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(37 Posts)
MoBrown Fri 22-Jul-16 13:55:21

My mum lives with us and without going into too much boring detail we cover most of her day to day costs and needs. It is taking a toll on our marriage a little - personal space etc but we're doing the best we can. And of course I appreciate it's probably not her ideal set up either but she's quite prosaic about these things and about getting older. We have for the most part a good relationship and I enjoy having her around.

We asked my brother if he wouldn't mind having her for a week's holiday (for us as well as for her) to which he very grudgingly agreed! My mother has her moments of course - sure she'd say the same about me! - but she's generally very easygoing and family for heavens sake!

Anyway, he agreed and we drove her up halfway and he and his wife picked her up. The agreement was we would pick her up at the same place in a week's time. he's just called now to say he has a last-minute 'do' he has to attend on Sunday hmm and she'll have to come home tomorrow instead of Sunday. Worse than that he said he's putting her on a coach! She's 87 and not steady on her feet. I'm afraid I lost my rag with him. Apparently his wife doesn't think it necessary for them to 'waste 1.5 hours in the car' unnecessarily! Perish the thought my mother would have to spend 4x that if she went by coach.

Eloethan Fri 22-Jul-16 14:08:29

I do sympathise, and it sounds like you're doing a great job. Unfortunately, it often seems to happen that certain people are expected to provide the bulk of support for ageing parents while others act as if they are doing a favour on the few occasions that they are asked to help out.

My mum, who is 95, would be very frightened to be put on a coach on her own and I think it is unfair of your brother and sister in law to place this stress on you and your mum. I don't think that a 1.5 hour car journey is too onerous a task to undertake.

Elegran Fri 22-Jul-16 14:23:38

Did you point out that you have wasted spent a lot more than 1 1/2 hours looking after your mother on his behalf as well as your own , and if he can't bring her halfway home on the Sunday, surely he could bring her halfway home on Saturday? And if he can't manage, can his wife drive her, either on the Saturday or on the Sunday, as originally planned? It sounds as though HE has to go somewhere on Sunday, not both of them. Do they have no shared responsibility?

What is his wife thinking of, saying that it is a "waste of time" driving an old lady of 87 home? Has she any idea how tiring 4 hours on a coach will be for her?

rosesarered Fri 22-Jul-16 14:32:53

Far too long on a coach, Mo take him to task about this!

Anya Fri 22-Jul-16 14:52:59

That's terrible. Ring him back give him a piece of your mind.

annsixty Fri 22-Jul-16 15:14:57

Tell him He will have to keep her until the following Sunday then as it isn't convenient for you at any other time. The very cheek. What sort of a holiday was that for you?.

MoBrown Fri 22-Jul-16 15:44:48

I'm trying to calm down and running all the 'should have saids' through my head. I ended the call saying I'd bloody go all the way there to fetch her myself rather than put her on a coach but I think I'm going to to call back and insist he bring her halfway. Honestly - I really hope my mum's wasn't nearby during this phone call - she'll think no one wants her!

Elegran Fri 22-Jul-16 16:00:15

Get it all clear in your head and cool down a bit before you phone - if necessary write down everything you want to say and have it in front of you - it is too easy to be distracted and miss something out, or get annoyed too soon and just explode.

GandTea Fri 22-Jul-16 16:24:40

Have you asked your Mum how she feels about travelling by coach. My Mother often traveled from where she lived in Somerset to our house in North Essex. She would get a taxi or my brother to take her to the bus or train station and I would pick her up at my end, she did this in to her 90's.
She may be quite happy with the coach.

judypark Fri 22-Jul-16 16:33:39

This seems thoroughly selfish. Last minute "do"? On a Sunday! Sounds more like an invitation to a BBQ or suchlike to me and they don't want mum cramping their style. As for mum travelling alone on a coach alone at her age I would find it totally unacceptable. A journey of that length would probably entail a toilet/refreshments stop off. Would mum be able to find her way back to the coach safely and on time? Is it possible that you could speak to her and see how she feels about it, if indeed she has been told about the new arrangements?

f77ms Fri 22-Jul-16 16:35:59

Oh you have my sympathy , Mum lived with me and I loved having her (mostly) . Sharing the care used to consist of driving her to dialysis once a week unless there were more important things to do . I think a coach trip could be very distressing for your Mum , get the selfish b*gger to drive her .

merlotgran Fri 22-Jul-16 17:29:20

Only one and half hours?? My brothers and I spent hours and hours on the road getting Mum to and from wherever she wanted to be. Weddings, birthdays, funerals etc., etc.,

Your brother doesn't know how lucky he is.

Stansgran Fri 22-Jul-16 18:09:00

Ask him how he and his wife will feel when their children dump them at a bus station.

Worthingpatchworkers Sat 23-Jul-16 09:50:58

I have learnt in life.....not to have expectations of others as it can be an awful let down. It also means you beat yourself up with all the difficulties failed expectations bring. your circumstances are similar to two friends of mine. You, and my friends, are doing a marvellous job at the expense of your peace and sanity. My grandmother....died 103 yards of age....would get picked up by the local day centre and taken back home after spending the full day with them. They offered chiropodist, hair and nail care, bingo, keep fit, lunch etc. Etc. How about that as a form of respite for you. Remember.....have no expectations of will then, not be disappointed.

CK4260 Sat 23-Jul-16 10:11:19

Oh dear, poor you - I've been in a similar situation, with one brother (no children) just 10 mins drive away taking no part in caring for elderly parents living with me, but luckily other brother (3 children) was willing to fly from Cyprus to stay a week to give me a break - all several years ago now.

Please don't feel any guilt about blowing up at your brother, or being fuming - you have every right to feel that way. However IMHO people either have the intuitive caring gene or they don't - and in my experience it doesn't matter how many years go by they don't seem to acquire it! Sadly my son (only child) seems to be lacking it too sad. My brother never changed and I just had to accept it and not expect anything from him. It must be horrible for your poor Mum too as none of this will have gone over her head. I wish I had some sage advice - but all I can think of is to lower your expectations of your brother so that next time it doesn't rattle you so much.

CK4260 Sat 23-Jul-16 10:12:15

Just realised Worthingpatchworkers posted similarly!

CK4260 Sat 23-Jul-16 10:16:33

...another thought, next time you want a break tell your brother you are going away (whether you do or not isn't important) but that way he'll know that the arrangements can't be changed at the last minute. A bit sneaky but sometimes needs must!

Lewlew Sat 23-Jul-16 11:12:06

And what about all the traipsing around your mum did for your brother when he was growing up?

Even baby boomers need reminding that looking after parents is part of the deal in life.(There are exceptions, all elderly parents were not nice parents growing up.)

My bro in law is selfless to a tee and is always there for his 95 year old mum. VERY HARD for him as he is an only child, but would not dream of not helping. She lives an hour plus away and in her own home. She always tells him not to bother, the carers will sort it when they come, but he keeps remembering all the care she gave him growing up. And he wants to be sure her needs are being sorted.

OTOH, they have a friend who, when her dad died, she shoved her mum in a home. Bottom line, she was a daddy's girl. Her mum was a lovely person, just not as doting as the dad. I found myself shying away from this woman when we'd meet, she just gave me the creeps. Once mum was in the home, she sold her house as she had POA and did not use any to contribute to mum's care. Her mum had a good pension but it was tight and she'd have to ask her daughter for some spending money. Little did she know her daughter was sitting on a nest egg that she then used to buy a house in a place in the sun.

So... if you love your mum, go that extra 1.5 hours, she will treasure your care in her heart to her dying day.

End of rant today! Sending many hugs and lots of encouragement. flowers

Everthankful Sat 23-Jul-16 11:41:50

Does he think he's doing you a favour by saving you the bother of driving by putting her on a coach? Maybe he doesn't fully understand the implications and remembers his Mum as being the strong, able and confident lady he grew up with and finds it difficult accepting that she now needs a greater level of care and consideration. I find that family members (brother in particular) tend to she away from acknowledging that the rock of their childhood lives is now so fragile

Everthankful Sat 23-Jul-16 11:43:44

That should read 'shy away'

Mardler123 Sat 23-Jul-16 12:03:33

Have you suggested he book her a taxi. After all you have done for her and spent on her that expense is a drop in the ocean.

Jaycee5 Sat 23-Jul-16 13:24:16

If she can travel alone in the coach then she can surely stay in and watch TV or read or something when they go out for one evening. This is obviously just an excuse but it seems so petty. I would be more understandable if they wanted to bring her back immediately (not reasonable or acceptable but understandable).

BlueBelle Sat 23-Jul-16 17:10:55

Disgraceful and I d be fuming too I think your brother should be brought to task and his selfish wife is she pulling his strings or has he always been a selfish git awful I m an only child and did everything I could for my mum and dad in their later years how many times have I thought I wish I had a brother or sister to share with me but do you know everyone I ve ever talked to has said that there always ends up just one carer and the others skive off into the shadows until the funeral where they will weep

Good luck and no your Mum should not be put on a coach She might need the loo, might feel unwell, especially as the weather is pretty warm at the moment and coaches can get hot, she will feel very shunted off not right at all

granjura Sat 23-Jul-16 19:54:51

How awful- I had been fuming too- but in fact he sounds just like one of my brothers sad

I'd be tempted to say then keep her till next Sunday as we have plans- but then I'd worry like crazy that they were unpleasant to her. Hope you find a way - rooting for you (and bravo for all that you do - when the time comes, you'll feel so much better for knowing you did your best). x

Bijou Sat 23-Jul-16 23:18:25

I am 93 and I travelled by coach until a couple of years ago. I informed the coach company that I had trouble with walking and had to take my walker as well as luggage. I was given a front seat, was met at Victoria where there is special disabled waiting room until I was escorted to the connecting coach. Had to give up going away because I now cannot cope with steps and stairs.