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It may be too late for me this time round as I've realised I am fraying at the seams a bit (forgetting things, getting weepy, irritable, not sleeping etc), but does anyone have tips for preventing burnout and/or delegating admin tasks?


In the last few months my Mum (92) has gradually palmed everything practical/administrative off onto me. Each little thing, phone call, email, etc is simple in and of itself, but added together it amounts to a huge administrative overhead. It's also the case that one phone call or meeting then requires an exponential number of follow ups as well.


I started a log as people kept asking me for details or had I spoken to so-and-so and had I followed up with so-and-so. It has helped me immeasurably, but has also made it very clear what I have taken on by default.


Thing is I can't see a way to stop - and I am SO resentful. My mother has NPD, alcohol use disorder, and was/is abusive, so it's difficult enough to do the bits I do. But she has no one else. I do make it clear with the care team and social workers etc that I work full time and am NOT her "carer" but there is still loads of admin that needs to be done and she won't do it.


At the moment I have: follow up on GP ear appointment, eye appointment, pay ground rent, follow up with pendant alarm service, follow up with falls service about raising furniture - just to name a few.


A good friend advised me to just STOP because she had similar with her mother and it was only when she stopped that people stepped up. But my husband is worried that if I do that, whatever then happens (further falls - she has had seven in six months, mostly alcohol-related) will still land on my plate, and will be worse than if I was keeping an eye on things.


Help! I am fed up. Burned out already (I work full time). But can't see what to do...


I want to go to Al Anon and need to make that a priority for next week. I am also booking in with a therapist to try to sort out some of my codependency issues. But are there any other practical solutions? If I don't do this stuff, who will?

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TurningWorm, I guess you have to ask yourself what you want the outcome to be? If it's for someone else to provide all her care, then you need to completely step away from the admin and be at peace with whatever is decided. I don't think you can have "some" control. I'm not sure how the health and social system works in your country so it's difficult to really give literal practical advice... here in the U.S. social services would be called in, take guardianship and then manage all the care moving forward. But with her being an active alcoholic I don't know how you can have clarity to make wise decisions as a codependent. I think Al Anon is an excellent idea and a therapist can help you objectively navigate towards healthy boundaries. For some things in life there are just no perfect solutions, and this may be one of them (as it is for so so many on this forum) so you can only do what you're willing and able to do. I wish you courage and wisdom and peace in your heart as you help yourself first, and then maybe your mom.
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I know you are right.

Last time she fell she was taken to hospital and I found out later - which was probably for the best in the end as there was nothing to be done and she was in safe hands. Oh she was angry that they took so long to see her and she had to wait. WE ARE IN A PANDEMIC so excuse me if your alcohol-induced head injury comes further down the triage list at A&E, Mum!

She insists her eyesight would be ok if only she could have her eyes tested and new glasses. (I took her last year: turns out she has advanced macular degeneration in both eyes - for which she refused treatment - and cataracts in both eyes ditto.) She also insisted until recently that her hearing was fine.

I realise I am tying myself in knots unnecessarily but it is extremely difficult to stop, especially when people keep referring things back to me.

However, I am proud of myself for something today: the GP called and was trying to make me take Mum in next week for ear review - and I refused. I said someone else would have to take her as I work full time. So in the end the doctor said she would do a home visit -as she needs to review her medication anyway - on Monday. Go me!
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BarbBrooklyn Nov 13, 2020
Go YOU!!

I was amazed at how many things became simpler when I started saying "no, I can't possibly do that".

I idiotically offered to drive my mom from rehab to her new AL residence. She grabbed the steering wheel from my husband.

That started a series of "nos".

No, I cant take mom to ANY doc. Either the doc comes to her or mom hires a medical transport van.

NH would send an aide, because I don't do bathrooms.

Doc says "we need to get your mother on the examining table".

I just stood there.

He figured out how to examine mom in her wheel chair and the next time, he got office staff in to assist.
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Your mother is an adult and has had a lifetime to plan for her old age.

You are not going to have one if you keep this up.

Children are not a retirement plan.

Step waaaaaaay back. If your mother is having alcohol-related falls, she should be taken to the hospital. You can be in touch by phone, but inform the docs and nurses that you will not be her caregiver and that she lives alone. Also inform them about her alcohol consumption, because she will need to be detoxed slowly.

I am glad you are going to go to Al Anon and a therapist. Start taking care of yourself. You are no good to anyone else if you don't.

Why does mom, at 92, need to go to an ear doctor and an eye doctor? When my mother aquired a geriatrics doc (she was 88) we dropped all of her specialists except for dermatology, and only that doc if there was an issue.
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