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Care & carers

Dealing with Mother after lockdown

(64 Posts)
Betty65 Sat 17-Apr-21 18:46:28

Lockdown has been a terrible time for many people and now we have a glimmer of hope and at last may be able to do some normal human activities again at last. Dare I say this, but having a mother with dementia and Alzheimer’s lockdown has been blooming awful to the point where I have nearly fallen off the edge a couple of times, however I am facing a new problem. When lockdown lifts my mum will want to start coming round for Sunday lunch and expecting me to take her places. She struggles to walk, has been known to wee in the car on many an occasion. Can no longer use our downstairs loo as she can’t get off due to space issues, can’t get up my front step. Struggles to get in the car etc etc. BUT she thinks she is still ok and wants to get out- she has been in her house now for 15 months apart from the odd hospital visit. In many ways lockdown suited me in this respect. It took away a problem for me. Don’t think me mean but I want some of my life back. How on earth can I put her off.

Polarbear2 Sat 17-Apr-21 18:48:18

I have no solution but I feel for you. I’m in a similar position. It’s been easy to say you can’t come. Following for hopefully good advice.

welbeck Sat 17-Apr-21 18:51:06

re the continence issues, does she use pads. if not, maybe now is the time to arrange a visit from the continence nurse, to advise and arrange delivery of items.
than will at least save your seats.
also you can buy absorbent seat covers, either disposable or washable.
does she have care workers coming to her house.
maybe she needs more support now.

trisher Sat 17-Apr-21 18:54:29

Suggest you start a new tradition of having Sunday lunch out. Choose somewhere with disabled facilities. Buy her some incontinence pads and make sure she is wearing one. Then go out together.

ElaineI Sat 17-Apr-21 18:57:05

As others have said. Maybe restrict it to monthly Sunday lunches?

Kali2 Sat 17-Apr-21 19:01:37

This is indeed so hard. But as I no longer have my mum- who had similar issues- I so miss her, and regret that I did not have more patience at the time. When they are gone, they are gone ... Sad.

Betty65 Sat 17-Apr-21 19:04:39

Mmm the problem with incontinence pads is that she says she got one on and low and behold she hasn’t. On the same note I have pleaded with her to wear one to bed as about once a week she gets an ‘upset stomach’ before she can reach the loo on a morning. She lies and says she will/or has. The poor carer or me have to deal with that one ! I am embarrassed to take her out for lunch- there I’ve said it.

cornishpatsy Sat 17-Apr-21 19:16:37

I do not think you are being mean. Would she accept that your house is not suitable for her anymore and you are too busy to take her out at the moment?

You do not say how confused she is. Have you looked to see what is available in your area for dementia sufferers re day centres or arranged outings?

Betty65 Sat 17-Apr-21 19:26:38

Thanks, anything regarding day care, respite care is a no no. She will not entertain any of them. She has a dicky heart and her mobility is shocking due to chronic back problems. She had a heart attack 15 months ago and angina is a big thing but she has forgotten she had the heart attack. If she’s forgotten this how am I going to get her to recognise that her mobility is shot away.

Betty65 Sat 17-Apr-21 19:27:37

Oh and she’s confused but not when it comes to giving me grief

Witzend Sat 17-Apr-21 19:28:00

Sympathies, OP. People with dementia can be unbelievably stubborn about wearing incontinence pads - or anything else, for that matter. Of course, because they can never remember anything, they may genuinely think they don’t need them, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.

People who have never had to live with this sort of issue can hardly ever understand what it’s like to have to cope with it.

I suppose you will have to put your foot down, say there will be no lunches at your house or anywhere else, unless you see with your own eyes that she has adequate incontinence protection on. If she gets into a strop, so be it. I know it’s all too easy for me to say, but I’d try to just calmly say, ‘All right, but if you won’t show me, no lunch.’
We had no end of dramas with my mother and showering/hair washing, when she really did smell, so I do know how very trying it can be.

welbeck Sat 17-Apr-21 20:08:41

it sounds like she needs more care.
what does the careworker do. i think someone needs to assist her with washing and dressing, so that the pad becomes part of normal wear. often a careworker is better at doing this as they have more experience and know how address the issue tactfully. sometimes a client will do things for a careworker that they would not do for a family member; the dynamic is different.

Tangerine Sat 17-Apr-21 20:13:07

I agree with welbeck above.

I do feel sorry for you; I really do.

It must be awful for your mother too.

Has she perhaps come to the point where she can no longer live at home?

Jaxjacky Sat 17-Apr-21 20:26:19

I too agree with welbeck and Witzend. Time a firmer hand is laid as gently as possible, Extra carers required, who she may well pay more attention, no dice, no trips out. And no, I don’t blame you at all, you have a life too, I’ve been in your shoes, it’s hard. Best of luck.

Betty65 Sat 17-Apr-21 20:37:52

Mum has carers twice a day. The morning carers are supposed to get her washed and dressed at 7 am. However she tells them she’s not well or had a bad nights sleep and they will wash her and put her back to bed
Yes she should be in a home but guess what - she fights that too. It’s a blooming nightmare

Kali2 Sat 17-Apr-21 20:51:23

How long before it is our turn??? And will we expect patience and kindness- or will we just do as we are told and go into a care home like good little old biddies, and sit there until the time comes. Will you?

And as said, when they are gone - they are gone forever. And some will regret their unkind words and lack of patience. Sad beyond words.

Redhead56 Sat 17-Apr-21 20:55:32

I went through a very difficult time with my mum with dementia. I had a car and out of seven of us the only one ever available to take her out. I remember having to take her to the hospital. Struggling getting her out the car she had put a lot of weight on I could barely manage. I had to set up the wheelchair which was extremely heavy while my mum was screaming all over the place she had wet herself.
I was standing there crying with the stress of it all. When I got home I rang my sisters up and refused to be put upon again.

The social services were then brought in for extra support and help. I advise you to do the same you can not take on this responsibility on your own it is not fair on you.

Grandma70s Sat 17-Apr-21 21:06:04

A care home is not the end of the world. Plenty of people are perfectly happy in them, That would be the best solution for everyone, surely.

Lucca Sat 17-Apr-21 21:09:17


How long before it is our turn??? And will we expect patience and kindness- or will we just do as we are told and go into a care home like good little old biddies, and sit there until the time comes. Will you?

And as said, when they are gone - they are gone forever. And some will regret their unkind words and lack of patience. Sad beyond words.

I don’t think anyone is being unkind, just honest. It’s good to be able to “vent” on this forum. I totally sympathise with OP.

Betty65 Sat 17-Apr-21 21:21:57

Kali2 - Having been subjected to this I can honestly say that I will be at the door or the care home when my time comes. We have sat down with our kids and emphatically told them we will not have them doing this for us. Our criteria is a home with a bar and a garden we can look out onto. Sadly my mum has gone too far to think about what’s happening to me and the impact she has on me

Shandy57 Sat 17-Apr-21 22:37:23

A big hug for you, carers do experience the unimaginable.
I had to help my 75 year old friend get her 95 year old mother out of bed, her mother and the bed were completely covered in poo. Her Mum looked as light as a feather but was a dead weight.

Could you get a temporary ramp up your front step, and put two handles either side of the downstairs loo?

As for the continence, is it worth trying the pretty Tena pants instead of the pads? Not as effective but wouldn't be as obvious. You or the carer could remove her normal underwear and replace with them, they come in beige or black, I think. I worry about incontinence, I never did the pelvic floor exercises recommended with any regularity, and now can't drink coffee at all, it irritates my bladder and I constantly want to go.

I agree that I wouldn't want my kids to care for me, I've already looked into the local facilities.

Hithere Sun 18-Apr-21 02:52:13

It sounds like your mother is no longer be able to live with just 2 carer arrangement- nursing home came to my mind while reading your updates.

Other posters have mentioned it already - be firm with your mother as you are able to see this more realistically.
Just because she thinks and feels she wants something, it doesnt mean it has to happen

Take care of yourself as well. Do not forget you have needs too

Hithere Sun 18-Apr-21 03:55:17

You also should do what's best for your mother

You know this situation is going to get worse.

Lolo81 Sun 18-Apr-21 05:29:27

Betty65 - Can you check with the care company the regularity with which she is refusing service and staying in bed? I’ve got a little experience in this area (my gran was the same) and her refusal of service was an indicator of declining cognition. Add to this the danger of skin breakdowns especially when coupled with incontinence, the care company we used did a full review including a social worker. Ultimately my gran did end up in a residential facility because she grew increasingly unco-operative, which happened as a safeguarding measure. She just wasn’t able to live on her own even with the carers coming in.
That whole process took over a year to unfold and one thing that did make a bit of a difference was the carers in the morning using full incontinence briefs rather than a slip pad.
Please take care of yourself too OP, caretaker burnout is a real thing, my poor mum ran herself ragged with my gran for almost 15 years after my Papa died, so please take time for yourself and take advantage of any and all help you can get.

Liz46 Sun 18-Apr-21 06:43:43

My mother had dementia. When it got to the stage of me sitting next to my husband with tears dripping off my chin, he said 'it it your mother or me'. Unfortunately the social workers were useless.

We found a good residential home who were willing to take her but had to sell her house to pay the very high fees.