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Our mother who is 80 was trying to get the cat out from behind a sofa and I was concerned for her safety that I applied my palm to her shoulder to which she replied 'don't push me around!'. I regretted our mother felt like this and this is the first time this occurred since I took on caring since last year. I feel guilty that I had done something really bad and I apologized to our mother. My siblings talk to each other whether I am caring properly for our mother and I felt so unsupported that morning when I asked for help. Otherwise me and our mother gave a good trust and I try to resolve sibling conflict with some success. I want to avoid using any kind of restraint that might be labelled abusive.

Thanks for the answers shared here. The context was certainly to protect our Mam from lifting furniture. There was a startle response and the contact with the shoulder was to draw attention away from the risk of our mother hurting herself. Time limited brief steadying physical contact ( no loss of balance or imminent danger of) with the shoulder and then I moved back to allow space as we then could communicate face to face. Not a routine form of how I'd engage with our mother and I'd be aware enough to manage how frustrated I may feel with unexpected small events. Especially as we were getting ready for our mother's toe nail specialist that we'd arranged with her permission and among the family. Yes we'll have a family meeting this week. I'm more careful as a carer to anticipate stress triggers with our family pet and to keep good space between our mother and me but enough with at least another sibling present to discretely guide our mother without physical contact away from any risk to her balance with calm refocusing. Thanks for helping me to see with your perspectives too given how there can be concerns about how a situation may be interpreted second or third hand.
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Reply to anonymous1008390
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I feel that your siblings need to discuss situations with you and not rely only on your mother’s retelling of the occurrence.

You may have startled your mom and she misinterpreted that as you being rough with her. I believe that you were only trying to protect her.

Does her cat usually go behind the sofa? Why was she trying to remove the cat from behind the sofa? Cats will hide in places. Once my cat jumped in my nightstand drawer and curled herself up on top of my socks. Cats are curious creatures that like to explore. They like to roam and check everything out. I use to open a paper grocery bag up and place it on the floor for her because she loved getting inside the bag, turning herself around to face looking out. I guess it was like her own personal cubby hole.

I don’t think you should use a restraint on your mom. I know that you have thought about this as protecting her but restraints aren’t allowed at all in nursing homes and so if this were reported to anyone it would not look good.

Having said that, I have seen caregivers of special needs adults use restraints when taking individuals on outings. I saw this myself at a coffee shop. The caregiver attached a type of leash on the individual so they would not run into a busy street as they walked to their vehicle.

Sounds like you’re in a tough spot trying to keep your mom safe.

Best wishes to you and your mom.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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When you say you “applied your palm to her shoulder”, what do you mean? Did you push her so that she lost her balance? Did you grab her shoulder and attempt to pull her out from behind the sofa? Did she remark that what you did to her was uncomfortable or even painful?

It concerns me that your siblings are speaking amongst themselves about your care of your mother. Do none of them speak to you about your methods of caregiving? Did they witness the incident with your mother? Have they mentioned “abuse”? It’s past time to have a conversation with your siblings. If they are questioning your caregiving, they need to speak with you and not just amongst themselves. Perhaps a sharing of the care of your mother?

And please be aware that even the calmest and laid-back of cats will bite and scratch when grabbed with force as it sounds like your mother was trying to do. Cat bites and scratches can develop into very nasty infections. Why was she trying to get the cat out from behind the sofa?
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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