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What todo for the best????

(14 Posts)
bytheway Sun 09-Jun-19 19:55:15


Such a long story i am going to try and condense it.

Dad died 6 years ago. Mum, now 86, lives on her own. Her mind is sharp but she has a few health problems and is a little unsteady on her feet.

We are 5 siblings who live from 35 to 300 miles away from her with our own families.

Mum recently went to stay with 1 brother and he reported that Mum smelled and when questioned she said that as she doesn't see anyone she cant see the point in showering every day (i had heard this from another sister as well a few weeks previously) its true she has made little effort to form friendships since Dad died, she has a cleaner in once a week and she has a family friend she sees a few times a week for coffee although this lady has recently been diagnosed as having alzheimers and Mum is now finding her difficult to be with.

She complained of loneliness to my brother which is why she went to stay at his recently, although, at other times, she will insist she isn't lonely.

My brother is looking into assisted living near himself, as he doesn't want her to be so far away from anyone and wants her on his doorstep in case anything happens.

Two of my sisters are not happy about this as it will mean her moving about 200 miles away from them and I don't know what to think. On the surface it seems like a good idea but is it wise to move so far away at that age???

You might ask what Mum feels in all this but the truth is that she was so under the thumb during her marriage that Dad made all the decisions, that she is almost incapable of making a decision now. She seemed on board with my brother i.e. moving into assisted living near him (her words to brother were 'whatever you think is best for me') but now my sisters have changed her mind (she now wants to stay in her own home, albeit 35 miles from nearest child)

To make matters worse she had a fall last weekend, and ended up in hospital. thankfully no great damage done.

I suppose what i'm asking is for opinions on what is best for her.
Is she too old to move?
Is she better off at home (albeit a long way from nearest child)
What are the benefits of assisted living?

Any other opinions gratefully recieved

EllanVannin Sun 09-Jun-19 20:12:33

Her GP is the first best contact in arranging a daily help which is done through adult social services . Usually an assessment is carried out regarding the type of help and how much.

In our particular area we have a " falls team " and this is also arranged through the GP.
For greater peace of mind a telephone link can also be fitted to the landline complete with a pendant to use in an emergency. It's only a small monthly cost but well worth it as it's a direct link to the emergency services.

agnurse Sun 09-Jun-19 20:13:36

Really, your mum needs a complete mental and physical checkup and blood work.

If she's lonely and neglecting her hygiene, she could potentially be depressed. This isn't necessarily due to major depression; she could have an underlying physical issue causing it (e.g. hypothyrodism).

At the end of the day, generally, for you to be able to make decisions for your mum, she needs to be determined to be unable to make her own decisions. You would need to look into the process for determining this as laws may vary.

If she is determined to be competent, then it is her right to live at risk.

westerlywind Sun 09-Jun-19 20:29:29

I would say it would be best for DM to be near one of her children. It seems that the brother took it upon himself to take DM to his house and has done some research to find a suitable flat for DM close to him.
Two of your sisters have objected to this but they do not appear to have made or even considered what arrangements should or could be made for DM.
I think it is wise to start making changes to an older person's life sooner rather than later when it may then be an emergency with no time to think far less research the availability of some kind of accommodation or other help. It is well known among those who care for elderly or disabled relatives that there are other relatives who will knock arrangements but have no alternative suggestions or make offers of helping with the elderly or disabled person.
Personally, I think the brother is stepping up to care for DM and make suitable arrangements. Have the sisters got anything to offer DM.
I speak from experience

rosecarmel Sun 09-Jun-19 20:30:38

My mum entered assisted living at age 99, not far from my sister, 8 hours drive distance from me- Mums safety is the main priority and secondly my sister who oversees mum's needs- Its practical decision making: Whatever is best for mum, whatever makes care-taking easier on my sister-

Despite her age, mum adjusted to the transition- But not without issue of course because going from living one way to suddenly living another will knock most anyone of any age out of kilter for a bit-

BlueBelle Sun 09-Jun-19 20:41:48

Totally agree with Westerlywind your brother has offered Mum has accepted sisters have put the spoke in the wheel but offered no alternative .mum should go near the brother

Avor2 Sun 09-Jun-19 21:37:40

Your mum needs to be safe. My mum swore she would never go into care, but she became very confused and kept falling so when she was 88 she went into a care home, and she loved it, after all the battling!!! If your sisters have got an alternative for her fine, you and your siblings need to get together with your mum, and discuss it. but it has got to be what is best for her, no-one else. Good luck I am sure things will turn out well. xx

Jomarie Sun 09-Jun-19 22:48:03

I would venture that Mum is used to being told what to do by her husband and now he is gone has quite happily given that role to her eldest son (who has taken on the role and come up with a solution to the problem) - in a large family there is bound to be conflict but seeking to make life easier for Mum should be of the utmost importance and all the children should see this. It's not favouritism just the right order so far as mum is concerned.

M0nica Sun 09-Jun-19 23:10:40

If you are all agreed that your mother needs more care and needs to be close to one of her children it is then a question of seeing how this can be best arranged. Your brother has put forward a solution your mother is happy with. If other siblings are unhappy about this, then it is up to them to offer another equally good alternative.

In other words to step up or shut up.

leyla Sun 09-Jun-19 23:19:50

I agree - your sisters need to come up with a plan if they don't like your brother's plan. Personally I think your brother sounds like a star and you are all very lucky that he is prepared to step up. Whatever the outcome, I think you should all thank him.

Nansnet Mon 10-Jun-19 06:41:18

Totally agree with what others have said. Your brother has come up with a solution and if your sisters don't agree with it, then they need to offer an alternative solution for your mother's care. It's not often, in a family, that one person will take the responsibility to sort out a solution for elderly parent's care, without major discussions and arguments. I think you and your sisters are very lucky to have a brother who is willing take on the responsibility of these arrangements. And I suggest that you try to make them see sense, that your brother is doing the right thing. My father, who has health issues, and often has falls, is still living at home alone. He's in his late 70s, still with all his faculties but, whilst his mind is still young, his body has let him down. He absolutely refuses any suggestion of moving into any kind of assisted living/care home, so I am left to continually worry about him! Take your brothers offer, before your mother's situation gets any worse.

ladytina42 Tue 18-Jun-19 18:46:50

Just a little update, 4 of us are onboard with the assisted living idea now but the 1 sister who isn’t is the one living closest to Mum and when I tried to talk to her about it she started crying and saying she doesn’t want mum to move so far away (despite the fact that she constantly moans about Mum)

Also Mum is now of the opinion that she wants to stay put and not move although she has agreed to go back to brothers next month to have a look at the accommodation (brother described it as being more of a village and that it could open Mum to a great social life)

Well, what can you do? I guess time will tell.

Doodle Wed 19-Jun-19 17:11:35

Assisted living is a good idea for mum I think. How much contact does mum have with the sister who lives close by. If that sister is used to seeing her mum every couple of days you can understand why she would miss her being so close. Is there an assisted living option near to the sister who is objecting to the move? The older mum gets the more care will be needed and having someone at hand would be very helpful.

Grammaretto Wed 19-Jun-19 20:11:10

Similar situation with a friend of mime. One of 4 sisters. 2 looked out for their mum, the other two were far away and too busy but didn't want her being moved into a care home, despite it being blindingly obvious that she was not looking after herself and the daily carers were unreliable. ie sometimes the old lady would be sitting in a soiled seat as no-one had helped her to bed or even fed her.

At last, after much protesting from mum and 2 of the sisters, they found a care-home which suited and she lived quite happily there for several months, enjoying trips out and almost daily visits, until she died earlier this year. My friend suffered agonies of guilt because of the sisters' attitude.