Thursday 10 January 2019

Poor mum

Mum looks like a put it bluntly.  She's lost so much weight, her face has kind of sunk (not wearing her dentures adds to that of course), she has no energy whatsoever, her skin is grey.  She's deteriorated so much in the few months since we last saw her, brother and I were pretty shocked.  

Sister, brother and I had a good talk over lunch in a local large pub, we discussed what things we could do to be of the best help to mum.  We bought her one of those electric riser armchairs to go in her bedroom, so she has somewhere comfortable to sit when she's feeling strong enough to get out of bed (£65 in a charity furniture shop, the same type of chair was £600 new in the mobility aids shop!).  Also got her a commode and some other personal aids.  I know she could probably get most of these free (she's having someone from the Council go to see her next week to assess her needs), but she needs them NOW, not at some point in the future.  In any case, her local Council is broke (it was even mentioned in the national news), so it's not a given that they'll be willing/able to fund anything.  

Sis is going to arrange for a friend to call in once a week to get any odd bits of shopping mum might need, and pick up her prescriptions - my suggestion, to take a bit of pressure off sister as she has so much to do and is feeling the strain.

We also agreed that sis, along with a good friend, will clear out mum's bedroom - she's always been a bit of a hoarder and her room is chock full of 'stuff' - umpteen handbags and shoes which she hasn't used for years, a suitcase full of jigsaw puzzles she can't see well enough to do anymore, 4 chests of drawers stuffed full of clothes she no longer wears, 2 bookcases full to overflowing of books she can't see to read.  Her room is so cluttered it's hard to get around, even for an able-bodied person - mum has agreed for it to be done.

All three of us feel that Mum hasn't got long left, but we're trying to make what time she has got left pleasanter and easier for her.

It was a very long (and emotional) day, we left early in the morning as it takes 3 hours to get up there, and didn't get home until just after 8 pm.  Even longer day for brother who took me, as he lives in Cornwall and still had more than an hour's drive to get home after he dropped me off.  We were shattered and aching, and as usual I'm awake and downstairs at silly o'clock, although will try going back to bed in a minute.  Thank goodness neither brother nor I have any appointments today, although we both do tomorrow.  At least we have a day to recover.


  1. Having gone through similar situations with both of my parents I know how difficult it can be. Emotionally draining, trying to do whats right for your mum and trying to make her as comfortable as possible. It's good that you thought of the friend to help out your sister. It must be very draining on her. There's only so much you can do, growing old is a b**ch!!

  2. Sending love and hugs Soooze xxx

  3. Sounds like you and your family are doing all you can to make her comfortable, that's all you can do. xx

  4. My heart goes out to you. I know how it feels, my own mum being in a similar situation.
    Much love to you all.

  5. Hugs to you from someone who has been there, and who hasn't got any brother and sisters to discuss things with. Just a suggestion, would the friend be willing to read from a couple of books, only suggesting this as conversations can run out.

    Julie xxxx

  6. Like many of the posters above, my heart goes out to you all. We have one child and a very clear and legally binding power of attorney has been made so that she will not face the situation that we have all done. My brother lives in the States so it fell to my DH and I to suggest all the hard choices yo Mum. Of course, my brother felt free to shout on the end of a phone when he didn’t like what was being done. Hope Social Services can provide some help for your Mum but in the end, we paid for some help ourselves. No wonder you can’t sleep! X

  7. Has your mum's GP looked at a condition of Gastroparesis - her symptons sounds very similar to something my gran had.
    You need to take good care of yourself and your sister will need a lot of support as she is the one having to deal with the day to day help for your mum. It is not an easy situation to find yourself in and emotionally draining. I hope the assessor gets some additional support in place quickly to take a bit of the pressure off. Dealing with ageing parents is a hard job and sometimes worse from a distance. Take care.

  8. Having been through this with my MinL, it is not easy. The strain is at times intolerable and we were her only family. All you can do, is what you are doing and lend what support you can.

  9. Sooze, my heart aches for you. xxxxxx

  10. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts Sooze.

  11. Not easy coping at a distance. You can only do what you can do if you see what I mean. Sending positive thoughts for you to get a good nights sleep. zzzzzzzzzzzz

  12. What can I say, it never ends does it. I hope things improve soon for you on all counts.

  13. A worrying time for you all but wow, you did very well with organising all those items, which will really improve your Mum's quality of life and make it so much easier for her. You are definitely a woman to go to in a crisis!
    Best wishes to you all!

  14. My dear woman you are going through a very difficult time. It has to help to have a plan now and family and friends who are willing to help each other. Hugs and good luck to you.


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