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Sandwich Generation woes ...

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Mrs Mo, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Feeling very sorry for myself today. It feels like I'm collapsing under the weight of all my problems.
    Last year, my mum (87 yrs old with memory problems) moved in with us - she was living about 5 hours away and just not coping, despite having an army of carers coming in daily.
    Anyway, she is now living with us. We are desperately overcrowded; have had house on market but no luck with a sale. My OH has now decided enough is enough and has taken the house off the market and decided to stay put. So our overcrowding problem has not been resolved.
    More urgent, however, is the problem of what I am going to do ref finding new employment. I'm finishing a one yr contract next week - no funds to extend it unfortunately (I work for the council). I am applying for part time positions only because I could not commit to full time work because of all the supervision and help I have to give my mum, plus all the other things I'm juggling like looking after my daughter and run a home. I have an interview next week but I am worried about letting them know about my caring responsibilities. I feel this sort of thing is going to be a major turn off for employers. Maybe they will just assume I have young kids (even though I'm nearly 49) but I'm dreading the "where do you hope to be in 5 years time" question. I cannot plan for anything career wise because I can see me just getting more and more mired in caring duties. I didnt ask for all this; it has just happened because we just didnt know what else to do with my mum, short of putting her in a nursing home - she's not quite ready for that yet though. A while back she did have a few days trial in a sheltered Abbeyfield home, but she was so confused she didnt know why she was there and just wanted to come home with me all the time. The house manager told me afterwards that they couldnt take her because her memory/confusion was so bad!
    My daughter has just turned 13 and I was really looking forward to going back to full time working and actually getting a decent job with reasonable pay, rather than having to put up with part time rubbish. Now I'm just saddled with yet more bl**dy caring. I cant even have my family over to visit because we have no room (mum is occupying our spare room). Have just resigned myself to the fact that life is going to get really sh*tty for the next few years.

     
  2. Feeling very sorry for myself today. It feels like I'm collapsing under the weight of all my problems.
    Last year, my mum (87 yrs old with memory problems) moved in with us - she was living about 5 hours away and just not coping, despite having an army of carers coming in daily.
    Anyway, she is now living with us. We are desperately overcrowded; have had house on market but no luck with a sale. My OH has now decided enough is enough and has taken the house off the market and decided to stay put. So our overcrowding problem has not been resolved.
    More urgent, however, is the problem of what I am going to do ref finding new employment. I'm finishing a one yr contract next week - no funds to extend it unfortunately (I work for the council). I am applying for part time positions only because I could not commit to full time work because of all the supervision and help I have to give my mum, plus all the other things I'm juggling like looking after my daughter and run a home. I have an interview next week but I am worried about letting them know about my caring responsibilities. I feel this sort of thing is going to be a major turn off for employers. Maybe they will just assume I have young kids (even though I'm nearly 49) but I'm dreading the "where do you hope to be in 5 years time" question. I cannot plan for anything career wise because I can see me just getting more and more mired in caring duties. I didnt ask for all this; it has just happened because we just didnt know what else to do with my mum, short of putting her in a nursing home - she's not quite ready for that yet though. A while back she did have a few days trial in a sheltered Abbeyfield home, but she was so confused she didnt know why she was there and just wanted to come home with me all the time. The house manager told me afterwards that they couldnt take her because her memory/confusion was so bad!
    My daughter has just turned 13 and I was really looking forward to going back to full time working and actually getting a decent job with reasonable pay, rather than having to put up with part time rubbish. Now I'm just saddled with yet more bl**dy caring. I cant even have my family over to visit because we have no room (mum is occupying our spare room). Have just resigned myself to the fact that life is going to get really sh*tty for the next few years.

     
  3. joli2

    joli2 New commenter

    You never really know what the next few years will bring, you only imagine. Your daughter will become more independent, you mum (not to too bleak) might end up having to go into hospital care, or might die. In fact you might find yourself with nothing to worry about. Or not.

    And as for the interview - answer the qusetion as if you had nothing else to take into consideration.
     
  4. It sounds to me like you need to look into homes for those with alzheimers/dementia. I know it is hard, but if she is becoming very confused is it a possibility she does have the aforementioned? Has she seen a doctor about it?
    My grandma developed dementia and whilst it took a while to find a suitable nursing home, we found a lovely place that specialised in dementia. She was confused at first (but to be honest was confused with alot of things anyway(, but it soon came to a point where we would visit and she seemed to be quite stimulated by the activities and other ladies and gentlemen there. We didnt feel stressed to breaking point, which meant we could visit her refreshed and actually make the most of our time with her.
    I know it is a hard choice to make, and only you can make the decision.
     
  5. What can I tell you? Things don't turn out as you wish. I chose to not work/work part-time whilst my children were small, and just as I was ready to go back my father died and my seriously disabled mother had to come and live with us. Wasn't great. Wasn't the worst thing that ever happened to anyone.
    You can tell your Mum no. You tell your husband "You look after her, I'm going back to work". You can tell Social Services the same. You can tell a sibling "You have her".
    You can suck it up and look after her with a ggod heart as a dependent human being who would very much prefer not to be in this position. You can put up with her.
    That's about it.
    Do what you think will make you feel good about it.
     
  6. Richie Millions

    Richie Millions New commenter

    I live in my view an idyllic life, independent choosing to do what I want when I want.

    My Choice.

    You choose to have children and look after needy relatives.

    Your choice.

    You choose to moan about your lot.
     
  7. You will have days like these but in between try to look at your husband, your daughter, your mother, as individuals rather than a great, overwhelming burden.Your daughter will see you caring for her grandmother and, though she may resent the inconvenience, she will grow up a better person if you can (most of the time) do it with good grace and a sense of humour. Try to understand that your husband has to soak up quite a bit of the stress as well. Like many of us, he probably just wants a quiet life. At least he is still around and you are not having to cope as a single parent - then you would have to make some unpleasant choices and never feel you did the right thing by your mum or your daughter. Lastly, give each of them a hug and a few minutes every day to tell them how much you love them. Oh, and if you find yourself getting angry with your mum, try singing. Sing the songs she remembers and even if it is nursery rhymes or some silly pop song from the past you will share a bond even when she can no longer speak or respond to you. Come on here and rant and get it out of your system. It may help you to clear your head.
    By the way, you mentioned not being able to have your family to stay. This seems a bit of a contradiction in terms. Is there no one else who can lend a hand in caring for your mum or even have her to stay now and then to give you a break?
    Contact your local MIND or Age Concern to see if there is a day centre for those with dementia which she could attend a couple of times a week. This might also take the constant pressure off.
    Best wishes.

     
  8. Hope the interview goes well for you!
    Have you applied for a carers allowance for you yet? It's worth looking into and might take some pressure off finances?
     
  9. ROSIEGIRL

    ROSIEGIRL Occasional commenter

    Ignore Richie - an useless contribution from him.
    Lots of good advice from others - get as much help as you can for your mum, medical, social services, voluntary organisations, other family members. Some daycare might be useful, for her as well as you, especially if the confusion is an ongoing issue. It might also make some useful connections if the nursing home option becomes a possibility/probability.
    The work situation is a bummer. All I would say is that in the midst of all of this you need to remember to look after yourself - really important. And make sure that you still get some quality time with your OH and daughter - it might feel like an effort to do stuff but it's worth it and will keep you going through the crappy stuff.
    Best wishes.
     
  10. Thank you for your comments. I guess I was upset yesterday when I posted; we just had another unsuccessful viewing of the house and my OH decided that was the last one, we've taken the house off the market and will be staying put in a house that is too small. I had got my hopes up and was looking forward to being able to move somewhere where we wouldnt be tripping over each other all the time; somewhere that had an extra bedroom so we could have friends and family to stay. It wont happen now.
    I dont have another sibling who can share the caring. My brother lives in America, so is well out of reach and has managed to wriggle out of any caring responsibilities. I have lots of relatives who live abroad (they are my mum's family); it would be nice if they could come and visit her but there's nowhere for them to stay now, unless they're happy to stay in a hotel. On the plus side, this does mean we can go and visit them instead! We are planning a trip to Norway this summer so my mum can visit her sister. My daughter is really looking forward to this - my mum's family live in a very idyllic place.
    I dont claim carer's allowance (yet); I have just managed to secure a claim for Attendance Allowance for my mum, so that is a start. You cant claim carer's allowance unless the person you care for is in receipt of AA or IB or DLA. There are limits on the hours you can work if you claim carer's allowance too - at the moment I work too many hours. If I find that I cant get another job, I may well apply for carer's allowance.
     
  11. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Our family has been in both situations - in the case of my Mother-in-Law we were fortunate enough to be able to move her into the house opposite ours, and whilst her physical health was deteriorating, she was lucid until the end. At the time Mrs MSB worried a huge amount about the impact on our (quite young) kids of all the time she spent caring for her Mum, but in hindsight neither seem to have been affected, and neither have ever mentioned it as a problem.
    In my Dad's case we reached a point where the three of us in his immediate family couldn't provide enough care for him, and the difficult decision had to be made to place him in a care home. He was quite mentally befuddled by this time, and although his new circumstances occasionally confused him he adapted soon enough, and both his quality of life and my Mum's improved despite the separation. She visited him every day, or made sure someone close visited him.
    It's a very delicate balancing act, but at some point your own health and wellbeing have to be taken into account as well as your elderly parent's needs.
     
  12. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    I thought this thread was going to be about finishing and forgetting to replace the Branston.
     

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