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Caring for elderly relatives? Supercarers can help


I’ve got no more left to give after looking after parents for 15 years

4 replies

RoloChocoloco · 25/04/2018 12:12

Just that really. I looked after my Dad for nearly 10 years as he deteriorated with dementia and complications with diabetes and died 5 years ago. My Mum and Dad split years ago and last year we lost my stepdad after a short battle with cancer. I took them to all the appointments and arranged everything.
During the last 20 years I have been my Mum’s port of call for everything and anything and I feel like she doesn’t help herself. During this time I’ve raised 3 children and all the usual household gumpf. I’ve recently started a degree as my husband has had an increase in his pay enabling me to do this. Now my Mum Just thinks I sit around doing nothing and feels fully entitled to call, text and ask me to do everything for her. Online shopping, deal with her financial matters, medical appointments, her WiFi, her phone...absolutely everything and I’ve got no more to give. She’s gone to stay with friends for a week and I though that might give us a break but no...she has text every day, rand multiple times yesterday to ask about her iPad even though I told her I was busy and text me this morning at 7.45 asking about what garden furniture is’s as if she has become completely incapable of everything. I don’t know what to do because it makes me feel so guilty all the time. I’m 41 and feel like there was no gap between me growing up to start my life and then looking after everyone. I know people have much worse scenarios than me but I just feel at breaking point.

OP posts:
NewspaperTaxis · 23/05/2018 16:46

Sorry to hear about this. I suppose you're at the stage where you have to draw up barriers or rather boundaries as you might with demanding kids who think they can have you run around after them. People will only demand what you give the impression you'll allow.

But how old is your mother? You are not old, so she seems perhaps a bit young to be acting up like this. Is this just her personality or is something slipping a bit?

RatherBeRiding · 23/05/2018 16:53

First thing is to stop feeling guilty. She behaves like this because - I am really sorry to sound harsh - you allow it. And I DO know how caring for an elderly ill relative can break you. I looked after my very poorly father in my own home till he died. Looking back - I would have done things very differently, and I urge you to put boundaries in place now before you really do break.

Your priority must be your children, and yourself.

Start pushing back at her. Tell her you are busy. Don't apologise for being too busy. Is she really incapable? Is she struggling with health issues? Is she under the care of any health teams? Or is she just entitled and selfish?

(And she can still be entitled and selfish even if she has health problems - recognising that can be very liberating).

It won't be easy because it sounds as though you have slipped into the role of family carer, and your mother obviously thinks this is what you should be doing.

But you are NOT her carer, and I suggest that you start to turn things back on her and let her get on with it. What would she do if you were carted off to hospital in traction for a few months? Manage of course!

Pippylou · 23/05/2018 17:01

Read some Brene Brown on wholeheartedness and boundaries.

pmcjohnson · 30/05/2018 20:11

As others have said say no, you’re busy and you don’t have to give a reason. Maybe schedule a visit or a call once a week/fortnight or what ever is reasonable. My mother is in a similar situation with her mother demanding she support her all the time, she used a carer through a company called // to find a carer to help out. A bit like Airbnb or Uber for carers. Good luck Rolochoccoloco!

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