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70yo mother with increasingly Ill health refusing to retire

(10 Posts)
wonderstuff100 Sat 12-Nov-16 10:44:00

My mum is 70 next month,is a carer for my disabled dad and also works about 2/3 night a week as a HCA at our local hospital,which she really enjoys.

Over the past 5 years,I've noticed a considerable decline in her health,taking longer to get better,getting chest infections/coughs and colds more which I guess I put down to just a natural process in ageing.

She talked about retiring at 70 a few times but when I dare to mention it when she does become sick,she shoots me down. They are very comfortable and she has a decent sized pension to come so I don't think it's the money,I think it's more she feels she won't know what to do with herself if she does retire. I've told her she could always keep her hand in with an agency and do shifts or some volunteering work but shes having none of it. Part of me thinks she's great and part of me is really frustrated. I completely understand that she is wary of losing her job that she loves,but surely she can see the night shifts,coupled with looking after my dad and her health getting gradually worse means it's time to slow down now.

Has anyone else got any experience of this?

Blue2014 Sat 12-Nov-16 10:45:36

Honestly, my father in law staying in work has been the best thing for his health. Is there anyway she would allow some support when caring for your dad instead?

LarrytheCucumber Sat 12-Nov-16 10:48:55

My DM is doggedly acting as carer for DF. She won't consider him going in a home. She is 90 and he is 99.
I think you just have to let your parents do what they decide. It is a strange reversal isn't it when you see your parents doing something you think they shouldn't.

wonderstuff100 Sat 12-Nov-16 10:54:44

Unfortunately my dad is as stubborn as her and also doesn't really have any friends to help out with support or even get someone in. Hes physically disabled and can do a lot of things himself but he still needs pushing in a wheelchair sometimes, etc.

It is really hard that she won't even talk about it. She complains about my dad not listening to get but then she doesnt listen to me! I think I'm also concerned that her work is 12 hour night shifts with lots of physical work,that would take its toll on anyone,despite their age. I completely understand she wants to retain her independence,that's why I've suggested she do the odd night here and there.

Lunde Sat 12-Nov-16 10:57:47

Perhaps it is not the job that is causing her ill-health but being a carer. She may see this job as her only time away from the stress and isolation of being a carer. If she was to retire she would be stuck at home 24/7.

SexTrainGlue Sat 12-Nov-16 10:58:19

Unless you think she is becoming incapable of proper decision making - (in which case you have a whole other issue to deal with, as that would mean she was no longer reliable enough to care for your DDad, and securing other carers for him - and quite possibly for her too - could take time and effort) - then then the best thing you can do is respect her choices.

When to retire is a personal decision.

And if she values her time with different people at work, that's totally up to her.

If you think she needs more free time, then perhaps you could do more for your DDdad? Then she can develop hobbies etc and perhaps will come to see things differently?

Nydj Sat 12-Nov-16 11:00:50

I do understand where you are coming from but perhaps, you need to listen to her - ask her what help and support she would like rather than decide what is best for her. Perhaps she is rebelling against being told what to do although I am sure you couch it in the kindest way and say it because you care about her.

wonderstuff100 Sat 12-Nov-16 11:03:09

I don't think it's really about hobbies but yes,she has voiced in the past that she's worried about retiring that all she'll have to do is spend time with dad. I don't think she's the kind to be joining groups or working in charity shops. So yes,she obviously does see this as her time away from dad. Again,unfortunately my dad won't accept help from me or my siblings either. They're both so stubborn it's insane.

I'm a single parent and work full time,I live about about 30 mins away as do my siblings. Maybe one of us could start going over once a week with some food or something dad can cook for himself so he's not so reliant on mum. Any other ideas of how we could help?

wonderstuff100 Sat 12-Nov-16 11:04:10

I never tell her what to do,but I do make suggestions. But yes,maybe I need to ask her what I can do to help. Although I think the answer will be "Nothing,we're fine!"

LarrytheCucumber Sat 12-Nov-16 11:04:17

Lunde I had the same thought.

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