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What can I do to help both of us ?

(4 Posts)
Walkinthew00ds Sun 30-Oct-16 10:36:30

My elderly parent now lives alone

Distance 3-4 hours travel each way

Due to various things that have occurred I have sometimes visited every weekend for several weeks to help with various things. However, normally I visit once a month and stay for the weekend. I have said that I will not be visiting every weekend.
If I do not visit, we speak on the phone
Mobility was good, but has recently decreased

I have suggested several things to try to help, but they have all been vetoed such as;
I offered to set up online shopping
I was recommended a good cleaner, that I suggested
I suggested joining local groups
I suggested moving
I suggested getting a pet for company
I have looked at Age UK befriending etc
I suggested gentle exercise
They were offered free physio by health care that they refused to attend

There are good neighbours and a couple of other relatives, but not many people who visit

Do you have any suggestions please ?

I feel that I am trying to help, but it is very frustrating !

Do you have any suggestions about what else I can do for myself and for parent ? - thank you

thesandwich Sun 30-Oct-16 20:49:41

Sounds really tough- but unless elderly is prepared to accept help, it is incredibly difficult. Would they trust a priest/ family friend and take their advice not yours? Anyone you could pay to pop in on them? Contact age U.K. Also about power of attorney too while it ispossible.
And for you- park the guilt and take care of you.

CMOTDibbler Sun 30-Oct-16 21:36:01

Its massively frustrating, but as Sandwich says, you have to park the guilt - they are able to make their own decisions, but you don't need to suffer for that!

Decide what you can offer long term (and thats years and year potentially) and stick to that - things they want in between will have to involve one of your proferred solutions. I know my dad would prefer that they didn't have the cleaner/carer/gardener/volunteer car service/mobility scooter and that there was someone to dance attendance on them, but actually now all of that is happening it all works pretty well

mummymummums Sun 30-Oct-16 21:52:46

My mum was exactly the same OP. Many of her refusals of help lacked any rationale because it placed a higher burden on me, and that was unlike my mum. Whilst she is quite a private person, some of the suggestions were not intrusive, like on line shopping but she always had excuses.
Within months it became obvious there were other issues and she was then diagnosed with dementia. I now know her lack of acting in her and my best interests was dementia which often shows with a lack of reason / rational thinking early on.
In the end I got tough with help of psychiatrist - mum now has meals on wheels 3x a week, a carer once a day, and an Age UK home help to take her to shops or little outings once a week. Also recently a cat. She also has an alarm round her neck. She actually likes it all now - I'm not too clear whether it is better than she imagined, or whether the dementia (still quite mild) means she's more accepting. The regular visits make me feel less worried.
I'd suggest trying to persuade your parent just to do one thing maybe on a trial basis. She or he might like it better than they think. Also worth pointing out that it is best to make these decisions in good time rather than at a crisis time - and crises are more likely without help I feel. If your parent's aim is to stay independent then the best way to achieve that is to build up support services as they are needed rather than wait for a problem and have to make sudden emergency decisions. Good luck!

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