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Just need someone to listen

Hey, bit down and just needed to talk, I've recently moved myself and my son into my mums warden controlled one bedroomed home, so yes it's a squeeze, thing is that my mum is living with a brain injury she is clinically obese, can't walk far, has ulcerous legs, diabetes, asthma and is slowly eating herself to death. I thought I could help or at least prompt with personal hygeine and by giving her a reason to wake up every morning by having her grandson around. She fights me verbally and refuses to help herself and I'm losing the battle and my mum. Don't know what to do, this is not a healthy environment for my 3 year old

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I think sometimes you cannot help people if they don't want to be helped: you have to accept that it is their way of living. All you can do is make sure they know you are there if they need you. What you can do, is not let it affect you or your child too much, you still have your lives to live in a happy healthy way. Can you move out again and just visit your mother from time to time? Does she have all the support she can from health care and social service teams along with mental health workers? I am sure that deep down she knows what she SHOULD be doing and that is why she is so verbally agressive to you.

Who buys her the unhealthy food, is it possible that whoever does her shopping could substitute some slightly healthier options. Almost all of her problems are probably caused by her weight.

Try to distance yourself as much as you can without giving up on her. Your child is the most important thing now and you can make sure that he gets the best life possible.

Very best of luck to you, punch a few cushions or something if you feel really down - it really helps!!


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Like with any kind of addiction, the person who has the addiction has to acknowledge there is a problem that they need help to overcome. Perhaps your mum might have an eating disorder or sugar addiction? Perhaps she needs treatment for this? She has to admit she has a problem though.

Overall she sounds like she has a complex set of issues going on healthwise. Perhaps she doesn't fully understand her illnesses and the rationale for having to be on a special diet etc?

A lot of people get upset when you start trying to take their ability to make their own choices away from them. You have to help them make decisions about things for themselves.

You have to remember you are in her space? I see that your concern for her health is bourne out of love for her.

If you are cooking for her...perhaps gradually reduce the amount of carbs, sugar and processed foods in her diet. Do excercises that are fun, perhaps a wee walk followed by a low calorie ice cream......or a walk followed by a nice light lunch somewhere or a walk around town to do some shopping together . Maybe you need to get her a wee dog that she needs to walk every day?

There are lots of nice healthy low carb, low sugar, low fat meals you can make, that most people would like....if she takes sugar in her tea, a good substitute that tastes and looks like sugar is xylitol ( total sweet) You have to be careful with some healthy things too when you're diabetic. You have to be mindful not to overdo it with the carbohydrates ey pasta, spuds, milk, processed foods etc. You have to be careful with fruit too eg medium bananas have around 20 g of sugar in them, raisins are pretty sugar loaded too! I'm not saying don't eat fruit, just be aware some of it is sugary.

If she can't live without sweeties she could have the occasional Milky Way (4.7g of sugar) or a couple of squares of nice chocolate as a treat. She could have a slice of cake once in a while as a treat.

Just remember diet modification etc is your mums choice.

I am diabetic too, though there is a very strong family history of it. I'm not massively overweight and my parents and grandparents on both sides were skinny. I've had people say all kinds of horrible things to me. Sometimes their comments affect my wellbeing and drive me crazy.....Everybody where I work tells me what I can or can't eat.....have you any idea how annoying that is, especially when they're stuffing their face with chocolate all day in front of me? Just a thought, no offence meant. I think type 2 diabetics get a rough time in the media! The media has also kind of demonised type 2 diabetics with horrible headlines telling us that we will bankrupt the NHS, and programmes such as emmerdale portray their resident diabetic as a sweetie munching alcoholic that is only blind sometimes!

Hope things go better for you and your mum. Maybe you might consider living nearby and that might give you the opportunity to see your mum daily and have your own space? This will also let you devote time to doing mum things with your son....and it might also let you have a bit of me time? You have to look after yourself first and foremost before you can care for others


DD, what a sad state of affairs you've described. I don't believe one person, especially someone so closely related, can hope to influence such a dire situation.

Is anyone else involved in your mum's day to day care........her GP or Social Services for example ?

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Oh dear it is a difficult situation for you, and in particular your son. Trying to help and influence someone so close is not easy, as the help you are trying to provide if often perceived by those receiving as being nagged at. This is potentially a vicious circle when all you want to do is show them your love and care.

I would see if there is any local help to you such as Adult Social Care, Care Coordinator at the GP surgery Age UK, even if it someone for you to talk to.

I wish you all the very best

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I am sorry you are dealing with so much stress...

There are several issues at play here... and some of them you may not want to hear...

Technically you and your son should not be living in a one bedroom warden controlled flat with your Mum. For one thing you are definitely over crowded and this would not be the best set up for your son...and also these places usually have very strict residency criteria and they are most definitely not suited for children. I really hope you did not give up your own home to make this move as I suspect you could be asked to leave/evicted from there anyway. If you still have your home, go back...if not then find somewhere asap.

If there is a warden (and the days of wardens as such disappeared a long time ago and the staff are usually more skilled support staff than the old style good neighbour wardens) she should be your first port of call. Your Mum should have a support plan highlighting all of her needs and how they plan to address them. It might be an idea for you to make an appointment to go through this with your Mum and the warden to see exactly what is in place and what other support may be available. Get a review by adult social services if necessary and ask for a multi disciplinary review meeting so that all the necessary services can be involved. There are services out there - everything from personal care (showering etc) meal prep, to health and medical care to socialising and befriending services... you just need to know how to access them and the MDT can help with that.

Trying to provide care and support for you Mum on your own while living in the same home along with your 3 year old (who obviously also needs your care and attention) is best avoided if possible. You will burn out very quickly and all of you will ultimately suffer.

There will be gaps in services that you and your son can fill and you, your son and your Mum will benefit from the distance of different homes. Your son will have his own space, you will be able to recharge in the peace of your own home and your Mum will have some privacy while still be covered by the services provided....and you will all enjoy the time you do spend together much more.

It is hard when it is your Mum...I know I almost broke trying to care for my Mum when she was ill last year and I only did it for a few weeks - and without a 3 year old in tow.

You really do have to take care of yourself first... it is true when they say you cannot pour form an empty jug.

Take care


You need more help. Can GP not help ? Or Social Services.

She may respond to requests from strangers.


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