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Thread: difficult choices

  1. #1
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    difficult choices

    Hello

    It is a long story and I will try to keep it brief.

    I brought up three children as a single parent when my marriage broke down many years ago. My parents (living a half a mile down the road from me) were absolutely brilliant and a great support, both of them.

    Gradually, one by one, my children left home and they are now all settled. I believe that they turned out so well because they had a lot of input from my parents.

    I was in a relatively happy relationship - although we did not live together and we both spent a lot of time with my parents and my children. It was a happy time.

    Sadly my father passed away at 88 after 3 months battling cancer in 2012 and, being close geographically, supporting my parents fell to me. I spent a lot of time with Dad in A&E (twice) which I was happy to do. I supported Mum helping Dad as much as I could. When Dad died my mother moved next door to me being 87 at the time. Mum has always been fit and active so my man friend and me spent a lot of time with Mum. We went on weekends together, holidays, she would have dinner with us every week and this went on until my relationship ended in 2016 (I wanted to get married - he didn't sadly). I was 60 at the time.

    This tipped me into depression as I had wrapped my life around this man as well as Mum as I felt owed her alot for all she had done for me. I had no friends, my children had left home, I didn't have a job so life seemed empty.

    It was around 2015 that Mum showed signs of confusion and poor memory. She was 90 but still coped well. I did my best to support her but I was struggling myself.

    I have a sibling who lives many miles away who worked full time up to about three years ago so wasn't available much to help either me or Mum.

    I felt I needed to be with other people and a new direction to get me out of depression so I started a course in Health and Wellness. In 2017 and my business was born. I love what I do and get a real buzz out of helping other people.

    Mum was starting to deteriorate and went for an MRI scan and she was diagnosed with mild dementia in 2015. As I was working long hours I tried to persuade Mum to have some care, support or help but she refused. My sibling had retired by this time but still only came to see us every few months.

    From 2015 to now Mum's deterioration has been a slow descent and it has been very painful to see but still she refuses outside care and there is little that I can do for her as I work very long hours, have my own home to run and I live on my own.

    As my business grew I built a studio in my garden for classes and it has been very successful. I run classes as well so life is busy and it is very rewarding.

    Mum now cannot walk very far and needs physical support. She has failing eyesight, very deaf and frail.

    Trouble is, being next door, I am considered available for all sorts of things - which I have been happy to do but now that I am very busy with my job I am finding it difficult to be available. Mum does not got to her hospital appointments for her eyes because she only wants me or my sibling to take her. I order her food for her every month and my sibling runs her home from his home miles away.

    I am always getting phone calls from Mum or my sibling asking me to 'pop in' and do this or 'check that' or phone calls from Mum asking if I have rung her. I have now started ignoring the phone. Still Mum refuses any help outside help. If anything goes wrong Mum is incapable of sorting it out and expects me to drop everything and go to her home and sort it out...lights fused, water leak, mice in the kitchen, find her handbag...

    I have made it clear to my family that I don't have the bandwith to support Mum but I just get ignored.

    Mum's Health Care Provider has diagnosed that Mum is well and has sufficient mental capacity to carry on as she is for the time being. Social Care will step in if there is a crisis but in the meantime, nothing can be done.

    This year Mum has started leaving her home and going out onto the busy road in front of her house. Sometimes she is looking for my Dad having forgotten that he was not with us now, sometimes she is looking for people I don't know. This has happened several times and passersby and motorists have always brought her back to my house (because Mum forgets her address) which is getting to be stressful for me as I run my business with clients coming to my studio.

    I spoken to my sibling but he says that nothing can be done until there is a crisis. We both are attorneys but cannot be involved in Mum's health affairs because of the diagnosis of capacity.

    Social Care have suggested that, as Mum always relies so heavily on me as an unpaid carer (not my choice and I have made it clear that has not been my role) they have suggested that I move away as the ultimate solution which means that my business will fold.

    Mum is now in her 94th year and is relatively fit and healthy and could go on for years yet.

    Meanwhile, I am getting strangers turning up at my house with Mum in tow (usually dishevelled because she's fallen over in the road, confused and upset) who park Mum with me and I am left to pick up the pieces.

    I guess I have to make the choice of trying to run my home and keep my business as well as being the 'fall guy' for mum or move away and start again. Neither choice is good. It would be hard to start over again at 64.

  2. #2
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    Can she have an in-home paid caregiver? That way you won't be called upon constantly and you won't have to worry.

  3. #3
    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    Unpaid, I think at this point she is a huge danger to herself. She may be physically fit, but unless you lock her in her home, she's liable to get herself killed by wondering the streets.

    Does she have enough income to afford a nice assisted living facility?

  4. #4
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    Can you get power of attorney over her? That way, you could make decisions on her behalf, and she'd have no choice but to move into an assisted living facility.

    You said you're an attorney yourself? You probably understand the legalities more than I do, but no, you should not have to be her caregiver, nor should you have to worry, 24/7, if she's going to fall or do worse damage.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    People usually don't want to go to nursing homes or assisted living facilities, but once there, many of them enjoy being able to enjoy the company of their peers. I just flew to my birthplace state to visit my aunt who is 90. She talks about sharing books with another man who likes to read mysteries like she does. When I was in her room, a female friend who lives there was calling her, and when I was leaving, my aunt was heading to her friend's room to hang out with her.

    Perhaps your mother just wants company when she calls for some of those favors she's asking.

    When my grandmother and uncle suffered from Alzheimer's, they had to be placed in facilities for their own safety. Your mother would probably benefit from the same, since one day there might not be anybody that sees her wander away and the results will be far worse than they have been. She doesn't possess her full faculties, so it's up to you and your family to make the right decisions for her, even if she is temporarily upset about the change in lifestyle.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Your mother's safety takes top priority. Since you're unavailable for her due to your work, do what you have to do. It is indeed difficult choices. However, do what makes most sense for your mother and you. Don't allow others to guilt trip you either. She is not your sole responsibility just because she lives near you.

  8. #7
    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    If moving her to a facility is not an option now, you should probably find a way to keep her from leaving the house. Maybe you could put an alarm on her doors that would alert you or something.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Are you her power of attorney? You need to redirect her funds to some sort of nurse/attendant/aide etc. and seriously consider a nursing facility. There's no need to save her money for old age because she's there and needs it.

    Someone needs to manage her affairs legally and financially a lot better and spend her finances on whatever is in her best interest. It's hard to believe doctors or social services would say she's fine after repeated incidents of wandering. An elderly person living alone unattended without help running into the street repeatedly is a disgrace. Particularly if she owns her home, has a pension, etc.

  10. #9
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    Thank you for your reply. Mum has refused care and, because she has capacity, she can do that and there is nothing we can do about that.

  11. #10
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    Yes but she refuses care because she has capacity and there is nothing I can do about that. We have been told that we have to wait for a crisis

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