Gransnet forums


Three elderly parents

(83 Posts)
maddyone Sun 15-Aug-21 12:29:44

I don’t know what I expect from this thread, but maybe some people are going through similar (and probably worse) but the whole situation is stressing me enormously. My elderly mother, 93 and a half years old, has moved into a care home (it’s fantastic) following her third fall in six months, and third hospitalisation, having sustained two (small) brain injuries, a broken shoulder, and having contracted Covid during her first hospitalisation. She already had heart failure and multiple other conditions. As my sister lives 250 miles away, has mental health issues, and in any case isn’t willing to shoulder any of the responsibilities, it’s all down to me. I sort everything out, have shopped, washed, arranged carers for her, everything in fact. I visited daily, was the only nominated visitor when hospital visits were allowed. I’m feeling the strain. Although I love her, she’s not been the best of mothers through my childhood and indeed adulthood. She still wants me to bring this, fetch that, go and do the other, and I do as it’s part of caring for her and I try to be a good daughter despite everything. She has decided to stay in the care home, at the moment curtesy of the NHS, but soon fully self funded, until her money runs out.

My husband has two elderly parents, one 94, the other 93, both also with multiple health and age related issues. They still live at home. They are not fit to be at home, and keep being admitted to hospital with various illnesses/conditions. My husband’s brothers are all over 65 and do much the same things for their parents as I do for mine, including the two or three daily visits. We ring every day but with the Covid situation haven’t been able to visit for some time.

Sorry to moan fellow Gransnetters. My husband and I are in our late 60s and sometimes wonder how long we can go on. The situation stresses me a lot. Not so much my husband, except he feels great guilt about being so far away from his parents. I just think it’s the situation of having three very elderly parents, all with multiple health conditions, that stresses me out. I know you can’t do anything, but thank you for reading.

maddyone Tue 17-Aug-21 08:47:14

fiorentina what a difficult time you had, I’m pleased you were able to put yourself first finally. I too find the ‘authorities’ just as difficult as mother is sometimes, and their expectations are that you will run around after your relative. Yesterday, having not visited mother as recommended by others on here, I did call at her flat to collect something she wants, ready to take up to her today. However I received a phone call from Mum in the early evening instructing me to get something else from the flat and take it up with me today. It was the Financial Power of Attorney papers that are held at her flat. Although she was supposed to give it to me, she refused and held on to it herself. Anyway the manager of the home wants a copy of it. I refused to go, saying I’ve already been once and have an optician appointment tomorrow morning. She accused me of being ‘funny’ (difficult) with her twice because I won’t go. This is my mother, she uses passive aggression if I raise any objections to what she wants me to do, which has traditionally worked for her and I have usually complied. Not yesterday evening though, so now I feel nervous about going up to her today.

Additionally does anyone know, does the care home manager have any right to hold a copy of the Financial Power of Attorney? We don’t have the health care one, mother flatly refused to do it. I’d have thought that would have been more relevant to a care home manager.

fiorentina51 Tue 17-Aug-21 11:40:00

Try not to worry too much. Once your mum sees that you are determined to not be bullied, she will have to accept the situation.
For your own wellbeing stay strong.
As far as LPA is concerned. I don't think care homes have a right to a copy, especially if it is not one specifically to do with health and well being.
I hope someone can clarify that for you. ?

FarNorth Tue 17-Aug-21 11:49:22

I suppose the home needs to know (officially) who to contact about the payments, if your mother becomes unable to deal with that.

You are the one who really needs to have the document, tho, or banks etc will not allow you to deal with her money.

PippaZ Tue 17-Aug-21 11:57:30

I don't really know why the home would need a copy as they could take the details they need. It might just be that it is easier to copy it than note down the appropriate information. They really just need to know who is in place to ensure their bills are paid.

Keep posting if it helps while you get your mum used to the changes and let us know how today goes.

Jaxjacky Tue 17-Aug-21 12:54:21

Good for you fiorentina and we’ll done *madryone. I would ask the manager why they require the POA and don’t rush to get it. Most things can wait a few days, the odd white lie, if it’s easier won’t hurt, just an ‘I forgot, I’ve been busy would do, busy retaining some time for you, so it’s actually true x

Katyj Tue 17-Aug-21 14:47:09

We’ll done Maddy stick to your guns. Make up appointments if needs be, it’ll be better for your mum if your not there all the time anyway. Does she still have the mental capacity to make her own mind up about staying in the home ? Just wondered how you’d managed to persuade her it was for the best.

GillT57 Tue 17-Aug-21 15:22:51

Well done Maddyone on taking the first steps to look after your self, your own physical and mental health, and that of your DH. Your mother is safe, well looked after, and although my own late Mother was not so demanding, the relief when she went into a care home was enormous. I could sleep at night without worrying about her having a fall, no longer had the tiresome journey to put her phone back on the hook, etc., etc. I bet your Greek Island is getting more and more appealing by the day!

maddyone Wed 18-Aug-21 13:45:47

Thank you so much to all who have posted, it helps just knowing that other people understand, and also in helping me see what is too much for mum to expect. Katy my mum has decided she wants to stay in the home, so that is a relief to me. Mind you, even yesterday when we visited to speak to the admissions manager really, mum had another request. It was for me to go to BonMarche or M+S to buy two new nighties for her. Oh and to go to the flat and get her grey shoes. I told her I will do both, but not immediately. We told the manager that we have the Power of Attorney but we didn’t get it from the flat yet. They are interested in the money! First question was how much is mum’s flat is worth. I didn’t tell her, instead I told her it’s not relevant as the property is held in a legal trust (in other words it has a charge on it, I think it’s called) and the trustees will pay out almost all the value of the flat to my sister and I. This is how my dad left things in his will. However mum has money in her bank accounts and we told the manager probably enough for a year and a half or maybe two years. Then the LEA will need to pay for mum’s care. I made an appointment to visit mum on Saturday morning. I told mum that that’s what I was doing. I think she was a bit surprised but didn’t say much.
Thank you all for your very kind support.

Jaxjacky Wed 18-Aug-21 14:02:14

Progress maddy ??

GillT57 Wed 18-Aug-21 14:14:24

Well done Maddyone, small steps! You are probably well up on all of this, but have you claimed full Attendance Allowance for your Mother? You can still claim Attendance Allowance if you pay for all your care home costs yourself. This applies in England, I think it is different in Scotland. It certainly helps towards care home costs.

Katyj Wed 18-Aug-21 21:03:20

We’ll done Maddy your doing great. So pleased for you that your mum has agreed to stay at the home, what a relief for you. She’s still pulling your strings , but I think it’ll settle down eventually. Have a lovely holiday you both deserve it.

fiorentina51 Wed 18-Aug-21 21:24:18

Well done. Enjoy your holiday. ??

maddyone Tue 31-Aug-21 15:17:55

Thank you for all your comments everyone. Thanks for letting me know Gill about being able to claim the Attendance Allowance even though she’s now in a home. We did know, and are in the process of claiming the higher amount for her now as she needs care during the night.

My three day ‘non visit’ didn’t go so well because the next time I went to see her she told how one day she cried all day and the carers had to keep sitting with her. Of course that made me feel guilty and upset, which was probably what she hoped I’d feel. She’s been known for her ability to exaggerate all her life, and so I know that even if she did have a cry, it wouldn’t have been all day. And I know she received comfort, but why does it make me feel so guilty?

Anyway I’ve visited her every other day since, rather than daily. When I visited yesterday, and said I’ll come again on Wednesday, the immediate response was what am I doing today. I said I don’t know. She’s normally okay with one missing visit if I tell her I have an appointment or something I have to do, although she often asks what time the appointment is. Anyway I’m not going today and so at lunchtime I got a text telling how bad she was in the night, with her legs running in water and soaking the bed (she has very swollen legs due to age and probably her heart failure) and then saying ‘enjoy your lunch.’ We didn’t go out to lunch so I assume she thought we were going out. Anyway I know it’s just attention seeking, but I now feel very guilty, just as I did when she said she’d cried. I know she’s trying to manipulate me, I know she’s attention seeking, but I still feel guilty.

Incidentally my sister does nothing for mum except phone her, and appears to not feel guilty at all. That irritates me. I know it shouldn’t because sister doesn’t live near here, but it still does, in particular, because my mum won’t mention my name to my sister if I’m there. Sister phoned mum yesterday whilst I was there and mum said ‘somebody’ was tidying her things for her so she’d ring back later. It irritated me being called ‘somebody.’

maddyone Mon 04-Oct-21 17:32:31

I had a struggle to find this thread again, but thought I would update anyone who might be interested. My mother is still in the nursing home. She needs the District Nurse to visit every couple of days to dress her leg which weeps continuously, and nursing care every day to treat the bedsore on her back, which has been there since she was in hospital in early July.
My husband and I have been on holiday to Greece. Being on holiday without having to worry about her alone at home was wonderful. I really relaxed and we explored the whole island in our hire car, ate out at lovely tavernas, and generally just enjoyed ourselves. On our first visit when we returned mother told us she can now walk the 2/3 metres to her en-suite bathroom, using her walker, without a carer to help. If the dressing on her bedsore falls off her back, then she does have to call for help. Consequently she told us, she’d like to go back to her flat. She is totally dependent on others to help her. To shop, cook, clean, dress/undress, do her laundry, shower, dress her bedsore, and everything else. She thinks because she can walk a couple of metres with a walker, that she is ready to live independently. She only ever would agree to one care visit a day, and otherwise it was down to us. I don’t want to go back to that situation, and with a less mobile and less able elderly mother than before. She has always been a selfish woman who put her own needs above the needs of others, including the needs of myself and my sister when we were children, and I feel that this continues to this day. My daughter asked if I thought she’s saying this because we went away, and that’s very possible. She told my son she was thinking of it whilst we were away. When we went to Somerset a few months ago, she refused to speak to me on the phone, until we returned. I just want her to stay in the nursing home where she’s looked after and I can relax. I’m feeling very anxious about the situation and frankly I just want it to end.

Kali2 Mon 04-Oct-21 17:46:13

Only just seen this thread, and I just don't know what to say- apart that I am so very sorry. You will just have to put your foot down- and explain to the Care Home manager that you are not in a position to care for her at home, and that s/he and all the staff must be made aware of this and support you in that decision every day.

Totally get that any political thread will feel overwhelming- so best keep away and look after yourself for now, and do NOT feel guilty (yes, I know. easier said than done).

Take care and keep sharing it it helps at all. hugs

Calendargirl Mon 04-Oct-21 17:49:56

Oh maddy, I feel for you.

Glad you had a good holiday.

I can only envisage how awful your situation must be. My DH and I were fortunate in the fact that our DM and MIL both died before they needed such care, although both in their late 80’s and early 90’s. Selfish to say, but better for us and better for them.

Easier said than done, but your mother must stay in the home. What good is it when they go home but need all this care?

You deserve your own life, but can well imagine how guilty you feel. Try not to, you’ve more than done your bit.

Callistemon Mon 04-Oct-21 17:54:45

You will just have to put your foot down- and explain to the Care Home manager that you are not in a position to care for her at home, and that s/he and all the staff must be made aware of this and support you in that decision every day.

I agree. You will have to be firm.
You could run yourselves ragged and become ill yourselves.

It sounds a bit harsh but do you have Power of Attorney? Could you sell her flat if she will soon need to pay for her care if NHS funding runs out?

Katyj Mon 04-Oct-21 17:57:23

Maddy. I was only thinking about you the other day, glad your back to update us.
So pleased you had a good holiday, I do envy you that, my mum 90 lives alone, we have just been away for a few days and it was ruined by the fact that I phoned every day only to be told how poorly she felt, funny enough she’s fine today ?
Now you’ve managed to get her in the care home, I would just keep repeating how dangerous it would be at home for her, and how much better she’s feeling is because she’s being looked after. Has she still got a house to go back to ? I’m keeping my fingers very tightly crossed for you, you’ve had a taste of freedom, I hope it continues .

Shandy57 Mon 04-Oct-21 18:04:49

I've only just seen it too Maddyone, I am so very sorry, you are in a no win situation.

I agree with Kali2 that you have to say no to your mother as she still needs the 24/7 attention of the professional nursing staff. The Care Home Manager and staff will surely understand.

Dottygran59 Mon 04-Oct-21 18:11:18

Oh Maddy, just read this thread - my God you have your hands full. Someone upthread mentioned selfish parents, and I honestly really do agree with that. I can't imagine any of us - our generation - behaving in this way. How many times my DH and I (and many gransnetters) have said that we are determined not to be a burden on our children. Again as someone upthread said, your mothers generation lost their parents early, happily retired at 60 (if they worked at all) and enjoyed their retirement. So many of us seem to be still working in our sixties and running round after elderly parents. Even those who have retired seem to spend so much time doing so much more than they really NEED to for their parents. What happened to OUR golden years?

Sorry, I expect that I sound selfish lol - but I feel quite strongly about this

LauraNorder Mon 04-Oct-21 18:55:55

Gosh Maddy, you’ve been through the mill.
Glad you enjoyed your holiday, don’t let all that good be undone.
You have said that your mother hadn’t been a very good mother and she does sound a bit selfish.
Think about why you are knocking your socks off to please her. Is it just because you love her or is it because you are still seeking her approval, her praise, her love.
You are obviously a good person, a good mother, a good grandmother, a good daughter and all round good egg. You have our approval on here, it’s unanimous.
Let the home deal with your mother, visit her once or twice a week only for pleasure and only if you want to.
Let yourself off the hook and go and enjoy your life with your lovely husband.

sukie Mon 04-Oct-21 20:23:51

Hello Maddy, I can relate somewhat and hope you are able to keep your mum in the care home where she is well taken care of and which gives you much needed relief. My own mother went into a care home at age 97. Getting to that point was a monumental task as she thought she should be home with family and neighbors tending her many needs.

She'd suffered several falls and hospital stays over the previous few years and was no longer mobile. I can't even imagine if we'd caved and brought her back home as she demanded at the time. She is now nearing 101 and still talks of going home and occasionally pouts when she's gone a day or more without a visitor. She often tells us that in her day "family took care of their elders." We have had to stay firm while remaining loving and listening as she frequently voices her complaints. We're also fortunate that she is well cared for in a good place.

Best of luck to you.

Jaxjacky Mon 04-Oct-21 21:13:03

Maddy my heart goes out to you. The answer has to be no, I’m sure you can predict the future, another fall at home, another care home and so on, no good for anyone, particular you and your immediate family.
As Kali2 said, be firm, you have other people as a priority, mainly yourselves, nowhere is it decreed you sacrifice your own quality of life for an accident of birth. Take care x

Jaxjacky Mon 04-Oct-21 21:14:04

Sorry, looking at that, it sounds harsh, but it hit home.

maddyone Thu 07-Oct-21 11:15:33

I just wanted to come on here to say a massive thank you to you all for your advice and support. There is a problem with regard to Mum and putting my foot down about her going back to the flat would be quite difficult, in that she is of sound of mind, apart from being a bit forgetful, and she can make her own decisions and as a determined and frankly stubborn woman, she will do as she will do. The way I think I have to deal with it, thanks to advice on here, is to do whatever I can do and is reasonable to do, but not give way when she tries to manipulate me. It’s probably good advice for anyone trying to deal with very elderly parents, and from a variety of threads on Gransnet, I think there’s quite a few of us. On my last visit, Mum didn’t mention anything about going back to her flat, which is good, as I really feel she’s in the best place for her. It’s sad, but it’s what happens when we live to a great age, I rather hope I don’t! My daughter suggested that she was talking about going back to the flat as an attention seeking device, because we went away, and I’m apt to think she’s right. My son also commented that on his visit to her whilst we were away, she talked about going back to the flat, but he was surprised that she wasn’t ‘ill’ as on previous holidays she was always ‘ill.’ She used illness as an attention seeking device, but has now changed it to ‘I’m going back to the flat (if you’re going to go away.)’

Thank you Gransnetters.