To be not entirely keen to look after my Grandma

(489 Posts)
StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 02:19:07

My Grandma is 100 years old and rather debilitated, although fully compos mentis.

She was being looked after her by her son, who had lived with her for decades. He had a heart attack in the 1980s and I think the strain of looking after his Mum did for him, and he suffered a fatal heart attack in July.

Since then my parents has been looking after her, in her home, which is a largely original 1930s house.

She went to stay with my parents in their own home (an hour or so away) for a few days a month or so ago. She found this a bit disorienting but they were grateful to get home; this was curtailed when she had to go back home for medical appointment.

A few weeks ago my parents wanted to go away so they asked if I could help, I said she can stay here (in our hours for a week), but there's no way I can go there because of various prearranged commitments locally, school, etc. They didn't think this was a good idea.

My sister proposes early on that she should stay in her home as she has been in the area since birth. My sister has been with her partner (she doesn't believe in marriage I think) for a decade and has no children (doesn't believe in this either). Her idea was that we (my parents, my sister, and I), should look after her a couple of days per week each.

Due to work/childcare I can only do this over the weekend. Last weekend I headed there at 6pm (takes about 1hr 45 to get there) on Saturday and got back home at 5:30pm on Monday to pick up the kids from school. My sister was there from 6pm Monday till 8am Wednesday, working from home Tuesday, and I think planning to on Wednesday also in future, though she had a meeting on Wednesday so left early - in future she might be there until afternoon/evening though.

My father said he thinks I shouldn't go every week on Saturday as it would be disruptive to our family. I haven't made any commitments.

Anyway he called on Tuesday to ask what time I was coming on Sunday, and I said I didn't know I will let you know at the end of the week. He called me today at 11:30pm to ask the same, sorry I don't know, does it make any difference? Well we were thinking of going away for a couple of days, he said. Oh really?

He then sent me a rather nagging email saying they would appreciate a routine, and also could you come round and stay with the kids during half term to balance your sister's 'input'? (My DH has work to go to, locally, so it would be me + kids.)

I replied saying sorry I can't give you a routine after only one visit there, it ain't routine yet, and I'm not about to promise to match my sister, what she does is what she can do, and she's got her circumstances and she mine, and actually I didn't really feel the house was suitable for kids when I was there.

Grandma can't make it up the stairs, so she sleeps in the living room, and there's no toilet down stairs, so there's a commode there. She's got severe incontinence so lots of pads to dispose of, plus the commode to empty. She tends to fall over and she can't be left alone at home for more than about 2 hours. She needs her breakfast, lunch, dinner prepared, plus tea, drinks, etc.

They've been in this house for nearly 3 months now and they have no bed, just two very old 'small single' mattresses on the floor. Apparently they ordered a bed from Homebase but it takes 3 weeks or something? Anyway, I thought this was ridiculous, so when I was there on Saturday I went to a local shop and they said they could deliver a bed on Wednesday. Passed this information on to my father and apparently he couldn't get through to them on the phone, so er, still no bed for me to sleep on this weekend.

There's another empty bedroom for the kids (but no bed) but the window frame is rotten and there's a hole in the window.

My DH doesn't like this arrangement at all, and thinks Grandma should go live with my parents, and that it's their responsibility to look after their mother.

My father OTOH seems to think that its our collective responsibility (the four of us being her only direct descendants), and on that basis I should tell him what I'm doing and when, and not only that but try and 'make up' days that I haven't done (when compared with my sister) because childcare in the week is not practical.

I have told him several times that my DH is not really happy about the situation/disruption to family life (e.g., last Monday and foreseeably all future Mondays was disrupted because I had to get up at 7am to give Grandma her breakfast, after she was up till 00:45 watching TV the night before, and then I had to cycle 12 miles to get to the station to get home, and was way too knackered to cook a meal for the family, or to work with my DS on his 11+ preparation), but rather than taking the attitude that 'you are helping out, thank you very much', it seems to be more a case of 'why aren't you doing more'.

I am not really sure if IABU to be resentful of this attitude.

My parents have never told me what they are doing in advance, they will just do it on the day, and I have followed their lead, so if they want to know for instance what we are doing in half-term, I will tell them the day before, because that's when I will know myself. If they want to go away or something, then give me the dates and I will try and help, but it seems like they just want to go and do some gardening at home, ok well you don't need two weeks notice for that do you, and actually perhaps you can get a bloody bed in before I come round again.

EchoBitch Fri 12-Oct-12 02:29:28

God i can't wait to get old.

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 02:30:49

Oh Grandma seems quite happy.

She seems to have loosened up a bit in her old age.

She sat through Never Mind The Buzzcocks and jokes about horse semen without blushing.

EchoBitch Fri 12-Oct-12 02:40:20

So her son/carer died in July,three months ago?

She must be devastated.

Have you any social services input to help with meals/personal care etc?

alphabite Fri 12-Oct-12 02:45:15

Yanbu. This is too much when you have young children to look after. However YABU about a bed. A mattress won't harm anyone. A bed is just a mattress raised up anyway.

I think you need to try to see where your parents are coming from. They are probably exhausted and you should try to.commit to a given amount of time even if its less than your sister. Maybe 1 Saturday per fortnight. Realistically your gran won't be around much longer and you might regret not helping out.

Families stick together. My mum and dad travelled 3 hours there and 3 hours back every weekend to see my great aunt. They did this on top of a 60 hour week and looking after 3 of us. They did this for 2 years before having to result in putting her in a home as during the week she was unable to care for herself and home help was no longer enough.

Have your parents considered hiring some help?

Wingedharpy Fri 12-Oct-12 02:53:57

You need to call an urgent family meeting to thrash this out as what you have described is clearly not sustainable in the long term.
Your Sister has given her view on what should happen to Granny (ie you should all look after her in her own home) but Sis's circumstances (home working possibility, no children) are very different from yours.
Sis can achieve this care with minimal disruption to her life.
You all need to be honest and put your cards on the table as, although Granny clearly needs to be looked after, it cannot be at the cost of everyone else's lives.
Does Granny actually go out?
Would it really make any difference to her if she was not in her own home as long as she was being cared for?
If the caring does have to take place at her home then the home has to be equipped so that the carers (ie you and yours) are being cared for as well.
Would living with your parents be a possibility?
She could then have all Doctors and future medical appointments relocated to their area so they wouldn't have to keep going backwards and forwards.
Could you and your sister commit to some weekends to look after Granny so that your parents get a break from their caring role?
See what Social Services can offer as well, though, IMH experience, it isn't much.
Good luck. This is not easy.

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 02:59:20

Grandma said to me on Sunday 'I had a letter from <relative/friend>, she's 92, about this had died and that had died, I threw it in the bin, I lost my husband 35 years ago, I've walked in on enough dead people, I'm not moaning about it'.

Very stoic.

Social services were coming round every morning but tbh there's not much for them to do, she washes herself with a bucket, gets dressed, etc., and I don't think she's particularly keen on random strangers IYSWIM, obviously it's better to have family there.

I could pay someone to be with her two days a week no problems, but it's difficult because family is obviously better and also my sister is very sanctimonious. E.g., I call my sister from Grandma's on Monday 'Would you like me to get you anything from the shops? [she's coming round at 6pm, I'm leaving at 4pm] There's milk, ham, salad and a cheese and onion quiche in the fridge.' She: 'What's the date on it' Me '5 days hence. Oh there's some sponge puddings her too' She: 'Oh I want to make her a home cooked meal, she gets a lot of ready meals from our parents, I don't think it's good to eat ready meals there's too much salt' Me: <thinking, I didn't need a lecture from you, I cooked her a lovely roast dinner last night thank you, I'm just telling you what's in the fucking fridge here, and asking if you would like me to pick anything up from the shops> 'Oh ok, so you don't need anything then?'

She then continued at some point with 'I'm going to try and keep seeing our other Grandma the same amount'

So generally quite sanctimonious and basically unless I'm there in person, arranging/paying for a carer, whatever, isn't going to cut it.

It seems that the intention is we keep going with this indefinitely basically, until maybe one of us cracks or something.

Softlysoftly Fri 12-Oct-12 03:03:58

Wow tough situation, I agree with ^, you need to sort this properly. And I agree with your parents it needs to be a specific routine, but a sustainable one, you being away from your kids every weekend is not sustainable.

So meet up and be honest about what you can commit and why.

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 03:12:36

"Does Granny actually go out?"

Well not much, no.

She used to a very active social life for a 90-something year old, I think once a week she used to go out for lunch with a younger friend in her car, but now she can't walk except with a frame and even with the frame the very high chance she will fall over, or needs a lot of help to get into the car makes it impossible for a 75-year-old woman to take her out.

She used to go out on Thursday evenings to an old people's group too, but again it's a major undertaking and I think she's been once in six months, having been taken by my father.

When I was there on Monday she had a hairdresser come round (once a fortnight), a lovely lady who goes round old people's homes and does their hair, and they chat about this and that while she does so, so that's a social bond.

She has a nice garden but she hasn't been in it in weeks because of a step outside and generally inaccessible. I think she was taken out on Saturday in the wheelchair by my parents, and I asked if she would like to go out for lunch on Sunday and the implication was that she'd had quite enough excitement recently by going out for an hour-and-a-half on Saturday, so that was that.

I think what with sleeping a lot of the day and then e.g. the hairdresser coming in for an hour then that's pretty much enough for one day for her.

She does have stronger-than-average connections to her local community, but a lot of her friends have died or gone senile. I am not quite sure how often she is seeing people outside my parents/my sister, etc., the lady who used to take her out to lunch I guess probably does not come round as often as once per week.

alphabite Fri 12-Oct-12 03:15:14

Cut your sister a bit of slack. It sounds like she's going above and beyond if she's seeing your other grandma that often too. Just because she doesn't have children doesn't mean she doesn't have her own life. You don't sound like you like your sister very much.

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 03:21:05

"And I agree with your parents it needs to be a specific routine, but a sustainable one, you being away from your kids every weekend is not sustainable."

It's tricky because the implication is that I must be there 104 days a year (2 days a week) because my sister is doing that.

Now if I spent the whole weekend there every other fortnight, that would be a bit less relentless, but then that would only be 52 days a year, and that would leave another 8 weeks to be there on top of that, whereas realistically

(a) we're likely to want to go away for a week over Christmas
(b) we're probably going to go away in the summer to my DH's home country for several weeks
(c) it's not so bad doing this now when the weather is a bit shit but if it's a nice sunny day in May and I/we are stuck in the house all day (and the house is falling apart, small and alongside a motorway - not exactly a pleasant country cottage) then that's not what we would plan to be doing I guess....

ripsishere Fri 12-Oct-12 03:25:51

IMO, she needs input from a physic and an OT. Arrangements should be made for her to be able to manage her personal hygiene better than a bucket.
would she tolerate carers coming into her a couple of times a day? I did some work for an agency. We had umpteen clients who would be helped out of bed, given breakfast, washed dressed etc. They would be visited again at lunch, then dinner then bed time when he morning routine would be reversed.

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 03:40:32

" It sounds like she's going above and beyond if she's seeing your other grandma that often too."

It's not that often, every couple of months maybe, it's more that she never ceases to harp on about it.

"You don't sound like you like your sister very much."

No I don't. She has a totally different worldview, she a sort of militant Liberal Democrat vegetarian type, and me not, she would come and stay for Christmas and then make sanctimonious comments about recycling etc, and we would all (my parents and my family and I) go out for a walk on Boxing Day but then she would stay home.

We would meet occasionally and I would buy her dinner or whatever, and then on one occasion this happened I paid the bill for me and my sister about £200 for lunch for 7, and then later the same day we had a coffees and it came to about £15 and I was watching her trying to wait for me or my dad to pay, rather than just making the point of at least paying for something, ok not the £200 for lunch but at least buy coffee later, anyway the next time we met we went out for lunch with my Grandma and I said she should pay and she said I should pay half, cos there was 4 of us and one of her, and anyway I said she had never paid for anything and that she was cheap. She then said well you make much more money than I do, if I'm out with one of my staff at work I always buy them lunch because I make more than they do, and I said 'you're not one of my staff, you're my sister! My Grandma and Uncle don't earn much but they're always volunteer to pay the bill, it's just polite'

Anyway she was mortally offended by my calling her cheap (five years ago) and didn't talk to me for some time but does speak to me now but only ever to nag about elderly relatives ('other Grandma's son is going on holiday, perhaps you could go round', things like that).

CaliforniaLeaving Fri 12-Oct-12 04:21:31

It doesn't sound like a very workable situation at all, the house and her living downstairs and washing out of a bucket each day is awful.
Holes in the window and no bed in a home that is circa 1930 sounds bloody awful, not somewhere I'd want my kids to hang out while I tried to cook clean and look after a 100 year old woman. I doubt it's been properly maintained and will probably be cold and damp come winter.
I know she's old, I know she likes her home but she really needs to live somewhere better, somewhere warm, somewhere where she has access to a proper toilet and basin and a shower occasionally. I think the whole family is being unreasonable to think this will work. She really needs some outside carers seeing everyone has jobs and you have kids to care for. Visiting twice a week is one thing, but trying to do it all is another.
Family meeting time.

ToothbrushThief Fri 12-Oct-12 04:34:04

It's not sustainable for your family and will lead to family frictions amongst yours and the wider family.

You do need a planned sit down and open conversation expressing your desire to help, but outlining your limitations.

I would also bear in mind how you will all feel if she were to die suddenly or if she survives another 2 yrs. You need to feel you've given her the best of care but it needs to be sustainable and needs whole family agreement agreement to avoid nasty family friction

lovebunny Fri 12-Oct-12 05:44:29

tell your parents and sister that you have a young family and cannot contribute to elderly care.

stop trying to take a 'share' of the burden. you, your husband and children have to come first. your parents and sister have nothing else going on.

you are the future of the family, your health,your relationship, your parenting experience is their future too.

FolkGhoul Fri 12-Oct-12 06:10:11

It sounds harsh (and I'm sure feathers will fly) but I agree with lovebunny.

Your situation isn't conducive to caring for an elderly relative in the way required.

You need to do what everyone else has said, and get together for a family meeting. You need to establish exactly what care is required and exactly what everyone is capable of doing.

And that doesn't need to be equal.

I don't envy your situation. Having been there (on a much smaller scale than you are facing) I know just how unpleasant these situations can become.

Bilbobagginstummy Fri 12-Oct-12 06:19:28

What about sheltered accommodation in her local area? Or a home with people to do the caring?
Expensive potentially, but surely worth serious consideration as her domestic situation sounds dreadful: you seem to be blinded to that by familiarity. (not a criticism)

It has to be a sustainable set-up and this isn't, I agree with everyone else.

Perhaps you could ask your grandma what she would like to happen now (apart from having her son back, which is sadly not going to happen).

BeckAndCall Fri 12-Oct-12 06:30:34

Sorry, but you have to put an end to this situation. She may be 100 years old but you could be faced with this every weekend for the next 3 or 4 years - and that's your children's family weekend gone forever.

I say this as one in a very similar situation - the drive is less, only an hour for us - but it puts paid to any family life when either myself of DH is away for a day every weekend and can be called to the hospital at a moments notice.

Family may be best from Grandma's point of view but the main stay has to be outside help - for us that's an agency coming in twice a day. Visits are still regular from us but it means it's not all about changing sheets and emptying commodes - time spent can be social, rather than attending to personal hygiene needs.

We've had five years on and off of a really difficukt time trying to do the right thing for our wider family and a particularly demanding last six months and each month we think ' oh, it'll get better soon' and it never does. Start making a long term plan that doesn't involve missing a family weekends on a regular basis, because you don't get that time back.

thecatsminion Fri 12-Oct-12 06:40:27

I don't thin you can keep going like this, so overall YANBU. I'd do the family meeting thing.

But, I think it's unfair of you not to let your parents know, one way or the other, if you can do a weekend. If they're crap at working in advance then say that to them, don't retaliate by doing the same. Could you sit down, look at your diary for a few months, work out what you can do and go from there?

HecateLarpo Fri 12-Oct-12 06:45:25

Caring for an elderly relative is a really big job. Your parents do need short breaks. I have been part of a family team providing 24 hour care for an elderly family member and it is hard. you all have to be in it together, each contributing what he or she reasonably can. People have to recognise each other's situation. Of course someone with young children isn't going to be able to put in the same number of hours as someone without children.

But I can't blame your parents for trying to get a routine in place. It's really good to know when you're the one there, when you can plan to do something else because X is there 10-6 on Wednesday. When you're in this situation, last minuting can be very stressful

Make no mistake about it, when you are caring for an elderly relative, your life revolves around them and their needs. and it's tiring.

There comes a point when you have to look at the person and their needs and be rational about it. Can they realistically be cared for at home.

In my grandmother's case it was no. She had altzeheimers and eventually went into a home. In my grandfather's case, he had cancer and we cared for him in his home until he died peacefully one evening with his family there.

I think you should say that you won't be doing any nights there until a bed is provided for you. I also think a rota would be a good thing, so everyone knows where they are and can plan round it. I think that recognition of the needs of your young children is needed. And I think that consideration should be given to how reasonable or realistic is it to keep your grandma in her own home, as her care needs increase.

spidermanspiderman Fri 12-Oct-12 07:27:54

This would not be fair on your children at all. I think that when they are saying she is a collective responsibility because she is family, they are completely ignoring the fact that your children are family too and therefore the same sweeping statement could be applied to them too.

Are they planning on coming to stay at your house and look after your children when you go to watch grandma? Didn't think so! You and your dh are looking after enough family on a full time basis to put in a lot of time for grandma!

spidermanspiderman Fri 12-Oct-12 07:29:28

Do not forget, as they have, that your children are family too!

Longdistance Fri 12-Oct-12 07:41:35

You have your own family. Yes, occasionally chipping in with help is good, but this whole facade is just taking the biscuit.
My gran, when she was unable to look after herself, old her house, and moved in with my aunt. She was 90, and was unable to cook for herself, clean, wash and so on. Is this not an option for her?

ArthurShappey Fri 12-Oct-12 07:42:35

Your relationship with your sister aside. You cannot spend 104 days of the year away from your children looking after your grandma. It is not fair on you DH or your children. I'm sure your grandma would be horrified at the thought.

She is your grandma and very elderly anything you can do to help is great, but your sister seems to be turning into a 'who loves grandma most?' competition and that is not fair, your circumstances are very different. If your sister wants to do this that is her choice. Ultimately IMO the care of your grandma should lie with your parents and not with you and your sister.

Awkwardsquad Fri 12-Oct-12 08:14:20

Your grandmother needs a proper social care assessment. Call the council.

She needs a carer.

Our neighbour who has no close family has carers going in twice a day to get her washed/dressed and ready for bed. She has meals on wheels providing lunch and dinner. My parents then pop in a couple of times most days, or are always on call to sort out problems (when they go away I become a contact telephone number). My mum works and there is no way she could manage all the personal care - mum and dad between them can do all the admin/support/helping out in crisis/shopping for milk bread etc, but they couldn't do the personal care as well.

The care package was sorted out by SS. I would start by talking to them.

OneHandFlapping Fri 12-Oct-12 09:36:01

The burden of all this care on your whole family is too much, and it would be selfish of your Grandma to expect it. To put it brutally, it is time for her to go into some sort of supported accommodation, and her house needs to be sold to pay for it.

Has anyone discussed this with your Grandma?

SeveredEdMcDunnough Fri 12-Oct-12 09:40:47

Wow...nearly 2 hours drive is a LONG way. With children as well - and once they have commitments and clubs and activities/parties at the weekend it certainly won't be something you can do.

I would find this situation unfeasible. We do have a relative who lives similarly - alone, downstairs, can barely make it to the kitchen or loo let alone anywhere else.
My parents take her out once a week in the car and one of them calls in every evening to help her, do some cleaning, sort out essentials.
She has I think a carer to come and help wash her hair, do her bandages and so on.
My folks seem not to worry too much about it - the have active lives despite being over 60 and are both working.
Every time I have offered to do something, they have refused to allow it as I have two children and another on the way now and they just prefer to keep in control of it all themselves.

I would second asking SS to some and assess her for a care package. IN the old days when people shared homes between generations, this sort of family pitching in thing could work well - you all lived together, didn't have to travel etc.
Living so far away is going to be a nightmare.
Good luck. And don't push yourselves too far.

RuleBritannia Fri 12-Oct-12 09:46:10

How old are your parents?

I agree, it sounds like your grandma really needs to be in a care home or some kind of sheltered accommodation where care is provided, just so she can get the kind of care she needs. She can't continue to live in her own home, especially if the windows are rotten and have holes in them. She needs to be safe, warm, clean and comfortable. The situation right now sounds intolerable for everyone involved.

You can't commit to being her carer every weekend, and your parents and sister can't do it on their own.

gussiegrips Fri 12-Oct-12 09:50:57

Oooh, I've got a sinking feeling about this...

Has anyone asked Grandma what SHE wants? There's lots in your posts about the family dynamics - but nothing at all mentioning what she thinks

My concerns are:

she's falling - what is being doen about that? WHY is she falling, is it medication making her woozy, is her balance too poor, is she frightened of falling, is her frame not right for her...falls are really serious in the frail elderly - get her GP to arrange a falls assessment as an emergency.

she's washing out of a bucket What? Really? That's not awfully dignified, but is she managing to do that herself? Fab, but get the woman a naice baisin and flluffy towels and some pretty soap.

continence - is that under control? She shouldn't be flooding and then sitting in wet, her skin will break down, she'll get infections and that could be devastating for her health. Her GP and community nurse should be managing that.

family stress - it is possible to have paid carers and family input. Who said she wanted you lot wiping her bum anyway? Might it not be worth getting a package of care in place to provide the basics, and the family top up with social visits, roast dinners, naice soap and whatnot? If this continues all that is going to happen is she will realise there is strife regarding her care, and she will feel like a burden. And no 100 year old should be a burden on society.

Caring is Very Hard Indeed. Your family will not be able to sustain this - and it does not have to. Get your GP to visit and show what your family is managing and ask what else is available.

She might be interested in a day club, she might be interested in having Crossroads come to visit and let the heat off you guys. She might be keen to do some balance exercises and get her blood pumping.

Where in the world are you? There might be some services I know of that would help.

You are completely right to flag up what you can manage as opposed to what is expected. The worst scenario is when families try to do it themselves, can't manage it and their loved one gets poorly because they are simply frail and slighltly mismanaged.

You sound very loving of her. That doesn't mean your life can be hijacked to look after her - it'd be very sad if your feeligns towards your gRandma changed because of this imposition.

<hug> don't tell, though

LillianGish Fri 12-Oct-12 10:10:35

I agree with those who say you need to get a care package in place so she has carers going in twice a day and then any help you, your sister and your parents supply is the icing on the cake. Talk to social services and find out what is available - they may also be able to supply equipment to make caring for her easier. I think you need to be honest about what you can commit to, but can totally understand why your parents want to have some sort of rota so they can have a break themselves. Don't take this the wrong way, but this situation will not last much longer - she is 100 when all is said and done (and frankly I think you'd be hard pushed to persuade her to move at that time of life if she really doesn't want to). I don't think you are being unreasonable at all, you sound like a lovely person who loves her grandma, but as other have said you have a family and a job as well.

ArtfulAardvark Fri 12-Oct-12 10:25:42

You know we are all looking at dealing with a similar situation at some point and it is one which concerns me.

I do find the contrasting opinions regarding how we care for our dependant children compared to how we care for our dependant elderly perculiar. It is OK to get our children looked after professionals (in fact we are frowned on if we want to stay at home with them) but NOT ok to get professionals to look after a pensioner (confusingly we are expected to put our lives on hold and do it in person)

I do feel you need to get some outside help - I am not naturally a carer (a trait inherited from my mum!) it is obvious you care about your gran but I really dont think you are wrong in thinking this situation is unsustainable long term without having health implications for all of you doing the caring.

I do feel it is important that your children have an enjoyable childhood too, am I right in thinking the scenario you are describing takes them away from their home and friends every weekend?

Arithmeticulous Fri 12-Oct-12 10:49:41

Sounds like your parents and sister are forgetting you also have children to care for.

CassandraApprentice Fri 12-Oct-12 10:59:16

Definitely try and get something else sorted - outside care, more realistic expectations on your contributions, sheltered accommodation, day time old peoples groups - have an elderly relative you goes twice a week picked up and dropped off get a meal out and gives families a couple hours break.

There are a lot of comments saying it won't be for long - well in both mine and DH family what happened is elderly relatives sort of went in stages one after other. My parent had six years of caring as 4 GP slowly went downhill one after another and their siblings talked a good role but didn’t do their fair share. It took a huge toll of them and their health.

You have to think about your DC needs and your and Dh relationship being adversely affected if you do take too much on – as well as your health.

Family meeting armed with alot of additional suppport information and your DH there to ensure you don't get guilted into taking on to much - could be a way forward.

One of my GP was very against a home but after a hopsital stay had to go into one and then loved it and wished they'd done it years earlier - took a huge amount money which trouble one of my Uncles who was in another country not providing any care but wanting his inheritance angry. There are nice one out there - they are hard to find and do cost.

HecateLarpo Fri 12-Oct-12 11:30:26

very good point, gussie. I simply assumed that the family are doing all this because they have discussed it with her and she does want to stay in her home with their help.

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 11:48:00

I sent my Dad a slightly snippy email last night in reply to his call last night at 11:30pm. He has replied saying "I am working on the assumption that you are able to come over here each Sunday, hope that's correct?" and "I don't like having to ask or harass" and in reply to my suggestion that the house wasn't somewhere that I would want bring my DCs, ask what I would do to improve it, as if it wasn't obvious that bedding, window frames without inch-wide holes in, etc., would be pretty fundamental.

Am not really in a hurry to reply, but it's something like "Well actually I am not sure that (a) I'm going to spend all my future Sundays coming there tbh, even looking at the weather forecast for this weekend it seems like it might be a nice day, and I'd rather like to be going out into the countryside for a walk, especially as we are spending Saturdays looking round schools and (b) last week I was there Saturday, that might be possible this week also if it would help, but it rather throws a spanner in the works if you are going to imply that I need to match my sister or something because then I'm thinking, 'hmm, if I go there Saturday then that's one less day I have to do in future', which is not really a recipe for harmony"

HeathRobinson Fri 12-Oct-12 12:11:39

I'm really surprised that your parents are expecting you and your sister to do any care. Social visits, sure, but not care.

I wouldn't expect it of my grandchildren (if my kids decide to have kids).

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 12:18:06

My sister has suggested and pushed for this arrangement tbh. I think Grandma was assuming she would go live with my parents.

LookBehindYou Fri 12-Oct-12 12:18:20

Your grandma is family. Would it kill you to look after her and give your presumably elderly parents more of a reliable hand? I imagine they are finding it a huge strain and will have lots of emotions of their own. You don't stop loving your mother intensely just because they're very old.

thecatsminion Fri 12-Oct-12 12:22:41

I think you're being rotten about this Sunday tbh. Caring all the time - fair enough, you can't do it. Humming and hawing about whether or not you can visit in two days time because it might be a sunny day isn't fair on anyone.

boschy Fri 12-Oct-12 12:23:55

st winifred I do sympathise (am in slightly similar position with my aged mum at the mo - tho I am the only person close by).

You simply cannot commit to the level you are being asked, and I second getting SS involved. If you contact the elderly care department they should be able to do an assessment and work out what help grandma needs and how it can be best provided. Then you can see what she is entitled to, and how/if it needs to be topped up and work out the best way to do that.

You need to think about your young family as well as the old ones.... and do not let your sister guilt trip you.

boschy Fri 12-Oct-12 12:24:25

thecats - she was there all last weekend? she has 2 young children...

Honestly, (and speaking form the perspective of having cared for elderly parents)

You need to get social services involved in her care. There are lots they can do. Speak to age concern for ideas?
Help to get out of bed and dressed, and break fast made, meals on wheels for dinners, etc. Her local church can possibly arrange a visitor once a week, etc.

It is not your responsibility to take part in a care schedule for a 90 year old grandma who lives far away.

But, relatives, and the elderly themselves can manage to heap on a lot of guilt and feeling of duty.

The best you can do to help your grandma is actually to stand your ground and encourage your parents to get a care package in place for her.

Email your dad something along the lines of:

"Dear dad, I am not able to take part in any regular care of grandma. It is not convenient for me and my family, the most I can do is a visit maybe once a month, but this should not be relied up on as part of her care, but as me visiting my grandma. I am not in a position to take on any care duties. If you and mum and sis feel the burden, you need to get social services for the elderly involved in getting a care package in place for grandma"

Or something to that effect. Make it clear from the outset that you are not prepared to do this.

thecatsminion Fri 12-Oct-12 12:29:42

Boschy - I know, it's a horrible situation. But the OP could just say she's not going this weekend, straight out, which would at least let her parents know they need to get someone else or do it themselves.

boschy Fri 12-Oct-12 12:36:39

true cats, but that's where the guilt is coming in and paralysing her. I think quints email is a good one.

Just got off the phone from my mum, who is guilt-tripping me. My DB and SIL left this morning; her cleaner is going in to see her at 1pm; DD2 will be there at 4 and DD1 and I there not long after. The district nurse will also come this pm. I will go back to help her up to bed tonight. Then tomorrow morning I will go and get her up... and repeat until she recovers enough (had knee replacement) to regain her independence.

These arragnements are not enough apparently because she has been alone for 1.5 hours this morning.... it's gonna happen I'm afraid.

lurkerspeaks Fri 12-Oct-12 12:41:38

No is a complete sentence. Ignore the guilt tripping. If you don't want to do it / can't do it. Don't.

I've said no to a similar request from my family recently about my Gran (convenienly for the person asking I'm in the same city. She lives 500 miles away). The person asking was pretty pissed off that I said no but I have a very busy full time job, a tonne of committments outside of paid work that further my career which is important to me. So I'm happy to pay for help but I can't do it personally. I suggeted that if she cared so much (she is a SAHM) I would pay for a flight for her and her children once a month. Funnily enough this didn't go down very well.

My Mum is also about to go into a nursing home because we can't sustain her at home any more (she is 63).

Viviennemary Fri 12-Oct-12 12:43:23

YANBU. She needs proper care. I don't think you should be coerced into this by your sister. She hasn't got children to look after. You have. Also you have offered that your Grandma can stay in your house. But have been told this won't do.

I don't think it's fair to take children to stay at her house if that's the proposed arrangement. If it was for a week in an emergency you could probably agree and leave your DH to look after your children and go and stay with her. But any regular commitment is going to be very difficult. Your sister sounds a proper nightmare. Don't be bullied by her. I agree there comes a point when a person's needs has to be looked at and a decision to be made if the family can continue to reasonably take on all the care duties themselves.

DontmindifIdo Fri 12-Oct-12 12:43:37

I would be honest, you can't spend every sunday away from your children - so tell your Dad that - it's not fair on your DCs and not fair on your DH.

I think the e-mail suggested by QuintessentialShadows is excellent, just because your sister can do care, doesn't mean you can. You have other care commitments already, you care for DCs.

Your Grandmother might not want to live with your parents, but realistically she's not coping in the house on her own and you can't provide 24 hour care between you. Washing out of a bucket (I assume of cold water??) isn't acceptable. Having urine on her skin is bad for her. Social services need to get involved, if it's not practical for your other family members to provide care (and not just popping in, someone needs to live with her, either move into her house or she can move in with them), then she might need to go into a home.

TiddlyZomZomZombie Fri 12-Oct-12 12:52:28

How would you feel about helping out and giving your parents respite if she was living with them? How far from you do they live?
From all your posts I don't think it's at all practical for her to stay in her own home, or for you to travel for short visits to care for her in her home.
What would make sense is for her to move in with your parents, and for you and your sister to regularly give them a break and pop over to help out.

You're over-explaining your responses to your dad tbh, keep it short, otherwise it'll just confuse the issue.

I think you should be assertive and put to your parents / sister an option that you think would be in the best interests of your grandma and sustainable long term - bearing in mind she might live several more years and will only need more and more help as time goes on. She'd probably have a much better quality of life with a proper set-up too.

My 96 year old lives with my parents, downstairs in the converted dining room, which now has it's own en-suite, sky connection, sofa for visitors, etc. Family all take turns in giving mum & dad a break. Works well there and Grandma's ever so happy with the set up too.

gettingeasier Fri 12-Oct-12 12:59:39

YANBU and I would send Quints email

You are some distance away with your own family to care for and have quality time with

I doubt this is reasonable but I might see it differently if it were your parents as opposed to a grandparent

CheeseandPickledOnion Fri 12-Oct-12 12:59:49

It's really not fair for your parents to be asking this of you. You have your own family to look after.

I think you have to put your foot down and get the authorities involved. If your parents are not willing to budge on her staying in her own home, then outside assistance and care must be sought not only for your Grandmothers benefit, but for the whole family. It is too much to ask of everyone that they take this on.

I thank god my mother has already made it clear she would hate to be a hindrance to her children and would prefer to go into a home.

oldraver Fri 12-Oct-12 13:04:48

I think your parents are being very very selfish. They have had your Uncle do the caring for many many years then try and palm it off onto you when he passed. They are putting way too much pressure on you when your first priority should be your own family. Help out by all means but it seems they are putting the main caring onto you and your sister.

I think it may be time to call in outside agencies or even think about more permanent care for your Grandmother.

Is there any reason they dont want to pay foe care for your Grandmother?

marbleslost Fri 12-Oct-12 13:06:02

If I were 100, living in the lounge, needing a bit of help I would do what several of my elderly relatives did. Move into sheltered housing, have a carer come in when I needed them to and enjoy my family's company as and when it's possible.

It's ridiculous of your family to expect this of you.

Lotkinsgonecurly Fri 12-Oct-12 13:10:26

Suggest she goes and live with your parents and then if they want to go away for a few days you / your sister can help in your parents home. This means it'll be more comfortable for your kids?

Also, your parents could then get support /carers near to them.

DowntonTrout Fri 12-Oct-12 13:12:49

I'm sorry but this is a ridiculous situation.

Your parents and sister are actually preventing your gran getting the help she needs and the services she is entitled to by doing what they are doing. After your uncle died would have been the ideal opportunity to get your gran the care she deserves.

She obviously has some funds, if she owns her own home. These would be better used to fund proper, full time care. It would take the stress off your parents. It sounds like she would be better off in a residential home- where she would be safe, cared for, have proper washing facilities etc. if she were near your parents they could still visit every day, take her out, be fully involved, but could also go away for a few days in the safe knowledge that grandma was being looked after.

You cannot commit to the amount of time/ care being requested of you. It would be better all round to be very clear about that now. It is not your responsibility and they are being unfair to demand it of you.

FWIW my mum has had to be moved into a home a few months ago. My brother and sister didn't like the idea of it and clearly expected me to have mum live with me. DB lives abroad and DS lives locally, but has no room. Neither are married or have children. I have both. I had dad here in the last few months before he died and it was very very hard. I could not do it again. So mum is in a home. But she is content, safe, well fed, has company and I visit 3 or 4 times a week. And that time is precious and lovely, because I am not stressed out . It was the best option for everyone.

Please be strong and tell your parents that your children need you, you have other commitments and so will not be able to be part of the "care package" they have drawn up. However you will continue to visit as often as possible, just not every weekend.

HeadlessForHalloween Fri 12-Oct-12 13:13:29

I would say that I couldn't commit to a weekly arrangement because of the dc, but I would offer to help with respite care.

I personally feel she should move in with your parents, the house doesn't sound suitable for her or the people staying over with her. She may be a little confused at first but would get used to it.

MerylStrop Fri 12-Oct-12 13:13:45

Your parents and your sister are being unrealistic. Unrealistic about what they can and should do, IMO, let alone what you should.

The expectations placed on you should be in no way related to what your sister is prepared and able to offer.

Put a stop to it now. Call a family meeting with your grandmother there and discuss a range of options. Take the family dynamics out of it. And be prepared, if you sister is still prepared to give up a substantial amount of her time to do this, to say well done, that's brilliant I wish I were in a position to do that BUT I AM NOT.

Personally I don't think a fortnightly visit would be an unreasonable commitment, but this should not be bound up with her daily, personal care.

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 13:17:33

" Humming and hawing about whether or not you can visit in two days time because it might be a sunny day isn't fair on anyone."

I am not humming and hawing about it, the thing is I am getting mixed messages from them:

* Originally I said I can come on Sunday and return on Monday, because I have to collect the children from school on a weekday and that would be the only time.
* Then my sister phoned me to nag me and managed to elicit the suggestions that (a) I might be able to go on Saturday evening and return on Monday, and (b) that I might go round with my children during the holidays.
* Last week I went on Saturday and returned on Monday. I was wondering whether I might do this again this weekend.
* they seem to be under the assumption that I will go there each Sunday, rather than on Saturdays in future, and they have now said something about going away for a short break on Sunday
* I think it's a good idea if they go away for a break and have said I would like to enable this where possible, and actually I was thinking to myself either I would go on Saturday evening or Sunday morning, but now that the suggestion that I should aim to 'balance' my sister is polluting my thoughts, and I have to think 'oh fuck, if I don't go this Saturday then that is being counted against me and I'm going to have to "make it up" in the future'
* My Dad has asked 'are you coming over 2pm, 4pm, or what'. Frankly with the 2 hours journey time to get there, if I said 4pm, then we still don't have a Sunday because we tend to wake up late, and go out around 1pm, and go visit National Trust or something and stay till 6pm, so even 4pm doesn't help me any in that we basically are without a Sunday (plus on Sunday the trains/track are often repaired and the journey takes 45 minutes longer, so that eats a further chunk out of the weekend.)
* The only way we would have a weekend to ourselves (and bear in mind here that pretty much every weekend there will be some sort of 'chore' taking up a day, be it kids birthday parties, going to something of my DH's choosing that I am not interested in, or visiting schools (at present) so we do really need both weekend days in order to have a fulfilling family life) is if I go there at about 8-9pm on a Sunday, but then I have to leave 3:30pm on Monday so it's not really worth me going at all, and plus I am being guilted that my sister is doing more, so I have to consider any suggestions that I make in that context.
* My sister works in the charity sector; I don't know how damaging it is for her to be 'working from home' two days per week so I can't really say 'she's only doing two days in the week when she'd be away from her partner all day (at work) anyway', without seeming bitchy.

MTBMummy Fri 12-Oct-12 13:20:35

Im really surprised at the number of people on here agreeing with the OP

Personally I think YAB very U, she's your gran, you're all the family she has, but I speak as someone who has lost her all her grand parents and about to lose my mum and dad as well, and I'm only in my early 30's

You and all of your family need to sit down and sort this out between you like adults, and enjoy what time you have with her, rather than sniping about each others faults.

Groovee Fri 12-Oct-12 13:21:42

My mum was my gran's main carer and looking after her for a week was hard work, while my parents were away. A few days after they returned my gran was rushed to hospital with a massive heart attack. We all agreed she needed a care package as I needed a holiday after looking after her. Sadly she never came home but I hope never to put that strain on my own children as it's not nice for anyone x

cornsconkers Fri 12-Oct-12 13:21:54

I can't believe your parents are expecting you to do this. Is she your dad's mum?

DowntonTrout Fri 12-Oct-12 13:25:50

What your sister chooses to do is up to her.

What you choose to do is up to you.

Your circumstances are different. You can't say whether you will go on Saturday or Sunday. This is not helpful to your parents. Don't be pressurised though. Just tell them, one way or another, what you can and will do. Then they can sort themselves out.

I agree - Quints email. But I would not say "it is not convenient". I would say "it is not possible for me to".

Because it is not.

And do your parents and sister really think it is viable for your DCs to spend each weekend
a) Without their mum?
b) Caring for their Great Grandma in an unsuitable house?

I hate to sound really blunt but if your Granny needs 24 hour care there has to be a bigger discussion and a better plan than divvying up days here/days there. This could last for years. And the level of care is only ever going to get larger, not less.

This is unsustainable for everyone. It is impossible for you.

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 13:34:00

"I think your parents are being very very selfish. They have had your Uncle do the caring for many many years then try and palm it off onto you when he passed."

Well not quite. He was very bad at organising stuff, managing himself and so on, and she looked after him in a way for a long time. As she got into her late 90s he did more things like cooking the dinner and so on, but what happened was in March she had a turn and was taken into hospital with heart failure. Prior to this she was getting herself up and down the stairs to the toilet, bed, but it was this that confined her to the living room and dining room.

So from March till his death he was looking after her which meant things like acquiring incontinence products, emptying her commode, etc. He was a bit of a nutty professor type, not really looking after himself properly, and with his heart problems and the complex needs of a 100-year old (deafness and incontinence mainly), he couldn't cope.

Anyway, he died and my parents moved in and I think my Mum's reaction was 'fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck' when she realised she would have to get up at 7am every morning (my Mum is accustomed to getting up at 11am), arrange home adaptations, clean the house (it was filthy), work out the best combination of incontinence products and ensure that they are on hand so she doesn't fall over trying to get them, cook her breakfast, lunch, dinner, and basically do more than she had ever realised.

My uncle was not assertive or aware of help, etc., they are much more with it, but yeah the thing is that it was his home where had lived for decades, so not unreasonable for him to be care-provider there, since my parents have their own home and life and have raised a family, albeit that they obviously didn't consider that it was too much for him until it was too late.

So not quite as you describe, he and my Grandma had a deal of synchronicity in terms of their waking, eating patterns, etc., so it did make sense to a large degree.

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 13:36:17

"I can't believe your parents are expecting you to do this. Is she your dad's mum?"

No she is my mum's mum, but my dad is the more organised/capable one, he gets home from a day's work and cleans the house, cooks the dinner, does the washing up, etc.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 12-Oct-12 13:42:06


I would not take on this kind of caring while I had young children. They are your responsibility.

Your parents have been getting the easy end of things thus far, because your uncle has been doing all the caring. Now it is their turn, which they should be taking with the help of social services - rather than looking to their own daughters to help to the detriment of their own lives.

Now if your sister is wanting to do all of this, then that is up to her, but it doesn't mean you have to do the same. You have young children.

I would be very, very angry in your position. Very angry.

FryOneGhoulishGhostlyManic Fri 12-Oct-12 13:43:05

My parents (who are late 60s now) had my grandad living with them from when they were about early 40s until he died aged 100. Was Mum's dad, she was a late baby.

It was sheer hard work for them. My Bro and I did what we could but I lost it one day when yet again my mum's 4 other brothers and sisters had failed to help. They did help a bit more after that, but I felt that it was my grandad's immediate children, ie mum and her siblings, that should have been doing the primary care, with the grandchildren helping sometimes.

SS should have been involved much earlier, especially as my parents health was suffering, as during this time Dad ended up having a quadruple bypass (and other issues) and mum was trying to cope alone.

Grandad had been refusing to move out (rented house) and had even told SS that he paid the rent, whereas mum and dad did (they are the tenants), so SS had told mum Grandad couldn't be moved.

Finally, in order to get Grandad the proper care he needed, they took the drastic step of declaring him homeless and not to return to the house after he had gone into hospital for yet another urine infection. He needed to be in a home and my parents could no longer cope, definitely not physically cope.

They had to call an ambulance when he fell because they couldn't lift him due to their own ill health.

You need to get the professionals in to make a proper assessment. Don't try stumbling along cos it won't wor. Don't feel guilty about having to take the needs of your children into account too.

HeathRobinson Fri 12-Oct-12 13:45:04

I keep coming back to the idea that it's unfair on Granny. Why shouldn't she either have a good care package in place or a place in a good care home?

Washing in a bucket at 100 is a bit sad.

FryOneGhoulishGhostlyManic Fri 12-Oct-12 13:46:01

The Gran needs proper care and trying to fudge it as a family isn't going to work.

DontmindifIdo Fri 12-Oct-12 13:48:59

Hmm, it does sound more like your Mum is trying to push her responsibilty for care on her DDs, really, she is not work, has no children at home and in good health, so what if she doesn't want get up at 7am (like everyone else). Your Gran might prefer not to move in with your parents, but if that's the best option, then that's what should happen.

It doesn't sound like she should be living alone. Realistically, it's unreasonable of your Gran to expect everyone else to give up their homes to move into to care for her, even if on a rota system. She should move in either with your parents or if your Sister is keen to be a martyr, your sister. Or a home if noone wants that. But if you can't leave her overnight (which it does sound like you can't) then it's maddness to expect a long term solution involves you stay away from your family at least one night a week.

I would say you ca'nt do it, it might force their hands to arrange something more suitable for your Gran. This won't work long term. So what if your Sister does more, you are an independent adult, you need to do what you can that fits with your responsibilities to your DCs and DH, not compete with your sister.

DontmindifIdo Fri 12-Oct-12 13:51:20

Yes, and washing in a bucket is not a long term plan for the poor woman! If your family does decide to go with the maddness of keeping he rin the house, a builder needs contacting this week about putting a downstairs wetroom in. If the house can't be adapted, she needs to move. It doesn't actually matter that she doesn't want to, if a house can't be made to fit her needs it's negletful to keep her there.

wisecamel Fri 12-Oct-12 13:53:41

YANBU, I don't think, but as DowntonTrout said earlier, you are not helping yourselves get the best care for your gran either. IME, if social care ask your gran about her circumstances and she says, "ooh, it's fine, my grandaughters take it in turns to stay with me and help with everything" then she will be crossed off their list as you are providing for all her needs.

You need to sit down with your family, and your nan and talk about the future. She may want to stay in this home, but she cannot expect 24 hour family care there.

Your sister may want to care part-time, but this is not enough for your gran and her guilt about that is her own affair, nothing to do with you, or your ability to 'match' her contribution.

Similarly, you and your parents have a limit to the amount of care that you can freely give. At present, this does not add up to enough for your gran. Therefore, she has the choice to sell up, and move in with/near to the family or sell up and move in to sheltered housing, or stay where she is and accept paid-for care. Approach it as a family conundrum, include your nan but be honest with yourself about what you can give.

BeyondLimitsOfTheLivingDead Fri 12-Oct-12 14:00:56

I knew a brother and sister (they're my third cousins twice removed or something) who had to care for their aunt when their mother died (who was helping out til then). The sister thought she should go into residential care as she was realistic. The brother didnt want the house to be sold to pay for it which he hoped to inherit! so insisted they should do the care themselves. Which of course he didnt, and the sister did it all, as well as looking after her own kids (he didnt have access to any of his kids. Nice guy...). So the sister went over his head and did it anyway.

there goes my inheritance too wink its a confusing family set up!!

Part of me is wondering if your sisters insistence to keep her in the house is because she doesnt want it sold? I hope your sister isnt as callous as my family though!!

expatinscotland Fri 12-Oct-12 14:02:26

What Quint said but with FishFinger's amendent, 'It's not possible for me.' I'd be very assertive with your father and sister, they're both taking the piss expecting you to be there every Sunday.

Grandma needs a proper carer.

ginmakesitallok Fri 12-Oct-12 14:02:26

If I was in your situation I think that I would be helping out as much as I could in the short term - on the understanding that it wasn't going to be a regular thing and that statutory care needs to be arranged to either support or replace what your parents are doing.

Agree with what wisecamel said about if family are seen to be providing adequate care then your GM won't be a priority for statutory care. My MIL was carer for DPs GF for years - easier for her because he was in sheltered housing. It was only when she finally said she's had enough and refused to drive across for the 3rd time in one night because the silly beggar had pulled his community cord thing when drunk that he started getting more help.

BiddyPop Fri 12-Oct-12 14:04:06

I agree with others about needing the professionals involved. Gran's GP, social care, perhaps physio and OTs. Agree what your gran's current needs are and what she may be likely to need in the future, and agree what the family can do and what the professionals can offer also, IF staying at home suits for all. And definitely taking Gran's thoughts into account if she is still compos mentis.

Is the house adaptable to more assistance for Gran? Like making the step out of the house into a ramp or set of shallower steps for her to cope with? Putting in a stannah lift so she can go back upstairs? Getting a walker or wheelchair so that she can go out and about, or accepting that she is now housebound? Seeing what other help there is locally for her (meals on wheels, day centres to visit once a week even, groups who call on elderly in their homes, as well as professional care either public or private) so that it doesn't all fall to the family.

Does she have a fridge with a freezer? Because while you might not be able to get there too much in terms of logistics, you could do batches of (proper homemade) dinners and small batches of buns/cookies/bread etc that could then be left in her freezer for Gran, family or carers to easily cook or reheat or just defrost and enjoy. Or there may be other things you could do rather than being a person involved directly in the physical care - like get the shopping in (or do the internet shop and arrange its delivery) once a week. Doing paperwork or other organising jobs.....

Asking people to sleep there, on an ongoing basis, without having proper furniture, does sound a bit daft. (Should I ask what happened to your uncle's bed?)

I've been involved in helping to look after my gran, but have always said that I cannot give much committment on a weekly basis as I work FT (more than FT truth be told), as does DH, we have a primary aged DD with (high functioning but existent) SN, our parents live 3 hours away but Gran lived across the city from us only 1 hr away. The (equivalent of NHS) organised the home care package of someone in 3 times a day for an hour to make sure she was up, clean, dressed, fed, warm, had meds and was safe. Family did what they could (my aunt lives near me and visited regularly and did shopping, I used to visit regularly and leave HM freezer meals, DH did gardening and odd jobs, and my mum would be up from the other city when she could - mum and aunt left meals too).

Each person in a family has their own circumstances and committments. What you need to do, now that care needs have changed (following your uncle's death) is to all sit down in conference with professionals involved and agree on your Gran's real needs (physical, medical etc), what needs to be done to support her and where that can best be done (at home or in sheltered accomodation) and who can do what.

DowntonTrout Fri 12-Oct-12 14:06:54

so not unreasonable for him to be care-provider there, since my parents have their own home and life and have raised a family

And there you have hit on the unfairness of their request. Your parents were busy with their own home and raising a family whilst your uncle did all the caring. Now your mum and dad have had 6 months of it and are struggling to cope and expecting you to pick up the slack. But you, just like they were,bare busy raising your family.

heathrobinson is quite right. The person who it is most unfair on is granny. Not having acces to a bathroom is bordering on neglect.

If she is suffering from heart failure you do know that she will get worse and perhaps need 24 nursing care? This is what I went through with Dad. The incontinence will become a problem and the caring will need to be much more than someone just being there. How on earth can you hope to keep someone clean, who is incontinent, with a bucket? Really it is time to at least get SS in.

It sounds like your mum feels guilty for not doing enough before and is now trying to pass that guilt on to you. It is not healthy and you cannot go along with it.

LookBehindYou Fri 12-Oct-12 14:09:00

A lot of people seem to be viewing this as a battle of wills. The Gran might be frightened of her future and feeling powerless. She needs a loving chat feeling that people are looking after her best interests, not an easy way out. It's fine to suggest SS but it's pretty soulless and who wants a stranger in their home? It's rare for it to be the same person caring all the time. They are often offhand or over familiar. It's not nice if you're feeling powerless and vulnerable.
There are some great sheltered places out there. My MIL has just put her name down for one. She will keep visiting her mahjong gang and play bridge but somebody will know if she falls over.
While you're fighting over who will do what, nobody is giving any ATTENTION to your gran. Perhaps you could all take her for a day out, including a nice lunch and visit a home.

BlueSkySinking Fri 12-Oct-12 14:10:50

Urgent family meeting needed. Obviously the amount of help people can spare depends upon their situation. You with your kids/work/travel have lots of responsibility unlike your sis and parents. And it is mainly your parents responsibility, you should just be providing a little respite. I suggest you approach social services and also get some paid help. Can you agree to doing one half day and sleep over each week? Alternitvley you could look at a home central to all of you so that you can all sleep in your own beds and visit often.

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 14:13:38

It hasn't been mentioned, but I did live with my Grandma pre-DCs, for about a year. So there is a bit of payback I suppose.

marbleslost Fri 12-Oct-12 14:18:34

*I keep coming back to the idea that it's unfair on Granny. Why shouldn't she either have a good care package in place or a place in a good care home?

Washing in a bucket at 100 is a bit sad. *

Most nursing homes will do "strip wash" which involves washing from a washing up bowl with a bath once a week.

Arithmeticulous Fri 12-Oct-12 14:19:28

Did you care for her during that year?

If you are keen to make everything even - throw that into the pot... but personally I'd go with "I have my children to care for, I cannot provide anything other than occasional respite care. You need to obtain professional advice and care."

LookBehindYou Fri 12-Oct-12 14:21:48

FGS, let go of the 'have children' thing. It doesn't mean you can opt out of life.

DowntonTrout Fri 12-Oct-12 14:22:36

At 100 yo with heart failure she is probably beyond sheltered housing. I doubt that anywhere would be willing to accept her.

There are really only 3 options

1 stay in her own home with a full care package and adaptations to the house to give her acceptable living standards.

2 for her to move into your parents home, again with possible adaptations required, but to get some help with care from SS.

3 for her to move into a care home.

However, as she is likely to decline fairly quickly/ suddenly, all of the above would be temporary. Having one move after another would certainly be a bad thing for her. Your parents really need to look at the bigger picture and into the foreseeable future and ensure grannies continuing care - not just in the present.

LookBehindYou Fri 12-Oct-12 14:26:56

OP, has someone outright asked the Gran what she would like?

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 14:27:43

"Now your mum and dad have had 6 months of it"

3 months

"Should I ask what happened to your uncle's bed?"

I went in his room and it's largely untouched, but the room is thick with dust, there are books there with clearly 25 years of dust on them. He wasn't capable of looking after himself, let alone his mother, certainly the room hadn't been cleaned in a decade or more.

So I don't know if the bed is necessarily fit for use, but they haven't touched it anyway.

"Is the house adaptable to more assistance for Gran? Like making the step out of the house into a ramp or set of shallower steps for her to cope with? "

Well my parents are pretty hopeless at doing stuff. E.g., their oven door is rotten at home and they haven't replaced it. Their toilet doesn't flush properly and they haven't managed to get it fixed. And obviously 3 months there and Dad is still sleeping on an under-sized mattress on the floor.

I said to Dad after my Uncle's funeral "Take her to your house for a few weeks and get the house renovated while she's there. It's going to be modernised at some point anyway, better to do it now so she can benefit from it." She did go to their house for about 6 days and found it slightly disorienting, but that was it. I asked for her to come and stay with us for a week but they didn't think it was a good idea.

I have asked Dad what he is doing to the house, and he said they are getting double glazing put in. He said they wanted to replace the porch but then they thought that might not be a good idea because if they did that then subsequently they would need to get a ramp put in anyway, so it's a pain.

I have told him several times they need a toilet, and it seems to be a case of 'too major to consider'. The house has an attached 1930s garage and consists downstairs of tiny-tiny kitchen, and a front and back room probably both about 14 foot square. They had the carpets cleaned a week ago, which I thought was odd as they are 1960s and worn through in places, and now already stink of piss again (or maybe it's the sofa), I would have just had them taken out and replaced with lino or something, but well Grandma likes the carpet and it's familiar so.

It's probably too much for her to get upstairs even with a stairlift, she is very unstable - she's not like these people you see jauntily hopping onto the stairlift on the Stannah adverts - so realistically the house would need to be remodelled. I am not sure how long that would take or if they don't want to do it for financial reasons, though I am not sure why, as I implied to Dad, the house would need that doing before being sold anyway.

So basically not much will change, very slowly.

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 14:32:16

"Did you care for her during that year?"

No, she was sprightly then and actually she cooked my dinner (well the same dinner which she was having with my Uncle, and which by the time I got home from worktended to be pretty nasty and I would chuck in the bin, but that) and did my washing (by hand, in the sink).

So I meant by that that she had provided for me in the past, and perhaps I should provide for her now.

kittykarate Fri 12-Oct-12 14:35:10

I haven't got a sensible answer to the family problems, but I think your Gran's living situation is doing her no favours. My Gran was determined to stay in her own place but she was so exhausted by managing her bathroom visits/commode/washing herself that she barely left the house.

Since she's moved into a purpose built elderly flat with a disabled loo and wet room she has been so much more active and steady on her feet.

expatinscotland Fri 12-Oct-12 14:37:27

'FGS, let go of the 'have children' thing. It doesn't mean you can opt out of life.'

How on Earth is she opting out of life? She has a young family to care for.

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 14:37:59

"OP, has someone outright asked the Gran what she would like?"

I don't think a care home has been mentioned at any point. She went willingly to my parents house for a week, but then this current arrangement was proposed and she's happy with it.

She didn't much like the NHS carer she had coming in and felt that she wasn't needed. It's not personal care she needs IYSWIM, but meals, tea, etc., and someone on hand more-or-less 24 hours to check that she hasn't fallen over or something.

She's quite a sociable person and she obviously benefits and enjoys having a member of her family there rather than a random stranger.

DowntonTrout Fri 12-Oct-12 14:38:00

Of course what gran would like should be considered, but may not be realistic.

Having children is a consideration because the OP has responsibilities for them, first and foremost.

It sounds as if your parents are a bit hopeless OP. and also as if they are panicking as everything is too much for them so they can't deal with anything. I certainly wouldn't want to stay, or have my children stay, in a house with those conditions. Your gran should not have to live like that either.

Can you get her GP to do a home visit next time you are there? We had a heart nurse from the British Heart Foundation and she got everything sorted out for Dad straight away.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 12-Oct-12 14:43:12

'FGS, let go of the 'have children' thing. It doesn't mean you can opt out of life.'

Of course it doesn't mean you can opt out of life. But it does mean that you can opt out of caring for elderly relatives who live 2 hours away, meaning that you need to stay overnight and therefore leave your children. Especially when there are other viable alternatives - nurse/other family/carehome etc.

I adored my Grandma. When she got too frail to look after herself, she went into a nursing home. Which meant that all her physical needs were taken care of, and family could concentrate on making her life enjoyable when we saw her - which was 3 times a week for my Mum who lived a mile away, once or twice a week for my uncle who lived 60 miles away and didn't work, and once a fortnight for me who lived 40 miles away and worked full time.

I think some of the people saying YABU has an idealistic view of what caring for an elderly person involves, and no real experience.

Your family is doing your gran a great disservice not getting her the help she actually needs, instead they are fretting and fafffing about getting family in, which wont help your grandma long term.

MerylStrop Fri 12-Oct-12 14:47:57

OP, no-one else in your family is being sensible

So it's going to have to be you

Call a summit meeting with all parties, including Granny and come up with a workable plan. Maybe get the GP there too.

And I would go this weekend and start to talk to Granny about what she actually wants and needs and whether those two things are actually compatible

And let your sister be as self-righteous and she likes and get away with it. It doesn't matter. Your Granny's wellbeing and your family's happiness does.

LookBehindYou Fri 12-Oct-12 14:55:30

Yes, dc are a responsibility but family life and other responsibilities continue. The kids won't be damaged by not coming first for a while. Would they really It is unpleasant to use the kids as a get out clause and a huge amount of people have said that the sister should way in because she doesn't have kids (ie. less important life), which is just rude. I think emphasis should be on a nursing home for mum if the parents aren't willing to do what they need to do. But this won't happen overnight and so everyone needs to pitch in while it's being sorted. This is family life and good for the kids.

Downton, it might not be realistic, but it is polite and will go a long way in starting a conversation about needs. Would you appreciate people not even asking you and just making huge assumptions and plans without you being involved?

rockinhippy Fri 12-Oct-12 14:55:46

I agree with others that for all your sakes, GMs especially that her staying in her own home is a bad idea, putting all the tooing & froing with you & your DPs & DSIS aside, SHE could have a much better quality of life with the right sort of sheltered housing.

My Parents are younger, but DM is severely disabled & DF was struggling, DB who live half a mile away is useless, unless it involves money for him, he rarely sees them & I am at the other end of the country & TBH don't have a great relationship with my very Narcasistic/poisonous DM, & even if I were closer I would worry about exposing DD to DMs toxics ways, also my own health problems make it nigh on impossible - so they were in a similar situation.

They moved into a lovely assisted bungalow owned by THESE PEOPLE They have all sorts of properties around the country, some rent, some part rent part buy etc, they have everything you need on site, including medical staff, entertainment, social clubs & a quality restaurant & as DF put it, it was like living in an All Inclusive Hotel, but with better accommodation smile

DF loved it there, though DM hated that he loved it & was making friends, running the Kareoke etchmm & they ended up back in there old home, though they've now had help from OT & SS & cope much better. but the Hannover Properties & ethos really is fantastic - your DGM could really enjoy living there

DHs Grandmother ended up in a similar type of situation when her nephew & carer died, she moved to be closer to us & DMIL & she ended her days there as a very happy active lady, loved her little well equipped for her needs bedsit as she said it was all she needed & loved the social life & weekly outings she had with the place she lived smile

Honestly I think you ALL need cutting some slack - its wrong of DSIS to push extra care on you & rob your DCs, but its equally wrong of you to presume your DSIS has no responsibilities therefore has the time & energy - I have more time & energy as a Mum, than I did pre kids when I had a very full on work life.

Speak to your DGM, look into the assisted living places I link to above & see what DGM thinks, if she's as stoic as you say, I bet she'll jump at the chance as I'd lay bets she hates being a burden on any of you wink

good luck

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 14:56:21

I should probably mention that my sister has done things like voluntary work visiting a lonely elderly person at home once a week in the past. So doing it for her own Grandma is not really much of a step.

Wowserz129 Fri 12-Oct-12 14:56:32

I agree. You have young children to look after and they are your main priority! I think that others such as your parents and you sister who have less going on in their lives. I think you should try help when you can buy don't put pressures on your own family to please your parents.

BiddyPop Fri 12-Oct-12 14:57:13

Well, if your uncle's room hasn't been touched, your mum (his sister) will have to face that he's gone and tackle it, if they are staying put. And if they want others to stay there regularly (it's probably better to have at least a second overnight room available to help out and also reduce things like washing sheets every time there's a changeover if it's so regular).

If there are smells lingering, Gran may need a straighter chair (that's more stable for her, has arms to use to push out of and support her, and has wipe-down or removable and washable cover) - which could be as well as the existing couch for others, or getting all chairs the same.

I can understand not being suitable for Stannah - 1 gran was for a few years but the other never was (well, refused, and then was too unstable).

If you need to replace the porch anyway, surely a builder could do that and ramp at the same time?

A downstairs bathroom does sound like it's needed. And in the meantime, maybe look for a nice washstand in antiques place, or even just decent table that you could put a decent bowl for washing on top, so that there is no bending etc, and she can reach things she'd need and hang a towel on a hook on the side. A sturdy IKEA table with a hook/rail added on the side and nice sticky plastic (maybe patterned, or matching room colour?) covering the top would do even, not needing to be expensive.

Another way to look at it might be to move gran upstairs again closer to the bathroom, but make another upstairs room into more of a sitting room and the downstairs room into a bedroom for a more able-bodied person. So gran can still have TV, nice seat, different room to move to etc but can go to loo and wash in bath/shower.

It might be that, while you can't give time in the house, you may be a person who can do more organising of things that need to be done. It sounds like you can see them more clearly, and may be more likely to get on with it. Or talk to different people about what's needed (with photos, dimensions etc)and whittle down to just 1 or 2 that need to go to the house and see it/your parents/gran to reduce disruption.

And while you may have lived there for a year (been there, done that), that doesn't mean you take over or have a duty to ignore the rest of your family. You presumably did some care when you were there (laundry, cooking, shopping, cleaning etc) in return for staying, and there are still ways to help now without being physically there.

I say that thinking about my Gran and what she wanted - not to be dependent on family, and also getting care that was available to her and delighted to see me coming whenever I could but giving out every time because I had so much to do too (not that I made her feel guilty about being there - she just knows the reality of life with kids and working).

Has your gran said what SHE wants at all?

LookBehindYou Fri 12-Oct-12 14:57:24

Hmm, trying again. Yes, dc are a responsibility but family life and other responsibilities continue. The kids won't be damaged by not coming first for a while. It is unpleasant to use the kids as a get out clause and a huge amount of people have said that the sister should weigh in because she doesn't have kids (ie. less important life), which is just rude. I think emphasis should be on a nursing home for mum if the parents aren't willing to do what they need to do. But this won't happen overnight and so everyone needs to pitch in while it's being sorted. This is family life and good for the kids.

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 14:58:59

"The kids won't be damaged by not coming first for a while."

Well this is a bit of an issue, DS is (high-functioning) autistic and due to senior schools, etc., I am spending a lot of time with him working on various issues.

Not saying he is being damaged but at the moment in particular it is quite important that he comes first.

Wowserz129 Fri 12-Oct-12 14:59:00

Also agree with the point that sheltered housing complex or similar might be more appropriate as all this different people, no own space etc can't be good for her.

expatinscotland Fri 12-Oct-12 15:01:26

Your son needs to come first here, St Winifred.

LookBehindYou Fri 12-Oct-12 15:03:26

StW, I understand. Tricky. Call a family meeting with your gran their too. Give her lots of love and talk rationally about the best thing to keep her safe and happy. A great outcome would be sheltered accomodation that delivers meals and gives more hands on care that's close to your parents.
I strongly suggest you all talk together asap. You'll be around after your gran and so it would be best not to fall out over these highly emotive and stressful things if you don't need to.

LookBehindYou Fri 12-Oct-12 15:03:56

Aaaaagggh predictive text - drives me nuts!

MerylStrop Fri 12-Oct-12 15:05:07

LBY - I don't think the OP has said her sister SHOULD do the lion's share, just that having her own DC make it more difficult for her to do as much as her sister (that and living a 2 hour drive away and having a job).

LookBehindYou Fri 12-Oct-12 15:05:59

Meryl, I didn't read the OP saying it but a lot of the comments did.

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 15:07:02

Expat, I am working with him after school Monday, Wednesday and Thursday till bed time (Tuesday and Friday he has activities), except Monday I didn't because I was exhausted after coming back from Grandma and couldn't face it.

I can't realistically say that me being away Sunday and Monday while he is at school is going to fuck up his life, but obviously it's not ideal, but then as my Dad has said the situation with Grandma is not ideal....

rockinhippy Fri 12-Oct-12 15:12:44

Honestly Stwinifred the assisted housing complex IS the way forward, look at the link I posted, the left hand side allows you to search your or your DPs area to see whats available, I visited my DPs when they lived there, the place really was amazing, properly equipped bungalow for their needs AND a first class restaurant where they could eat & socialise if they chose - meals where included in the price, quality food too & if they didn't want to eat in the restaurant then food could be delivered, they had as much help as they WANTED, nothing was pushed on them, but staff made sure they felt involved if they wanted too - when my DPs are older, one dies then I already have the local Hannover complexes book marked for them

EduCated Fri 12-Oct-12 15:14:19

Please speak to SS. We have just arranged for some care for my DGPs. Currently it is only cleaning and meals on wheels, but the 'cleaners' are actually from a care company, so that if we/my DGPs feel more care is needed, it can be picked up by them and will be with familiar faces. SS talked the family through the different options and how best to proceed, although it is a private arrangement with the care company.

You have to think as we'll about back-up plans. What if one of you ill? Who will pick up the extra care? What about when you want to go on holiday? When something happens with the DC? If you/DSis want to move house?

BiddyPop Fri 12-Oct-12 15:20:19

Definitely a full and frank family conference is needed. It may need 2 sessions - (possibly both without Gran in the room) - the first to get your parents to understand exactly what Gran's needs are now and likely to become as time goes on. A second, after a few days to reflect on that reality, and to talk to Gran about her wishes, would be where the plan going forward could be agreed (options may be laid out at the first). That conference should also include SS and whoever is your Gran's lead medical care (GP or if she is under a geriatric or other team in hospital etc, they would be involved - in fact, geriatric teams are great for making family understand reality in such cases).

Your parents probably want to do it all themselves, because that is how they were raised. But there are physical limits to what can be done, and then the needs of the elderly person may not be met by family, even though they mean SOOOO well, but could be met under other circumstances with family still taking an active part in that care or even stepping back from physical care and resuming purely family relationship.

DowntonTrout Fri 12-Oct-12 15:21:20

LBY do you have experience of this situation?

Your comments seem to be somewhat idealistic.

I do know what caring for an elderly relative with heart failure means. Caring for someone towards end of life is extremely difficult, time consuming and distressing. It's not something you can do with young children there. (especially if the OPs DS has AS.) I did do it - with an 8yo at home. But I would never, ever, do it again. It is hard on you, the children, and the person being cared for.

That is why Mum, with Alzheimer, is now in a home. It would not have been her choice, but sometimes you have to put all emotion aside, yours and theirs, and do what is practical. Clearly the current situation is not. I think people are blinkered as to how exhausting and emotionally draining caring is. And as I said before- guilt gets in the way and stops people from addressing what needs to be done.

BiddyPop Fri 12-Oct-12 15:22:55

And yes, you have definite priorities in helping your DS at the moment - there are sources of help for your Gran if family will allow those to be used, but your DS may not have another shot at this transition (DD is HF Asp/ADHD, so I can really see where you are in this!).

ginnybag Fri 12-Oct-12 15:24:57

Put your foot down, now, OP. I know how this ends. In fact, I posted about it on here a couple of years ago.

My Great Aunt was very similar. Very elderly, doing alright, then had a 'funny spell' and never recovered her independence. In her case, she developed Pneumonia, was treated and recovered, but never regained her independence, in part, because of the first few weeks after she left hospital.

We started ( Me, my mum, my sister, and both my aunties) off by spending the nights on rota with her immediately after she was discharged. We'd arrive at tea time-ish, make a meal and chat, then go to bed, then make breakfast and leave.

It was meant to be for a couple of weeks, 'just until she gets back on her feet' and for the first month or so, it was fine.

The problem is, she never got 'back on her feet'. The more we stayed, the less able to be alone she became. It went on for four years. And the demands grew as my great aunt's health failed.

Like your Gran is now, she started sleeping during the day, because she was alone and bored, and then wanted to stay up all night nattering. Because she was awake at night, she needed care at night. We started not being able to just leave her and go to bed, because she stopped being steady on her feet - like your Gran - so we were making drinks, then helping to the toilet, back into bed, then a new drink etc etc.

Eventually, she couldn't be left, at all.

Like you, OP, I had a small child - a baby, in fact, born during the early parts of this. I took her with me, at first, but as GA's health dwindled and DD got older, the combination got impossible. Too, we were washing and toileting in the front room by the end (even with a downstairs bathroom!) so GA started refusing to allow me to being DH with me, and the combination of curious toddler and commode was horrible!

And, like you, I (and one of my Aunt's) lived 50 miles away, neither of us driving, so the refusal to have 'strange men in the house' meant we were both faced with a three hour commute each way. We both work full time, she had her own health issues and I had a toddler who I now had to either take (so she didn't see her dad all weekend), and then struggle to cope with because she was mostly being ignored, or leave with her dad (so I didn't see her all weekend).

My sister, 17 at the time, started struggling at college due to the broken sleep on her midweek stays.

My mum, also working full time, started being late for work all the time, because GA would always need 'just one more thing' as she was trying to leave.

Eventually, the only person not massively struggling was the other Aunty. The only one who lived locally, had no young kids, did not work.

Guess who was always on the phone asking when we were 'taking our turn?'

I loved my Great Aunty to pieces, I genuinely, truly did. I do not regret caring for her, but I resent that it was never best for any of us, not even her. By the end, we weren't coping and she must have known.

The thing is, OP, we started off with a woman younger than your Gran, with better facilities by far, with more 'carers' and with SS support, and it still became too much.

If your family start this, you will not stop. I would strongly, strongly say that you must not start. It's not right, or best, or fair to anyone.

Find her a lovely home - they aren't awful dives with heartless carers - and continue to be her family, not her nurses. Enjoy her remaining years, not resent them.

BiddyPop Fri 12-Oct-12 15:30:41

My other gran (not the one I was as involved with, as she has more family physically near her to help out and more paid care involved too - so I devoted my time to farther away gran who needed me more) is currently dealing with 90% heart failure. 1 daughter never left family home, 1 other daughter is heavily involved in physical care, other daughter does emotional support (cooking, letting the other 2 blow off steam and offering tissues, etc) but gave a lot of physical stuff when both grandparents were still able and live-at-home daughter still worked FT. Meanwhile 2 sons are around a lot and do various bits, while 1 SIL tends the garden and other SIL does a lot of scrabble evenings etc. There's a range of things that can help.

But they've found that since she's become bedbound (past 6 months), they use a commode on wheels - which can being her to bathroom upstairs (toilet or to sit on in shower), and be the commode in her room.

Sorry, I keep thinking of things slightly randomly that may help in your situation, but I do really think a frank discussion with family and professionals, including backups for when some are ill, if gran has a setback, how about holidays (she may last a good few years yet) etc is vitally important.

rockinhippy Fri 12-Oct-12 15:34:56


I can recommend Hannover, but theres lots more in the link

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 15:35:19

That's really illuminating ginny, it's great to have a personal insight into this.

I'd love to send this thread to my parents and say 'look, all these random people on the internet say this is untenable', but obviously I can't.

There are basically two perspectives on this:

* mine, which is I was there last Saturday, I can come round this Saturday again, so they can go away and have a nice break, which I think is a good idea for them, and me having gone around only once as a carer ever, is not a big deal, but then that's not to say I'm going to be caring every wee.
* theirs, which is I am going to be going there every Sunday for the rest of Grandma's life, and on that basis they think it's unreasonable for me to go on Saturday as well, in view of the fact that I am going to have no Sundays with my family for the indefinite future, so they are doing me a favour by sparing me that, whereas of course I am happy to do them a favour this Saturday, but not on the understanding that this (to any extent) goes on forever.

Wingedharpy Fri 12-Oct-12 15:37:44

Sorry OP but your parents sound a bit useless to be honest.
Cleaning threadbare carpets while upstairs, Uncles bedroom is left with 25 years of muck covering it and Granny's washing in a bucket doesn't sound to me like they've taken things in hand at all - more like arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
Meryl is right - you sound like the only practical, realistic one in your family so it will be up to you to make stuff happen.
As has been said, this situation could go on for years - just because Granny is 100 doesn't mean she won't be around for much longer and,it's only been a matter of weeks but the cracks are beginning to show already.
Have you considered getting her a lifeline-emergency-round -the- neck-thingy that she can wear and press should she have a fall?
It's not ideal but it may mean that you would be able to leave her unattended for a bit longer in between visits.
If this was my Granny and my family my starting point to be honest would be to get social services involved as your Granny is a vulnerable adult and needs someone who knows what help is available and can help steer you all in the right direction.
Having Granny take a week or 2's break in a residential home while you all pull together and get the house clean and habitable would also be a sensible move if it is agreed she will go back there. The double glazing could be done at this point too.
Your parents sound as if they are overwhelmed by it all and need someone to take the reins and get things organised.
Phone Social Services today.
They don't move speedily but at least you would feel that you were taking control rather than being brow beaten in to taking things on that you are unable to sustain.

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 15:38:04

Thanks rockin. I looked at the list and there was nothing hugely local, although I'm sure there must be places within a mile realistically.

It's really hard for me to be the one to push granny into a home, you know I don't want to be the evil heartless bastard here, I had hoped that they would come to their senses independently, but I think (a) my sister finds it personally fulfilling and (b) my parents are very pleased to finally get away from 24/7 in a falling down house in an area they don't like, so that just leaves (c) me.

rockinhippy Fri 12-Oct-12 15:40:22

To give you an example, my DPs lived here for a year… The building was state of the art, amazing stained glass sky lights that were actually solar panels, lovely spot & all bills & a 3 course meal included for a reasonable price covered by their disability benefit, & all sorts of facilities on site.

Can you make a few enquiries now into care homes / ss help and propose something so any caring that you are collectively doing has an end date?

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 15:41:09

"Have you considered getting her a lifeline-emergency-round -the- neck-thingy that she can wear and press should she have a fall?"

Yes she has that, but even so the consensus appears to be that she should not be left for more than 2 hours as a maximum. So if for instance I went round with the kids at half-term we couldn't go out for the day and leave her for example, and the amount of stimulation that she requires, were it possible to take her out e.g., in a wheelchair (and this is a bit tricky as DH uses the car to get to work), is very much less than what two young children are used to.

rockinhippy Fri 12-Oct-12 15:42:38

You won't be pushing her, but opening the door for her to have a better quality of life, she sounds like a tough lady who probably feels she's keeping the family home going for your DPs, DHs Gran thought that, that burden being lifted was a huge relief to her smile

ginnybag Fri 12-Oct-12 15:54:26

It might be best to look at this as two separate questions.

What's happening this weekend - because you won't get anything other than family arranged before then - so what can you/are you willing to do this weekend. Be honest.

Then: tell your Dad this, and follow it up immediately by asking question 2. What's the long term plan?

Plan for at least 5 years. It may well not be that long, but it could be!

Ask simple, practical questions:

Where will you sleep?
Where will your children (and DH) sleep if you are staying?
Where is your Gran to sleep? Which room is best overall and what's being done to get her a new bed (because, trust me, from experience with GA who at first hid she had become incontinent, her bed is likely fit only for burning!)
What are the arrangements for laundry? Again, she's incontinent - there'll be a bit of this!

You say she can 'take care of her personal needs, but the house - furniture and carpets smell - this says differently. So, what are the arrangements for this?

The furniture and carpets smell. They, therefore, need to be replaced, as a matter of urgency and hygiene. Gran may like them - but that's not the point!

Who's organising and paying for that? What's happening to your Gran whilst new flooring is fitted - she can't be using a commode in the same room as the workmen!

The window - if your Gran is to stay in her own home and not have her health fail rapidly then it has to be adequately heated. There's a hole in a window which prevents this. Again, who is to organise and pay for this to be fixed.

These are all questions to put to him and you sister.

And when they can't answer them, or won't, start making other arrangements!

Wingedharpy Fri 12-Oct-12 15:55:24

Phone Social Services in her area NOW.
They will be able to raise the sensitive issues - like Residential Care, which you and your family may find difficult.
You may find, with their input, that the need for residential care becomes less immediate and more a Plan B thing.

rockinhippy Fri 12-Oct-12 16:15:06

Can I just clarify that Assisted Living Apartments/Bungalows AREN"T the same thing as "residential care homes"

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 16:30:48

I sent Dad an email:

"I think we are looking at this from different perspectives.

For me it is clear that the arrangement is not a sustainable one; certainly unless I come at 10pm on Sunday (and there wouldn’t be much point in that) I might as well come first thing in the morning or probably really last thing on Saturday in terms of me + my family spending time together. We do find that because of various commitments we need a whole weekend together in order to attend our weekend engagements, the children’s, and then have some relaxing time together as a family.

So to answer your question I don’t think it’s going to be realistic in the long term that I go there each Sunday in perpetuity.

However as I said before I want to do what I can certainly to provide you with some relief from the stressful few months, and get away for a break, which is why I asked you what you were planning, so I can help with that.

I was a bit disconcerted though given that I feel clear that having a half of a weekend for the next few years is going to work for us, to see that you feel that this is insufficient and in fact further ‘balancing’ is required over and above this.

So I guess while I am thinking ‘I would like to help you on this weekend in view of your past months’ your perspective is more ‘You are going to be giving up half your weekend for the foreseeable future, so it’s unreasonable to ask more’.

In terms of improvements I was startled to find that you were still sleeping on a mattress on the floor that was too small for me when I was 10, after 3 months, and this concerns me in terms of the future as I do think for instance that Grandma needs a suitable living situation with a toilet and so on, whereas available evidence suggests that little will be done in this side.

So I am keen to provide relief for you in the short term, but I want to believe that there is a long term beyond this, rather than an indefinite continuation of Grandma washing in a bucket and going to the toilet in the living room."

sarahtigh Fri 12-Oct-12 16:34:16

could you decide what you could reasonably do, maybe 1 long weekend a month so they could have a break ie go friday night come back monday, and maybe commit to a whole week for their holidays

you need to get it sorted equal shares is not always fair

if your parents find sorting out a blocked toilet too much, maybe your role could be sorting this type of stuff that they obviously find so difficult but a friendly warning their neglect of themselves and house will get worse and you will be dealing with it again in 10-25 years time as they get older and less capable, if your granny is 100, how old are your parents because it might just be too much for them too

Woozley Fri 12-Oct-12 16:34:32

I'd rather pay for someone to come in and help her for a few hours a week and give the rest of the family a rest, and just visit her every couple of weeks. Is that a possibility?

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 16:36:22

And btw I am not 100% sure what the financial implications of this are. Grandma has some savings, maybe £30k (wild guess?). Dad fell out with his brother after he built a granny annex for my other Grandma after her husband died - using Grandma + (late) Grandad's money, without consulting my Dad, basically wiping out the inheritance

There's enough money with the house (£300k?) to provide for anything that might be needed for Grandma, but whether my parents want to avoid spending her inheritance I wouldn't like to say.

prettybird Fri 12-Oct-12 16:42:19

You need to be more assertive. At the moment you seem to be paralyzed by guilt about the fact that somehow you should be doing more and/or paying back your grandma for the year you stayed with her. You are also making excuses for the rest of the family as to why they can't/won't/didn't do more.

You seem to be both justifying and apologising for the amount of time you have given her - but feeling pressured to commit to more.

You need to get it clear in your own head how much time you can give - taking into account the fact that you have your own family who also have needs. Write it down. Be realistic. Don't let this situation damage your relationship with your dh - or with your kids. They are your long term future.

Then you need to call a family meeting and put forward what you can do and then ask what the others want to commit to. In parallel, you need to find out what sort of care package Social Services can commit to. It's a hard fact of life, but as long as the family is picking up the care, the other services won't.

If there is a disjoint, then you need to look at other options - which may well include looking at care homes or supported accommodation. Don't feel guilty.

Part of the action plan may include a family blitz on the house. Involve your husband (as it is having a direct impact on your family unit) and your sister's partner (the fact hat they are not married doesn't make them any less of a family unit).

What your sister can or cannot commit to is her responsibility. She has no right to say to you what you should be doing. Don't give her that power.

Also - as others have said, talk to your grandma. Find out what she would want. She may hate feeling that she is a burden on you.

If you are going to continue in this way, you do need to be absolutely clear about what you have agreed to do. Just because your own parents are not that organised, don't make that into an excuse. Put together a rota - even if it is only to say you will provide respite for your parents at "times x and y" - so that they can look forward to it and make their own plans. A rota will hep ensure that "mixed messages" don't muddy the water. If you want to have the flexibility to enjoy a "Sunday when there's nice weather" then that's fine - just say you can only commit to visiting your grandma but not to ongoing care. That's also important for Social Services to know when they are assessing care requirements. Someone in the house at all times means that a vulnerable person has different care needs to a person who is living totally on their own.

Sassybeast Fri 12-Oct-12 16:52:00

Loads of excellent advice on this thread. Caring for an elderly, incontinent relative is a huge commitment and I would actually be quite angry with your parents - I think their expectations of you and your children are excessive. I think her washing from a 'bucket' and having to use a commode, which presumably is not always able to be emptied immediately are absolutely horrendous in terms of her dignity. I would be seriously questioning their motivations for not paying for the best quality care that she deserves at this stage in her life.

FryOneGhoulishGhostlyManic Fri 12-Oct-12 16:56:13

Sod the inheritance. Your Grandma's needs come before your parents getting any inheritance! She needs to be clean, warm, fed and be able to retain dignity.

LookBehindYou Fri 12-Oct-12 17:01:59

Yes downton, I do have experience. Have just been through it for the second time around. That is why I am stressing the OP needs to talk with the whole family together. There can be no misunderstandings and no divide and conquer behaviour if you're all in the room together. ime people do really underestimate the massive denial that both the mum/dad and child go through and all of this will be compounded by grief. Demanding something at someone else just creates ill will. I really think that SS needs to be suggested with a huge amount of tact. It's not something that anyone wants. Consensus is a lot easier if all together and gran will agree to the steps that need to be taken if she feels that she is safe. I wager that she'll feel relief. But she needs to be cared for in the meantime and the parents sound next to useless to be frank. If their own house is in disrepair perhaps something is going on with them.

DowntonTrout Fri 12-Oct-12 17:21:52

LBY I think then, that we agree on those points.

sassybeast you have put that very well. I would be angry that all this dilly dallying about, however well meaning, was impacting on the OPs grans' life and dignity.

In fact, the more the OP tells us about their inability to complete even basic tasks, the more angry I feel for her.

yomellamoHelly Fri 12-Oct-12 17:24:35

Contact SS. I did it through my mum's gp. Set up a meeting at your gm's house. Tell others when it is. Have a very frank discussion. Remember to point out how many hours away you are. How your parents can't cope. How busy your sister is. How frail your gm is.......... They've seen it all before. May be able to suggest day centre for some socialising. Also in-house alarm / emergency set-up. Also alterations to house. Assumin your gm gets worse you won't be able to get carers in to help if the facilities are as you describe I would have thought. Spend some effort making the ground floor much nicer for your gm. Doesn't sound like much of a way to live. Would expect she'd be eligible for a grant. Our garage (we're 1930s semi too) is being converted for a downstairs bathroom and they're also going to sort out access to the front and rear. Things like a modern boiler and double glazing would also help with bills if you can run to them so she can properly heat the house for a start (my mum was terrible at this).

charlottehere Fri 12-Oct-12 17:31:24

I agree with your DH, why can't your parents have DG to live with them?

Splinters Fri 12-Oct-12 17:38:33

Inheritance, wow. It's your grandma's money and she has every right to use it (or have it used on her behalf) to provide a safe and comfortable standard of living for herself.

expatinscotland Fri 12-Oct-12 17:52:44

Why do I have a sneaking suspicion your dad is angling after her money?

I hope I'm wrong, but I'd be the first to tell your parents and sister in no uncertain terms that I was available for respite care only XYZ times a month so they don't start all this crap with 'Oh, help out, OP,' because they know you're a pushover, and then it starts to be more and more often.

You need to be very assertive with your father and that email sounded a bit wishy-washy.

charlottehere Fri 12-Oct-12 17:56:37

With that amount of money, DG could be well cared for. Your parents sound incredibly selfish.sad

tanteclaire Fri 12-Oct-12 18:02:54

This sounds appalling... and I have not read the whole thread (so sorry if this is totally out of line) but... are your parents expecting you all to provide free care so the caring costs don't eat into their inheritance?
I do not think what is expected of you is fair at all, or of your sister (unless she is happy to do it). So I agree you have to be up front with your parents. Your young family must come first. By all means contribute to the care effort, and above all make sure you visit and take the kids to see her, but I do not think you should feel bad that you cannot commit to what they are expecting - and you have to let them know this.

thebody Fri 12-Oct-12 18:04:43

Hi op I totally think you are defiantly NOT being unreasonable.

You can't commit to being a cater, you have enough responsibilities, not everyone is able/ willing to be a cater and its disgraceful for your family to force you into this position.

Simply say no.

thebody Fri 12-Oct-12 18:05:41

Obviously carer not cater xxx

shewhowines Fri 12-Oct-12 18:07:04

Sorry but you can't take this on. You have a responsibility to your own family. Your sister has no other responsibilities and can even continue her job whilst there. She is not sacrificing anywhere as much as you are being expected to. She is not even using her work holidays. She can enjoy those on her off days whilst you would need to use all yours up to cover gma care to the detriment of your children and Dh.

You need to say no. Perhaps offer occasional cover in emergencies but that is all.

Much as you may love her, it is too big an ask and not fair to your family or you.

DontmindifIdo Fri 12-Oct-12 18:15:05

Thing is, if the whole family are trying to find a solution, that includes the Grandmother, who you say has good mental health so can be reasoned with. It's not fair for her to ask the rest of the family to give up their social and family lives because she wants to stay in a particular house. If she needs care, then she shoud be prepared to move in with your parents (assuming the are actually prepared to have her). Then any work that's needed on the house can be done and it can either be rented out (providing an income that could be spent on respite or additional care if your parents need it), or sold and the money invested/used for care/changes needed to your parents house like a walk in shower or stairlift.

The inheritance only "goes" if the house is sold and your Grandmother goes in a home and lives long enough to work her way though £300k worth of care bills. (To put it in perspective, the home my Nana was in until her death earlier this year charged around £20-£25k a year depending on the level of care needed, and also remember if you have to pay for it, your Grandmother's pension can also be used to pay the bills rather than just using up the capital).

expatinscotland Fri 12-Oct-12 18:17:21

'are your parents expecting you all to provide free care so the caring costs don't eat into their inheritance?'

Sounds like it.

DontmindifIdo Fri 12-Oct-12 18:19:37

Also to add, don't get drawn into a competing with your sister or feel you have to match her - if she is the martyr/do-gooder type, then you won't win, your failure to match her 'self sacrifice' will be used by her to feel smug that she's better than you, and she will never accept that you aren't just sacrificing your own time but part of your DCs lives. (I bet as well even if you match it with time, she'll find another way to be 'better' by doing more fun with your Grandmother or doing more jobs/cooking better food etc)

FTRsMammy Fri 12-Oct-12 18:24:14

I've only skimmed through the thread but I would say its really admirable that the hope is to keep grans care within the family however IMHO her requirements are out of your remit. It sounds like the safest and healthiest option for gran would be a care home or assisted living facility. You haven't got a crystal ball to know how long this is going to continue and if everyone is fed up and knackered then you won't be giving granny the full attention she needs. I hope you find a solution smile

MerylStrop Fri 12-Oct-12 18:26:22

I'm guessing your parents are not in the first flush of youth either?

Is their expectation that you might also, in time care for them?

Time for full and frank discussions

LookBehindYou Fri 12-Oct-12 18:28:00


ihearsounds Fri 12-Oct-12 18:28:12

Regardless of guilt trips, and this person does that etc.. It is the needs of your nan that should be considered. Her current set up is not in her best interests. Washing out of a bucket and using a commode because she cannot get up the stairs implies that she does not take bath/showers.
Then there's the windows. Are downstairs as bad as upstairs, albeit apart from the hole? Again this isn't an ideal place for her to be living in, especially since winter is coming.
Talk to nan and find out what she wants, forget about what other relatives want. If they want the situation to continue as it is, then suggest they live in her shoes for a month and then tell you its fine..

Mayisout Fri 12-Oct-12 18:28:55

I don't understand why nothing better can be done.

Does someone have power of attorney (if that is the right term) over her money.

If she IS going to stay put (but that seems daft to me) for heave's sake get it repaired and refitted.

Surely even her weekly pension (about 100 a week I think) would pay for say 8 hours of care from an outsider. So that's one day time or night time less a week. Also I think with the present situation the SS might pay for some respite care so perhaps that would be so many days a month?? So that's something less for you all to do. Plus I would think she is entitled to some care by ss (help to bath or bed bath once a week maybe). And 30,000 would provide alot of hours from a nice carer. You might find a lovely person (or two if that's what it takes) who she loves to have call in everyday to help her wash etc

It amazes me that these oldies seem to be willing to so put on their families. I hope to god I have the sense to INSIST that I pay for someone to wipe my bum and not guilt trip children and grandchildren into it. I really feel her house should be sold so she can move into a nice care home, then family can do the nice days out, play cards, read to her etc and not the daily grind.

Can only think your DPs are biding their time for the intheritance or why not do the repairs?

CelineMcBean Fri 12-Oct-12 18:35:16

Has anybody asked Grandma what she wants? I think that's really important but if she is unreasonable about what she wants you don't have to honour it. A simple "sorry but that is just not practical" works wonders.

While I can understand your feelings on this, I think the way you are expressing them to your parents is very much about your needs - holidays, relaxing time etc. Also your language and comments about what they have done, ie you were "startled" "disconcerted", is all very negative and critical. All of this will just put their backs up more, especially if they are already being martyrs about the situation.

Do offer practical solutions where you can. If you can't be a live in carer (and I don't blame you, really I don't) then can you contribute towards the costs of some of the adjustments that need to be made?

Instead of talking to them about your needs and criticising what they have done, give a list of things you can do. And if necessary chuck money at the problems rather than time. For example:

I will come and look after grandma for X weekends over the next X months. Please advise me which of the following dates would suit you.

I will pay for a cleaner to come once a week.

I will arrange for meals on wheels

I will contact the council to see what support they can offer

I will arrange for proper beds for you to sleep in while you are there

I will pay for a nurse/home help to come for x hours over the next X months. Please advise me what days this would be most suitable from the following list of dates.

I will contact local charities to see what options there are for day centres for Grandma so she can get out and socialise.

I will pay for transport to enable Grandma to attend day centres once a week.

alistron1 Fri 12-Oct-12 18:38:56

My grandfather is 90. He needs a lot of care - we ( I.e my mum aunt, me, sister and our cousin) COULD work a rota for him to stay in his home, but it would kill us and be bad for him.

We've gone down the assessment/care/selling of assets route - he's being well looked after and no one has to play the martyr, as your sister is doing.

alistron1 Fri 12-Oct-12 18:41:25

As Celine said, a difficult conversation was had with my grandfather - what he 'wanted' (ie to stay at home) was unworkable. It was a hard process, but 'we' had to make tough decisions in his interests and to ensure continuity/decent levels of care.

DowntonTrout Fri 12-Oct-12 18:59:01

Also, since money is being discussed-

Is your gran receiving attendance allowance? And is your mother claiming carers allowance.?

If not they should contact the DWP as a matter of urgency. I think that some of this can be backdated.

cansu Fri 12-Oct-12 19:16:40

I think you need to stop trying to keep up with your sister who has a different set up at home and either chooses to or finds it easier to adapt to caring for your grandma. If you feel you can contribute financially then do so as this could perhaps pay for a carer for the weekend or maybe think very carefully about what you would be ale to offer maybe a weekend once a month or once a fortnight. Would it be possible to have Grandma at yours for a couple of days? I don't think Yabu to say no to the arrangement proposed. I think you are going to have to start speaking calmly and frankly to your family. I can see this won't be easy. My sister also has very unreasonable expectations of others. I am very clear with her and I find this works best. Try saying clearly I can see that this is what might be ideal but it doesn't work for me and my family. And then say nothing. I think you can get very entrenched in trying to defend ourself and explain. This maes it worse in my experience.

cansu Fri 12-Oct-12 19:18:31

Some very good practical suggestions from celine I would take up some of these options.

CelineMcBean Fri 12-Oct-12 19:25:09

Perhaps "I can" would be better than "I will". Less assumptive.

Ungratefulchild Fri 12-Oct-12 19:31:04

I think you all need to get together and talk about the issues face to face. You, your sister, your Mum and Dad and your Gran. You need to find out what your Gran wants?

Then refer to SS for a full assessment. This can include an OT assessment for the living situation and consideration for respite. You can all then decide what bits of the care package to access from SS, what bits to buy in and what can be provided by family. It's not an all or nothing situation.

soverylucky Fri 12-Oct-12 19:33:31

It would seem the arrangement is not working and a family meeting to sort it out is required.

I would cut off my arm with a blunt knife to see my grandma again though - this won't be forever op.

CassandraApprentice Fri 12-Oct-12 19:47:40

You might not find SS very helpful - we didn't. Probably worth a try as I expect its one of those very variable things dependent on location and who you get and their work load.

They assessed one of my GP as able to cope and needing no assistance their criteria was he could make a cup of tea. They may have caught him on a good day or fudged the test less than week later he'd injured himself and was in hospital where dementia was finally diagnose.

Even finding care homes they were no help my parents had to do it all even when this caused delays with emptying the hospital beds.

Having said that the sanitation issues would probably raise red flags in your case.

CassandraApprentice Fri 12-Oct-12 19:53:40

Many people go along with idea of it won't be forever - and then find it longer and harder than they thought and it starts to damage their health and I've seen it breed massive bitterness and resentment which taints memories and relationships.

Hard though it is it is best to think well this situation may go on for years and plan accordingly - so everyone is looked after.

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 20:00:25

"Is their expectation that you might also, in time care for them?"

No idea. I think there is a difference to be fair.

I don't expect my parents to look after my children (well they have had them the odd weekend here in there, maybe 3 weeks in total in 10 years (at least once at their request)), and equally I think there's a difference in responsibility between child to parent and child to grandparent, and vice versa.

I was quite pissed off tbh that my Dad seems to being presumptuous about my responsibility here.

DontmindifIdo Fri 12-Oct-12 20:31:05

yes, it's not a normal presumption that grandchildren do the care or arrange the care, it's normally the next generation down, unless that generation is missing or incapable.

It's ok to say no to your Dad, although to be fair, it could be that as your sister has taken on the responsiblity that he assumes you will too. It's changed the normal dynamic. She might well have been saying things like "don't be silly, of course St Winifred and I will take on some of the burden".

DontmindifIdo Fri 12-Oct-12 20:32:46

Does your dad normally look after your mum BTW? You mention that your mum sleeps late and your dad would get in from work and sort things out, could it be he's used to protecting your mum from stuff that's really her 'job' - and so is trying to find care solutions that don't involve her having to do it?

expatinscotland Fri 12-Oct-12 20:49:02

'I was quite pissed off tbh that my Dad seems to being presumptuous about my responsibility here.'

Oh, I'd be FUMING! And he'd know it, too. That's why it's really important you don't keep saying, 'I'm keen to help out'. Instead you need to be very clear, 'I can provide respite this number of days this month, on these dates.'

And this is starting to seem fishy - they should be able to sell her house to get her decent care and should have done this ages ago.

Sounds like someone's trying to maximise the money they'll get when she dies.

Woozley Fri 12-Oct-12 20:55:25

I missed the bit that she was incontinent. That is a lot to deal with. Really they need someone professional coming in to help her either NHS or private, especially if the money is there as you say. Most people though would put elderly relatives in a home by the time they need as much care as your gran needs.

rockinhippy Fri 12-Oct-12 21:20:53

I'm curious, presuming GM is your Dads Mum ?? - did he help his brother with her at all, or leave him too it, for that matter, if its your mums mum, did she help her brother much at all??

either way IMHO Your Dad really IS taking the P & I suspect quite probably playing you & your DSIS off against each other for best effect to get the most help, so I don't blame you for being annoyed, sadly you do need to stand up to him & don't allow him to put you on a guilt trip. Whatever their reasonings are for keeping your DGM in her home, its NOT in anyones best interest, unless of course the others are right about DF covering their inheritance - bottom line is, with the undignified way your poor DGM is living, its definitely NOT in her best interests sad - so something has to give & the sooner you stop pussy footing around & stand up to your DPs over this the better.

As for finances for an assisted care place, I do know my own DPs didn't sell or let out their own home, they had a 2 bed semi detached Hannover bungalow, with garden etc so one of the most expensive ones to rent, & they managed fine, I know that Hannover arranged the finances for them & it was some of the care benefits that went into paying the rent, the rent also included bills & food, so bar telephone & a bit of extra food they had little else to pay for & managed very well financially, despite still paying a mortgage on their own property - they do have other pensions, but they also had a mortgage, so I'm pretty sure financing a small flat for your DGM with the care component etc would be pretty easy -

why don't you give Hannover a ring & ask their advice on how financing works, get your info together & then have that family meeting

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 21:32:06

"I'm curious, presuming GM is your Dads Mum ?? - did he help his brother with her at all, or leave him too it, for that matter, if its your mums mum, did she help her brother much at all??"

Mum's mum, and she didn't do much in the few months she has needed the extreme care. Dad's mum has been looked after by Dad's brother, but using their mum's money, as a result of which Dad no longer speaks to brother as he wasn't consulted (Dad's brother is a doer, and my parents are do-nothingers, so she would have been left by my Dad 200 miles away on her own, after my Grandad died, if Dad's brother hadn't intervened).

Will try and find somewhere very local, as that's one of the factors with where she is now; don't think Hannover has one in her area.

CassandraApprentice Fri 12-Oct-12 21:35:24

I don't understand why your parents are putting so much of this responsibility on your shoulders OP.

I suspect that the situation is only going to get properly sorted if you actually start the ball rolling and do some research. Not particularly fair on you especially as you have other demands on your time but probably better to get a proper solution in place than have ongoing unreasonable demands.

Possibly a good place to start:

rockinhippy Fri 12-Oct-12 21:45:34

So basically they are expecting you + ur DSIS to do what they haven't done themselves, huge ask without that, but that would make very cross, its really very unfair.

I meant speaking with Hannover by way of finding out how the finances would work, I expect they are all pretty much the same, but it was definitely benefits that paid for my DPs, Hannover even helped them with claiming to cover costs, as they'd not claimed before even though they are quite wealthy.

Use that anger to help your GM, by the sounds of it, its really what she needs, good luck

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 21:45:36

I do feel they are trying to pinch pennies. I mentioned about professional carers previously and there seemed to be a '£30k/year? That's ridiculous' attitude, as if we wouldn't consider it.

I mentioned possibly getting a carer from overseas (DH is from a developing country, and it would be much cheaper to get a family member or something, although not apparently possible with visas), and they seemed to be more interested. hmm

Dad has fretted about things like inheritance tax thresholds and getting below it as well, although not necessarily a bad thing to avoid giving money away, it could be a symptom.

expatinscotland Fri 12-Oct-12 21:54:32

Oh, StWinifred, tell your parents to go get knotted! They are piss-takers trying to maximise what they'll get out of Grandma.

theoriginalandbestrookie Fri 12-Oct-12 22:58:49

StWinifred you are definitely not being unreasonable.

I do feel though that your email doesn't really express clearly what you are prepared to do.

I would perhaps email back and state that so if you would feel comfortable with say one weekend a month or whatever it is then tell him that. If you feel it would be possible for you to do more if there was adequate sleeping facilities for your family then again mention that i.e. once you have the extra mattress I can bring the children and could come one extra night every 2 months or whatever it is.

I would also point out that your family circumstances are different from those of your sisters and the long commute and need to spend time with your young family means it is not feasible for you to match her commitment.

Horrible situation and your parents do seem to be very entitled. I hope you get some resolution.

StWinifred Fri 12-Oct-12 23:47:04

I just spoke to my Dad. 'What time can you get here tomorrow?' was his question.

No mention of the other issues.

Fair enough they want to go away, but am not sure if I am going to have to be firmer here.

expatinscotland Fri 12-Oct-12 23:50:00

Why are you letting him boss you around? Why are you going?

DowntonTrout Sat 13-Oct-12 00:06:29

stwinifred you have had lots of good advice on here.

However it is really your parents responsibility and decision. The longer you go on facilitating their lack of a grasp of reality, the longer your gran will go on living like this.

Maybe you need to make it clear that this weekend is a one off and that you will be unable to help out on a regular basis. I'm afraid you may upset your parents and there will be a fall out. But for your grans sake you have to step back from pretending that everyone will cope. Clearly your parents are not coping and there is no need for your gran to be living in those conditions. She has assets and they are not yet your parents inheritance as your gran is not dead.

Deep down all of them must know that they cannot go on like this. If you are there on Monday phone grans gp and get him to do a home visit. That will start the ball rolling. If your gran picks up an infection she will go downhill very quickly and decisions will be taken out of everyone's hands. It is better for her that it does not come to that.

CaliforniaLeaving Sat 13-Oct-12 00:08:53

Sadly it sounds like your parents are trying to maximize the inheritance at Granny expense. She needs a working bathroom, and a warm dry home. Sounds like they just want to carry on the status quo till she's gone. Sad.
Why haven't they tackled uncles room and made it into a suitable place to sleep.
The place sounds like it's falling down around her ears. Social services may not take kindly to her being left to live in these conditions. She should be taken to their house to live.
We intend to have my Mom live with us, she's in her 70's now and doesn't want to live with us until she has too, and has said so. But she knows that one day she'll be moving in and is OK with that.
But there will be a downstairs bathroom and we'll turn one living room into a bedroom/sitting room for her.

BeckAndCall Sat 13-Oct-12 07:03:09

Although I agree with everyone that the situation has to change - I was quite clear on that upthread- I think the OP"s parents are getting a hard time here.

They must be pretty advanced in years themselseves and are probably just bobbing along head in the sand without themselves knowing what to do. Everyone saying that it is their responsibility to sort it out are forgetting that they were probably looking forward to having some retirement years themselves and now find themselves full time carers - that can be no fun for them either.

Yes, the parents are being a bit presumptive about what OP and her sister can do, but they deserve a break too. Definitely time for a family conference.

If it helps, we pay something like £250 per fortnight for two visits a day for our home visits - its not cheap, so it's quite right to think through the money side.

gettingeasier Sat 13-Oct-12 07:52:14

I disagree after reading on into the thread I think the OPs parents are completely out of order and rather selfish or worse greedy

OP I would do this weekend and then consider what you are happy to do eg a visit for an afternoon once a fortnight. I would forget any of the carers role stuff and consider that the responsibility of your DPs. If they want to manage her care themselves rather than sell her house theres nothing you can do about that but they should take the consequences of that decision.

It sounds like there will be a lot of foot stamping and name calling over this and you will need to decide whether to stick to your guns or give into what they want for a quiet life

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 13-Oct-12 08:44:39

Gettingeasier - if she gives in to her parents wishes it won't lead to a quiet life though. Quite reasonably imo her DH is unhappy about the proposed amount of time OP will be away from the home - different matter I think if it were her parents rather than her GP. There is no easy answer and I believe the OP has to do what will work for her children and DH as the parents have the sister and adequate funds to make the situation better.

gettingeasier Sat 13-Oct-12 08:54:33

Yes I suppose so but I imagine her DPs and sisters complaining would be worse

I agree and said upthread that it would be a different matter if it were her own parents and I half expected someone to pull me on it tbh - I have no RL experience in this

Proudnscary Sat 13-Oct-12 09:14:27

Haven't read answers, srry, but I don't think grandchildren should have to take on responsibility for their gparents. It is our duty to support and care for our parents (unless they are toxic arseholes).

Otherwise you will spend your whole life looking after elderly people. I had two elderly grandfathers who I saw a lot of but if my parents had asked me to adhere/commit to a formal arrangement or routine I'd have been pissed off and very stressed. It was stressful enough having two babies and seeing them both once a fortnight.

plutocrap Sat 13-Oct-12 10:09:56

That house sounds disgusting, and I really doubt any cleaning day will address:

- high maintenance carpets
- inappropriate furniture
- the fact that the top floor is just not used, so will become more unusable
- the cold, since that is probably from the broken, gappy windows.

What the hell?! This is not a house that can be made livable, but needs to be gutted. Your poor grandmother, living in such a shithole!

As for you, you indicated that you could contribute to care costs, which would help you face your family with your contribution in hand. After all, money does seem to be one of the issues with your family's penny-pinchingly impractical approach to this problem.

If everyone contributed in their own way, she would have:
- a mix of personal carers (professionals who knwo what they are doing)
- family visits
- a clean and comfortable and warm place to live
- a variety of food
- family visits
- the possibility of seeing people her own age (with whom she can moan about the pains of age, and also the pains of her children!)

I really hope this thread doesn't end with the "solution" that DGM has died, whether through pneumonia, or normally, in discomfort.... sad She is 100, after all.

gussiegrips Sat 13-Oct-12 10:28:41

Am flagging up the safety thingies again...

Your gran is falling. That's serious, every fall is a potentially fatal event for elderly people.

You say your gran is mentally acute - so, WHY is no one asking her what she wants?

(and, it is not acceptable to go about making changes in a grown woman's home without her permission. You can't just change carpets because they stink - it's her carpet. How would you feel?)

Being frank here - elderly care is a specialist area of medicine and nursing For Good Reason. Having well meaning relatives muddling through leads to illness in these people - pressure sores can develop in a couple of hours from sitting in wee and a wrinkled pair of knickers.

GET THE GP TO COME AND ASSESS HER AT HOME. The GP will be able to get the nurse in, the social services, she might benefit from physio, an OT can organise adaptations, there are lots of organisations to provide breaks for carers and get her out the house.

Is she aware of this family stress? Must be awful for her.

You can call her GP and ask for a home visit. You don't need your family's permission - and seeing as how she is falling and her continence is not under control that's a perfectly valid thing to request her GP to do.

Focus on what's needing to be done to preserve your grandmother's health. The rest of it will fall into place after that.

plutocrap Sat 13-Oct-12 10:43:26

Just recalled that your father begrudged £30K from his mother's estate, for his brother's family to take her in (and presumably take on more expense in money and time).

I think the money question is at play here, sorry.

And it's bloody sad your DGM can't spend it for herself, or at least have it spent on hrr.

That reminder about the bedsores is chilling.

Merrin Sat 13-Oct-12 12:25:24

I suggest as a first step respite care for Grandma in a home of her choice four times a year for a fortnight. It is much easier to care for someone if you know when your next decent break is and that it is for a reasonable time. That is why your dad is being difficult in his emails, he needs to know when his next break is and when he knows he will be able to cope with caring.

My dad is in a nursing home. It is smart and respectful and they bring wine or sherry round on a regular basis. I will be booking myself in if I can ever afford it!

Anniegetyourgun Sat 13-Oct-12 13:39:34

No practical suggestions here (you've had plenty of good ones) but it sounds as though your grandmother is the only family member you have any genuine affection for. Other than your DH and DCs of course. I suspect you'd disown the rest of 'em in a heartbeat. Not sure if we're getting an overly harsh view of them or whether they really are that much of a waste of space...

ToothGah Sat 13-Oct-12 14:17:41

Your parents' attitude is shocking - they sound like they are just biding their time for your poor GM to pass away sad And they are making unreasonable expectations of you too.

Food for thought though. If someone from outside the family (GP or neighbour perhaps) finds out about the conditions your grandmother is living in, there is a chance they will report it to social services themselves (I certainly would, personally). I'm amazed to read back that she was having carers in for a time and that the issue of her poor living conditions were not raised then sad

I heard of a case just last week where an unrelated visit by the police to an elderly woman's home led to her being rehoused - they found the conditions she was living in were shocking and they reported it to the council.

She cannot be allowed to have falls. She cannot be washing in a bucket. She cannot live in a home where her incontinence is causing the furniture and carpets to smell. She cannot live in a cold house without a proper place to sleep.

It's no way for her to live and nobody should just accept it.

Having someone (whether that's you or your sister or your parents) simply staying there to cook for her/keep her company isn't enough. She needs quite major interventions and I really think that you should get her GP to visit her at home and get social services involved.

I know it's already been said by others, but I think it's up to you to take some action as it doesn't sound like any of the rest of your family will.

nightowlmostly Sat 13-Oct-12 14:50:21

I am confused about why your dad expected to be consulted about his mum spending her money on her house?!! Yes his brother may have organised it, but it was his mum's money, it's not an inheritance until the person has sadly died. Sorry but he sounds like a right piece of work, and is doing all he can to avoid paying foe decent care.

As for your dilemma, I really sympathise, it sounds like a tricky situation with the pressure being put on you. I would stand firm, reiterate what you are prepared to do, and keep on at them to go with another solution. It sounds like staying in her house will be unworkable to me.

I believe that the care of the elderly, or the responsibility for it at least, if not the physical care itself, should fall to the person's sons and daughters. You and your sister will most likely end up having to deal with these issues for you parents, this shouldn't be on your shoulders. By all means it's good to help out and visit when you can, but the ultimate responsibility is your parents'.

YANBU good luck.

Stwinifred as you're going there this weekend anyway could you use the time alone with your grandma to try to gently find out from her which options she'd be OK with?

It does sound to me as if your parents are penny pinching and waiting on the inheritance tbh - wonder if they actually know for a fact that they'll be the ones inheriting, not the cats home (or you/ your dc) grin

IMO your grandma needs to go into a home or sheltered accommodation and the run-down house with broken windows, unsanitary soft furnishings and inadequate hygiene facilities sold, and only your grandma can say yes or no to that plan, your parents in the end cannot refuse if your grandma is willing - where she lives now doesn't sound fit for human habitation and will possibly kill her over winter!

Regarding your OP you are not being U at all - of course the fact you have children including a child with additional needs (i.e. caring responsibilities that fall only on you and your DH) is absolutely relevant to how much time you can reasonably be expected to spend living away from home caring for an elderly relative who is not 100% dependant on you alone!

oldraver Sat 13-Oct-12 15:02:08

Your recent revelation about your Dad being annoyed at his inheritence being spent doesn't bode well IMO. I asked further up rIs there any reason they dont want to pay for care for your Grandmother? as in my mind I was wondering why they dont want to get specialised help in.

I know a lot of elderly people can be a bit stubborn at accepting outside help or even residential care but there comes a time when this is needed. I think your Grandmothers time has come. At minimum she needs carers to come in but I would think residential much more suitable for her. As others have pointed out it is not dignified or healthy for an elderly lady to be washing in a bucket and struggling with incontinece issues.

I think you need to contact Adult Social Care or the GP and asked to have your GM's needs assesed.

And if this takes up your DF's 'inheritance' so be it

oldraver Sat 13-Oct-12 15:06:13

I also think this would be much better for your family all round. Your visits can be just that... spending precious time visiting your GM with your DC's hopefully in an atmosphere where all her needs have been met, and you can just spend time with her. I think this would be better for your Gran as well

LettyAshton Sat 13-Oct-12 15:39:08

I think those who suggest asking the granny what she wants are wrong. Virtually 100% of elderly people are desperate to stay in their own home, and will not countenance any suggestions to the contrary. They will plead, make you feel guilty and not care how much trouble they cause. Sometimes with elderly people you have to be the grown-up and make a decision that's best for them. In the case of OP, it sounds ludicrous that the granny is not being properly cared for and it appears that the mum & dad are thinking of money.

Mil has recently gone into a home at the cost of £800 a week. Mil didn't want to go, but she was doubly incontinent and was refusing to deal with carers. She insisted that 89-year-old fil could do all the nappy changing etc and of course he couldn't manage.

I'm not sure Family Conferences achieve much if you know in advance people have different views.

I think OP should contact GP and alert him/her to the situation.

Letty you might have a point there - although I wonder if you can force this - my 99 year old grandmother wasn't as pleasant a lady as the OP's and threw her meals at the nursing home carers and was generally rude and unpleasant until they asked my parents to remove her shock They would have had to have her sectioned and sent to a specialist home to keep her in residential care against her will!

LettyAshton Sat 13-Oct-12 15:57:25

When dh went in to see mil yesterday she was busy ripping up her menu sheet she was supposed to be filling in grin

When she was in hospital I think several of the staff were taken out in straightjackets...

Letty grin My parents used my grandmother's money (she had sold her house and moved into an property close to my parents, which they had adapted using some of her money, decades earlier) to pay carers to go in to her twice a day (to get her up, washed and breakfast, and put her to bed) plus the district nurse went to her daily I think. Then her needs increased and they tried putting her in the home, which they were made to remove her from after a short stay, and in her last year or so they paid for even more out-sourced care - all from her money though. TBH it didn't stop my mother being a huge martyr about it all and referring to my grandmother (her mil) as "my cross to bare" shock simultaneously expecting a considerable input from my sisters who live locally (not from me though - I live overseas and she liked to make the requests casually).

Interestingly my not yet elderly mother has been telling everyone for years that she won't be put into a home and expects her children to look after her when the time comeshmm

gussiegrips Sat 13-Oct-12 17:22:08

Letty - yep, fair enough, these are not easy conversations to have. That's why it's helpful to broach the subject years before the time the seed has been planted. Which is also not easy, or my inlaws would have a downstairs bathroom in their rambling georgian house...

But, you can't deny someone who is able to make a choice to have the chance to make a choice! She's 100, not a moron. But, choices bring responsibilities - so she needs to accept the consequences too.

Her choices are:
1. stick with the status quo - and accept the risks to her health and family unity
2. organise respite and external support in order to remain in her own home - and accept that means needing to be a bit flexible with times of meals etc and the financial issues that go with organising outside help.
3. leave her home and go somewhere warm and cosy with either family or staff to help her with her toileting and meals. And, the financial implications of going into care means considering the inevitable sale of her home. She could live another decade...

These are her choices. Not the family's not social services, not mumsnet's.

Tell you what, if I get to be an old lady I shall be gloriously bloody minded at all times and tell people that's my choice. And, then ask them to put a dash more lemon in my gin, thanks.

alistron1 Sat 13-Oct-12 17:27:58

My grandfather WAS mentally acute, he wanted to stay in his home. When he suffered an illness that led to his care needs changing he already had a horrendous pressure sore that had been ongoing for probably months.

As someone said up thread, caring for the very elderly is a specialist thing. I do hope you come to some sort of resolution over this.

RollerCola Sat 13-Oct-12 17:51:25

It sounds to me like your mum and dad don't want to move your gran into a care home because it will be paid for out of her money/their inheritance.

They therefore want to care for her themselves. They can't cope and so pass their choice of care onto you and your sister and expect equal commitment from you all.

Not only is this unfair on you and your family, it is unfair on your gran. She needs to be cared for in a good, clean, care home where you can all visit as often as you like without all the stress.

They CANNOT assume that they have any right to her money. She isn't dead, she needs looking after by professionals and has the money to pay for it.

DontmindifIdo Sat 13-Oct-12 17:56:56

I'd ask your dad straight out if he's not prepared to pay for a carer because he wants a bigger inheritance, and if that's the case, then he and your mum needs to be prepared to do all the caring. Ask what the money is for if not care? For him?

Rowanhart Sat 13-Oct-12 18:43:37

Think it's disgusting that there has been any discussion about inheritance tax while your grandma is living in these conditions.

Your gran needs full time care. If that means selling her house and use her savings well, it's hers and should be spent making her life easier.

It winds me up that people think about the money they'll be getting later. I hope my parents have a comfortable and enjoyable old age and leave me precisely nothing.

Think you should suggest selling the house and finding sheltered housing with the money...

StWinifred Sat 13-Oct-12 23:33:00

Am at Grandma's now.

She's pleased to see me.

She likes to talk about when she was a girl, and how the headmistress told her not to sit the scholarship exam because her mother couldn't afford to send her to school. Think I heard this last week as well.

Apparently she was very pleased with the roast I cooked her last Sunday. She's easily pleased.

The windows are being replaced next week. There'll be a bed here too. Porch not being done because they still need to think about it.

I don't think it's appropriate for me to broach the subject of her leaving her home. She's very proud of her garden, even if she only really looks at it out the window.

She likes someone to talk to, although I think she has seen some people other than my family in the week - apparently the cleaner came round with her granddaughter. Said granddaughter not half as clever as my Grandma's grandchildren/greatgrandchildren, apparently. (My Mum told me that she's in a special school or something, not sure if Grandma is fully 'with it' in terms of attitudes in this area).

I am a bit suspicious about the level of empathy of many carer types on £6/hour. I think she would like a lady of about 70 really.

Not sure how easy this is to find.

Wingedharpy Sun 14-Oct-12 01:51:17

Well at least the "carer types on £6/hour" won't be after your Granny's money.

gussiegrips Sun 14-Oct-12 10:00:31

St W - you're doing it again...don't presume what she'd like the way of a carer, ASK HER!

And, btw, you'll get a lady of 70ish to do companionship, but carers don't often work into their later years as their backs and shoulders have been stuffed.

And, remember, if your grandma has the cash to flash she can choose who she has coming into her home. So, you might find a young, handsome man she just gets on with. THat's what I 'm hoping for in my old age.

MerylStrop Sun 14-Oct-12 10:19:11

Thing is though, she can still have your companionship and company

And a carer can do the care

BTW I'm pretty insulted on behalf of a couple of my friends who do care work with elderly people. Who do a brilliant job and have built genuine friendships with the people they work with. Don't buy in to the delusion that family will do a better job.

Rowanhart Sun 14-Oct-12 11:27:14

Meryl I agree.

I'm sure the majority of careers would do a better job than me. I intend to employ someone to look after Parente hen time comes. And spend my time enjoying each others company doing stuff or just talking....

thecatsminion Sun 14-Oct-12 14:52:53

OP (and sorry if I was grumpy upthread), I'd definitely take a much firmer line with your parents, and be much more direct in your communications with them. Make them sit down and have a proper meeting, and don't get guilt tripped. Work out what you can do and stick to it. If your gran needs looked after in her old age, then it's only right that she spends her money on making herself comfortable, not washing in a bucket to save a few quid!

I used to work in a care home when I was a student - the wages were crap, but it is possible to find decent carers without spending a fortune. I mean, some staff were always trying to get out of wiping bums, but others were really dedicated.

Another thing I found in that job was that sometimes, the people that we cared for ended up there as a result of their families trying to do too much. I remember one old lady whose daughter had a breakdown trying to care for her, so the granddaughter stepped in and then she also started suffering with mental health problems. The situation is already stressing you out, and presumably your parents too. The money that your parents think they'll eventually get might cost them very dearly in terms of stress, family relationships and their own quality of life.

StWinifred Sun 14-Oct-12 16:34:35

I just took Grandma out for lunch.

She likes her food, and enjoyed it (£70 for 2 she should have done!)

Hard work though, bloody hell getting a wheelchair with a food-loving 100-year-old in up even many dropped kerbs is not really comparable with pushing a pushchair with a small (and bouncy!) child in.

She is not the most house-proud/appearance-focused person, but I do intend to ask her about getting the house done up a bit, i.e. downstairs toilet at least.

WelshMaenad Sun 14-Oct-12 16:42:38

I was a 'carer type' on £6/h and I had shit heaps of empathy, thanks. I went into caring after being a live in carer for my grandad and being inspired by some of the fabulous care staff that made his final years happy and comfortable. What a rudiculous and rude thing to say.

I did find money obsessed family to be mostly wankers, though. You seem strangely obsessed with how much things cost.

piprabbit Sun 14-Oct-12 16:59:04

What a stressful situation for you all.
I've read the thread, but didn't see if anyone had pointed you to this guide on how to start finding additional care and support.
Age UK also have an advice line you could call for information.

I hope you manage to convince your family to bring in outside help, for all your sakes but most particularly for your Grandma and your DCs.

StWinifred Sun 14-Oct-12 17:25:29

Thanks Welsh. Er, I think.

Mayisout Sun 14-Oct-12 18:01:01

Have those proposing that they ask Grandma what she wants and letting her decide actually asked an aged relative what they want because ime aged compos mentis relative wants the life they had say 20 years ago and think they can more or less have it. Ie be at home with lots of friends and family keeping things right.

When my DM's DM was old and had dementia and was wearing her sister into the ground my DM insisted "oh, just stick me in a care home when I get to that stage'.

However, despite all that when the time came what she wanted basically was to stay at home, regardless of the fact she couldn't manage or stay wiht me, regardless of the fact that my life would have been on hold (as she couldn't be left for any lenght of time). They also seem to be self-centred so that having a family member popping in every day for years and years is quite ok. So you need to do what suits everyone as it can be a longterm problem.

amicissimma Sun 14-Oct-12 18:11:32

My DM is in a residential home. And that's exactly what it is - her home. She has bedroom, bathroom and living room-with-kitchen-area.

For lunch and dinner she goes to the dining room and is provided with a nourishing 2 course meal. She has to socialise with the other residents for about 2 x 20 minutes per day, but does not have to make any effort to arrange this. Sometimes they squabble a bit, but they get quite close and look out for each other. Otherwise, she comes and goes as she pleases. She can opt out of meals provided she warns the cook (as you would at home). There is a laundry room where she can do her own washing and ironing.

She is responsible for her own breakfast, laundry, room cleaning and self care. If she needs help she has to arrange it herself (or the family do), but it is fine for her to have a carer or cleaner or district nurse come as much as necessary.

If there are any changes considered, work on the building, arrangements for social events (say, a Christmas meal out), the residents get together and discuss it with the staff.

All household maintenence is done. All heating, lighting, hotwater, two meals a day, bread and milk for breakfast are provided. All for less than the cost of renting a one-bedroom flat in that area.

When her family visit it is social. She can still 'mother' her children and give advice. We help out with admin, laundry, sewing a bit, but she is basically living as an independent adult, with any needs provided by professionals, much as you or I would go to a hairdresser or dentist etc for necessary care.

I don't get the 'pushing her into a home' sentiment at all. My mum's existence sounds much better than what the OP describes. She is using the proceeds of her previous home to pay for this one. Why should anyone not pay for their home?

LettyAshton Sun 14-Oct-12 18:32:57

Agree with last two posters.

Elderly people seem to become obsessed with self-preservation. Even if they have spent years saying they won't be a burden etc etc, when they do need a lot of care they have no regard as to what their family can manage in terms of time or physical health. I have seen this exact pattern with, when I count up, four family members so I think it's probably quite typical.

Residential homes are not horrible prisons. What they are, however, is extremely expensive and that is what a family is all too often afraid of.

... And then you have people like my husbands aunt who does it because she enjoys the work. Having worked her entire life in an office, she is now retired, took early retirement, she actually likes being an "elderly ladies companion". She usually stay with her "charges" until they die, and become a stable companion, even a friend. She mourns the losses of "her elderly" deeply. She is 65.

Her last assignment she was live in from Friday until Sunday, as the weekday woman had the weekend off. She was paid £90 net for the weekend.

gussiegrips Mon 15-Oct-12 14:53:35

But, May - at which age are YOU planning to give up having an opinion?

I agree, people find thinking about change difficult - especially when they are older.

But, I find it curious that we now have an education system where 3 year olds are invited to share their interests, opinions and set their own objectives...and yet we do not extend that privilege to those in our society who have the most life experience of all.

Just bothers me. FWIW - both my grandmothers moved into sheltered housing and accepted carers as the time came because it made their lives easier. To be fair, neither of them had dementia and so they were involved in the process. And, some elderly people are who don't have dementia are pure bloody minded. And, dementia obviously changes a situation involving decision making.

Still, it's a bit cheeky to boss them about and make decisions for another adult IMO.

pmcblonde Mon 15-Oct-12 16:50:29

I'm a new poster but read this thread as a lurker and it struck a chord. I've been in this situation with my own parents - younger but in bad health with disabilities. It took years, and a 5 month stay in hospital after a fall to get my Mum to accept the care she needed and for my Dad to realise their kids could not provide it (not local, young families, full time jobs etc etc etc)


1. Do nothing to change the situation and continue to struggle to meet expectations. This WILL lead to substandard care for your gran as no matter how much you care you and your family do not have the professional experience and training to handle long term care.

2. Do nothing but remove yourself from the care equation. This will lead to massive amounts of guilt tripping and emotional blackmail and may irreparably damage family relations. You will also need nerves of steel to get through the worst of it.

3. Work on a solution that keeps your gran in her own home (however sub-standard that is) using a mixture of professional and family care. You will need to work with Social Services and may need to pay. This can involve health and social care needs including feeding, washing, laundry, cleaning. You may also find that she is not assessed as suitable for staying in her own home with a support package and you need to prepare for this.

4. Work on a solution that involves your gran moving in with your parents or sister with the intervention of Social Services. You may want to consider respite options which could be a week in a care home that has respite places (hen's teeth) or the non-resident family coming to stay. You would probably also want to have regular professional carers coming in.

5. Work on getting your gran into residential care either where she currently lives or where your parents live. This would mean she is safe, warm and looked after but has obvious cost implications.

Other things to remember:

1. The help is there if you ask for it. Talk to AgeUK, the local Adult Social Care team, the GP or District Nurse and they will help you access it.

2. Whilst your gran is mentally competent to make her own decisions she should be doing so in full knowledge of the consequences and risks of those decisions. They need to spelled out which should be done kindly but firmly.

3. You need some personal red lines - I will only commit to x and no more. And you need to stick to them

4. Not everyone is cut out to provide personal care. I couldn't do it so think about your own limitations. There is nothing wrong with not being able to do this. For my Mum having professional carers (although hugely resented at the time) was a lifeline. She has been able to stay in her own home with these lovely people coming in to help her four times a day who she gets to know and have a nice chat with. This has rescued an increasingly stressful and resentful relationship with her kids and freed us up to provide two weeks of respite for my Dad so he can go away and leave her with us and the carers. When her kids and grandkids visit they can actually sit an talk rather than scurry around cleaning and sorting out the house.

5. Get used to negotiating the system. It's not fun but you can make it work for you.

My opinion:

Your gran needs to move in with your parents/sister or move into a residential home. Her current situation is unsustainable and unsafe (the house sounds in a dreadful state).

StWinifred Tue 16-Oct-12 00:07:20

Well I am quite pissed off today.

Had a pleasant weekend with Grandma. Left her at 3:30pm with one of her friends. She said to me "'People say how long have you known <friend>?' I say 'Only since she was born'"

That was all very well but had all kinds of trouble getting home, it took hours, had to call DH to pick kids up from school, wasn't happy to have to leave work, and I can't blame him really. After eventually getting home, I wasn't happy and could foresee that there would likely be similar delays in the future, and we just don't need it in our lives.

Quite apart from that I am not happy with her living conditions, she went to bed last night and then called me 'I haven't got any toilet paper', so I go in and throw the toilet paper in, she appears to have clothes on so I pick it up off the floor as she's 100 years old and doesn't need to be bending over to pick things up if it's not absolutely essential. Anyway she said 'I could have done that', sort of embarrassed but I can see shit in a bag, not quite sure how she does it (TMI), but anyway the situation is not right, she needs a toilet at the least.

I am sure she will want to stay in her own home, but it should be made the best it can be for her needs and comfort.

I was quite indignant/pissed off after long journey home, and not in the mood to mess around, I say 'I'm not doing this again'. DH says 'well you can go round every fortnight'.

So I said

'No, I am not going to enable their behaviour.

My parents are being cheap, she needs a carer 7 days a week, and if I say that I will perform anything like fortnightly caring, that just enables them to try and write me into their cut-price care rota instead of taking the proper solution which is to pay for people to do this.

The fact is she has got £300k+ worth of assets, and they should be used solely for her benefit. If she can have a nicer, more pleasant life by spending £30k/year rather than £20k/year, than that's as it should be.

My sister is a martyr, maybe she wants this, but I'm quite sure my parents don't want to spend half their week there. They certainly never saw her even monthly before. They need to be told, firmly, that the best thing for Grandma is that, assuming she wants to stay in her home (and I'm sure she wants to remain in her neighbourhood at the very least) she should have a live-in carer, we will continue to visit her, socially, perhaps we could help out when the carer is on holiday, but we will not provide care.

There is pots of money, it is not my parents' money (though it presumably will be in a few years), it is not my money (I don't expect to receive any more than a nominal sum and it's not of interest to me), it is Grandma's money, and what she needs is care, a dignified living situation, and what she enjoys is her food (and company), so she should have all her food from Waitrose and basically spare no expense.

She is not going to be buried with this money, it's hers and she doesn't seem to have any problem with spending it, she has said (in the past, before this care situation came up) that she has been frugal all her life she can be a bit frivolous now, and I'm sure she has no issue spending what cash she has (although I can see perhaps that she might possibly have some concerns about mortgaging/equity release on the house, but that is not guaranteed), and she damn well should, and not scrimp on a single penny.

I know my father got pissed off that he 'lost' his own mother's inheritance, but frankly it's just tough shit and never his in the first place, and I have pussy-footed around too long enabling his behaviour by saying things like 'the house would need renovating at some point anyway' (i.e. the implication being it wouldn't be 'lost money' when the house was sold on her death, since it would be reflected in the house's value), but fuck it, just get to the point'

I'm not going to go in too hard with the 'how dare you start counting your mother-in-law's money' angle, but I will say clearly that they need professional carers, and that they can have the house renovated in relatively short order if they actually ever did anything instead of endless procrastination. Obviously if money is raised then I would say 'I don't know how much savings she had' and then 'Can the house be mortgaged?'

I have thought of saying 'we (DH and I) could take a lien on the house and provide some cash' (we have substantial savings) but I feel this is probably a bad idea, since firstly we might need the savings, and secondly because I just don't want to get entangled in it, my parents can do what they like with the money when she's gone, it's better if we are well clear. It would however be unreasonable if we were to make any substantial contribution financially, since it's effectively a payment to my parents and as mentioned she clearly does have cash.

Anyone know how to realise the equity value of a property in this situation? I know there are equity release schemes, but I have got the impression that these tend to be a rip-off (Dad wouldn't like that AT ALL, basically he wouldn't really want to pay anything more than what a mortgage would cost).

gussiegrips Tue 16-Oct-12 00:46:54

St. Winifred - well done. This is Not Going To Be Easy. But, the thing that will make it easier is knowing where your own boundaries are.

I may have tiny pompoms I am waving at you. Hang in there, it'll get easier.

StWinifred Tue 16-Oct-12 01:40:38

Thanks for all of your comments, very helpful to realise that I am not the one who is being selfish & reasonable.

Very easy to get a warped perspective when dealing with emotional blackmail y family.

TiddlyZomZomZombie Tue 16-Oct-12 01:46:50

My grandparents did Equity Release on their house, it's not a good thing to do, the rate of interest is massive. They incurred about £20 a day I think, which built up quickly. The house sold for £125k, 115 of which went to the equity release company, my GPs had only actually spent a fraction of it.
Also, the money has to be repaid within 12 months of the persons death, so if the house needs a lot of work or takes ages to sell you could find yourself in an awkward financial position. We finally completed on my gran's house a month before the deadline, it was v stressful.

Good luck with the family discussions, you know you're in the right, so stick to your guns.

justaboutchilledout Tue 16-Oct-12 04:53:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pmcblonde Tue 16-Oct-12 08:30:04

Stwinifred - there are financial advisers who specialise in planning for care costs. It would be worth your parents speaking to one

Well done on finding your way forward - good luck with the family wrangling

shewhowines Tue 16-Oct-12 08:49:40

You sound much more confident and assertive than you did with the wishy washy email you sent. well done. You have the situation accurately and fairly summed up. Stick to your guns.

You are correct - it is not you being unfair and unreasonable. Your own family must come first and you giving long distance care is untenable.

gettingeasier Tue 16-Oct-12 08:59:27

Your are spot on with what you say YANBU !!

Merrin Tue 16-Oct-12 10:06:44

Are you sure she wants to stay at home?

jollymary Tue 16-Oct-12 10:12:22

YANBU! all the very best of luck OP x

TiAAAAARGHo Tue 16-Oct-12 10:26:34

Equity release is useful where there are not alternative options for getting funds. However, they are a last resort option and should not be entered into lightly, and given your GMs age, would be unlikely to be good value - they have huge interest charged because the company is essentially taking a bet as to how long it will be out of pocket, and the interest is based on an average expected rest of life of up to 10 years (which is sadly unlikely for a centenarian).

aldiwhore Tue 16-Oct-12 10:45:55

It's so hard op and I do not doubt for one minute that you love your Grandma and want to support her, but you have reasonably drawn the line at her living with you.

If she doesn't want to move then you can get carers in to make sure she's okay and has breakfast/evening meal and take any meds... it's not actually that expensive if you can't get help financially. It gives you peace of mind, it looks after her needs. On this issue I agree with your Dad that it is a collective responsibility. You can then all take turns to visit her a couple of times a week so that she never has a day alone.

My FIL has Alzheimer's. He's fit as a flea physically. He does not want to move. We have no room here for him, my BIL has no room for him unless he sells FIL's house and builds an extension, this would not be in FIL's best interests. He has carers twice a day, everyday (except when we cancel them if we're going to see him all day) and I visit twice a week, DH twice a week and BIL 3 times, we each see him on a Saturday or Sunday on a rota (sometimes the full weekend). The Alzheimer's society also take him out 3 times a week for the day, he won't sleep if he's not tired, then he gets more confused, so tiring him out is brilliant for him.

He is not ready for a nursing home.

StWinifred I know your Granny doesn't have Alzheimer's, but you could arrange for similar care.

I do not believe getting elderly relatives to come and live with you is always the best choice for anyone. Love and support can be given without that. Good luck, and I hope between you all you can organise a care package that enables Granny to remain independant enough, and allows you to be a caring and effective Grandchild... there is nothing wrong with your opinion at all.

PoohBearsHole Tue 16-Oct-12 11:01:28

My GMIL was at a fabulous home where there were staff but it was social and fun for her, there are some lovely homes that look after the non medical needs of an elderly person. yes they are expensive. I also think they are worth it, she has a home she can sell and she has some savings that could be used one would assume.

She wouldn't be lonely, she would be fed and watered (in gmil case well watered wink) and have a social life where she wouldn't have to rely on a rota of family who probably need to be doing more than one thing. She can take trinkets and other bits from home, she might even find one with a lovely garden that she can go and sit in with her new friends!

Gfil actually got a girlfriend shock which was lovely after his wife of 60 years died!

Gmil used to hate being away from her new home, much like when we drag the dc over the il's for xmas, its not that we don't want to go but that we want to do it our own home. So did she!

Ask her, let her be involved in the choice, even at 30K per year she is unlikely to be around in 10 years time so there might be some inheritance left for your dp's. Although they are doing some of the caring it sounds very much like they are actually quite lazy people and so you need to point out to them that something like a home would be the best option. No one likes to leave their home, however she may really love it!

StWinifred Thu 18-Oct-12 00:11:21

Parents are back from holidays now.

They are at home. They are supposed to be at Grandma's, but my sister is being virtuous and looking after her for another day. hmm

I spoke to Dad for about 45 minutes on the phone, saying what I said above, basically that we may not be the best carers for her, that she might prefer someone her own age, that it's not a good idea to have THREE sets of lives ruined for her, that we need to find something good for her, but the situation at the present is good for her but bad for everyone else.

I tried to get him to agree that the situation was not only bad for us but also bad for him too. He didn't entirely go along with this, it was very much 'I can see that this is difficult for you, no you're not being unreasonable to say if that's how it is.', without ever quite saying that I was right that the arrangement itself is wrong. He was agreeing with everything I said but on a 'yes that's the way you feel' kind of way.

I said that the toilet situation was unreasonable, and he said well he didn't think from what she'd said Grandma wanted major changes made. I asked if they had actually gone as far as getting an actual 'we'll do this, this and this' from a builder, and putting that to her. No, I didn't think so, it was just a vague 'major renovations' suggestion.

When I said 'I don't think you'd be spending 3 days a week from there really, you need to separate your social obligations from Grandma's care needs', he said 'well it's better than what we were doing before'.

I talked about getting a live-in carer, an old lady or something, or finding an apartment thing locally, and he said 'well we hadn't considered that before, we just thought she would stay there with us, come back to our house, or this arrangement sharing care'.

I said I thought it was best to say now that this arrangement is unworkable rather than a year down the line - it's not a long term arrangement, and he said 'well I didn't think it was necessarily long term, I was thinking maybe six months shock'

They do things glacially slowly.

He said it was difficult for my Mum going to the launderette (more than a mile's walk), and other tasks, etc., and I just thought to myself 'so why have you not managed to get a washing machine installed in the 3 months you have been there, it's not that major really.'

Having spent 40 minutes with me explaining how unreasonable and unworkable the arrangement is, and him saying 'yes I can see that it's difficult for you', he said 'well what about this weekend hmm'. I said 'sorry, we have engagements Saturday and Sunday, then DD has a play date on Tuesday (half term next week for us), she's been wanting to do this for ages, so nothing before then, maybe the end of next week.'

I asked him what he was going to do and he said he would look but I should do some research myself.

So I get the impression they will do fuck all, very slowly, and until another arrangement is in place they will expect me round there every weekend (although I have said no to this weekend). So I think I need to commit to going their with the kids there for the second half of next week, to compete with my virtuous sister, and to store up some goodwill, because until I implement an alternative arrangement, they are still expecting me round there each week.

Bear in mind:

my parent's own toilet does not flush (broken)
my parent's own bathroom does not lock (broken)
they had an ancient TV until I bought them a flat panel for Christmas
their oven is rotting and falling apart
they had no microwave until I bought them a combi-oven (partly in view of the oven situation) for Christmas

So the chances of them actually changing the status quo in terms of Grandma's care by themselves are approximately nil, because they are procastinators, not doers.

So I'm still expected to do this whenever possible for the indefinite future, until I sort out something else.

gussiegrips Thu 18-Oct-12 00:47:30

Gawd love you, St W.

short answer - you don't have to sort something out.

Phone the GP tomorrow morning; tell him/her that she is falling, that the family is stressed, that her toiletting is not managed effectively, and that you are the only person who is sensible enough to manage to call in professional help.

You don't even need to tell your family that you dobbed them in asked for help. Over 80's should get an annual MOT from their GP practice. Call her GP, state the difficulties, lay it on thick about the difficulties, mention the difficulties. Ask your GP not to mention that you'd spoken about the difficulties. GP could just "pop in" to check on her BP/continence/memory/oh, I was just passing and wondered how you are...

It is perfectly reasonable for you to ask for professional help in managing a frail and much loved family member.

Your folks sound well meaning. Which is great, but not enough.

It is your gran's GP's job to call in the people who can sort it out. So, let them.

Hang in there.

StWinifred Thu 18-Oct-12 00:53:39

My mum wrote to the GP with a list of issues (heart failure, hearing, etc.). She (the GP) didn't seem very interested in addressing it from what I've seen.

gussiegrips Thu 18-Oct-12 01:05:54

Ask for her older person's health check. Annual, from age 75 (I've just googled it) Tell them she's falling and family are not coping.

Don't write, call them. Or, even better, go when you are In Charge of Gran.

This situation is a disaster waiting to happen. Phone the GP.

plutocrap Thu 18-Oct-12 13:57:17

They probably can't admit this to themselces, but this response means the situation is going to continye till she dies.... which might be this winter, in such a cold house, or being wet (from incontinence) for ages...

Corygal Thu 18-Oct-12 14:23:24

"tell your parents and sister that you have a young family and cannot contribute to elderly care."..."they've got nothing going on".

Of course not - why, they're not even human without a brace of kids to justify their existence.

To be honest, women who hold this sort of attitude aren't much good at being carers anyway - you need brains, compassion, energy and some mgt skills.

YerMaw1989 Thu 18-Oct-12 14:41:38

Oh dear seems a tough one.

Can't she have some nurses to help her? from social services?.

you cannot be expected to match your childless sister that's ridiculous.

shewhowines Thu 18-Oct-12 14:55:03

IME they won't do anything while family are stepping in. You all need to officially withdraw from her care (although unofficially you can still help) . You will need to be assertive and persistent. While there is family caring for her they will drag their feet indefinitely.

Perhaps if your family stay out of it , that will be better. Make out you have been the main carer and that obviously you can't continue with the kids/long distance etc. Make out you are becoming ill yourself with the stress of it all, and she will be on her own totally soon, if they don't sort something out before you go under.

Good luck. You are still doing the right thing but it does look like it's down to you to sort it all out.

squeakytoy Thu 18-Oct-12 15:29:52

How old are your parents OP? and why are you not speaking to your mother as it is her mother, not your fathers, who is in need here.

shewhowines Thu 18-Oct-12 15:35:16

Make that phone call to the Gp now so that he can refer you to SS, with a few to seeing them during the time you are there in half term. Doesn't matter about the kids being around. That will strengthen your case.

i'm not sure about the renovations. Workmen in her home will worry Gma. The mess and who will stay with her whilst it's all going on? Sorry but I think it's time for a home.

If you do decide on carers coming in a few times a day, then exaggerate her difficulties and her needs a bit for the assessment.

firemansamisnormansdad Thu 18-Oct-12 15:44:04

corygal You're a bit of a bitch aren't you? I'm glad you're not my mum/sister/boss/neighbour.

wineandroses Thu 18-Oct-12 15:44:46

Op, I was impressed with your last post, until I got towards the end then realised that your comment "I need to commit to going their with the kids there for the second half of next week, to compete with my virtuous sister, and to store up some goodwill" means you've once again been guilt-tripped into committing to the next weekend, and competing with your sister!

Don't do it! Withdraw from this arrangment and tell them you can't and won't commit to it and you need an urgent family discussion. It is tremendously unfair on your DH and DCs.

Lemonylemon Thu 18-Oct-12 15:50:59

OP: Definitely phone the GP. Phone Social Services. Start shouting very loudly and flag waving to get some attention from them. Your GM should not be in this position because your parents are lax.

Deux Thu 18-Oct-12 16:01:52

Are you seriously saying your 100 year old grandmother is defecating into a plastic bag? Really?

I find this utterly shocking.

Is there an elderly equivalent to Child protection at social services?

If you tell social services this, won't they step in and do something?

Surely a few weeks respite in a care home is a start?

BackOnceAgainWithLoopyLoops Thu 18-Oct-12 16:21:27

This is ludicrous. The poor lady is shitting in bags. Call social services.

BackOnceAgainWithLoopyLoops Thu 18-Oct-12 16:22:16


StWinifred Thu 18-Oct-12 16:31:31

Deux, I don't know exactly what she does, and I don't like to ask, obviously.

She has incontinence knickers, plus incontinence pads, and a commode.

There are also some sort of large nappy sacks.

I have to empty the commode, but it's always just urine, I don't think she likes to leave shit in there to clean up. The shit is in a bag, I think on a pad but I am not inspecting it.

I don't quite know if she shits onto the pad in the commode, if she shits herself and then tries to clean it up, or what. I mean you can use your imagination I suppose.

It's obviously not a reasonable state of affairs either way.

oldraver Thu 18-Oct-12 16:34:30

I was just going to ask what Deux has..... your Gran is shitting in a bag ? No this cant go on, I would phone GP immediately and ask for your Gran to be referred to Adult Social Care. Have you spelt it out out your Dad that she is shitting in a bag ?

Deux Thu 18-Oct-12 16:39:56

Maybe you do need to ask! Isn't that the trouble with this whole situation.

You all seem to be pussyfooting around and nothing is changing, no one is taking charge. You need a leader.

Sounds horribly grim and undignified.

What about saying to your parents, if adequate care arrangements aren't in place by XXXXX, I'm complaining to social services that granny is suffering from neglect and I don't care how you feel about it.

Mayisout Thu 18-Oct-12 17:03:48

Well, we got social services round to see what my mum was capable of, then a occupational therapist for special raised chairs etc. But the problem with it is that they (unbelievably stupidly imo) would ask DM what she could do and according to her she could make a cup or tea and heat up her evening meal when in fact she could do neither.

Just telling you that, OP, so that your are prepared for your DGM to tell them what they want to hear, so you need to be there when they visit to make it clear how unhygienic, unsafe etc the situation is. I think any SS person will think that immediate changes need to be made in your DGM's arrangement when they see it and will hopefully come up with something. But make sure it is you who is there and not any other useless family member.

Also phone GP and don't start all this 'well the family is doing what we can' bullshit, say 'DGM is doubly incontinent, has no toilet or washing facilities, no social life, risk bedsores etc from urine soaked pads......', and even if YOU think she is compos mentis believe me she probably will not come over that way to others, so if they think she has a degree of dementia all to the good, there is more chance of them sorting out her accommodation etc.

I was always convinced that my mother was quite with it but didn't realise how much effort I put into repeating things slowly and loudly and enunciating things and using simple vocab that I knew she would understand. In fact with GPs etc she appeared (and in some ways was) quite confused.

WelshMaenad Thu 18-Oct-12 17:43:14

So £6/hour Carers lack empathy but you can't even be bothered to find out why she's pooing into a bag?

shewhowines Thu 18-Oct-12 17:48:49

I don't think SS will worry about the use of a commode or incontinence pads. Lots of old folk use these if they can't use the stairs to get to their bathroom. However, it is a different matter if you say that there is nobody there to change pads/empty and clean the commode.

Mayisout Thu 18-Oct-12 18:04:33

Yes, good point shewhowines.

This has got all tied up with which family member cares the most instead of what DGM needs. What a useless bunch (sorry OP)

gussiegrips Thu 18-Oct-12 22:40:59

St W - at the risk of repeating myself...

Your Grandmother is falling. That is an emergency.

If she falls and breaks her hip and lies there for hours until someone finds her by which time she's got pnuemonia and pressure sores, is hypothermic and terrified...well, you don't need to be a geriatrician to figure out the ending to that story.

Phone the GP. I appreciate it's a difficult thing to "go above" your family's heads - but it is an emergency. The peeing and pooing and house and all that stuff are serious issues, butthey are not going to kill her.

Please, please, please call the GP. Or, give me her details and I'll call the GP. Or, post them on here and we'll ALL call the GP.

Wingedharpy Fri 19-Oct-12 02:31:54

It's Social Services she needs as from what's been said, she's not ill (yet) but just requires some assistance with daily living activities.
This thread was started a week ago and almost everyone who has responded has been saying more or less the same thing OP - you need professional intervention/assessment of this situation - but nothing has changed in this week.
In fact, from what you indicate, nothing has changed in the 3 months since your poor Uncle shuffled off this mortal coil.

myBOYSareBONKERS Fri 19-Oct-12 07:20:51

Op - so you are going to continue going to care for her ??

Therefore why do your parents need to sort anything out if she is still being Looked after?

I feel that you are enabling them not to get anything in place by going to her.

Also stop trying to match your sister - sibling competitiveness should of ceased as children

nannyl Fri 19-Oct-12 07:43:24


there are plenty of care people who she can pay to look after her

(typing as today i arrange an old peoples care home for my 61 year old father)

he needs 24 hours care, i have a baby and live 250miles away, my sister works all the hours god sends in the city.... for the past few years he has been having carers coming to him, but now its getting beyond that.... yes my sister lives around the corner, but i dont for a millisecond expect her to do it, and being 5 hours drive away i cant either.

Lemonylemon Fri 19-Oct-12 11:42:54

I repeat my previous post, and what everyone else has said.


cumfy Fri 19-Oct-12 12:52:30

Winifred you are fighting the good fight, but you are not seeing the wood for the trees.

Your gran needs to be in a good care home for her last few years.
She will make friends and live a good life.

You will feel so much better when you have done this.
You can't let your miserly father dictate matters.

Pick up the phone ....

smalltown Fri 19-Oct-12 13:08:50

Op, I'd ring the GP, and speak to her in person about your concerns.

Gussie, I'd like the application to come & live in your residential home.
The gin & young male carers sound fantastic.

Bonsoir Fri 19-Oct-12 13:14:47

This is completely crazy: the lives of all your family are totally disrupted to provide 24/7 care for your grandmother, who, by the sounds of it, is living in squalid conditions?

gussiegrips Sat 20-Oct-12 18:40:56

small Oh, we don't have any applications - it's open to anyone who understands that being in your 80s is no barrier to behaving as badly as you like.

Happily, the young male carers are not so young for us to have a touch of the Jimmy Sovile about us. They are all desperately handsome, just flirty enough to make us giggle and don't mind us having the odd accidental fart as we go past with our zimmer frames.

Gin's on tap - but it's cocktails on Fridays. Tattooist comes once a month. And, none of the booze has a detrimental affect on our medication.

Must start looking after my health properly so I can make sure I live to a grand old age - am expecting to blossom around the 85ish mark.

expatinscotland Sat 20-Oct-12 18:50:17

'I tried to get him to agree that the situation was not only bad for us but also bad for him too. He didn't entirely go along with this, it was very much 'I can see that this is difficult for you, no you're not being unreasonable to say if that's how it is.', without ever quite saying that I was right that the arrangement itself is wrong. He was agreeing with everything I said but on a 'yes that's the way you feel' kind of way.

I said that the toilet situation was unreasonable, and he said well he didn't think from what she'd said Grandma wanted major changes made. I asked if they had actually gone as far as getting an actual 'we'll do this, this and this' from a builder, and putting that to her. No, I didn't think so, it was just a vague 'major renovations' suggestion.

When I said 'I don't think you'd be spending 3 days a week from there really, you need to separate your social obligations from Grandma's care needs', he said 'well it's better than what we were doing before'.

I talked about getting a live-in carer, an old lady or something, or finding an apartment thing locally, and he said 'well we hadn't considered that before, we just thought she would stay there with us, come back to our house, or this arrangement sharing care'.'

St, when are you going to get this through your head: your father is a miser and your mother enables this behaviour.

They are using you to cheap out and not pay for the care your grandmother needs, right now, and can buy with her money.

By continuing to enable your parents, you are all failing your grandmother!


Call SS now.

Corygal Sat 20-Oct-12 20:22:07

Who doesn't agree with the post above?

Yr DF has probably counted out his inheritance already - there's nothing partic weird about that, but point blank refusing to do household repairs to make the place habitable and demanding the family look after GM to save him money is not acceptable. I don't reckon she is safe to be left alone either.

I'd put it like that to him. These situations get worse if you don't speak calmly and candidly, as the naughty one gets away with it precisely because of that.

If GM is falling, you need to get her into a home quick, or your DF will have more than a bit of idle greed on his conscience.

Roseformeplease Sat 20-Oct-12 21:01:31

When I expressed concern about my mother's ability to care for her own father (she is an alcoholic) to my own GP, the GP said that SS would get involved, if asked, and sort something out over her head. Fortunately, I do not have to go down this line in the end as he died (NOT her fault) a week later. However, the point is, SS will get involved and will sort things out. If she were a child you would not put up with her living in such squalid conditions. You have to go over their heads and do something. This is not acceptable in the 21st century and you must not allow it to continue. You are complicit in this abuse (and it IS abuse) and must make sure that it stops.

Please take some action. This will show your love for you GM, not leaving your family every weekend and endless discussions with your Dad.

alcazar Sat 20-Oct-12 21:02:29

*St, when are you going to get this through your head: your father is a miser and your mother enables this behaviour.

They are using you to cheap out and not pay for the care your grandmother needs, right now, and can buy with her money.

By continuing to enable your parents, you are all failing your grandmother!


Call SS now.*

What expat said!! The care that you and your family think they are proving is NOT good enough for your grandmother. Why havent you suggested using the money she has to get proper,consistent care? Arrange a meeting with social services with your family and discuss how they can and WILL be able to support you all. You need to get tough OP, you sound lovely but you all seems to be politely tiptoeing round each other, this needs sorting out now!

expatinscotland Sat 20-Oct-12 21:08:32

'my parent's own toilet does not flush (broken)
my parent's own bathroom does not lock (broken)
they had an ancient TV until I bought them a flat panel for Christmas
their oven is rotting and falling apart
they had no microwave until I bought them a combi-oven (partly in view of the oven situation) for Christmas

So the chances of them actually changing the status quo in terms of Grandma's care by themselves are approximately nil, because they are procastinators, not doers.

So I'm still expected to do this whenever possible for the indefinite future, until I sort out something else. '

No, they are misers. Your father is a miser and your mother either is one herself or so used to living with someone like this she puts up with it.

They don't have money for basics like a washing machine or a flushing loo, but they go off on holiday?

The ONLY thing you need to sort out is to call SS and inform them there is an elderly lady who is being denied proper care even though she has the means to purchase it.

Gingerodgers Sat 20-Oct-12 21:18:59

I have not read the whole thread, but in my experience, family's can fall out, never to speak again over this type of thing. If you value yours, don't let this happen. Is there a local elderly day hospital close by that she could attend a couple of days a week? I know my gran went to one, and to be honest, it was the only time she left the house. She was stimulated, medically and mentally assessed there, and meds were monitored. They also made sure she ate! Given that this would not solve the problem, but at least reduce the workload, it might be worth investigating. Good luck, I know this is very stressful, but as someone mentioned earlier, you may regret not making her final years as good as they can be, but if everyone is resenting their input, then I dare say she will detect this anyway.

expatinscotland Sat 20-Oct-12 21:25:52

They are not procrastinators or non-doers if they organise these holidays and days away. hmm

They're skinflints who know you'll enable them (buying them a combi-oven, organising Granny's care, etc).

You're probably used to this, they've been this way a long time.

But we're seeing this objectively, mostly, and StW, they don't come off sounding good here.

gussiegrips Tue 06-Nov-12 11:29:26

St Win how are things? Hope all is settling down and the family stress has calmed.

StWinithread Sat 01-Dec-12 02:23:57

Just to update you on this.

The house has new windows, and a few other things, e.g., a new bed for Grandma (not a special adjustable one or whatever, just a bog standard single, although they've screwed handles onto it, so that's slight progress), and there's something to stop the chair slipping as well.

Also there is now a double and single bed upstairs, though my late uncle's bedroom is intouched and a fairly nice back bedroom is still full of junk, and torn carpet, so not really somewhere anyone could live in.

Otherwise much the same, lots of silly things like still no washing machine, which is ridiculous as her clothes don't seem terribly clean.

I went there three weekends ago at my parents request on the Sunday afternoon, cooked dinner and left the next day, that wasn't too disruptive (well it was, but just one night, slightly less draining anyway).

Previous weekend to that one Grandma had hospital appointment, and my Mum wanted to escort her, so I wasn't needed.

When I was there that weekend Grandma mentioned follow-up appointment the next Monday, so I assumed that they wouldn't need me that weekend. Turned out that was the case, though my parents didn't bother to tell me, I made a point of calling them on Saturday to ask what was going on, my Dad said he had called earlier in the week but no answer, funny an e-mail too much trouble.

Following weekend I couldn't make it due to DD's birthday party commitment, and told him so by email.

He replied saying 'I fully understand', which was nice of him as I wasn't asking for his understanding, just telling him, and then 'can you come Saturday evening next week, rather than Sunday', which seems like compensating for me not being there that week... And the following weekend he said he had work commitments, could you be there Saturday/Sunday and I will see if your sister will change to Thursday/Friday.

So I called him and spoke to him, the 'work commitments' was just a load of waffle basically, he just wanted me to give him more time off, but anyway, I said 'ok, but just to let you know the following two weekends I'm busy'.

I also mentioned to him about Christmas, would they have Grandma round at their house, but from what he said my Mum is paranoid about her medical care, which is silly because she seems quite robust at the moment, apparently the local doctors/hospitals have her medical notes, but wouldn't near my parents' house, which is all very well but to go round there for 3 or 4 days they aren't likely to need acute care and wouldn't see a GP over Christmas anyway.

I mentioned also that I was thinking that it might be nice to rent a house for Christmas, for us all, but I looked at the cost and it was about £3k, so thought better of it. He was clearly not interested, which is all very well, but I'm not going to spend my Christmas in a living room that smells like a toilet, and is in fact a toilet, and a tiny cramped kitchen to cook in. Obviously taking the steps needed to provide a non-squalid Christmas are entirely beyond his ken, and any sense that it might be desirable to do so is outside of his field of view.

Following this conversation he comes back by email the next day and the plan apparently is now that my sister comes round BOTH following Thursday/Fridays and obviously then I have to get there earlier on Saturday than I would if my parents were there, because we both have other places we should be so to speak. Not terribly impressed with that, felt like it was a reaction to me telling him I wasn't going to be there the following weeks, wished I hadn't bothered.

In the end my sister didn't turn up till Friday last week, not quite sure why, my Dad was vague. Got to Grandmas' on Saturday, she was quite well, apparently she slipped in the morning on Wednesday, no harm done, but my Dad had to lift her up, so this I think probably freaked my Mum out, she is very bad at coping with any kind of stress at all. Grandma in very good humour/health from what I could see. Perhaps this was why my sister didn't go on Thursday. Or maybe it was because my Dad got his wires crossed about her coming both weeks on Thursday. Who knows.

I mentioned to my Dad about getting someone to look after Grandma, and from being confident/assertive in asking me to go over there this invariably turns him all mumbly. He said 'we've got a carer in now once a week', said as if this was progress. I asked 'Can she stay overnight'. A bit mumbly again. Anyway, I asked Grandma about this and apparently the carer just goes in for an hour on Fridays to make sure she's clean, etc. This seems like a good idea to ensure she doesn't develop skin problems or whatever, but it's clearly no progress towards getting someone in whose responsibility it is to look after Grandma, several days a week.

Anyway, going over today (Saturday) again, my Mum, slightly unusually, emailed me about this, 'what time are you planning to get there? could you please text me when you arrive?' er, what, why? Am not sure if she is checking up on me or just super-paranoid.

So basically no progress. My sister apparently hasn't booked her train tickets (potentially expensive if not booked in advance), to see her partner's family over Christmas. I am not exactly sure why not, but I can only imagine she thinks she might have to look after Grandma on Christmas? Don't know. To be clear, I would like to see my parents + Grandma for Christmas (Grandma refused for the last number of years to come round when invited for Christmas, it turns out apparently this was because of her incontinence, which she wasn't managing properly, and hence turned down these invitations), but will not spend it on a sofa that stinks of piss and covered in sanitary products, and if my parents imagine that they can spend Christmas in their pleasant home while we look after Grandma in squalor, they can think again - there's no way we're spending Christmas night there.

So all in all pretty much 'as we were', basically I will say 'no I can't come', when it's inconvenient, my Dad will change the subject or make excuses why he hasn't arranged for paid care, and otherwise they are still expecting me to come whenever possible, i.e. all my weekends when I'm not running around after other people.

CleopatrasAsp Sat 01-Dec-12 03:30:22

Look, stop enabling all of them, just say 'no' and cope with the fallout as best you can. You can't always please everyone and have everyone think well of you. Your main duty is to your own immediate family - particularly your children. These 'arrangements'don't work for you and you have to be brave here and put your foot down. If your sister is seen as a saint as a result, don't worry about it. My guess is that in time she will quickly tire of 'caring' for your grandmother anyway. If you bow out your parents - who seem pretty useless - will hassle her more and more to take up the shortfall and she will soon get fed up with this.

Your grandmother proper care and I think your parents are being quite cruel in not organising it properly. She shouldn't be living in such insanitary conditions and going to toilet in a bucket for a start, that is quite disgusting. If your parents and sister won't agree to sorting this whole mess out properly and getting paid carers involved then just refuse to do any more yourself. At the moment you are angry at having to do it but you're still doing it which leaves you open to further requests and the whole things just keeps on going and going.

CleopatrasAsp Sat 01-Dec-12 03:35:34

Please excuse typos, that last paragraph should start: 'Your grandmother needs proper care; and the last sentence should say, 'the whole thing just keeps on going and going'.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sat 01-Dec-12 06:24:37

I agree with CleopatrasAsp

LunaLunatic Sat 01-Dec-12 07:14:42

So you don't want to spend time in squalor (sofa stinking of urine etc) but it's alright for your grandma to live like that? To think she has lived a century and is now having to live in such a state because no one (including you OP) will have the nous to find her a care home. Sorry to be harsh but you are equally responsible, you are well aware that your parents can't or won't move her, so why aren't you arranging it? I can't imagine my GPs living in their own filth, I can't imagine ever allowing it, it would horrify me to see them lose their dignity like that. No you shouldn't have to take care of her, as others have said it is quite an intense and even specialised task, and you have a family to take care of. But someone needs to care for her, she should be in a professional care home imo where she has access to proper care and is at least afforded the dignity of not having to poo in a bag and sit in her own urine on the sofa. I'm quite shocked by this I honestly am. Poor woman.

lovebunny Sat 01-Dec-12 07:43:25

get social services round, get her house up for sale and put granny in a care home where she can be looked after. best for her, best for you. if your parents are worried about their inheritance, let them do the caring and you bow out. tell them that from 1 Jan 2013 you withdraw your services. be clear, calm and contact the authorities.

WelshMaenad Sat 01-Dec-12 08:32:57

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

schoolgovernor Sat 01-Dec-12 09:12:07

Please can you answer a question? Why haven't you (ie you, not your parents or sister) called her GP and Social Services? Why?

Nanny0gg Sat 01-Dec-12 10:24:27

Yes WelshMaenad, her grandmother won't probably have many Christmases left.
Why should they be spent living in discomfort when it really isn't necessary? Why should the OP's family life be put to one side, however much she loves her grandmother, just because her parents are too tight/disorganised to sort out proper care?
If I ever get to that age I would like to be cared for properly in comfortable, clean surroundings by carers who know what they are doing, and to see lots of my family in a happy social situation.
I don't want my children wiping my bottom for me and I don't want a commode in the living room.
I don't agree with your assasination assessmemt of the OP and I haven't got parents or grandparents left. I hate all that emotive 'I would put up with anything if they were still here' crap rubbish.
You'd want your GPs to live like that just so they could meet your children would you?

ssd Sat 01-Dec-12 10:35:12

op, your poor poor grandma, no one to really care for her and her situation, everyone concerned about what suits them and leaving her in squalor

my mum has recently died, she was in her mid eighties, not far off your gran. I set up huge amounts of care for her and she was well looked after, right up to the day she died. The warden in her housing complex told me mum had felt loved, but said lots of the residents there didn't feel loved. I'm guessing your gran doesn't feel loved either. How sad, to die not feeling loved...and you and your family have the power to change that and all that's whats happening is arguments and shoulder shrugging.

your poor old gran

HoleyGhost Sat 01-Dec-12 10:39:10

It doesn't necessarily end. She is 100, but in good health. This could go on a few years. By then one of the OP's parents might need care.

The children should be the first priority.

DontmindifIdo Sat 01-Dec-12 10:55:58

Can you talk to your sister? I know she's got the whole martyr thing going on, but could you sit her down, say that you feel your gran needs 24 hour care, and unless someone moves in perminately with her, you can't see how that can be provided within the family. Say that you and your DCs can't, your mum & Dad don't want to move your gran in with them and you can't ask your Sister to do it. Ask her if she thinks the inheritance is more important than your Gran's happiness and health. Suggest you both present a united front to your parents to insist that your Gran either goes into a full time care home or moves in with them. (the state of the house is such that you couldn't expect a paid worker to move into it).

Give them 1 week to make the decision and then say you will start talking to social services, looking for homes and start getting the house sold. You could rope your sister in to looking for homes, suggest she might know what the best criteria is (play on her "I am the most self sacrificing" side to get her to target it in this way).

I hope my DCs when I'm that stage will be able to see past the inheritance and use my money to give me the best quality care possible if they aren't prepared to do it themselves. You don't get an inheritance unless you are prepared to offer end of life care for free. Your parents are being selfish and grabby trying to have both the money without the responsibility.

Mosman Sat 01-Dec-12 11:17:37

This is just wrong, is the GP or community nurse ever called to the house because all hell will break loose when they see how she's living. Be proactive and ask for help, phone age concern ASAP.
You love your grandmother so you must take control of this situation on her behalf

StWinithread Sat 01-Dec-12 12:07:08

I believe social services concluded the situation was being 'managed'. I think they have bigger priorities tbh - she is being fed, and cared for, so compromised dignity isn't really a big deal for them I think.

diddl Sat 01-Dec-12 12:15:33

Did they actually look or take your parents word for it?

TBH your parents are doing what´s easy for them-not what´s best for your GM-who is by the sounds of things a vulnerable adult-that should be of concern to them.

Have you contacted Age Concern?

musicalendorphins Sat 01-Dec-12 12:22:01

Omg. Please make arrangements to move your grandmother into a nice home where she will have all of her needs cared for. There will be other residents and it sounds like she is social and will enjoy that. Her clothing, bedding and all that will be laundered, and her meals prepared. My MIL is in a nursing home, and has excellent care. I would never in a million years let my MIL be without a toilet and not be able to be bathed or showered.
Please, just go check out some homes and get her moved into one as soon as possible. Take a lot of pictures and some videos of her garden for her to look at and show people, but her garden is not enough of a reason for her to live in there really bad conditions.

DontmindifIdo Sat 01-Dec-12 12:41:48

OP - you can and must go over your parents' heads to social services, say you think your grandmother is at risk. If your parents aren't prepared to take her care seriously, then they have forfited the right to be in control of what happens.

If you love your grandmother, don't leave her like this.

ethelb Sat 01-Dec-12 12:52:34

OP I think you are being given a really really rough time tbh. Did your parents look after their grandparents? I don't think they did. And certainly not when they had children.

I think that a lot of social rules regarding looking after elderly members of your family were developed when people died at 70 after quick illness and women didn't work. It's shit that we arent' able to look after our relatives how we would like, but I htink people on here need a bit of a reality check.

She needs 24 hour care due to her frailty but is otherwise in good health. She's not going to go anytime soon and eally needs to go into a home. People who's parents get this old and frail just don't get inheritances. Tough shit tbh.

Jamillalliamilli Sat 01-Dec-12 13:10:15

St W, I think you are all too caught up in the family dynamics, and you can’t see the wood for the trees anymore.

This threads brought back many memories of having to stand up to my ‘in laws’ to provide my ‘MIL’ with proper care to stay in her home as she wanted. Her family wanted to pretend things weren't as bad as they were, or blame and complain about each other and her, because that way they could excuse their lack of action, and what had happened to her, instead of just being honest and saying times have changed, we don’t have the time or energy. But they felt guilty about it, so tried to minimise her needs to fit their lives, and didn't want her spending money ‘in case she needed it for later.’ (it WAS later!)

It got me labelled the martyr, because I couldn't join the family dynamic and watch her suffering. It pissed me off but I’d rather be the martyr, than part of enabling systematic neglect of a vulnerable but independent elderly lady.

I got a fair bit wrong, but can look back and know at least she spent her last few years clean, dry, warm, comfortable, cared for, and loved, and slid out exactly how she wanted, and whatever I screwed up (loads) she got that from it. My children get to remember her the same way. We get to remember her happily.

Will you and your children honestly be able to look back and know whatever you got wrong you did your best by her?

Is there anything people on this thread can do to help you to help her?

My biggest ally was the district nurse, she’d seen all this sort of thing many times, and that’s who I’d plead with you to talk to about the conditions your Grandma’s surviving in. Things don't have to be this tough for her.

Jamillalliamilli Sat 01-Dec-12 13:51:38

Re reading my post, its a bit muddled, I'm trying to say if someone’s prepared to be ‘the martyr’ then don’t label them, whatever you think of them, bite your tongue and support them to provide her with full time good care.

If no one’s able and/ or willing to provide it, then recognise that, and stand up to the ‘we all must do our bit to help out’ as not good enough to meet her needs at 100, and help her use her money to live out her end days comfortably, wherever that is.

I don’t agree with forcing her into a home if it’s not what she wants, but there’s no question she needs a great deal more care and better quality of life than she’s getting, however that’s achieved.

If reports are true we’re about to have the worst winter since she was born. Her care may be being ‘managed’, but not acceptably, and you need to alert the local authorities to that.

OP, maybe you could break this down into different options, cost them up, and discuss with your family and grandmother with actual plans in place, rather than just saying, "Couldn't we get a toilet installed?" Obviously this means you doing some legwork, but no-one else seems prepared to. Also discuss finances and who would pay.


1 Grandma moves into care home/sheltered housing
a) Willowtree House, £X per month, own room, shared facilities, 60 residents and days out provided
b) Oakland Gardens, £Y per month, shared room, lots of bingo nights
c) Buys a flat at Fabby Retirement Apartments, independent living but handymen and carers available (maybe this wouldn't be an option in her case)

2 Grandma stays in her house WITH ESSENTIAL UPGRADE AND CARERS and visits from family but NOT essential care

a) toilet, £X to buy and install
b) if upstairs is unused, clear out all the furniture and shut it down, at least it's not accumulating dust
c) porch/ramp/whatever else is needed, £Y

a) personal care daily, at a cost of £A
b) housework - cleaning and cooking, at a cost of £B

3 Grandma moves in with your parents (sorry if I've missed any discussion on this). Occasional respite care from you and your sister.

If your parents won't do this, you need to. If they are too lazy to fix their own toilet or get a washing machine installed, of course they won't instigate any major changes for your grandmother. If they won't do this, shame them? (If they have any shame.) Point out your grandmother is living in squalor because they are so ineffectual.

WelshMaenad Sat 01-Dec-12 17:09:56

God, no, NannyOgg. I took far better care of my grandfather than the OP and her family seem to be taking of this poor old lady, and I completely agree that she should be receiving daily homecare from an appropriate agency, however dubious the OP finds the motives of lowly carers. I just found that the 17 paragraphs of selfselfself stuck in my craw a bit.

Mintyy Sat 01-Dec-12 17:19:35

Its rather upsetting to read that your grandmother's circumstances have hardly improved. I do wish you would be a bit more dynamic about this op. You appear to be happy to leave your grandmother living in inadequate conditions because you don't want to fall out with your parents? Its not really on, poor lady.

Horsemad Sat 01-Dec-12 17:20:54

OP what is the reason for your parents refusing to get appropriate care in place for your GM?

Are they worried about their inheritance being eaten up by fees? Or are they genuinely oblivious to the conditions she is existing in?

You are able to change this OP, YOU OWE IT TO HER.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 01-Dec-12 17:30:13

Agree very much with what notgoodnotbad says - at least if you have it all costed out then a sensible decision can be made about what your granny can afford.

I would instigate the actions yourself with a priority being to get the toilet installed and the personal care on a daily basis - if there is already someone coming weekly it should be easy ( if costly) to up this to daily.

If your gran does not have the money to cover this, then that is a different matter with different discussions to be had.

expatinscotland Sat 01-Dec-12 18:21:59

Horsemad if you read the entire thread it would appear that the reason is that her parents want her money.

She does not have access to it.

All you can do is go to SW and her GP again, OP.

But it appears your tight parents control the purse strings.

And you continue to enable this by trotting over there every weekend at the expense of your own family and son with SN.

WelshMaenad Sat 01-Dec-12 18:35:06

Is there a REASON this isn't being dealt with by SS as a POVA case? It's financial abuse and the OP is complicit.

There is no way the SS team have seen the true story and opted not to intervene. No fucking way. The parents have either covered things up in a frankly devious fashion, or the OP is not disclosing the truth. No way would a woman be left in a semi derelict house with no washing facilities, pooing into a bag. Where's occupational therapy? Load of bollocks.

expatinscotland Sat 01-Dec-12 18:40:18

She is not the grandmother's next of kin, Welsh, her mother is. She lives an hour away. She has a son with SN.

If she reports to SS about the grand and can't make it through because, well, she also works on top of having a family, and her mother does, then how is it all her responsibility?

How is she complicit?

She has a job and a family, including a child with SN and lives an hour away!

ssd Sat 01-Dec-12 18:41:10

I feel even more sorry for the granny now, having no one to take proper care of her and having tight kids who are only interested in her money


expatinscotland Sat 01-Dec-12 18:46:16

But why kick the OP about it? She's not the next of kin, she has no access to the gran's money, she has a job, a young family, a child with SN and lives an hour away.

WelshMaenad Sat 01-Dec-12 18:48:11

Because if a vulnerable adult's money is not being correctly spent on her comfort and well being by those in control of it, and someone us aware if this and does not take action to protect the vulnerable adult, they are complicit in the financial abuse.

Someone needs to stop pussyfooting around, step up and say "actually this is shit and this woman is not protected or cared for" and harass SS until they come and see the situation for themselves.

Horsemad Sat 01-Dec-12 18:49:04

Clearly Welsh considers the OP is complicit by the fact she has not got SS involved.

I agree, how can she let this continue?

Horsemad Sat 01-Dec-12 18:52:15

OP if you PM me details, I'd be happy to make that call for you.

expatinscotland Sat 01-Dec-12 18:54:43

'I agree, how can she let this continue?'

Um, because she has other very pressing things on her mind, like earning a living, a husband and two children one of whom is SN and she lives an hour away.

She can harrass them from now until the world ends, but she's not there night and day and can't be to see it through.

WelshMaenad Sat 01-Dec-12 18:55:45

As would I.

Or you can google '[name of gran's council] POVA' and follow the simple directions to report concerns. It can be fine anonymously. She is being neglected and financially abused. They will investigate, and I assure you they will not conclude that the situation is 'managed'.

WelshMaenad Sat 01-Dec-12 18:57:47

Expat, those are shitty flimsy excuses. It's a couple if phone calls. And even if it does end up requiring a bit of effort, it's her gran, FFS.
You can't say "oh, I've got a job so I'm going to sit back and ignore neglect"!

ssd Sat 01-Dec-12 19:26:01

expat, I looked after my 85 yr mum whilst having a job and young kids, if an elderly person needs the help and care than thats it, the op is obviously worried about this or wouldnt have started the thread...mind you she's not rushing back is she

expatinscotland Sat 01-Dec-12 19:30:39

Ever looked after a child with autism before you say it's a flimsy excuse?

She can ring and ring, if they go over and she can get there, because of her job or her kids, then she's some type of lowlife?

She's over an hour away, too.

She's spending plenty of time as she can with her, it's causing problems in her marriage, even.

She's not the next of kin, her mother is.

ssd Sat 01-Dec-12 19:35:42

but her mother is shite and is doing nothing to help

no one is saying the op isnt run ragged, but she needs to now start making phone calls to get social services involved, her gran is being neglected and they need to know

Corygal Sat 01-Dec-12 19:50:56

Bonkers as it is, you can't grass anyone up for financial abuse of the vulnerable without evidence ie bank statements. Of course bank statements and lists of assets, etc., are the one thing you won't get from someone who is letting their DM sit in pee to make themselves money. Even if you do produce evidence, an inquiry takes 2 years.

So the OP is up a gumtree. The only thing I can suggest is ringing SS and focusing on the neglect, etc., etc., which should kick something off.

To be honest, if your gran can't get up when she falls over, she needs to be in a care home (800) or have 24hr care (1000) a week.

I'm not surprised your parents are trying to avoid these sorts of bills as if her health is as robust as you suggest, you're looking at 250 000-500 000 pounds for five years.

But that's what she needs. Have you tried raising the subject of inheritance with your parents? If it's a non-starter all our darkest suspicions may be correct, but you may wish to delicately counter them by mentioning what will happen to them if they get done for neglect.

Mintyy Sat 01-Dec-12 20:41:29

Why is the next of kin thing relevant? I don't understand.

expatinscotland Sat 01-Dec-12 21:03:20

Because she can't override anything.

Mintyy Sat 01-Dec-12 21:12:00

But override what though? The next of kin's lack of care?

Horsemad Sat 01-Dec-12 21:25:14

She has a moral duty to inform SS & get them involved.

plutocrap Sat 01-Dec-12 21:33:10

I was thinking of you and your DGM this week when I posted this on another thread:

Here  is the Age UK guide to keeping warm in winter, which might be worth going through for some tips. It's very sad reading, though, I must say. There is a particularly horrifying moment when it tells its readers to be careful with electric blankets if they have continence difficulties. sad

lovebunny Sat 01-Dec-12 21:46:55

i've done some looking after of my mum this year and it had me at screaming point within days. this poor woman, stwinifred is running herself ragged.
stwinifred, tell ss, tell your parents, get out of the situations. don't ask. tell.

Mosman Sun 02-Dec-12 05:03:18

Is there not a certain amount of the grandmas money which is protected from nursing home fees, the first £250,000 or something like that.
I'm 99% sure that every last penny she has won't go on nursing home fees but you'd only know by phoning age concern.

ditziness Sun 02-Dec-12 08:27:21

Poor grandma. When my grandma was 100 she came to live with us, I was 12 and I gave her my bedroom as it was the downstairs one. She lived till she was 104. It was hard for my mum caring for her. But it was good that she was with us. My me so sad to think of her being left in her house, pooing and wearing without a toilet, feeling like a burden for everyone rather than the cherished heart if a family. Awful. Please stop this awful situation. She's 100, she needs support, give your grandma some support and dignity at the end of her life. Good god, this is awful

Nanny0gg Sun 02-Dec-12 10:41:58

OP - just show your parents this thread...

ssd Sun 02-Dec-12 10:52:11

I think the op is ashamed at how her granny is being left to live and she wont come back to this thread now