To not want to take on this responsibility

(251 Posts)
sayerville Wed 30-Dec-15 19:35:27

I have 2 elderly neighbours lower down the road. The lady is having a hip op in 2 weeks. A few months ago my DH mentioned her DH could come up for tea, now she has taken this on board and wants me to meet with her to discuss what will happen. She thinks I will be having him every day for an evening meal and taking him to visit her. She said I don't want to press you but what days are you visiting me? I said I was unsure as I'd be working and could he get a taxi to visit her, she said it was expensive....even though she gets Att allowance as he has dementia. I work 4 full days so don't mind say 3 nights a week but some I work late and don't get in until 6.15pm and I'm knackered. Having lost my Mum earlier this year I feel a bit drained as she also had dementia and I'm finding this all a bit OTT. Also she is talking about me doing her shopping when she is out of hospital so I can see this being long term....am I being mean spirited?

RandomMess Wed 30-Dec-15 19:38:23

No you are not far better to give very precise and limited options of what you are prepared to do and then nothing more.

He can come for tea on Tues & Thurs, I go shopping on x day and can get a few bits in for you then provided you give me the money and list the day before.

LordBrightside Wed 30-Dec-15 19:40:02

No, you are not. Don't allow yourself to get trapped into this. Being kind to elderly neighbours is one thing but it's not reasonable for anyone to expect you to take on that level of responsibility. That's for family and/or social services.

LordBrightside Wed 30-Dec-15 19:40:23

Unless you are retired and have a lot of spare time.

TheCarpenter Wed 30-Dec-15 19:40:35

It's nice to be nice, and hopefully we'll all be old one day, but after losing your Mum I can well see why you're not up to this. I am sorry about your Mum, dementia is such a cruel disease.

Your DH said he could come to tea, so really she needs to be speaking to DH in relation to whatever was promised and I'd tell her so as he'll be the one organising and dealing with plans. Won't he?

sayerville Wed 30-Dec-15 19:43:48

The relatives they have are always 'away' or busy...we both work!
DH said he will talk to her...she's just a bit demanding,today they were offered a daycare meal but she said they'd have to pay and her DH wouldn't like that - where as I am free I suppose!

Charlesroi Wed 30-Dec-15 19:44:06

What RandomMess said.
You could offer to show her how to do a grocery shop online?
Your DH seems to be a bit free with offering your services - what is he doing? Maybe say to her that you won't have time to offer a taxi service, but maybe DH does. Best to discuss it with him, as you work late on some nights.

roundandroundthehouses Wed 30-Dec-15 19:46:26

For everyone's sake you need to draw the line at what you're prepared to do, before she makes herself vulnerable by telling the hospital discharge team that her neighbour is going to do everything. If she's already making assumptions, I can really imagine that happening - especially if you're going to be appearing on the ward with her husband three nights a week.

This is a massive assumption to come from your DH - and where is he in all this? - saying that the husband could come for tea! Is it the wife or the husband who's built it up so much? I'd say it's your DH who needs to sort this out, kindly but honestly.

Sorry to hear about the loss of your mother.

ZenNudist Wed 30-Dec-15 19:47:53

Difficult. I think I'd invent a commitment that means you can't do very much. Just say you'll be working til 6 and have ds tennis coach every weds and fri. Plus food shopping gets done on a Thursday eve and dh has racquetball on Monday. So how does having her dh for Tuesday tea sound. It's avoidant and not very mature but easier than "I don't want to".

Btw I work 4 days and have 2 young dc. There's no way I could take on caring for elderly neighbour even temporarily. I also wouldn't be able to fit on evening trips to hospital all week. If you've just done all the stress of dealing with your dm, I can see that you need to give yourself a break.

Response about when will you be bringing her dh to visit : I think there's been a misunderstanding. We said we could do tea for your dh once a week. We don't have the time to be running him up and down To hospital. Here is cab number.

If her dh is going to struggle to look after himself whilst she is away you could also do her the favour of looking up what respite care is available or temporary meals on wheels type things bus your local council.

How long is she in hospital for? Would a range of ready meals tide him over?

sayerville Wed 30-Dec-15 19:48:17

Online totally out of question as they don't have internet.
Also from past experience once he's here he kinda won't go just stays for ages and I just want to crash after tea without making small talk cos he just talks and criticizes the programmes I like so I'm not exactly looking forward to his company, can't see a way out though without being rude which I don't want to be, also I will have to cook English only meals as he won't eat curry/chinese/pasta. Beginning to dread this now

RunRabbitRunRabbit Wed 30-Dec-15 19:50:05

Being elderly doesn't automatically make you nice. Their relatives are always away or busy, they are openly planning to use you for free meals, free shopping and taxi instead of paying for what is offered. I rather suspect they have form for taking the piss.

Be busy. They have family and services but would prefer the mug down the road on call. No chance. You are not mean spirited.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Wed 30-Dec-15 19:51:09

Users rely on you not wanting to be rude.

You have to be rude.

Woman up! For the sake of your sanity.

sayerville Wed 30-Dec-15 19:52:10

I also gave her the contact details of the care company who popped in for mum but she has done nothing about it, she says he'll be OK with one hot meal a day.
I offered to get her M&S ready meals to try ages ago, even phoned whilst I was in there ans she said not just yet.

ZenNudist Wed 30-Dec-15 19:53:43

Ye gods I can't believe ages turning down outreach care and not involving family in favour if getting you to do it.

I think you need to go back and make sure she accepts what help she is offered as a first resort. Make it clear you won't be at their beck and call.

Sounds like she just expects you to help. 😧 of no offer to pay for meals etc. Being old and infirm no excuse for lack of manners.

Perhaps you can be away on holiday that week? 😬

sayerville Wed 30-Dec-15 19:54:04

BTW thanks all for the sound advice...roundandround never thought of the hospital situation and them making assumptions

Griphook Wed 30-Dec-15 19:57:43

In the nicest possible way do you think you are giving her mixed messages, I think you need to be very clear with yourself first what you will do and then be clear with her, and see what sort of plan she can come up with

Griphook Wed 30-Dec-15 19:58:53

Or maybe just former, when she says one hot meal a day, ask her where that will come from?

Fluffy101 Wed 30-Dec-15 20:00:40

Could you ( your DH ) take a meal on a plate to him each evening to avoid unnecessary awkward evenings ?

sayerville Wed 30-Dec-15 20:02:45

I think she's making massive assumptions, a few weeks ago she was talking about the hospital date and letting me know so I could get the extra shopping in..
I think I will say that I am working all week and he can come Mon, Wed and Fri and I go shopping on Saturday so I can fetch things for her then. That's as far as I think I would like to go and I don't think that's unreasonable as I will have to cook something perhaps I wouldn't normally.
I will just say Tues I work lates (which is true) though she said in one conversation 'oh that doesn't matter as long as he knows he will get something the time doesn't matter' but it's more for me being knackered. I might say I am going out on the Thurs from work?

frumpet Wed 30-Dec-15 20:02:50

Agree with Griphook , work out what you are happy to do and then tell her that is your absolute limit , in the nicest possible way . How bad is his dementia ? Are you sure he won't wake in the night and go walk about looking for his wife ? Will he remember to wash and change his clothes when she is in hospital ? Is he safe to be left to making his own meals , won't leave the gas on etc ? Even if you offered the maximum you are physically able , I am not sure it would still be a safe situation .

WitchWay Wed 30-Dec-15 20:04:46

They may have given the hospital your details as next of kin...

Just saying - it happened to a friend of mine

sayerville Wed 30-Dec-15 20:04:54

He is early stage....but can't cook as a lot of older generation can't, like the idea of a plated meal but she said it's just the company he needs too sad

GwynethPaltrowIamNot Wed 30-Dec-15 20:05:18

I would say that whilst your husband meant well he should have checked with you first. Offer what you can but don't be emotionally blackmailed into more
The hospital should be sign posting her to the right help too

JenoftheAbbeySchool Wed 30-Dec-15 20:05:52

Could you take a plate of dinner in to him? Then he would not be staying all evening. Your husband could take it round of course.😺

sayerville Wed 30-Dec-15 20:07:36

Why do I feel so bad about all of this? I just know she will say she was relying on me for every night and I'll have to say it's my DH fault for not communicating properly

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