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Elderly parents

Mum driving me mad....pulling my hair out!

17 replies

skyblue11 · 02/06/2013 20:14

Mum has one antidepressant per day, she now needs 1 antibiotic 3 times per day and 2 x paracaetomol 3 times per day.
She could not understand this so I wrote a long list between now and 7 days when the antibiotics ended with times and how many tablets.
She said she was happy, I have called her 3 times today at tablet time and I can't make out what the hell she's taken, I suggested I call her each day at the relevant times she said no, I suggested a pill box with day per week but she said no, she thinks today (Sunday) is Tuesday, she is so confused and I am sure she can't see the colours right or sometimes even tell the time.
My DH has just gone round to make sure she's taken them right but we can't go round 3 times a day for the rest of the week.
What do people do a) if they have no kids and b) if they are 100 miles away? I feel overwhelmed by her confusion and my patience is being stretched. She is now refusing to be assessed and says she won't see a specialist and no one is going to tell her what to do. Really fed up and I have to go an concentrate at work tomorrow.

OP posts:
Back2Two · 02/06/2013 20:16

She is making her own decisions here.

Don't stress. Tell her what you need to , then leave her to it.

She may be enjoying being "clueless"'s not your job.

Back2Two · 02/06/2013 20:17

She's"refusing" and all that. Don't beat your head on an emotional brick wall.

WynkenBlynkenandNod · 02/06/2013 20:24

I think there is a limit to what you actually can do. But I'd ring her surgery tomorrow and tell them what you have told us. There is no way on earth my Mum would be able to do this. She has to have Carers to dispense what she needs in the morning. There are pill dispensing things with an alarm apparently but I know this wouldn't work for my Mum.

If the surgery can't help and if she's refusing help then I don't think at this point anyone can force her, then unfortunately it's waiting for a crisis. You could ring social services and explain the situation but I think they will say no one can force her. So sorry you're going through this.

colafrosties · 02/06/2013 20:28

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Needmoresleep · 02/06/2013 20:32

If she asked, which I suspect she wont, the GP could prescribe tablets in blister packs with the days of the week on, or you can buy pill dispensers.

My mum knows the day of the week from her newspaper - which I suspect is its main purpose. Alternatives which she could use, but which you cant force on her, are calender clocks. There is a recent thread.

If you are able to get assessments done, and it might take a crisis, you could consider having a carer come in for a short while each day to "prompt". They still cant force your mum to take tablets, however this has worked for mine. Attendance allowance could cover the cost.

Dont allow yourself to stress. It will probably be a long road and you need to reserve your strength for the point when you can intervene. Is there anyone who she will listen to?

WynkenBlynkenandNod · 02/06/2013 20:46

I don't want to be negative about the blister packs but my Mum was not able to use them properly. Although she knew what day it was in theory from her clock she just couldn't get that you were supposed to take the corresponding day of the blister pack. Said she had her own system (yes Mum that works so well, not ) But that might just be her and they probably work well for others.

One thing I have noticed with Mum is although she huffs and puffs about the medical profession she listens to the Tracker Nurse at the surgery. It was her who got her to agree to her Meds being locked away.

colafrosties · 02/06/2013 20:56

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

skyblue11 · 06/07/2013 18:35

We got over this by going up each day and leaving the tablets out in a grid on paper.
She now needs more antibiotics and I don't want to go through that again I am not sure she even knows the time /days so not sure if nomad is the answer. she needs someone to go 4 times per day but is someone who resists and hates any intrusion so I am at a loss. She is refusing to see the memory nurse and can't handle the simplest of tasks she says it,s too much. I have suggested the alternative is a home which is unthinkable for her.brick wall!!

OP posts:
emess · 08/07/2013 22:57

Sorry you are going through this. We have a similar issue with MIL, although we are much closer geographically and FIL is the primary carer for MIL and is much more 'with it' than she is. She has had one of those 'nomad' packs for a couple of months now, with tablets to take 4 times a day. She still doesn't get it right, even with people there to prompt her - we even bought one of those alarms, and set it to go off 4 times a day. Short of being there 4 times a day and forcing them down her throat we can't make her take them and just have to accept that some days she will miss some tablets. She's not that keen on swallowing them (she eats and drinks very little these days) and thinks she has too many!

Can you discuss the situation with her GP? It's her responsibility to take the tablets, not yours, just remember that.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland · 12/07/2013 22:17

Sorry you have to cope with this. My mother is just the same, can't cope but doesn't want help. We have a weekly chart which she's supposed to tick off when she's had each tablet, sometimes she does, and sometimes she doesn't. Again, doing it from a distance, but checking each week.

We've started to find tablets in odd places, not taken, but she denies putting them there.

It's very difficult, not sure I have anything to offer except sympathy.

skyblue11 · 17/07/2013 15:14

We failed miserably with the antibiotics...after 1 day it proved too much so I withdrew them as she was getting very upset and confused about it all, short of her being hospitalised I don't know. It's really worrying life seems so full of angst at the moment. I hate my job (even turned down one I was offered after much soul searching because I could foresee problems with mum) and I have other issues in my family going on which all in all makes life a bit crappy. I think this is a hard age to be cos you're pulled all directions and no one tells you about it...

OP posts:
whataboutbob · 19/07/2013 08:47

Sky blue I know what you mean. We would probably have moved 2 years ago to get out of London and be able to afford a house, not our overcrowded flat. But when it comes down to it, much to my husband s frustration, I can t bring myself to move further away from dad. It s frustrating to have to put stuff on hold because a parent has dementia. Dad probably has no idea how much I do for him, and how much anxiety he causes me. It would be cruel to even try and explain. But I wonder how long this is going to go on for, and how many of my years it s going to eat into.

whataboutbob · 19/07/2013 08:55

If it s helpful, I think sometimes you have to draw a kind of emotional cordon around yourself. Sounds tough, but every once in a while, when dad s calls get too much " when are you coming to visit me?" " can I come to yours?" When are you taking me to a concert? Sometimes on a twice daily basis, I unplug the phone for a few days. I feel I need and have the right to re charge my batteries. I accept problems may occur which I will not be able to solve. I am doing so much, and single handedly, that I feel OK switching off occasionally.

skyblue11 · 20/07/2013 10:51

Whatabout, I admire you being able to do that, like you say you need to recharge. Sometimes I withdraw from my brothers care (he's in supported living lots of issues they always phone me, long story...) it all becomes too much.

I feel I am tugged in every direction at the moment but worse like you say life is 'on hold'. I turned down my perfect job a few weeks ago, it's eating away at me especially as I might lose my job in the next few months.

Yesterday she refused to see someone from the 'falls team' not wanting the intrusion and I've lived in this house for the last 50 years etc lecture. I try my hardest but she's virtually a recluse now relying on me for most things, she even seems to have forgotten how to use the washing machine so I have that too.

I'm finding it hard to keep it together what with my brother (had a crisis 3 days ago), Mum and now DH is out of his head being stressed about his interview for his own job next week so I am supporting him with that. The only good thing in my life is my DD who keeps me going, she'll be off to uni next year then my life will be unbearable, I'm finding it hard to be positive it's so difficult but I feel I am holding everyone together.

OP posts:
twentyten · 21/07/2013 18:01

You poor thing. You deserve your own life too. Is it worth seeing your gp? Anti d's can help. You support so many- who is supporting you? Proper selfishness- you must put your needs up the agenda. Are there agencies that can help? Good luck

whataboutbob · 21/07/2013 21:02

Absolutely you have a right to your own space and some control over your life. I do bang on about counselling, but I have found it very helpful. I do tend to revert to my default position of taking on everyone's problems, but it has helped me to see why I do this ( stuff to do with my childhood and family history) and that I have a right to do stuff I like and look after myself. It sounds like your batteries are running close to flat. Asking for help is scary, starting counselling is scary but for me it has been very worthwhile. I wish you the best of luck.

twentyten · 22/07/2013 20:15

Completely agree with bob!

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