I could scream!(35 Posts)
More of a rant than anything so I'm sorry
This week I've had my step mum to stay for a couple of days, I took her to look at a sheltered housing flat that's to rent. It's only two miles from me so fairly handy though it's not an area that she really knows
It was lovely and she liked it though slightly worried about not knowing her way around. She has Alzheimer's so would need support but where she lives now is far far from ideal and she wants to move and keeps saying she doesn't want to spend the winter thee. The house doesn't need to be sold as she is more than able to pay rent and any bills for the foreseeable future.
This morning she rings me to say in her diary says an estate agent is coming to value the house. Turns out one of my step brothers has arranged two to go and value it unbeknown to me or my other step brother. He's also booked a viewing at some trendy apartment not far from where she lives. They are as unsuitable as you can get. She needs mimimum sheltered preferably extra care housing though they are hard to come by
Honestly a man with no eyes could see she couldn't cope! He doesn't do anything practical to help her and if God forbid she moved in there it would be me and my other step brother who'd have to sort out the crap.
Have you spoken to him to ask him what he's playing at?
Does he have form for this sort of thing? Has he just picked up on your Step Mum saying she wants to move and is facilitating this without a common sense approach to what is practical or do you think he has another motive?
I haven't asked him as yet. I spoke to my other step brother who's away at the moment and it's the first he'd heard of it too. I've decided to wait and see how far he'll actually go with it. He's been told via text my dsm needs more care, by my step brother though he's had no reply. That's why I've decided to wait for a few days to see if he'll back off the idea. To be honest I'm livid about it all. She had been to look at them yesterday and kept phoning me to say how lovely they were
I felt awful but I had to tell her I didn't think it was the right place for her to move. I've seen it on the website and yes it all looks very nice but for a lady with Alzheimer's who will be living alone, no way suitable.
Why the hell he chose to get the house valued and not say a thing and why he'd encourage her to buy a fancy apartment which means she needs to sell the house first rather than rent a sheltered housing flat which means no rush to sell, I haven't a clue
OH and myself have talked endlessly over the weekend about what motives could be and are stumped
I'm the one who deals with the social worker community support worker her carers and GP
Me other sb do the practical stuff in the house but he knows she has a problem
It's got worse since my dad went in to hospital five weeks ago and she understands that he'll never go home which is partly why she wants to move
But going to a two bed tow bathroom all singing all dancing apartment is not the way to go.
Is step brother hoping to benefit from a forced house sale ?
Step brother, who booked estate agent, has accepted she needs sheltered housing and that where I'd taken dsm to look sounded ideal. I told him it was too late as the flat had been taken by someone else. To be completely honest, the fact he'd put dsm off by showing her the trendy place gave me time to think. I would have been moving dsm much closer to me and further from dsbs so more and more of her care would fall to me. Both my oh plus a friend who had similar with her mum, told me to think long and hard about moving her towards me.
I'd said to both step brothers to look for sheltered places as this one had gone but nothing happened so I got on the case instead and found another, only half a mile from where one of them lives and it's in a small town where dsm worked for some years. She is moving in just before Christmas. I've passed on the care providers phone number to one sb as I'm not sure if they cover that area so it gives them time to arrange different cover if needs be. Plus I think it would be helpful to up her care at least for the first few weeks after moving as she will be more confused
I'm trying to pass more of this to them both as I still have my dad who has just left hospital after eight weeks being detained under the
Mental health act in to full time care, he has Alzheimer's too. All the social services and medical arrangements I did for dad I carried on for dsm but there's no reason why her sons shouldn't do it rather than me. I'm first port of call for her to ring so im trying to break that habit too. I spoke to her support worker on Wednesday about the move and her opinion is that moving her is the right thing to do but she thinks it will be short term as she will need full time care before long. Unfortunately I don't think dsbs actually see this, one already said this week that once she moves he will feel better as she will be looked after and will settle quick. Worrying that he's been but seems to think a sheltered housing flat gives the same level of care as a care home.
I'd explained to the support worker what I'm doing regarding passing more responsibility to dsbs as I'm still got my dad to sort, as she said, ithey should be doing gag more but she sees it all the time , it falls to the woman, one sb has seen my dad once since he went in to hospital and the other not at all and neither had he asked me about him or offered to drive dsm the thirty miles to the home he is now in.
It's two years since I started on this road with dad and over the time I've done the lot but I can't spend the next two years doing it for dsm too. I don't think I'm being selfish but I do have a full time job and a life too.
You definitely are not being selfish, don't even think that!
Thanks mini, it's the guilt that gets me. My youngest sb does help dsm with practical stuff like he painted a room for her but he is quite clueless on anything to do with Alzheimer's, social services etc. don't get me wrong i didn't know much until I staters having to sort it out for dad then dsm. They both need to realise that there is only one way with this disease, I do struggle with them not getting it when there couldn't be a more graphic example than my dad! In two years he has gone from then quite gentle man he was to someone who had punched a male nurse and grabbing a care worker by the throat, plus many other things along the way. I'm not saying that dsm will go like that but it happens!
Gosh! You are not being selfish at all, in my opinion you need to protect your self even more against the situation and against BILS' tendency to let you do all the heavy lifting. You have been a dutiful stepdaughter, but the more you do, the more they will happily let you do. my advice would be to start pulling back, and it will have to dawn on them that you are not so available to do all the tough stuff.
It's true, somehow society seems to tacitly let the women get on will all the hard work of caring for the vulnerable. It makes me cross. Try not to feel guilty. Being on this journey too taught me that often those who have the least reason to feel guilty feel it the most.
Thank you What. My oh has been telling me exactly that. He keeps telling me I need to stop answering the phone to dsm all the time but it isn't easy. Today she called me four times before I answered she then said she'd kept trying both sb but neither had answered to her.
I counted up the calls I'd either received or made on behalf of dad and dsm this week, not including calls to dsm, 27 from Monday to Friday all while I was working!
This is why I need to start passing more to them whether they like it or not,
Agreed. when clearing out the mess in my dad's room I found some old BT bills which showed on some days he'd called me up to 15 times. It got to the point where the ringtone made my heart race. To add to that, work had the same handset with same ring tone, and it would set my heart racing when it rang there too. Dad is now beyond being able to make calls, but i am still not entirely reconciled with the phone. Do pass on everything you possibly can to BILs.
whataboutbob, I can sympathise! DM used to ring me continually, even in the middle of the night, when she found caring for DF too much. I ended up turning the phone off at night (I left my mobile on, I was just worried about her bloody phone calls waking the rest of the house up). The local takeaway has the same ringtone as the home phone which does make me freeze when I wait for my curry!
DM is now in a care home and has said about phoning me if people there make too much noise, but I am trying to steer her towards pressing the call bell and telling the nurses rather than phoning me and me having to phone the nurses.
Sorry OP, gone off on a tangent. Pass more of the stuff about your DSM to your stepbrothers as I guess they aren't offering to help you with your Dad. If you carry on dealing with everything they will just let you keep going. People underestimate how much crap, such as paperwork, sorting out crap in their house etc is generated when we have to take over our parents' affairs, and this is in addition to our own daily activities. You have done far more than most people would do, particularly when it sounds like you have your hands full dealing with your Dad.
melfish you are absolutely right about no offer of help for dad. One sb went to visit dad once when he was in hospital and the other not at all. Not once has either asked if I'm managing or even what's going on.
Yesterday I had a phone call from dsm community mental health nurse, who'd been to do an assessment on her last week. She told me how it had gone and her thoughts and had asked me about some of dsm answerers to check if accurate
I then text both sbs to let them know, I sent text as one was on nights so in bed and the other at work
Not hear s thing back from either despite the fact that if asked one to let me know if he has checked dsm care provider covers the area where she's moving to next month
He has all the info but has form for not doing stuff when asked. I don't want to nag but it seems that even if busy a quick all sorted would only take seconds. It makes me think he still hasn't checked and my idea of increasing her care to morning visits too won't be done either.
SorryCant- just an idea: have you given the community nurse DBILS' numbers- could you start "re training" the professionals to contact them instead of you, when it comes to DSM's care- I would think that was only fair. Sorry if this sounds cynical, but professionals want to be able to tick all the required boxes on a case, and if the box with "relatives to be contacted/ NOK " has DBILS' names on it, then that's who they'll contact.
Melfish it's so true there's so much crap to deal with. Today i have sent 3 emails to do with Dad's affairs, earlier in the week I had to find an electrician to fix his kitchen light, today I got a call from carers informing me bro was not back home at end of carer's shift. I can;t do anything about it as I live 3 hours away, but still have to know and worry about it. And that's before you include managing absolutely all of Dad's financial affairs. It's like a part time job (but unpaid, unglamorous and not appreciated, since he's got dementia and doesn t even know I am doing it, much less thank me for it).
At the moment I'm finishing the stuff I started for dsm. Today I had a call from her doctors about a dementia review appointment, I was down as dads carer with them and it follows on with dsm. I've told the surgery she's moving so will be needing a new doctor and asked my dsb to see if he can get her in where he goes, the new sheltered flat is near him. I'm not going to have my details put down at the new surgery. As soon as I get the social workers details that will be taking on dsm I will pass it over to them. Her last CASO had felt with dad so when dsm was referred she opted to take on the case as she knew the history and had delt with me previously,
Each call and email I get I'm telling them about and giving details to them. I know it's not easy for my youngest sb as he works nights but the other could take on far more but so far has chosen not to. Even my sil has been onto him but ....
SCBA - you're doing far too much of the heavy lifting. Your SB's are content to let you. Stop doing it. That may sound harsh, but you DSM has two healthy sons and it is their prime responsibility to care for their mother. You've your dad to look after and that is more than enough for you. Be blunt to the point of rudeness if necessary and write to both SB's saying "Over to you - don't ring me." You deserve them!
Just pass it on to your stepbrothers, FGS there's 2 of them and only 1 of you! Am sure they can come to some arrangement between them to look after their mother (and it sounds like one has a partner so that's another pair of hands), which they would have had to do if you were not involved. I've now only got mum to deal with but it would really p*ss me off if there were other siblings who were able to help but chose not to. It's time for them to step up to the plate and it sounds like there are professionals involved too, so they won't be without advice. Perhaps if the professionals start nagging them they might actually do something.
You've got your dad and your own life and family to manage and that's more than enough I'm sure. If both my parents were ill in different locations etc at the same time I would have had to choose (am an only) and delegate the other one to another distant family member (and probably have to pay for their time, fair enough) or professional. You have 2 grown men available to help and I think they should be
forced encouraged to do so by referring the professionals to them- perhaps ccing them into emails if they are sent by the CPN, e.g 'x, what do you think?' So the CPN can see that they are involved and need to be chased kicked up the arse to reply.
Thanks so much for your advice. It's nice to know that people understand. I am/will be passing more professional things over. I sent the doctors appointment for dsm
Oops hit too soon
And as I said earlier as son as I'm contacted by dsm social worker I will pass all that side over to them. I fully understand that as one sb works nights he isn't able to deal with as much but the other can
The amount of calls I get from dsm is another thing I'm trying to tackle too. Rather than answering ASAP I'm leaving it for a while. Sorry if it sounds harsh but I know from past experience that if she can't get hold of me then she does the rounds, both sb have recently said she is ringing them far more, I'm not sure that they answer but that's up to them. I listen to the voice mail she leaves to check its nothing major and I might leave it an hour before I ring back.
I got a call yesterday from dsm care provider about an outside light. It's almost three weeks since I asked my sb to ring them about her moving, she moves in two weeks. Turns out he hasn't phoned them! I'm fuming, I'd explained that it needed doing in good time as this provider might not cover the new area, and that she will need at least one extra visit a day. The answer is no they don't cover the place where dsm is moving so it's back to the council. I rang him, said they'd called me and can't provide care for dsm after the move and asked why he hadn't called earlier. I just not a non answer and a what happens now. I've sent him every phone number and email address I have but he can't seem to see an sense of urgency. The conversation went, well there's a full time warden to help her. Me, the warden works 9.30 -4.30 mon to fri and is there for the general running of the place. Yes he will help people but it's not his job to be going to check on dsm twice a day to check she's taken her meds. Much of dsm care visits are to reassure her and to look and make sense of the countless notes she writes but can't remember what for. I don't think that falls into the wardens remit.
SCBA, You're still doing the heavy lifting - stop it now! DSM has two healthy sons to care for her, and what if one of them works nights? He'll be available all day! Get out from under, put all DSM's papers in an envelope and send it to the elder son. YOU'VE DONE ENOUGH! . You need a break, take one.
Thank This. At the moment it's like trying to push water uphill with both sb. Tuesday dsm had a dementia review at the gps. The doctors contact me for all appointments etc as I am down as carer/next of kin for both her and dad. I asked a sb if he could take her and he asked his wife to do it. I've already told the doctors that she's moving. After dsm and my other sb looked at the sheltered housing flat, I mentioned changing surgery and having her prescription delivered after the move. He told me he was going to call his GP to register dsm as she is moving near to him, all fine. I called him yesterday before he went to work to explain the surgery had called me about a letter that needs collecting and asked if she was registered with the new one , as I want him to put his details down instead of mine for point of contact. He hasn't called the doctors yet as he's been too busy. She moves on the 14th and as yet she won't have any carers going in andI don't know where her tablets will end up being dispensed from! Today I'm calling back to her surgery and asking for my details to be removed and giving them both sb numbers, any fallout from their lack of organisation is not being dumped on me. They both have a list of phone number and email address of people to contact for various things but I know from past experience they won't which is why Ive already emailed some explaining the situation and giving their details.
SCBA you need to be honest with yourself. Are you ready and prepared to let your SBs take responsibility for their own mother?
As long as you helicopter over them they won't do things because they know full well you will rescue the situation.
If you are really want the SBs to take responsibility then email social workers, doctors, hospital, care agency and so on with the new contact/NOK details. Copy to the SBs and step away. They may struggle and make mistakes but you have to let them.
Strategic sickness...... Seriously I was once in a job with a near impossible workload. My predecessor took me out to lunch as suggested I went off sick for a couple of weeks. Only when bosses had to cover would they realise how much there was, would they listen. I was too honest, but he was right.
One approach, depending on family dynamics, might be for your husband to write, quite formally, to your step brothers. (Its what we may do if caring for my mother becomes too much for me. It would mean that any conversation is one step removed and so less chance for emotions/hfamily history to come into play.)
So, your DH is concerned for you. You have a lot on your plate and this has been gong on for quite a while. You have both given it some deep thought. The move is a good time to review things. You have been advised (no need for detail but imply that the GP has given you a clear warning to reduce your stress levels because it is triggering something nasty) to cut down where you can, and you will not be able to oversee this. You will also need one of them to take over as first point of contact with the various agencies.
You care for and respect your DSM deeply and would want to continue to visit and help where you can. However with other priorities including your DF, you cannot continue to be primary contact for your DSM. Could they let you know who will take this on and you will provide contacts and details of where things are.
The stereotype is that men expect female siblings to be carers. So the tone might be a bit man to man protecting his female. The content should be clear, constructive and reasonable. You have already decided you cant do it all. You could write the letter, but somehow we feel, given recent and even childhood history, that if we need to, it will be less messy coming from DH.
Then lie low. Offer perhaps to help with packing, unpacking but actually better to take a break and allow yourself some time to enjoy your family, see your father and simply do nothing. Indeed in the short term it might be better not to visit so you don't know about lightbulbs, and if anyone phones, simply and quickly tell them to phone your DSBs. I think you will find you are tireder than you realise, and the relief at not having to worry about phone calls is huge.
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