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Wishing your elderly mum was not here anymore

(46 Posts)
Betty65 Tue 11-Aug-20 18:54:56

My mum was my good friend for a lot of my life and I have some good memories buried away which I am grateful for. Now My mum is 88. My dad died 18 years ago, she met someone new and he died 15 years ago. Since then my mum became this needy person that I did not like any more. I have had 15 years of her wanting to do things with me. If I go on holiday, weekends, out for the evening, have friends for dinner - it’s all about her. She will ask if she can come and gets upset when I have to say no. I don’t tell her I am doing things now. Shes had a heart attack and has the start of dementia in recent months Which means I am more tied to her. I am her main carer, my brother lives abroad. I have carers in place once a day, I have taken care of the power of attorney, living will and all that stuff. I take care of everything but I’m at the end of my tether. When I go away I usually have panic attacks towards the end of the time and feel most unwell, I know it’s the thought of coming home to another problem and believe me there have been plenty of them for me to return to. Falls, breaks and vile jealous behaviour to name but a few. I believe she has a form of Hostess dementia or I hope she has, either that or she is just pretty horrible to me. She calls me to come up because she feels so ill, I go running and she is just the same as normal - poorly I know but no more than normal. She tells my brother, my children, her friends and carers that she’s fine and doing well but I don’t get any of this. She’s not well and I know she is not going to be around for a lot longer but i am wishing her gone. I am 66 and would like to live my life now. She refuses to go in a home and I am struggling to find any joy in her. I don’t even want to see her. I talk to my husband who is a lovely lovely man but sees what she’s doing to me and we just scratch our heads and get the wine out.

PinkCakes Tue 11-Aug-20 19:02:37

That's very difficult for you. Why don't you get the carers to visit 2 or 3 times daily, ask them to do the shopping and laundry?

Incidentally, what is Hostess dementia? There are approximately 200 different types of dementia, but I haven't heard of that.

Oopsadaisy3 Tue 11-Aug-20 19:18:52

I think it’s when they are wonderful to visitors and act completely normally to strangers, but as soon as they are alone with family they revert to their Demented state. MIL was like it , she used to go out and offer people cakes, sweets, drinks, perfect strangers and she would chat to anyone.
I would try to get carers in more frequently and try to get some time to yourself, in the end my SIL limited her visits to 4 times a week to her mother, it helped to keep her sane, of course when MiL went into a home the guilts kicked in, but she did her very best and needed a break.
So, stop running up when she calls you and get the carers organised ASAP.

Witzend Tue 11-Aug-20 19:30:42

Do you mean Hostess Mode (a facet of dementia) OP, where the sufferer is perfectly nice and manages to come across as ‘normal’ to everybody else, but reserves the nastiness and difficult/awkward behaviour for the main carer, i.e. you?

I know it’s no comfort, but this is quite common.
If you haven’t already found it, I do recommend the Alzheimer’s Society Talking Point forum for carers of people with dementia.
It’s been a lifeline for many, including me. (I’ve been through it all twice, with my mother and my FiL.).
There aren’t often any easy answers, but at least you can offload to people who know exactly what it’s like - those who haven’t lived with it hardly ever do. They often think they do, though, and it’s bloody irritating when they try to tell you where you’re going wrong!!

I do agree with getting more care in. If your mum doesn’t like it, tough. People with dementia can become exceedingly self centred and demanding, and will have lost the ability to see anyone else’s POV, or to understand that they’re making very unreasonable demands.
All the best.

MissAdventure Tue 11-Aug-20 19:31:37

Things deteriorated between my mum and me, towards the end of her life.

She didn't have dementia, but the poor soul had years of really terrible pain.

She became very self centred, and seemed to enjoy trying to bait me, sometimes.

I haven't got an answer, apart from the obvious, which is to take time away regularly.

I didn't follow my own advice, and it meant I was less than the person I should have been to various people.

Barmeyoldbat Tue 11-Aug-20 19:37:07

I have a lot this with my daughter. The latest being she, yet again, called the police and said I was taking all her money. I have PoA for her finances as she doesn't have capacity. I pay all the bills, save a bit and give her an allowance of £150 a week to cover food and the odd taxi fare. We fell out over changing her phone provider and saving £22 a month which we needed to do. Wasn't happy.
I am ok with her as long as I don't visit, we just have a daily phone chat. The answer is to distance yourself from your mum and don't tell what you are doing. Can you get a social worker for your mother and do as I do pass the problems over to them, but remember you only have one life and you need to enjoy it. Hope it all works out for you.

MissAdventure Tue 11-Aug-20 19:42:54

I was very lucky with the social worker who first came to see my mum.
She was so lovely, and soon sussed the situation.

She told my mum that the time had come where her wants had been taken over by her needs.
She either complied or would be "put away", in so many words.

Witzend Tue 11-Aug-20 19:49:07

I’d just add, that my mother would never in a million years have agreed to go into a care home. According to her there was absolutely nothing wrong with her - she had no idea that her short term memory was zero and she could no longer even make herself a cup of tea.

The (very good) care home was chosen and arranged without telling her anything. Sounds awful, but by then it was the only way - she’d never have agreed to go and simply wasn’t safe to be left alone at all any more.

Marydoll Tue 11-Aug-20 19:52:08

My mother and I had a relationship like that. It took a stay in hospital after a broken hip for doctors to diagnose dementia. Up until then she had fooled her GP and everyone else.
I had three children, was working as a teacher, trying to study, and visiting after her every night and at weekend. I had no life, it broke my health in the end.

After I broke down in school one day, a colleague stood over me, insisted I phone Social services and ask for help.
I should have done it years ago, but I felt guilty about allowing others to help, thinking I was letting her down, as I was her daughter.

You can't do this on your own, Betty. 💐

Betty65 Tue 11-Aug-20 21:01:22

Thank you. I can’t tell how much I need this.

MissAdventure Tue 11-Aug-20 23:11:41

Betty, you can offload here if it helps.
Marydoll and me almost filled someone's thread with things that our mums had done, once.

We'll keep you company. smile

NotSpaghetti Tue 11-Aug-20 23:33:54

Please find a way to distance yourself at least a few days a week.
Share the problem with your brother and maybe ask him to call more often. Get some more help in if she can afford it. Speak to social care about a needs assessment (free) and make sure you have some time with your husband that isn't just exhaustion.

Lots of us feel for you here.

Marydoll Tue 11-Aug-20 23:42:51

MissAdventure 👍

MissAdventure Tue 11-Aug-20 23:46:11

Was it your mum who got stuck in the bath, Marydoll?
Mine got stuck on the toilet because she didn't want a handle to spoil the bathroom.

B9exchange Wed 12-Aug-20 00:03:00

Dementia is so utterly cruel, you lose your mum bit by bit until there is this this stranger who doesn't even recognise you. It is to my shame that I let my elderly father look after her, even when she was doubly incontinent, for far too long before we finally persuaded him that she had to have 24 hour care.

My mother didn't get self centred bless her, she just withdrew, stopped talking and shut down. But she would have lucid moments, and they were far worse, when she realised what was happening to her. I would be washing this silent old lady, and she would suddenly become hugely embarrassed, and say 'you shouldn't have to be doing this for me, it's not right' I feel so much for you, at the end of your tether, and also for your mum, who must be so frightened, all she can think of is to cling to you for reassurance.

Do try to get a care package for her, so that the burden on you is lifted and you can have days off. If she is still able to answer the phone, then ring her often for short chats and then go out with your friends. I don't blame you in the slightest for wishing your joint suffering was over. I have to confess I was praying my mother would be gone by the following Christmas, and she was.

Starblaze Wed 12-Aug-20 00:07:47

I'm so sorry you are stuck in such a difficult situation. I really don't have any advice but I wanted you to k ow that you and your feelings are valid. You will get through this

Marydoll Wed 12-Aug-20 00:16:23

Miss Adventure, that wasn't her. My mum wouldn't wash or let me wash her. 😪

She did hit me with a stick, which had a rag soaked in bleach, which she was using to kill the imaginary insects crawling the walls of her house. I dared to disagree and say there were none.

On a lighter note. We reported to the charge nurse that my mother was hallucinating about aliens landing outside her hospital room during the night.
It turned out that her room was right next to the helicopter landing pad, where seriously ill patients were flown to, from the islands for treatment! It was the helicopter landing during the night she heard.

MissAdventure Wed 12-Aug-20 00:22:51

I think it was a Maureen Lipman book, where her mum with dementia thought everyone was a member of the royal family.
She was in the back of the car, waving and smiling to "the queen".

When they glanced over there was her maj smiling and waving. smile

SilentGames Wed 12-Aug-20 06:54:35

My mother suffered with dementia for eight years before she broke her hip (care home doctor said it was arthritis of the knee) and died five days later. It’s hell going through the process and you have to say it’s not your mother that is being so frustrating but the disease. She cannot help it and it’s easy to say she is being horrible but the brain is changing and the effects are with her trying to survive and just incapable of feeling empathy with you. Others here have advised getting more care in and I think that’s the only way. Just remember it’s not your mum but the disease.

silverlining48 Wed 12-Aug-20 08:36:02

Betty you are clearly under stress and I understand how hard it is. If you Havnt done so already please contact Alzheimer’s society which have leaflet information on many aspects of the disease, as well as day care and a support phone line. How much,if any, support comes fromYour brother? Your children? Can they visit occasionally? Share the load.
Suggest you increase care package as it’s clearly too much for you. Often people say they are fine when they arent, its not her being deliberately difficult with you but it’s you she knows best it often happens that way. As has been said please remember that this disease is a cruel and frightening experience for those who suffer.
Dont beat yourself up, you are only human and doing your best but try to remember her in earlier better days, don’t wish her away just try and get more support.

Katyj Wed 12-Aug-20 08:58:57

Hi Betty . I’ve never heard of this type of dementia before either, but it sounds like my mum in a lot of ways she’s 89 and becoming increasingly frail and forgetful.
Even when I phone her she is very breezy, talkative easy to engage with apart from being deaf which is hard work, when I go visit her two or three times a week it’s a different story, like a different person, if anyone phones whilst I’m there she reverts back to her happy personality, very strange.
The only advice I would give is to step back, my mum has a carer once a day too and if there’s a problem they would contact you anyway. Has she got an alarm to summon help if need be ? Mum knows that’s to be used if she falls or feels very unwell. Keep sane I know how hard it is 🤪

Izabella Wed 12-Aug-20 09:01:02

silverlining thank you. it is indeed a frightening experience for those of us with Alzheimers. Mentally painful, confusing, and lots of conflicting anguish. Facts 'oft forgotten as many sufferers are unable to articulate what it is like living with this disease.

Madgran77 Wed 12-Aug-20 09:05:42

Your feelings are totally understandable and valid. If you can get help then you will be able to focus on getting tiny glimmers of something positive with your Mum. Contact social services, increase the care, ignore her protests, tell your siblings, and please look after yourself, your needs and don't feel guilty. flowers

biba70 Wed 12-Aug-20 09:14:37

Yes, I totally understand this feeling. Not because my mum was needy and demanding, but because she was in pain and after a wonderful and busy life- she had had enough and made it very clear she wanted to go.

Madgran77 Wed 12-Aug-20 09:22:10

biba70 absolutely! Me too.