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Caring for elderly parents? Drop in for support, hand holding and whatever you need

(55 Posts)
CMOTDibbler Fri 16-Sep-16 19:22:39

It doesn't matter whether you are a hands on carer, care from a distance, or are just contemplating the future. Join us for support from people who know the struggles of becoming your parents carer - we rant, cry, and pick each other up.

ZaZathecat Sat 17-Sep-16 10:35:20

Just checking in. I haven't visited dm yet today, I'm going this afternoon. But I've got the familiar feeling of doom because yesterday she was much more confused than usual and couldn't seem to see things. She was looking past me instead of at me for example and her head kept faling as if nodding off. I then got a text ftom her evening carer saying she doesn't seem herself. Maybe she has a UTI. I'm thinking if she's still peculiar when I go over today I'll have to do something - and it's Saturday so it's going to be more difficult. Do I call the emergency doctor or wait until Monday?

CMOTDibbler Sat 17-Sep-16 15:51:14

I'd take her temperature and see if she is running a temp - if she is, then get the OOH GP out to see what they think as you can knock it on the head early.
Dad is at home now, and has been discharged with a nebuliser. Its a good thing that the district nurse comes everyday as he had no idea how to use it. At least he had enough antibiotics to finish that course, but only had a few days of nebuliser stuff - the district nurses hadn't had any information from the hospital <sigh>
At least he's not angry at me. Unlike my brother as apparently I should have phoned him to let him know - even though he'd do nothing and I was running round like a blue whatsit fly. He didn't phone me to say this though!

thesandwich Sat 17-Sep-16 21:42:12

Hello both. Hope your dad is improving CMOT and don't let the s* sibling get to you.
Zaza hope your DM improves.
Back from dropping dd at uni- very strange. Fortunately fil is still hanging on and Sil has done a marvellous job visiting while we have been sorting dd and other bil has been doing the same for his dd. While our s* sibling did one stint hospital visiting before s**** off to drink artisan coffee.
wine to all.

ZaZathecat Sat 17-Sep-16 23:29:47

I eventually got dm some antibiotics after telling the same story to 3 people on the phone, dragging het off to urgent care and being sent from there to a&e. Got home about 7.30 and now off to dm's to give her her bedtime dose. Hope it works! Sandwich, I've got another year before my first goes off to uni (if he does). It must be very strange. Hope all goes well for your dd.

ZaZathecat Sun 18-Sep-16 10:51:08

My late night visit to dm to give her an antibiotic found her standing in half an inch of water in the kitchen with the tap on at full pelt but pushed back so it was over the window sill instead of the sink. She had no idea what to do. God knows what would have happened if I hadn't come to give the tablet. I only hope this really is a UTI and she gets a bit more normal (couldn't provide a urine sample yesterday).

MirabelleTree Sun 18-Sep-16 10:59:10

Oh ZaZa, sounds like a hell of a weekend. Good thing you were there and I hope the AB's make a different very soon.

Really glad your Dad is home CMOT That is pretty typical behaviour of a member of the SSC isn't it angry

TheSandwich I'm really glad FIL has held on and SIL stepped up. We're 3 months on from DD leaving and it is the new normal and became so pretty quickly. With things like Line and Skype it's so easy to keep in contact which has been a great help. I hope the strangeness wears off very soon flowers

thesandwich Sun 18-Sep-16 13:57:46

Thanks mirabelle - dropped dd off in hall at stoke bishop and walked on the downs! Thank you for the encouragement about the new normal.
Sorry to hear about your mum Zaza. You are never off duty are you?take care.

ZaZathecat Sun 18-Sep-16 15:47:01

Thanks all. Just saw dm and she's definitely more alert than yesterday so hopefully the ABs are working.
We're going to see Sussex Uni with ds on Saturday - any views?

CMOTDibbler Sun 18-Sep-16 16:25:06

She'll love Bristol thesandwich. Dnephew2 has just graduated from there (and got a fabulous job) and loved it.

Good to hear your mum is more alert ZaZa.

thesandwich Sun 18-Sep-16 17:42:07

Thanks CMOT. I grew up there so it's hard not filling her with my ancient memories! It is a great place.
Zaza- no insight on Sussex. Gut reaction matters most! Can your ds see himself there? Does the course inspire him? Check unistats for pointers.

whataboutbob Sun 18-Sep-16 19:40:32

Well done Sandwich- Bristol is a fab place. Zaza sorry you had such a difficult weekend, it definitely brings back memories of Dad's mishaps and living in fear of the phone's ring tone for about 3 years of my life. Re Sussex i think it used to have a reputation for activism and left wing politics but that has muted somewhat and it has some very strong courses eg business, maths and some humanities. Is DS in year 13?

JontyDoggle37 Sun 18-Sep-16 20:13:27

Hello first time poster in this thread but been posting on Mumsnet in general for ages. My mum is 79 and has deteriorated rapidly over the last few weeks from still doing her own shopping and going into town on the bus to meet her friends, to barely able to walk around the house, number of falls increasing and is now having social services in every morning for an initial 6 week period to get her out of bed in the morning, washed and dressed etc. It's no one incident that's led to the decline, she just has so much wrong I think it's all finally caught up with her and the falls aren't helping recovery - she has Lupus, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, a heart condition, asthma, you name it. I'm an only child, although Mums sister lives locally and her and her husband are being great at helping too. My Dad died six years ago (when all my mums illnesses pretty much started) so all she has is her two dogs. I also work full time (commute into the city five days a week) and have a 16 month old son, husband, dog and a horse. I'm really struggling at the moment, as my day is currently get up at 5am, sort some work stuff out, do some chores, get ready for work while my husband get our son ready (he leaves much later than me so can get ready after we leave) then I take my son to nursery and get a train soon after half 7. I get back and pick him up by 6, then three days a week (plus weekends) I have to go and do my mums dinner and help her get ready for bed then go on to do my horse while my husband puts our son to bed. Two days a week I stay home in the evening so u can play with my son and put him to my bed and my husband is a saint and goes and helps my mum instead. Obviously I also see my son all day on the weekends, but I feel pulled in all directions and very stressed. I also only started my job a few weeks ago so am trying to make a good impression... I've tried suggesting to mum she needs carers to come in the evenings too, but she decided today to start using a Zimmer instead of her sticks as she's got so bad, and thinks that will mean she can make her own dinner etc. So won't think about having carers twice a day instead of once. Sorry this is long, well done if you got to the end, think I just needed to pour all this out. Any tips on coping?

ZaZathecat Mon 19-Sep-16 15:59:29

Hi Jonty, I wanted to reply earlier but seem to be dealing with one crisis after another at the moment, and in between times I'm just waiting for the next frantic phone call.
Sorry you two are having so many problems with your mum - it's so difficult especially when like you, you have lots of things of your own to deal with. It sounds like you are doing way more than you can handle at the moment and your mum definitely needs an evening carer but I understand how hard it is to get them to agree to it, I only managed to get my mum's care package in place after a fall and a 2 week hospital stay. However if I had pushed her into it earlier maybe she would not have had the fall, who knows.
As she is already used to the morning carer now, maybe you could arrange for them to come later as well without telling your mum. The carer could say something like 'the agency say you need me twice a day now'.
I don't know, maybe that wouldn't work for you, my my dm has dementia and lying is the only way to deal with it. I'm actually a uselesd liar but I'm having to get used to it! All the best.

thesandwich Mon 19-Sep-16 16:04:13

Hi jonty. My DM responds to official people suggesting things- especially men. Doctor,financial adviser etc. You are spread so thin. Outsource what you can- cleaning etc. Find a reason you or dh can't go one evening and get a carer to go. Good luck and rant away!!

CMOTDibbler Mon 19-Sep-16 16:19:12

Hi Jonty, my parents have been very resistant to care, and I will blame anyone for decisions that have to be made. Me saying, 'you need a teatime carer' is met with scorn, but 'the district nurse says you must have one' is accepted with just a bit of muttering.

Has your mum had a social services assessment yet? If not, put in for one (you can usually self refer) and when they say what support does she have, say NOTHING. You've been able to offer some very short term help, but will burn out doing it any longer. Make sure you emphasise this as they will try and get you to do as much as possible.

Or does your mum have funds to pay a private carer?

And, I hate to say this, but you say the job is new - were you at home ft before that? And more available to your mum?

JontyDoggle37 Mon 19-Sep-16 17:06:28

Thanks everyone for your comments.
I've outsourced my cleaning and hers already, and some of the care of my horse too.
CMOT yes I was at home full time for the last 15 months, so my mum was used to seeing me and my son during the week etc. And I'm definitely having to manage boundaries because she does assume people will do what she wants, and can be truculent if you don't - she got huffy at the weekend when I said I wasnt coming back a second time on Saturday (because I'd spent the last hour and a half doing her shopping and mine) and wouldn't be stopping after I'd put her shopping away because I still had my own frozen and chilled food in the car. It's constantly trying to my balance my own life while recognising she is lonely and unwell and wants company and contact. We got the Zimmer frame yesterday (spare from a friend) so she is hopefully using that today, I'm going to give it a couple of days then push the evening carer again. She also had to go to the nurse today for her Flu jab so I'm hoping she might have said something as she knows mum well....

ExitPursuedBySpartacus Mon 19-Sep-16 17:12:06

I think I posted on your previous thread, but got taken over by events. Lost my Dad in April and I have been a bit taken aback at how desperately sad it has made me.

I am in the process of getting rid of all his stuff so that I can complete on the sale of his house. And I look at all the stuff we have that DD will one day have to dispose of.

Sorry to be so melancholy.

Badders123 Mon 19-Sep-16 20:37:17

Hello everyone
Sorry to hear of people's struggles
I'm in a bit of a mess atm
My dad died - very suddenly and unexpectedly - 3 years ago and my mother (70) has become very frail since
Heart attack - don't know when
Cardiomyopathy
Copd - mild
Pvd
Coeliac - but refuses to follow a gf diet
The Pvd is the biggest issue I think - she had a fem/fem bypass but it occluded last December (right before Xmas) and she is refusing to have corrective surgery.
She can walk father now than she could when it happened but still nowhere near what she did before.
She uses a stick now
I tried suggesting a motorised scooter - that didn't go well grin
So. That's where we are.
I have 2 siblings - both live nearer than me but don't go and see her very often
My brother phones her every day but mostly to complain about his job/wife
My sister can go for 1-2 weeks without seeing mum - she has to drive past her house to drop her kids at school!!!
She does take her shopping sometimes - but only if she is going anyway.
I am the eldest and least favoured child. I was the most like my dad and we were very similar in outlook too.
I have nothing in common with mum.
She is a difficult woman - and that's the reason my dad was still working full time when he died!!
I have a small pt job but I am around more than my siblings
I go to see her every morning after school drop off
If she needs anything I take her to the shops. If she has dr appts/nurse appts/dentist etc I take her
If she needs help in the house I sort it - she wants a new kitchen!!!! Argh!!!
I'm tired.
Just so tired.
I'm currently in peri menopause and feeling pretty rough. Hospital want me to have further tests as they think I have sleep apnoea
I am starting to feel like she is a burden and I feel like a despicable person sad
My dad would be ashamed of me sad
Even though I am the least favoured child she has made me her executor and her POA
It's quite sad really
I'm the one she likes least, but trusts the most?
My sister is incredibly selfish and mercenary and my nil is a knob and my brother would just panic and not know what to do bitter experience
What can I do to pull away?
I recognise I need to, but how?
I wish work would offer me more hours but that won't happen.
Then again I'm so tired, more hours is prob the last thing I need!!
She isn't short of money (but not rich by any means) and will be able to afford cleaner and some care when the time comes
Has anyone successfully pulled away from being a carer?
I'm married with 2 DC and a dh who works away - I have all the caring duties I can manage!!
I've tired to speak to my sister who simply denies it - according to her she is "always" at mums: this is simply untrue.
My brother only goes if mum is looking After my niece ( his daughter)
I don't want to turn into a bitter old bag but I worry that's what's happening
I feel sad for her
And angry with her - if only she would make
More effort with people!!!
And I miss my dad sad
Sorry
I know it's not as bad as many posters on here but...feeling low today
And I could have years of this ahead of me...

thesandwich Mon 19-Sep-16 21:32:07

Hello all- jonty sounds like you are getting some practical help- could more be used? The nurse sounds like a good ally!
Exit- so sorry. It is an awful job to do and as you say makes you look differently at stuff. flowers
Baddders- I really feel for you. S* siblings are a recurring theme on here. Rant away. How are you caring for yourself?
wine to all.

JontyDoggle37 Mon 19-Sep-16 22:06:24

Sandwich - thanks for the wine. the nurse apparently didn't say anything 🙄 Damnit.
Badders - sorry to hear you're in a similar boat. When your mum asks you to take her somewhere, could you try saying 'oh I'm busy that day, why don't you ask Sister/Brother?' Etc - and make sure you do actually have something to do so you really can't (obviously not if it's something like a serious medical appointment Obviously). See whether your mum making the request direct makes a difference?

noneshallsleep2 Mon 19-Sep-16 22:12:24

Hi, just marking my place- I didn't realise you were here until CMOTDibbler pointed me to you. I think I've been keeping my head in the sand, to be honest, about my issues with my mother, but I may need to get real fairly soon. I'll be back!

ZaZathecat Mon 19-Sep-16 23:00:09

Badders I know exactly how you feel (not the siblings bit - dbro does his best but lives much further awsy and had ft job), but yes I admit dm is a burden This is the only place I can say that. I love her very much and she wad a good mum but the ladt few years have been hell if I'm honest, and the old her would be horrified to see the state she's in and the pressure she puts on me.

ZaZathecat Mon 19-Sep-16 23:21:14

And welcome noneshall.

Just to get it off my chest too: my dm, who used to thimk a couple of newspapers lying around looked slovenly, can now turn order into chaos in yhe space of an hour.

Badders123 Tue 20-Sep-16 07:19:55

Thank you.
Thing is...I'm not sure I do love her. And she wasn't a good mother - not her fault, she had 2 breakdowns when I was younger.
God.
I'm a terrible person.
Looking after myself? Hahahahahaha. I wouldn't know how.

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