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I’m finding it really hard caring for my 81-year-old mum with dementia

I'M STRUGGLING

DEAR DEIDRE: I’M caring for my mum, who is 81 and has dementia.

Everyone asks how she is but nobody asks how I am.

My sister is younger, with a family of her own, and she visits us, but she tends to moan about the things she feels I’m not doing

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My sister is younger, with a family of her own, and she visits us, but she tends to moan about the things she feels I’m not doing

If they did, I’d tell them I’m struggling. I’m a 55-year-old divorced man and I’m Mum’s main carer.

We also have paid carers who call in twice a day.

She’s not too bad during the day but if she wakes up at night she can be unpredictable.

She has hit me in the past and she even spat at me last week.

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My sister is younger, with a family of her own, and she visits us, but she tends to moan about the things she feels I’m not doing, like taking Mum out for walks every day.

I feel exhausted.

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DEIDRE SAYS: Many carers feel their needs and feelings are sidelined.

Tell your sister you need more support. Explain what is happening and ask her to take over at least some nights so that you can get some respite.

You are doing an amazing job but as your mum’s condition worsens, a full-time care setting may be kindest for you all.

Find support through dementiauk.org (0800 888 6678).

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