Belfast Telegraph

I feel trapped caring for my mother

Fiona Caine is here to help if you have a relationship, sexual, marriage or family problem

My mother is 73 years old. Since she collapsed and almost died two years ago, she’s been living with me.

But she’s become terrified of being left alone.

I have to work, but I can usually get someone to look after her while I’m out.

Last week I couldn’t get anyone to visit and she broke down in tears and accused me of not loving her.

That’s not true, but I am beginning to resent her. I feel so guilty for feeling this way. RM


If your mother had a serious health scare, her fear of being alone isn't really a surprising thing.

Using emotional blackmail like this, though, is going to make you feel resentful but please don't feel guilty, because you're clearly trying your best.

Gently try to explain that while you love her, you have needs too and cannot be with her every minute of every day.

Rather than leaving her at home, though, have you considered getting her out?

If she attended day clubs or other activities, it would give you some freedom but, hopefully, boost her confidence too.

Most local authorities have day centres for older people (although, sadly, this is sometimes a service that's faced cuts) and so do organisations such as Age UK.

At 73, she is not really old, and if she is now fit and well, she should be able to enjoy life a lot more than she is at present

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