Feeling overwhelmed(22 Posts)
I'm new to this board. Just feel so alone. I've suddenly become responsible for both my parents in the last 3 months. My df has been in intensive care for last three months following serious complications (numerous infections, multiple organ failure) after an operation. This has been a total shock in itself. We don't know if he will recover or what that would be like. He was the carer for my mum who has serious mental health issues and onset of dementia. I have arranged for a carer to go in for a few hours a day but this is obviously not enough. My df is in a hospital two hours drive away. I work and have to primary aged children. I'm suddenly responsible for everything. I don't know what I'm asking. I think just venting.
Give adult social services a call. They may have an emergency help team who may be able to help you find a respite home space.
It may also be worth having a chat to the hospital your DF is in. They may also be able to contact social services about your DM. There's usually a department that deals with moving people out of hospital when they're better. They need to be aware of your DF position as having responsibility for your DM is going to be far too much for him when he's finally better. If they know about it now they can help you plan for that.
Don't be worried about contacting social services. My mum had to go into a home because of Alzheimer's following a complete collapse and they couldn't have been more helpful.
You could also see if there is an Admirals Nurse in your area, if you haven't had access to one yet. Just look them up on the PC. They are there to support families of someone with dementia and they can sign post you to the right places or charities to get help. They have a help line number.
Thank you. I really appreciate your advice and you taking the time to help.
I can’t say anymore than LondonJax has from a practical point of view, but from your op, you have to be certain in your mind that both of your parents will need more (and professional) help than you can give. This is far beyond two people just finding things getting a bit difficult because they are ‘getting on a bit’.
Please do NOT agree to doing anything beyond visiting and ‘socially’ supporting them. Please try not to feel guilty about this. From a practical and safeguarding point of view, it is almost a certainty that some type of residential care will be necessary.
I would also say call Adult Social Services and would the local branch of Age UK be able to help?
So your DF is still in intensive care. How often are you visiting and can you cut back? I know how hard it is to cut back, but just thinking you have to look after your own health.
sounds like you live a long way away, so will need to be very clear with all parties involved that you can't do more than you are doing. Do you mind if I ask what the financial situation is, could your mum afford more care - I note you say what she has isn't enough - or would there be any funding for her to go in a home?
I'm so sorry you're going through so much
Thank you. It is expected of my wider (useless but judgmental) family that I will do everything. I feel pathetic but even just managing their finances/paperwork and dealing with hospital is overwhelming at present. My df was relatively young and in fairly good health before this happened so it is difficult to get my/other people's heads round.
Gracie212 I'm visiting 3x a week but feel incredibly guilty not doing more. At the beginning I was but just can't manage it. If I don't go noone does though. Unfortunately can't afford more care.
I have a Useless Sibling so I know about some of this. Have you got any other family who will help with anything at all? Any friends of your parents who can help?
My dad was in hospital/hospice for a fair while last year. Mum and I didn't really ask for help in the beginning but when we did, we found people very willing to do things like drive us around and bring food. It made me think we should have asked for help long before we did.
3 times a week is a lot when someone is intensive care, what sort of awareness does he have? Is it the case that friends can't go because it's family only - could you have anyone else be officially nominated and allowed to visit, I've known hospitals allow this.
Grace212 I'm sorry to hear what you have been through. That must have been awful.
I have no other family who can help as they have there own problems (of which I am now refusing to help with). My dm is refusing to let any one else help. I know I will have to force matters but its tough.
x post again. Only family but no one else suitable anyway. He was sedated for a long time but now has awareness.
hmm...what about your friends, would they do stuff like batch cook for you so your load is reduced a bit at home?
I was in same odd position as you I think - parents about 90 mins away and hospital about 2 hours away. Friends and neighbours kindly offered stuff like batch cooking at the start and I stupidly said no because I didn't realise how long things would go on.
in terms of your father's awareness, I think hospital time can be a bit surreal for the patient, so if he is drifting in and out of awareness, skipping a visit might not matter. My dad was quite confused so some days I got "are you here again, are you meant to be here today?" and I'd say "are you objecting to the pleasure of my company?"
but even just managing their finances/paperwork and dealing with hospital is overwhelming at present Yes, it is, it's a job in itself. Whenever the guilt-trippers are getting into your head, remind yourself of how much extra work you are doing. In the last two days I have visited Dad for about half an hour just to deliver washing and food, but I have also spent about 6 hours on Dad-related phone calls and paperwork, and most of today will be doing spent doing the same. Hopefully it will calm down in due course.
So what I am saying is dealing with hospitals and finances, and social visits, are more than enough for one person to be doing when you have other responsibilities.
Incidentally, you have not "become responsible" for your parents. You may feel you have a moral responsibility, or you may want to adopt full responsibility because of your feelings for them. But it is up to you to say how much you are going to take on. What happens to a lot of us is we do something to cope in an emergency, but it then becomes the norm, and it's not sustainable in the long term. You can't look after anyone else if you'e trashing your own mental health.
We talk here about "Teflon shoulders". One of the things you have to let slide smoothly off your teflon shoulders is the expectations of the wider family who aren't doing much themselves but expect you as the daughter to give up your life for your parents.
Teflon shoulders is really helpful. Happened to mention to my sibling who lives overseas that I was taking my DC to the cinema on saturday as a half term treat only to be told that I should be using that day to visit my DF as he hates to think of him all alone!
OP I don't think I'd be speaking to that sibling....!
Make sure that Social Services at the hospital are aware of the situation before your df is discharged from hospital. They have a duty under the 2014 Care Act, to assess both your df's care needs and your dm's needs both for herself and as a carer. If they decide they need carers (which sounds inevitable), they will assess them financially and the care may be provided free if they are on a low income and savings less than £14000, or may partially pay depending on circs. You could still top this up with private carers if needed.
Also, your local Age UK should be able to point you in the right direction for other types of help e.g. day centres, dementia groups.
Also, your mother may be entitled to Attendance Allowance if not already getting it. It is not means tested and is to provide extra cash for people who cannot do everyday tasks on their own.
Some good advice on here. Nothing really to add. It’s really tough, especially when trying to do everything for everyone else, sending you a 🤗 I really hope things improve for you all soon.
I’ve now been told that while Df will likely ‘recover’ he will need long term and will not be able to live independently again. My dm is moving in with me. I really feel that I’m losing my life. Close family members tell me I just need to get on with it.
Why is your DM moving in with you? Never mind what close family members have to say, if they are that concerned let them have your mum to stay.
What do social services say about provision for your mum either carers or a care home? My mum has carers in 4 times a day following a major stroke, I am the only local relative and do shopping, bills, hospital appointments etc. That is as much as I can do if it starts to be more we will have to look at a care home.
OP how has it come about that your DM is moving in with you?
Close family members tell me I just need to get on with it. You don't need to do what close family members tell you. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be telling you that if you were a son not a daughter.
On paperwork, I stuffed everything in a file, bought some ring binders, and sorted it out whilst watching the TV.
1. Get your mum and dad to sign a mail redirect form so it wall comes to you.
2. Get your mum and dad to sign a third party access form for their bank account. This should then come through in a couple of week and you can set up internet banking, DDs on key utility bills, and get a debit card.
3. Type out letters to the important people (pensions etc) giving your address and giving you authorisation to speak to them on their behalf, and get your parents to sign.
4. Download POA documents from the OPG, and get your parents to sign. You don't need a lawyer. Best to put the names of three relatives on the form to give them a chance to object. Someone like a vicar or doctor or perhaps a neighbour can witness. It takes about three months to come through but you will need it.
5. When using the POA to get on bank accounts, tax etc, it better to go into branches. Make an appointment and take with you as much photo ID as you can, both for you and your parents. They never give you the right information on the phone.
6. Speak to AgeUK or similar locally to see if there is someone who can help you with Attendance Allowance and Carers Allowance forms. Not a huge amount of money, but it pays for things that make it easier, taxis etc.
The good thing about admin is that once it is sorted and you are in control, it will die down. And you will have to tackle it at some stage.
Also given admin can be done remotely, is there anyone else who would be prepared to take it on.
And don't have your mother live with you unless this is what YOU want.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.