for us grown-ups!) My mother developed a strong hatred of children and thought nothing of saying, in a cafe, 'Go away you horrible child! If you come near me I'll kick you!' Others on Talking Point have described very sad situations where a grandma starts accusing a young child of stealing or similar. I just wonder how you'd be able to deal with that sort of thing if you were all in the same house. And how would you all feel about carers coming into the house when that becomes necessary?

It's a very big decision. At the very least, your children will have to take a 'back seat' whilst you deal with your mum's needs/demands/appointments/emergencies. And that could be for years.
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
2,494
0
@Kellym You don't say how old your mum is or how her dementia is affecting her daily life but really it makes no difference because dementia always gets worse. Don't kid yourself that it will be easy because it won't. Have a really good read of some of the posts on here and you may get a better idea of what you could be letting yourself in for.

I would say no, no, no, just don't do it. You have three young children so you must be relatively young. Moving your mum in could wreck your marriage, however good it is, and spoil your precious memories of special time with your children. Make some kind of other arrangement, let your brothers look after her, anything you can think of that keeps her safe and your family intact.

Don't feel guilty, it's not your fault and I am sure that your mum would agree. I looked after my dad and I went very quickly from occasional help to being run off my feet and then living with him 24/7 in just two and a half years and if you moved her in with you then you most likely will not see much of your brothers in the future. My brother quickly disappeared from the scene when my dad needed help. Dementia care can cause huge rifts in families which your husband has already experienced. Also (in my experience) any move or change can have an affect on a person with dementia.

Sorry I am being very negative too but I cannot see any positives for you and your family.
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,305
0
Scotland
No matter how much your mother would prefer to be with you I would veto it on
Behalf of your children. Dementia is wearing and upsetting, demanding and depressing. Children don’t deserve to be exposed to that and won’t understand it. Visiting occasionally yes but living with it no no no.
 

Kellym

New member
Mar 24, 2021
3
0
Thank you so much everyone for replying and being so honest. I have this auful feeling of dread inside and know in my heart I can't do it but I feel so guilty too. She will be 80 this year, and all of her kids as well as herself have been noticing a decline in memory loss, especially bad over the last few months. Thank you again, you have been a great help.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
1,282
0

One other tip about dealing with dementia is get used to guilt.
‘I put her in a home and feel so guilty’
‘If I had put her in a home she would have got the 24/7 care she needed and there would have been so much more stimulation and activities.’

Most carers feel guilt. The only choice is what type of guilt you want to feel.

Also get used to siblings not agreeing on care pathways !
I would hope you can all buck the trend and have harmony about decisions in the future.
If you manage it please post back and give hope to the rest of us ?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

My Mum's Daughter

Registered User
Feb 8, 2020
91
0
@Kellym as a Mum, I would not want my daughter caring for me, especially if she had children to bring up. No matter how hard it is for you to make a decision, please put your children first.
 

Kellym

New member
Mar 24, 2021
3
0
Morning, well the good news is I have talked to my siblings and they all understand why I can't be the carer and we are making new plans. We are in Ireland by the way but I found this site to be great information about how to cope. I am learning how to be more open and honest with people because of mums situation. I feel guilt now but at least its not dread. Thanks again for the honesty xx
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
1,282
0
Morning, well the good news is I have talked to my siblings and they all understand why I can't be the carer and we are making new plans. We are in Ireland by the way but I found this site to be great information about how to cope. I am learning how to be more open and honest with people because of mums situation. I feel guilt now but at least its not dread. Thanks again for the honesty xx
Congratulations ! Well done, that is such good news.
 

Alibaba80

Registered User
Aug 4, 2017
47
0
Somerset
Hi @Kellym, your post really resonates with me. My mum will be 80 this year and was diagnosed 4 years ago just after my Dad died. I am an only child and too live 4 hours away. I have two children 5 and 9. I really struggle to care for Mum but she refuses to have any help. I control all of her finances, do online supermarket shopping for her, pay her gardener, cleaner, papers etc all from my home. I’ve just been on the phone to her and she asked when she gets a hair dressers appointment will I be coming down to take her. Although she can still cook for herself (ready meals) and washes herself and clothes she does nothing else to support herself and takes no responsibility for herself. It’s getting to a point where I can’t continue to care for her remotely and may need to force extra help or assisted living.