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Sharing a parents care

(17 Posts)
pigsmayfly. Mon 15-Jun-20 17:35:22

I have a 95 year old Mother who has recently not been so well. My sister lives up the road from her, but I live 3 hours drive away. At the start of lockdown, neither my sister or I visited but we called and skyped. However, mum became ill and my sister then popped in and out to make sure she was ok and had decent meals to eat and tidy up. Eventually my sister felt she couldn’t cope so I decided, lockdown or not, I would need to stay with Mum for a week to provide a break from my sister. I have done that for 3 individual weeks. Leaving my husband each time. Now my sister says I need to stay one week in 2 whereas I don’t feel able to do that as I’m leaving my husband on his own each time. I miss him and my own home. I am happy to take Mum to my house for numerous weeks at once but my sister doesn’t want that. She is not speaking to me at all anymore; not even to arrange dates when we each look after Mum. I feel constantly stressed and anxious about this. What should I do?

Oopsadaisy3 Mon 15-Jun-20 17:43:06

Ask your Mum if she wants to stay with you, if she does then do it, it sounds as though whatever you do your sister will be upset.
Bear in mind though that if your Mum becomes more unwell she might not be able to go back to her own home.

pigsmayfly. Mon 15-Jun-20 18:09:45

Thank you Oopsadaisy3 , much appreciated

ValerieF Mon 15-Jun-20 19:12:02

All depends on how you feel pigsmayfly. Leaving aside what your sister is proposing. Do you feel you want to be with your mum one week in two? Or if your mum wants to come to you then great. My experience with elderly parents is that they do not want to leave their home so really is up to your mum if she wants to come to you or stay where she is. If she wants to stay then I think you have to accept that and work round her. At 95, I think she has earned that choice.

To be honest, I wouldn't give a monkies whether it put my husband out or not or worry about missing my own house. This is your mum! If she has been a great mum then you owe her now. You will miss her when she has gone and not be able to back track to wish you had done all you could.

Hithere Mon 15-Jun-20 19:16:26

Have you looked into hiring carers or other options that is not you directly caring for your mother?

Your mother will reach a point that she will need 24/7 care.
What is your plan then?

pigsmayfly. Mon 15-Jun-20 19:43:54

Thanks Valerie F I appreciate your reply

OceanMama Mon 15-Jun-20 23:37:32

I don't agree that it is reasonable for you to spend half your life living with your mother. You have your own life and needs too, as does your husband. It is right to make sure your mother is okay, but you could look into hiring carers, someone to come in and clean, delivered meals. This might give your sister some respite too. If the level of care your mother needs it too high for you both to manage, maybe your mother needs more supervision and care than you can give her and a living arrangement where she can have as much independence as possible while receiving care in a more formal setting is needed. There are other ways you can make sure your Mum is looked after without having to do it all yourself.

GrauntyHelen Tue 16-Jun-20 01:52:32

your sister is being totally unreasonable You don't need to feel you have to leave home and your husband for weeks at a time or indeed take your mother to live with you Your sister meanwhile gets to live in her own home and not give 24/7 care ? Get a care package organised that suits everyone and doesn't trap you into doing something you don't want to and then don't feel guilty about it .

Nansnet Tue 16-Jun-20 11:14:30

I can understand how your sister feels, the fact that she lives so close to your mum, so she probably feels like she's on call more often than you. However, I also think your sister is being unreasonable to expect you to leave your home, and your husband, every other week, to stay with your mum, when she gets to stay in her own home. It's not a good situation for either of you.

I did it for the best part of a year when my mother was ill, and again for a few months after my father had an illness. Leaving my own home, and my husband for such long periods of time was one of the most difficult things I've ever done.

Of course, I know that I did my absolute best to care for them, but, frankly, it was often at the cost of my own sanity! Do what you can within reason, but be kind to yourselves and speak to your mother's doctor to get the ball rolling, about arranging daily care for your mother, to take the burden off both you and your sister.

pigsmayfly. Tue 16-Jun-20 12:00:44

Thank you all so much for your replies. The great thing about asking gransnet is that you get a range of views. It’s great to get a balance of views and will help me moving forward. Nans net, grauntyhelen, oceanmama and all I can’t say how much I appreciate your advice

Jane10 Tue 16-Jun-20 13:21:56

Does your sister claim any allowances for providing care to your mum? Have you pursued every avenue of care available locally? If you have to pay for carers what funding may be around? Lots to consider. I doubt if your mum would want you to be so torn between your home and hers and am sure she'd be sorry that you've fallen out with your sister.

pigsmayfly. Tue 16-Jun-20 22:59:17

Jane10 you are quite right, Mum would be upset to find her daughters have fallen out. No claim is made by either of us for Carers allowance. Mum does claim attendance allowance though. Carers would need to be paid for by Mum initially. There is a lot to think about. Thank you

MissAdventure Tue 16-Jun-20 23:09:33

I think I would have her to stay with you, simply because it may end up easier than motoring up and down to hers each time there is something to sort out (and there will be, even with carers going in)

Then perhaps your sister could regularly take your mum to hers for a break.

That's assuming your mum wouldn't mind?

It's worth considering every single solution before you decide; for all your sakes.

FoghornLeghorn Wed 17-Jun-20 19:34:36


Jane10 you are quite right, Mum would be upset to find her daughters have fallen out. No claim is made by either of us for Carers allowance. Mum does claim attendance allowance though. Carers would need to be paid for by Mum initially. There is a lot to think about. Thank you

Bear in mind, you can’t claim Carer‘s Allowance if you are of pensionable age. The Government considers our State Pension is adequate recompense for caring for our aged parents. ?

silverlining48 Wed 17-Jun-20 21:29:31

I understand how your sister might feel because I was the sister who did the majority of the care of my mum despite living some distance away and my brother who was very close to her and lived only 5 minutes walk away, did little.

It is exhausting and if your sister has been helping your mum for a whike, given her age, it can cause resentment. It is hard work and frustrating when another sibling isn’t around that much. You obviously live a long way away so it is awkward but your idea of having your mum to stay with you could work if she was happy with this, given the long journey etc.

While every other week is a big ask, she is your mum. In my case I have no cause to feel any guilt since mum died and wonder whether my brother feels he should and could have done more. Mum died 7 years ago and my brother and I are now estranged fir all sorts of reason, but his lack of support was a major reason. I hope you can work things out with your sister.

LadyBella Wed 17-Jun-20 21:45:21

My mother is 95 and lives with my husband and me. We took her in because all the doctors thought she would only live for a few days or weeks after illness. But this has now been 18 months and I feel as if we are supporting her to live longer at the expense of our own lives. We are both in our 70s. Mum has 2 carers per day and pays for them herself. But she is taking up one of our bedrooms and one of our bathrooms. Everything we do is taken for granted. We do not much enjoy having her here as she can be a bit rude at times and shows no gratitude. This situation has gone on for 18 months and has aged me and I have had high BP and suffered from anxiety and constant tiredness. She looks on us as if we are middle-aged, not old ourselves. It is not a situation I would wish on anyone. Had we known she would live so long we would have found somewhere for her to live independently with carers coming in, or a decent retirement home. Think long and hard before taking your mother into your own home unless you are particularly close which my mother and I are not.

Nansnet Thu 18-Jun-20 04:23:08

LadyBella, I couldn't agree with you more. I've always been very close to both of my parents, and I loved my mother dearly, before she passed away. My father is still with us, and I think the world of him, but having spent so much time caring/living with them during illness/recovery, and since just for visits, I know that there is no way on this God given earth that I could have him living with me permanently.

I did begin to resent the time I had to spend away from my own home, and husband, and I missed my own life. And the stress and exhaustion I felt was dreadful. The last thing in the world I would want, would be to feel resentful towards my mother/father. There are better ways to deal with the situation, by getting all the help/care that's available to you, and still be able to provide the love and support that our parents need/deserve, without compromising our own lives & relationships.