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Re: "It's your choice"

Posted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:13 am
by bowlingbun
Sometimes it helps to look ahead, think about how you want things to be a year or five years from now. Do you still want to be doing 1,000 miles a week. How many cars will you get through in that time, and what will be the total cost.
Can you afford it, because however much you love someone, things still cost money. (Attendance Allowance is given to a disabled person to cover the extra costs of the care they need so it is perfectly fair for dad to at very least cover all your travel costs).
How will dad be in five years time? With heart problems, is he fit for surgery, or will he have to put up with his painful hips? I've had two knee replacements after a car accident, so I know just how bad that pain can be.
If his whole life hinges around you, that's very risky, because inevitably there will be a time when the car breaks down, is having a service, you are sick, the kids get flu etc. etc. so it would be far better, at least in the short term, to insist that he has another carer, perhaps to help him get to bed, for example.
Then there is his safety to consider. Does he have a Lifeline pendant and phone system so he can call someone for help when you are not there? Social Services should be able to arrange this for him easily.
Is there anything you could do to reduce the amount of work you have to do for him, especially housework. Does he have a dishwasher, tumble dryer? Does he have any domestic help other than you?
Has the Occupational Therapist visited recently to help him be as independent as possible, to reduce your workload.
When people have many responsibilities, I often suggest that they try to become a Care Organiser, rather than provide all the care themselves (For a few years all four of our parents and our son with learning difficulties were all entitled to highest Disability Living Allowance).
Even with all your help and support, is dad still going to be able to live independently a year from now, or five years from now? If the answer to that is "No", then there needs to be a conversation about whether he would like to move into sheltered housing or residential care where he lives, or where you live.
Then you can make plans accordingly. This assumes that dad is capable of making clear choices for himself?

Re: "It's your choice"

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:13 am
by jenny lucas
If, and only if, your ENTIRE family is HAPPY to relocate near to your father, and if you are still determined to do so, what are the possibilities of doing a 'house swap' with other council tenants in the area of your father, rather than waiting for a vacancy to arise via the council? (Because, as has been said, you are not a priority after all)

It's good that your ASD little boy is happier in the school near his grandfather BUT, and I say this quite adamantly, subjecting him to a 150 mile round journey EVERY DAY is just dreadful!! That's a good hour and a half in the car to school, and then again back, and he's very young still.

Also, is the school aware of this? Surely they would voice their strong concerns at you subjecting this little boy to such an ordeal?

And, moreover, unless things are different in respect of his ASD, then does he not have to be RESIDENT in the school's catchment area? If you have used your father's address to enable him to 'appear' to be in the catchment area, then I doubt the school would look kindly on this! It may even be illegal?

I'm truly not trying to be unsympathetic or unsupportive, but I do pick up the feeling that you are 'driven' (in the emotional sense) because of your unfortunately upbringing/circumstances. it's entirely understandable that you want to cling to your father while you have him, but is this not dominating your entire life - and at the expense of your children and partner???

To be honest, I would recommend counselling, but I doubt you have the time alas, to work out just why this is so, so 'imperative' for you, and to help you come to terms with the difficult issues that surround your parentage, and how that has affected you.

You have a partner, and three children (all with special needs of their own), and it's great that you do have this family of your own now, but it does now sound alas as if they are 'coming last' in your life, and you current exist 'only for your father' and what suits him best???

If this is the wrong end of the stick, I apologise, as on forums we can only piece together the bits and pieces of a situation from what posters say, and the situation may be more complex, and less obvious than it appears so far.

Re: "It's your choice"

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:13 am
by Jennifer_1708
Thank you to everyone that has replied it has all helped if not hurt some.
THE ONE THING I WANT TO MAKE CLEAR IS I AM NOT BREAKING ANY RULES AS FAR AS MY SON IS CONCERNED. The school know where we live and its our home address they have on file.
AN update after reading everything i relised i needed to be honest with my dad and others around me.
Myself and my youngest will be staying in the area 2 nights a week ( so 2 days of no traveling) also dad is helping with fuel.
ok this is not great but its a good start. Myself and dad are also looking into a part-time private carer for the evenings and in case of emergencies. This is all new to me but i am doing my best but suggesting i need counseling because i want to look after my dad is rude and insulting.

Re: "It's your choice"

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:36 am
by susieq
Jennifer_1708 wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:13 am
This is all new to me but i am doing my best but suggesting i need counseling because i want to look after my dad is rude and insulting.
I doubt that anyone who has suggested counselling is suggesting anything other than that you might find counselling helpful to manage your situation.It would give you the opportunity to talk through your options with someone who is not directly involved and perhaps see a different way forward that enables you to cope with the many demands being made of you. I know that one member here found counselling very helpful when she was caring for her Mum whilst also recovering from a major operation and caring for her learning disabled son.

Caring is hard enough when you live close by, or with, your Caree - it's doubly so when you are trying to care from a distance and even more so when you have more than one person to care for. In these circumstances we do need to avail ourselves of every opportunity to 'ease' the caring load - if we don't we stand the very real chance of 'burn-out' where our own physical and mental health gives up in protest and then we aren't much use to anyone. You are a caring daughter and you are doing a wonderful job but you must take care of yourself too.

Re: "It's your choice"

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:18 am
by jenny lucas
Jennifer, I would think ANYONE who has grown up in care would find counselling helpful to come to terms with understanding WHY that happened, and how to best reconcile and relate to what is, by definition, a 'dysfunctional' childhood (Children are 'not supposed' to be brought up in care, but in loving, stable, nurturing and enduring families - if deprived of that then all sorts of emotional problems can result - this is hardly rocket science and certainly not insulting - just a sad, sad truth of life, alas.)

Just the briefest reading of what you have written indicates that there are all sorts of 'emotions' running very, very deep within you, and it would be very surprising if there were not, given what you have been through in your life! A counsellor would help you explore your feelings for your birth parents, and, too, perhaps, to your half-siblings, and so on and so on, and what your feelings are now towards your father.

Life is all too often horrendously emotionally complicated, and often very conflicted, but out of 'dysfunction' so to speak CAN become happiness and stability and reconciliation.

BUT, 'if' there are still 'unresolved issues' or 'darker currents' or whatever a psychologist would call them in your relationship now with your father, then they could well be at play in your absolute determination to dedicate yourself to him for what could be, after all, the next twenty years , which may well take a toll on your own children, and your partner, and, of course YOU.

THAT is why I suggested that counselling could help you disentangle just WHY you are subjecting yourself and your children/partner to the current situation (which IS completely unsustainable, however desperately and determinedly you are purseuing it!) (and it is entirely to your 'moral credit' so to speak that you are, but it is NOT the right way to live your life, nor fair on your children/partner that you do so.).

So, my suggestion in respect of counselling is not THAT you want to look after your father at such high cost, but WHY - and given what you have said about your childhood set up, I cannot but think that comes into play. It would be odd if it didn't!

I'm glad your youngest is thriving at his new school, and of course it's good that that has all happened with the approval of the school itself - that's one problem you don't have to sort out.

But, over and above everything else is the clear priority that as a mother, your children come first, not your father. And it is your father who should be reinforcing this to you, loud and clear, if he is to warrant the label of being a good parent himself. This is what he should want for YOU - that you be allowed to prioritise your children, not him.

Re: "It's your choice"

Posted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:37 am
by bowlingbun
I like to think I'm a fairly balanced human being, well educated, had a happy marriage until my husband died suddenly BUT I struggled to care for my disabled son, my disabled mum, and run my late husband's business when I was newly widowed and newly disabled after a car accident.
Counselling was hugely helpful for me, initially arranged by a local carers organisation, because I learned how to balance and control everyone's expectations of me - the counselling was aimed specifically at helping me with mum's unreasonable demands. I learned some new ways of managing these, which ended up giving me a much better relationship with mum until she died.
This is a forum of carers, for carers. We are concerned primarily about the carer, and the impact caring has on the whole family, because caring is a bit like ripples on the pond, it affects not just you but everyone around you.
I've been a carer for 38 years, since my son was brain damaged at birth. I've cared for my sister in law with post natal depression, so severe she needed to be an inpatient in hospital for a long time, I cared for her baby when she went back to her family abroad, for months. Then there was mum in law with Alzheimers, father in law with bowel cancer, my father with prostate cancer and my mum with many, many health issues which had left her housebound, they were all entitled to highest DLA at the same time.
Now there's just my son left, but I contribute a lot to the forum only to help others avoid the same pitfalls I fell into.
It's OK to say "I'm struggling with .." or even "I don't want to be a carer any more" here, you are completely anonymous. However, one important aspect of being on the forum is a forum member saying something which you might have been thinking, but it didn't seem appropriate for you to think, acting as Devil's Advocate.