Just Joan: I can't cope with Mum on my own.
Q MY mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's two years ago and she is getting worse.
She is always talking badly of people and accusing them of stealing from her. I knew she would deteriorate, but it's very hard looking after her.
I have four sisters and two brothers, but I'm the one who pays all her bills and takes her messages. I visit nearly every day and take her to stay with me every weekend. I also have two jobs and two grandchildren and I feel I don't spend enough time with them or my daughter.
My whole life revolves around Mum. I take pills for depression and I think I am close to signing myself into a mental home just to get away from everything.
I take it out on my husband, which isn't fair. My sisters know all this, but they don't care. They pop in or phone mum now and then, but none of them will take a turn of looking after her properly.
If I say anything it causes an argument and then I feel guilty. I have even threatened to put her in a home if none of them will share the burden, but they don't care. I am at my wit's end.
I've thought about selling my house and my mum's and buying a bigger one, but if I did that I'd be divorced within a year. My husband and I are very close and we'd love to be able get a weekend away, go to the pictures, have holidays abroad but we can't because of Mum.
When I'm not there she rings me constantly and really she wants me with her 24 hours a day. I'm beginning to hate my sisters because I feel we could manage if we all did our bit. But they won't and I am at the end of my tether.
A TIME all of you and I mean ALL so don't forget your brothers sat down and discussed your mum's future. Before you do it, however, speak to her GP so that you can get an idea of what to expect in the future.
Contact Alzheimers Scotland on 0808 8083000 to find out what support they can offer and advice they can give. Then you take all these facts to the rest of the family so that together you make some decisions about your mum's care.
They've left everything to you for far too long and now they have to do their bit. That includes more than this popping in or a hurried phone call. It means you insist they do their fair share.
You have absolutely no reason to feel guilty and if it takes a row to get them to appreciate the strain you are under, then a row it has to be.
Make sure your husband is with you to back up everything you say. They've been very selfish, but in their defence maybe you have given them the impression that you were coping okay. It's time to put them straight.
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Mar 16, 2004|
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