Age Concern were there for Meg and her family.
Meg always planned to retire by the time she was 70, because she had craft hobbies that she wanted to spend time on. Living on her own, she had worked out how much she needed to save for her retirement and was organising her finances for this.
But two years ago, Meg’s youngest son hit hard times, hurt his back and ended up on a benefit. Meg agreed to have him come to live with her until he was ‘on his feet again’. Things started off OK, but slowly changed. Meg couldn’t eat her meals at her dining room table anymore, because he’d leave motorbike parts all over it as he reconditioned motors to earn a bit of money on the side.
The place was a mess and every time she asked him to help clean up a bit he’d shout and swear at her. He didn’t pay board and ate everything in the house. Meg’s daughter made a surprise visit for her Mum’s birthday. She was annoyed when she found her brother still sponging off their Mum and told him so, but with all Meg’s friends and neighbours at the birthday party she tried not to make a scene.
Instead, on her return home Meg’s daughter rang Age Concern to seek advice from the elder abuse worker about what could be done to make her Mum’s life better. The Age Concern worker offered to meet Meg at her work in the lunch hour, so that she could talk freely about her situation.
“I want to retire but while he stays with me I can’t afford to. I asked him to leave but he wouldn’t listen to me. He just says – when I’m ready.”
Meg met the Age Concern elder abuse worker several times and they agreed to a plan. And together with Meg’s son they discussed a timetable for him to shift to a flat, but when this did not happen, the next step was to serve a trespass order to require him to move out. After he left, Meg had a big clean up and set her hobby room up again.
“Now I sleep better. And I haven’t had any serious health problems since he’s been gone. You know, I’d ended up in hospital twice while he was living with me. I think it must have been stress.”
Meg hopes being forced to move out has changed his life for the better, she knows it has for her. “I’ve got on with my life again so I can retire soon. He is still my son you know, and I love him no matter what.”
After a couple of months her son started coming back for dinner on Sundays, “he says I still make the best roast with real gravy.”
How to get help like Meg
Visit the Contact Us page for details of your nearest Age Concern.
If it is an emergency please ring 111.