I just can't do it(15 Posts)
Iam at my wits end trying to look after DM.
She has been ill but won't qualify for any sort of care package. Also she will not accept strangers in the house.
She is virtually impossible to look after.its like she wants to stay unwell and dependent.
This morning there has been 1.5 hours of crying. Then some shouting then panic attacks about death. Then lots of "I'm hungry but can't eat" " I should really eat but what's the point" "I had a sandwich yesterday" ffs if you want me to make something just ask properly but actuallyhees no physical reason why DM can't make her own food and I'm exhausted.
She is meant to be up and about but is refusing and keeps going back to bed. I've tried and tried to persuade her it is better to be up and about and to stay mobile. Having a nap is fine but not all day everyday in bed. Then there's the panic and wailing when I have to leave and its really heart wrenching.
I know I sound horrible but I can't cope. I can't seem to get DM to try. She won't tell the dr how depressed she's feeling but won't let me go with her either so she is not getting all the help she should.
I don't know what to do.
If she has been ill and in hospital, she may have had social worker input - so there will be a case file on her, and it sounds like there has been some sort of assessment as she does not qualify for a care package.
Would that be a starting point - to call them and give an update?
You don't deserve to feel like this, or be treated like this. You are not being horrible.
As far as I know no ss involvement at hospital. I've spent hours calling them trying to see what help may be available but they seem to not want to know.
Also, DM although she has been ill was assessed by the hospital not ss, I think it was an OT on day to day tasks and is capable of self care etc but she seems so depressed and just doesn't want to so they say she could do it.
Her mood is terrible, sad, crying, panicky, angry, self pity its just terrible.
I'm going to call them again and see if I can at least get them to come and see her.
When an old person is in hospital and about to be discharged, they always ask who is at home to care for them during recovery and beyond. I wonder if your mother has said 'my daughter'. They should have checked with you, as well.
The other thing to try is her GP. They cannot discuss her with you, but you can certainly report your concerns.
I checked the notes she had been honest as it stated she lives alone. I think she's just really depressed
This sounds awful for both of you. (I looked after my mum in her later years, and a lot of what you are saying sounds amazingly familiar, sadly.)
If you think you need SS input (which could be helpful as they won't have the same mother-daughter dynamic), you need to get on with it asap. It took me a year and a half to get a SW for my mum.
Do you trust her doctor? Because although s/he can't talk to you about your mum, you can talk to them. They need to know exactly what is going on. If they don't take it seriously, then they aren't doing their job.
Your DM feels vulnerable and weak but while she is stuck in 'poor me' mode she can't rally herself. You almost have to be cruel to be kind: "Mum if you want to sit and fester that is your choice. If I end up having to call an ambulance they will come but the hospital won't keep you in".
I would contact organisations like Age UK and the local Royal Voluntary Service (formerly WRVS) and ask for advice.
I hope you can source some help. Btw have you met any of her neighbours, I don't mean someone to impose on but they might give you a heads up if you leave your phone number in case of witnessing anything untoward happening?
In the meantime if she is averse to using a mobile phone I'm sure someone in this section might be able to recommend one of those emergency pendants she could wear, your DM might feel less panicked about you going back home.
I don't have any advice except to say that I am in a similar position with my SiL (73 yo, not in great health and she fell and broke her arm last month). Three weeks ago she was completely independent, if a bit slow, but now she will end up in a care home if she doesn't decide herself to help her own recovery. It's so sad
You don't sound horrible, you sound completely human.
If she has recently been discharged from hospital then Red Cross also provide a service for 6 weeks where they supply someone who can be a companion and do shopping etc.
I have had similar (but not quite as extreme) issues with my DM. The only 'advantage' I have is that I live 75 miles away and am a FT carer for my disabled DD, so I really can't look after her. When DM was in hospital and the nurses saw me there they made assumptions but i continued to repeat the message that my DM lived alone and would need full support upon discharge.
Hospital Social worker got involved but she was only given support from the re-hab team for 6 weeks after discharge. SHe needed regular help, so I contacted the LA Social Work team and got them to assess her and put a care package in place - even though DM is self funding, Social Care arranged everything.
DM also kept saying that she didn't want strangers in the house - I think this is an age thing (DM is 86) but she had no choice. SHe was also diagnosed with depression by her consultant but refuses to take the medication she has been given.
Contact SC and ask for an assessment and make sure you tell them you are not available to take on the job. Then once the right care is in place you can go in as a daughter not a carer.
This sounds really hard on you, not to say impossible. No one should have to be responsible for an adult who is choosing not to help themselves and choosing to make it someone else's problem. it's just not sustainable. I am not in this situation but have had to manage care for my dad who has dementia, for the last 3 years so I have some understanding of the system. You do not say what your mother was like when she was younger. Does she have a history of mental illness whether diagnosed or undiagnosed? Has she always been dependent, not a coper and not a particularly able parent, or is this a big change in her?
This is how approached things with dad: Kept a diary (you can do this retrospectively as far as your memory of events allows) made an appointment with her GP. they were not able to disclose stuff but I outlined all my concerns and returned with dad who gave permission for me to be his representative with the GP practice. If your mother refuses this, or to attend an outpatient appointment the GP still has to listen to you and take all the facts into account. He or she could do a home visit and try and diagnose any underlying physical problems, or maybe refer to elderly psychiatry.Arrange to be there during the visit if at all possible because you can guarantee she will not report what was said accurately back to you.
As bigblubus has stated above, you can also refer directly to social services.
Good luck, and remember your own needs. Dependent parents can takea horrendous toll and we have to protect ourselves too.
How is she Newyear and more to the point, how are you?
DM is worse than she was last week. Fourth visit to gp today in as many days.
Her anxiety levels are sky high, palpitations, panicky, hot etc. iam convinced its her thyroid medication actually so have had to ask gp to test her levels as it would explain how she is feeling.
I'm exhausted but fingers crossed if I'm right then things may improve with an adjusted dose.
Still waiting to hear from ss but feel better now that we have approached them again for support. Also getting a panic alert button for DM for when she is alone just in case
That sounds very hard. Hope you get some help soon. Remember you can always phone the GP and " talk at them" without your mothers consent. If they are sensible they will always listen even if they give you zero information in return as they aren't allowed to.
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