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Looking after ourselves

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Elderly mother with lifelong mental health issues

I have recently joined this forum because I don't know where to turn next, so any suggestions would be helpful. My 88 year old mother has borderline personality disorder and depression, but of course now aging is also having an impact. She definitely does not have dementia, as this has been a lifelong issue. I am the youngest of 4 kids. My 3 siblings cut contact with mum a few years ago & I am now her carer & the only one in the family who will support her. I've done everything I can think of to help her & make sure she's safe, & at her age realise nothing will change - especially since she wont take meds & has no insight into her condition. I've been in contact with her GP, the local aged person's mental health team, & she had an ACAT assessment 2 years ago. However, as long as she is safe & not in danger of harming others, apparently there is no more they can do.  ACAT provided approval for short term residential respite, but mum wont go. I have teenagers of my own to care for, including one who thinks she is transgender but is still finding her way in the world & confused about identity at this point. I have no issues with supporting my daughter - my reserves are depleted whenever I need to resolve any issues surrounding mum.


This is all very tiring. I have come to the realisation that I am the one who needs the support to be able to continue coping with the situation & continue as a carer. I wont cut ties like my siblings have, but when I ask them to step in & help they just refuse. I have been looking online for a support group but nothing seems to be relevant to my situation.


So, I would appreciate some helpful tips, or maybe just a chat with anyone out there who can relate to my situation.  Thanks!!


Re: Elderly mother with lifelong mental health issues

So sorry and sad to hear of your problem. From what you have said, you have tried many avenues but nothing positive comes out of it. My husband has a mental illness so I really understand your situation. The only solution is to have “time out”. You could start of with just a week-end. Surely one of your siblings can help out. Could you have a family meeting with them and discuss the need for you to have time out. It’s only fair.
In time, book mum into respite care and tell her she has to go as you need a rest or you won’t be able to look after her.
You could say to her that to live with you it has to be on your terms not hers or it’s a nursing home. I am sure she won’t like that as she wouldn’t want to be left alone, Tough love! Trust me I know it’s not easy but you have to be firm for your sanity. You have to look after you. Take time out for you, coffee with a friend, a walk etc. it does work!
Is there a day respite centre in your area? That would give you free time.
I hope I have helped you. You are a good caring person, love @Raine

Re: Elderly mother with lifelong mental health issues

Hi @F_Cat


Doing it on your own is difficult. Carers Australia offer support and help. 


There are a few others on the forum who care for their Mums who might be able to help

@merri  @Catcakes @Susana  @Zeppelin @annafreud  @ElsaDawn.

Re: Elderly mother with lifelong mental health issues

Hello @Darcy, @F_Cat, @Raine

am thinking of you today @F_Cat, @Raine , how are you today xx

@@merri  @Catcakes @Susana  @Zeppelin @annafreud  @ElsaDawn.


Re: Elderly mother with lifelong mental health issues

I hope u had a good Christmas Day. Live in hope, even though there are many days where there is no light, just darkness and despair. I am feeling great because I had a wonderful Christmas but I know when all things settle, back to normal but how great it was for me to have a window of happiness.

Re: Elderly mother with lifelong mental health issues

Hello, and thank you for your messages of support.  I think I was getting overwhelmed in the lead up to Christmas but things have settled a bit now.  I appreciate your kind words and it did help me to "vent" and get a few things off my chest.


I hope you have a lovely New Year.  Cat Very Happy 


Thank you!! 

Re: Elderly mother with lifelong mental health issues

Hello @Darcy, @Raine, @F_Cat

how is eveyone today xx

who like a coffee with mecoffee 1.jpg




Re: Elderly mother with lifelong mental health issues

Oh I am so sorry to hear this has been your experience. It is so difficult to deal with ageing parents and you are doing it on your own. It must be at times very overwhelming and frustrating, to say the least. I would say to find time to focus on your own self-care - however that looks like for you. FInd things that you enjoy doing and that will give you a break. I would encourage you to perhaps look into speaking to a counsellor (can not recommend these enough!), as there are so many things going on for you and you don't have to do it on your own. Just talking out the challenging emotions can help give you some clarity. Reach out to friends for support also. Hope this helps. 

Re: Elderly mother with lifelong mental health issues

Hi @F_Cat


How are you going? I am new to the forums and in a similar situation. Has your mum tried respite yet? My mum would not agree to try respite either and it took a lot of convincing to get her to go. The way I convinced her in the end was to tell her we would just go and have a look. If she didn't like it we could leave. I can understand from my mum's point of view that she was scared of the unknown. She actually really liked it and stayed! I hope this helps Smiley Happy 

Re: Elderly mother with lifelong mental health issues

hello @Burgundy86  and welcome to the forum

my mum won`t go to respite

It took a long time for her to have meals on wheels , now she has it 3 times a week and she likes it

The physio lady is trying to get her to go to exercise classes but mum who is nearly 88 said no thank you

Hello and hugs @F_Cat , @Caz101 , @Raine , @Darcy 

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