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Don't want to talk to my mum anymore or even visit her

(19 Posts)
Ripeberry Sun 07-Sep-08 09:25:41

Its a long story but my mum has Dementia and for the last year has been letting herself go very badly.
She won't let ANYONE wash her and she walks around the house in soaking wet clothes.
Even my dad does not seem to care anymore.
The GP and the health people don't give a damn either because they are trying to save money i suppose and anyway she won't go into hospital (mental) as a voluntuary patient.
Last week, she tried again to kill herself by sticking her fingers in the light socket and then trying to hang herself.
I've just had ENOUGH now!
She rings me up just now to ask when we are coming over?
There is no way i'm going back to that pit of theirs, last time i went me and the girls aged 3 and 6yrs got bitten really badly by the flea infestation they have there.
There is no furniture to sit on as my mum has destroyed the leather setee by burning it with cigarrettes and urine..it basically crumbled!
She is still smoking over 80 ciggs a day and i'm not driving over 50 miles just to sit there.
Most of the time she just goes to bed as soon as we arrive anyway.
I talk to my dad a lot on the phone and e-mails so he's ok.
But to me my mum died years ago, the thing in the house is just a shell, she is not interested in the grandchildren AT ALL and i really don't want them to see her like that.
As i've got the kids most of the weekend then i'm not going over to visit.
Sometimes i wish she would get ill so she can be properly looked after but she is very healthy...ha ha.
But my dad is taking a lot of the strain and my brother is too useless to help.
Why should it be ME that has to do everything just because i'm the daughter.
Sorry for this very long rant but i'm washing my hands of them all. They just remind me that i should NOT be happy ever just because they are having hard times.
All of this is really spoiling the relationship i have with my DH and my children because she is ALWAYS there to remind me.

BBBee Sun 07-Sep-08 09:30:38

you seem really worn down by this - I have not expeiernced this and it strikes me that you would benefit from some external support for you. Can you see your GP and ask about support groups for families?

kittywise Sun 07-Sep-08 09:30:39

Oh God, poor, poor yousad.

I haven't got anything 'helpful' to say just wanted to add my support.

compo Sun 07-Sep-08 09:30:42

shouldn't she be in a care home or at least sheltered accomodation?

RubySlippers Sun 07-Sep-08 09:31:58

she needs professional help

i would speak to social services tomorrow as well as Help the Aged

poor you - a horrid situation

Buda Sun 07-Sep-08 09:33:48

She is ill. What does your Dad say? He must see it is not normal?

Ripeberry Sun 07-Sep-08 09:39:41

Thanks for your replies. Yes she SHOULD be in a care home but the authorities think my dad is coping brilliantly hmm.
They won't act until they HAVE to.
I used to go over to help my dad clean the house and sort the garden, but even that is going to pot as he does not want anyone to help.
My DH refuses to visit and who can blame him? I've just got too much on my plate, i've got to go to an AGM at our pre-school tomorrow and i'll get lumbered with the grant work and i'm in the process of registering as a childminder so visits to my mum are way down the list at the moment.
I just feel so nasty wanting my mum to go into a home, but they are MUCH better equiped than my parents house and they may even get her to have a wash each day!

Ripeberry Sun 07-Sep-08 09:46:19

Buda, what is normal? My mum has NEVER been normal!
All my childhood she has been threatening to kill herself and even tried when my best friend came over for a sleepover when we were 12yrs old!
Thats the sort of parent she is. She has always had manic depression and would sleep all day and wake up and drink all evening and night.
Sometimes she was a proper mother but really my dad has always done all the work, cooking, cleaning.
So that is why i don't feel any OBLIGATION to help my mum in her old age (only 64!) as she did not really do anything!
Sorry to sound so heartless but i need to get it out. Maybe i need a bit of therapy.
Parents ehh? they screw you up good and proper!

tots2ten Sun 07-Sep-08 09:57:00

I work in a residential care home for the elderly, most of our residents have dementia. Is there anyway that you are able to get your mums gp out to the house? They should have a social worker heloing them both (your mum and dad). Perhaps try and get home help to come in or perhaps your mum could go to a day centre, but you would need the referal of the Social worker, (from what i remember)

tots2ten Sun 07-Sep-08 09:58:55

I know that our residents have to be over 65, before they are offered a Residential placement.

Buda Sun 07-Sep-08 10:08:57

I'm sorry Ripeberry. It sounds horrendous.

I think you are looking for "permission" not to visit your Mum any more. I think that it is entirely up to you. But I think you would feel constantly guilty. I sort of know what you are going through as my Mum had a stroke a few months ago and my Dad also does everything. Growing up my Mum suffered from depression and headaches although she didn't drink. She is now convinced that my Dad is having an affair with the man who lives across the road and cannot be talked out of it. However she is very controlled abut it - talks/rows with my Dad about it and will talk to one of my sisters but the rest of us are not meant to know. When she had the stroke she was in hosp for 3 weeks and we realised how much she had let herself go. My Dad told me he had to throw all her underwear out as it was all so old and stained. Yet she manages to get her hair done every week or so. My mum doesn't have any physical damage from the stroke thankfully - just speech problems which are getting better. But the personality changes are difficult to live with.

It is so hard to access any help and to even know what help is needed or available.

Yurtgirl Sun 07-Sep-08 10:15:15

Ripeberry - What an awful situation for you to cope with. I am wondering why your dad doesnt take more action. He is helping to prop her up, if he didnt then she would persumably get the help she needs.

I couldnt bear being in a house like that for an hour let alone all the time!

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sun 07-Sep-08 10:15:32

My grandmother needed a care home. SS wouldn't pay. IN the end my mum spoke to the social worker and said that if anything happened to my grandmother she would hold them personally responsible.

You need to pile on the pressure with social services. Your dad sounds as if he's given up and is too exhausted to do so. social services are never any help without an awful lot of hassle in my experience. They are (again in my experience) the absolute worst agency to deal with. Perhaps take some photographs, hand over a diary, spell it out to them in words of one syllable how your parents are living and that you do not believe it is acceptable. It isn't acceptable, and their budget is not your concern.

Tell them you will write to your MP and local cousellors, and the local govt ombudsmen - in fact do it as a Stage 1 complaint (you can often do this online and they have to reply within so many days- I did this when social services were shirking their reposnsibilities and it did work)

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sun 07-Sep-08 10:19:26

Here look, this is how I made my complaint against social services. I think every council will have something similar on its website. I sat down with a glass of wine one evening and rattled it off. Doing it as a stage 1 meant that time limits for responses came into play and it couldn't be ignored (as it would have been had I complained direct to the people being useless).

I told them I believed their service had failed because of x, y and z. Told them what they needed to do to rectify the situation then said if I didn't get a satisfactory response I would complain, to counsellors, and MP. I also added that I understood that I could eventually take my complaint to the local govt ombudsmen if no satisfactory conclusion was reached. Councils hate that as those figures are recorded.

Ripeberry Sun 07-Sep-08 10:43:39

Buda, sorry that you're having problems with your mum also. It is their personality changing that is the worst isn't it?
Jim jams, thanks for the suggestion, i'll see if my dad wants to try that route as he's very good at putting his thoughts down in writting.
Thanks again.

Buda Sun 07-Sep-08 11:03:05

Yes Ripeberry - the personality changes are really hard. You expect "normal" thought process and reactions but they are not happening.

When we went home to my parents in the summer we had only been there an hour when my Mum went off int next door neighbour in a huff as she said we were ignoring her and thought she was deaf. What actually happened was that our flight was delayed so we were starving when we got there and she made a pot of tea and we sat in kitchen and had lunch - Dad was there too chatting. I knew she would be feeling self-concious about her speech with DH so when she sat in sitting room just off the kitchen I thought that was why. It is a bit difficult to talk to someone who is in another room so she was left out of conversation. When we finished and started to take cases upstairs etc she apparently said that we were ignoring her! Can't be told differently even now.

My sis keeps having to remind me that my Mum's brain is damaged. It is hard. The stroke seems to have affected her "politness" too. She is very demanding and never says please or thank you to my Dad. I keep reminding her!

ReginaFalangi Sun 07-Sep-08 11:24:21

Nothing to say really but wanted to add my support too.

So so sorry for you, you must be a very strong person indeed.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sun 07-Sep-08 12:06:34

My grandmother was almost sectioned when she wouldn't leave her house. This was after my grandfather had died (not that he did anything at all to care for her - he had dementia and she had physical mobility issues and mental health issues)
They were allowed to live in a shocking state for years when he was alive as she would not allow anyone in to help - my dad and aunts would go and clean/buy food etc but they never ate...
Finally she agreed to move into a home but they could have had her sectioned if she hadn't. Sounds like you have much experience of MH with your mum - do you think this is a possibility as she is trying to kill herself? I expect if your dad wasn't 'coping' so well this would have happened already. It's awful, but sounds like you need to be more pushy with social se4rvices to try and get a service.
As to visiting - that's up to you. I didn't visit my grandmother for 7 years before she died - she was a horrible person and I know she wasn't my mum but still...

mylittlepudding Sun 07-Sep-08 12:15:17

It sounds really terrible. I don't know how I would feel, I am certainly not going to judge how it makes YOU feel.

Many dementia patients are admitted without their consent - because they don't have the capacity to consent anymore. It sounds like your mum is in that place. I agree that a GP home visit - plus/minus social services - is what she needs. But whether YOU are in the position to take all that on... is something only you can know. It must be extremely hard to be you just now. I hope that your mum can get the care she needs. And yes, for you to talk to someone about all this, sounds like it would be very helpful too.

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