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Issues with my mother, her mental health and my granddad

(1 Post)
Purpleblondie Sat 09-Apr-16 14:16:44

Brand new member but have lurked on the boards without registering for a number of years smile

I need some help and support regarding my mother.

I apologise in advance if this turns into an essay, I'll try to keep it short without missing anything out if I can. I am looking after my son and posting this thread whilst he naps so if I don't respond right away to any questions I'll come back as and when I can to try to answer anything asked.

First, some facts all I think relevant, I promise. I am 30. My mum has been divorced from my dad for 6 years now, she took him back after an affair he had when I was about 13/14 and then following suspicion he was up to no good again filed for divorce.
They lived with each other for another 2 years (in separate bedrooms) until my mum finally bit the bullet and put the house up for sale. Dad then moved out.
Fast forward and mum now has her own mortgage free house and seemed to be getting on with things. We both work full time, I don't have a driving licence, but am taking lessons. my mum can drive, but doesn't have a car. DH uses our car for work. My mum is an only child.
My Granddad ( mums dad) is now in his mid 80's. there have been signs that he is starting to struggle a bit with things like keeping on top of the cleaning, understanding bills, sorting out the council tax, understanding his doctor, driving ect. He is still able to wash, dress, cook, shop and feed himself.

I have been telling my mum for a while now that we need to start getting more involved with my granddad. There have been instances over the last couple of years which have made me concerned for his judgement on things and issues with his health and he lives quite far from us for us to visit regularly (1.5hrs each way on the bus or a 30 minute drive)

This morning, she tells me that she has had a concerning phone call with my granddad in which he told her that he got his neighbour to take him to the hospital at 8pm last night because his doctor put a note through his door to tell him that he needed to come into the surgery for a blood test or to call to arrange to be booked in for the clinic at the hospital to take blood. He doesn't know why and he doesn't know what time his doctor came to him to drop the note off as he didn't hear the door. He also says the note said she tried to call him but he told my mum that he ignored the phone as he has been getting nuisance phone calls.

She then goes on to tell me that she pretty much had a go at him for not answering his phone or hearing the knock on the door. She generally isn't very kind to him and would never go out of her way to help him out.

It concerns me that he felt more able to go to his neighbour for help on receiving this note than to his own family. similar happened at Christmas when he told us that as he didn't have his car any more he would only be coming down for Christmas if his neighbour could find the time to bring him. At which point I was very clear that DH would fetch him in the morning no problem and that he didn't need to inconvenience his neighbour at all.

I have tried to talk to my mum about the general situation this morning, suggesting that we should start visiting granddad more regularly to make sure that he is doing OK and talk with him about any help he would like that we can offer or arrange such as a cleaner or someone to help with the garden and suggesting that he gives permission for mum or me to contact/be contacted by the doctor if needed to help him understand if he needs tests what for and to introduce ourselves to the neighbour and provided contact details in case he ever needs them and to make it clear we are around and care about him.

From what I understand the neighbour is very kind to my granddad and comes and has a cup of tea with him sometimes which I think is really nice, and I'm grateful he keeps an eye out for him. But I was trying to point out to my mum that we don't know him at all and for all he knows granddads family don't care and for all we know he could be right royally taking advantage of him because we aren't involved enough in my granddads life. He wouldn't tell us if he leant neighbour money for example.

So as I'm trying to suggest ways we can get more involved and arrange support if he wants/needs it, my mum starts going off on one about how she works full time, doesn't want to travel on her days off. That visiting would take up a whole day and that if she cuts down her hours at work to look in more on my granddad she wont be able to afford to run her house and then she will lose her house and that she has only just gotten rid of my dad and that she is so tired all the time.

Basically what this all boils down to is that she is depressed. She has never sought any help with the dr or counselling to try to talk out the stuff with my dad and put it to bed, despite encouragement from me. It just gets shut down with 'I am not being put on crazy pills' (hugely insulting as DH has clinical depression and will be on medication for the rest of his life and I have previous been on AD)

No amount of trying to talk to her helps. She just gets upset and then gets nasty. the thing is I know that I cant do anything for HER if she wont get herself help but she needs to face up to the fact that my granddad is getting older and needs our support.
I have explained that I will help her but that I cant do it all for her as I have a young family to care for and said that she needs to step up as his daughter and have an adult conversation with him about his needs.
She seems to think I am suggesting visiting to 'snoop' around in his house which is not the case at all.

After this conversation she got up slammed out the house ( leaving my little one very confused and upset about why Nana just left without saying anything having not long got here this morning) and I haven't heard from her since.

I don't know what to do. I cant cope with all of this. I have put my mum at arms length for the last few years due to her always being nasty about my dad ( he is not the same about her) and trying to talk to me about details of their relationship ( this is where I suggested counselling as I don't want to hear is basically) and not really being willing to deeply involve myself in her life if she is just going to wallow and be bitter rather than let me help her take steps to improve her life. I have my DH and DC to think about.

My main concern is that my granddad is going to end up suffering because of this. I am willing to help but I cant take it all on, and I don't feel it is my responsibility to take on. We have our second DC due this summer.

Sorry, that did turn out long. thank you for reading if you got this far.

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