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to think I don't want my mum to live with us?

(36 Posts)
gremlindolphin Mon 27-Dec-10 23:23:47

Am an only child and very close to my mum who has recently been ill, is still in hospital and half paralysed. She is doing physio and is desperate to get home to us. She has been with us for Christmas and it has been a wake up call for me that I can't cope with her. She is adament that she doesn't want to go in a care home and we have been planning a granny annexe with carers on the understanding that she can at least make a cup of tea/go to the loo on her own when I am not there.

She is (understandably) in complete denial about her recovery and looking forward to her granny annexe. Christmas has made me realise that although I can cope with the bodily functions of a variety of pets and children, caring for my mum as she is now completely changes our relationship. She is quite emotionally demanding at the best of times, love her as I do

Am I being unreasonable or unrealistic? I have a dh and two dcs and am also worrying about how my marriage would survive?

Don't know how to handle this.

x

GiddyPickle Mon 27-Dec-10 23:29:11

What an awful situation for all of you. I totally understand your mum not wanting to go into a home and being in denial about how frail she is. But at the same time Christmas is a taste perhaps of how things might be on a daily basis and sad as it is to say, people don't always make the full recovery they hope and in older age will probably decline again. It might be kinder in the long run not to move her into your home knowing that it won't be a long term solution and knowing that you cannot look after her if she does not regain a lot of independence or if she becomes even frailer.

I do not know what the solution is though but I do know that you should not feel guilty for admitting that you cannot cope with it. It is too much a big commitment to take on for most people to take on. Are the people in charge of her care currently able to offer solutions about in the home type help or other solutions?

gremlindolphin Mon 27-Dec-10 23:31:40

Thanks GiddyPickle (great name!)

yes the OT and Physio are very supportive and understanding of both me and her but I am just feeling a bit s**t right now and dreading the new year and needing some other perspectives! You kind of lose track of what is acceptable.

TheSugarPlumFairy Mon 27-Dec-10 23:38:34

oh dear. I had my mum live with us for about 6 months a few years ago. She was not ill at the time and it very nearly destroyed both my sanity and my relationship with DH. I feel for you.

Do you think you could speak to her HCP's and see if you could get them to reinforce to her that she is going to need a level of care that would not be reasonably available with you?

Perhaps if they start chipping away at the denial bubble it will make it easier for you to speak to her realistically about her care options.

mamatomany Mon 27-Dec-10 23:41:04

Where would she go back to from hospital if not your house ? My MIL is hankering after moving in with us but having talked it through with DH (and mumsnet of course) I've realised she is actually in a better position as things stand should she need care.
Agree the OT needs to have a long chat with her.

Lonnie Mon 27-Dec-10 23:45:56

YANBU you need to make sure there is something left for you and with young kids pets a marriage looking after someone that needs a fair bit of carring its utterly understandable that you dont feel you can do...

Have a gentle talk with your mother and just be honest see what sshe says

gremlindolphin Mon 27-Dec-10 23:47:42

She is naturally a very sociable person and the sort who joins in with things and from the care homes I have visited recently there seem to be so are many things organised that I think she would enjoy. I worry about how lonely she would be here.

She can't go home as she has a large house which she was struggling to cope with before all this happened which is about an hour away She has agreed that it would be better to be closer to us.

It is kind of irrelevant that house is full of accumulated junk that I am now having to sort through as well!

gremlindolphin Mon 27-Dec-10 23:50:03

Re: talking with her I am struggling as I said she is quite emotionally demanding at the best of times and also quite fixed in her view of care homes - you won't leave me in a home, I would have looked after you no matter what etc etc. When I am at home I can respond to these comments well but when I am with her I just seem to struggle.

AuntiePickleBottom Mon 27-Dec-10 23:50:41

i think you could cope as long as you had the support aswell.

would respite be an option

Punkatheart Mon 27-Dec-10 23:50:49

You are entirely reasonable. Becoming a carer - which is essentially what you will become - is life-changing. There are options -people you can talk to, such as Age UK (good website) and a local branch of Crossroads - who provide carers.

Without asking you any personal details - some of this could depend on her finances. Has she a house to sell, for example. Can there be a compromise - where she lives close to you but not on top of you as a family. Could she afford full-time care with her living in her own home.

You are being honest, not horrible. So please don't beat yourself up. Get lots of advice, some clear printed information and be assertive and kind with your mother. You need to sit down with her and discuss your fears. Say that you want to help but you know that things will change if there is too much pressure placed on you as a person, mother yourself and a wife....

SuzieHomemaker Mon 27-Dec-10 23:51:16

GremlinDolphin - I think that it is far better to address this now than to take your Mum in and then for things to come to a crisis point. I havent direct experience of this though as my mother and PiL are getting on a bit I know that this stage isnt a long way away.

IMO the best that you can do for your Mum is to help her get the best care possible. This doesnt mean that you have to provide it but that you take a very practical interest in her care. Be honest with your mum. If all she wants is to stay with you then keep repeating that it isnt go to happen. Work with her to identify what her ideal home would be.

You are being totally reasonable.

SantaClausImWorthIt Mon 27-Dec-10 23:54:17

Would warden-assisted living be an appropriate compromise? I don't think you are unreasonable at all - you have your own life to lead. I know that sounds selfish, but I saw my own mother's life being severely curtailed by having her MIL come to live with my parents. And my father did bugger all - it was all left to my mother to cope with.

Warden-assisted residences encourage more independence, but still provide the reassurance of someone there to contact if there is a need of help.

Talk to your local Age Concern people. They are incredibly helpful/knowledgeable.

mamatomany Mon 27-Dec-10 23:54:58

This is a huge elephant in the room for so many people, it's good to get idea's and hear suggestions. The problem with having our children later is that the parents are going to want to be cared for at the same time as the children still need us, no easy answers I guess.
But I would have cared for you no matter what, is emotional blackmail and very unfair.

MummyTubb Mon 27-Dec-10 23:58:40

Is there any possibility of a more comprehensive care programme, such as live-in carers? That's what we organised for SIL's care when FIL was too frail to manage himself. Although I guess that depends a lot on how big your granny annexe is.

I feel for you - that is a horrible situation to have to find yourself in.

gremlindolphin Tue 28-Dec-10 00:00:48

We haven't build the granny annexe yet as it kind of depended on whether mum recovered enough to be able to live in it - I haven't checked out live in carers yet as I wasn't aware of them until recently.

ChippingIn Tue 28-Dec-10 00:05:44

Gremlin - the other thing you need to consider (which you may already be considering?!) is that if she is putting the money into your house to build the extension, if she ends up going into a care home and uses up all the other money she has, you would need to sell your house to release her equity in your house (or remortgage) - this could possibly be an 'out' for you.

You aren't being horrible - you are thinking about everyones needs DH, DC, yours (& your relationship) & your Mums - this isn't all about her - it will have a huge effect on all of you!

It is hard enough to do this when you go into it sure you can do it, it is virtually impossible when you know you can't do it before you even start.

Is there anywhere near you that offers 'assisted living' rather than a care home? You can usually buy your own flat/apartment/house and have as much or as little support as you need. Some have care homes attached that she could move to if it came to that.

gremlindolphin Tue 28-Dec-10 00:09:06

Going to bed now as have Christmas take 2 tomorrow complete with Mum! Thanks for your thoughts, will check in tomorrow with interest.

x

AuntiePickleBottom Tue 28-Dec-10 00:09:12

also to add, you have to do the best for you.

i have no knowledge at all but maybe see the CAB for advice on what you can do

monkeyflippers Tue 28-Dec-10 10:28:17

What about going into a care home or similar but telling her that she can come for little holidays at your house? That might soften the blow a bit.

Actuallawyer Tue 28-Dec-10 10:38:54

My grandmother was able to live alone in her bungalow even thought she was very frail and bed bound. She had carers in four times a day and they dressed, washed, fed her and transferred her from bed to wheel chair to chair each time. The arrangement only failed when she didn't want to be left alone at night. After six months of my parents taking it in turns to stay with her they tried a fortnight's respite in a nursing home and then eventually moved her in full time. She wasn't happy about the move as she wanted to stay in her bungalow but didn't really appreciate the demands of caring for her.

I would see if you can get some advice from social services about levels of care and what is available. It would help if you had an idea of what she needs now and what you can reasonably provide. Far better to be honest than to move her in a crisis when you realise you've overstretched yourself.

QuintMissesChristmasesPast Tue 28-Dec-10 10:50:21

What is right for your mum from her point of view is not necessarily what is right for you and your family.

I am guessing your mother has had a stroke? Sorry to be blunt. She may never recover. There may be damage to her brain that develops slowly. This may be the first in a line of strokes. Or she may recover somewhat. You dont say how old, or otherwise fit she was before becoming ill.

She will be in denial both regards to how much care you have to give, and how her recovery will be.

When my father had his stroke, my mum became his full time carer. Her entire life changed because everything had to be scheduled around him and his needs. She could not go grocery shopping, for example, until he had moved his bowels in the morning, as he needed help with toilet visits. With a body semi paralysed, the internal organs were also affected.

It is a kind thing to do, to become the carer of an elderly parent. (I know, because I am currently struggling with both my parents, as my mum now has alzheimers) But what you have to bear in mind is that your mum has LIVED her life to the grand old age she is now, and you are now in a stage in your life where you are bringing up children, and your life, and your childrens lives are ahead of you, and this will impact on them and everybodys enjoyment of life.

Also, bear in mind, if you bring her home now, it might not be so easy to find a place in a care home as it is now, where the option is either care home or her own home. From the hospitals point of view, care home is more viable than her home, so should be relatively easy for her to get a place. It will be much more heartbreaking for all concerned if she is "kicked" out of her granny annexe in a years time.

DecorhatetheChristmasTree Tue 28-Dec-10 11:08:34

I know of a chain of care homes which have a good reputation where there is a combination of traditional care home plus self-contained flats. Flat residents can get meals provided, etc as well - so can mix & match the available services to suit them. Would something like that be more palatable to her?

I had a relative with dementia staying unexpectedly for Christmas. It was very hard going. Both dh & I are adamant that she is not coming to live with us. Just the amount of involvement I currently have with sorting out her problems is a huge source of stress to me... Someone else dealing with a similar situation described it as having a toddler to look after again...

The other thing to consider is the impact on your career. I'm assuming you are a sahm at present - what if you want or need to return to work fulltime in the future?

Has your mother visited any care homes herself?
Often elderly people have an almost irrational fear of
ending up in a home. A visit to a good one might change her mind.

LadyBiscuit Tue 28-Dec-10 11:14:27

I agree entirely with Quint. And also bear in mind that it is going to take you about a year to build the annexe if you haven't got planning permission etc for it so by the time it's built, the situation may have moved on a lot.

The problem with strokes is that you just don't know which way they'll go.

It's a really tough situation for you because you had already agreed to her living with you. The problem is that even if your parent is fit and well when they move in, inevitably they will become frailer as they age so this was something that would have had to have been addressed in any case.

It sounds like sheltered accommodation might be your best option - can you have a look around some near to your house?

What does your husband think?

ElsieMc Tue 28-Dec-10 11:16:07

My mum remained in her own home with carers, although she was very, very resistant to this. They came in three times a day and I regularly found she had rung to cancel them.

My situation was different because my mum has dementia which, as I work in this area, I recognised the early signs when the rest of my family thought it was me who was mad. Sadly, I was right.

She has been in a care home for some time following a series of falls in her own home. The care home is pretty good, relaxed and informal and specialises in dementia care.

I feel very sorry for both of you; you absolutely must follow your instincts as it could end up a very unhappy situation for you both.

I knew I could not cope because I had to take on two young children due to a family crisis who have now remained with me long term.

seimum Tue 28-Dec-10 12:03:54

As ladybiscuit says, the granny annexe will take some time to build. If money is no object (eg if your mum can sell her big house), then an alternative to a care home would be for you mum to buy a flat near where you live, big enough to house both her and live in carers (you will need two to cover 24 hr care). If you are nearby, you will be able to keep an eye on the carers and your mum will be able to visit frequently.

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