Sitting service cancelled - NOW what do I do?!

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I've just discovered that the local carers sitting service is being discontinued :(. While I have friends who will give me the odd evening off, they all work too, so I was about to approach the service to see if they could provide some daytime cover for me so I could go to an industry conference which is very important for my business (I'm self-employed). I can't really leave my cared-for-person for more than about 4 hours max (probably total throughout the day, i.e. can't have someone just pop in at lunchtime then leave her on her own again) - plus she'd need some lunch or something. The conference would be an all-day thing plus travelling time on top.

I'm not sure what to do now. I haven't actually got around to availing myself of the sitting service yet anyway thanks to my friends, so don't have a relationship with any carers which I might be able to continue regardless.

Any thoughts and suggestions warmly welcomed. There will clearly be a lot of other people who will be in more or less the same boat, unfortunately.
Just a thought dating back more than a decade ago.

Local carers centre ?

Notice board ?

Quick ad offering an exchange in " Sitting " duties for other carers to take on board.

A local carers' barter scheme ?

With the few males around , sitting for ironing always a good one !

Nowhere better to engage local carers at grass roots level.

Never know , might come across someone in the business field who is now a carer ... and eventually , make all the difference with your business ?

I assisted three carers in a similar way when such local centres were active ... seems a distance memory for most ?
Try googling "Crossroads Care" to see if there is a branch in your area (they're a charity and part of Carers Trust). 'Sitting' services are just one of the services they offer.

Another alternative would be to check out local care homes who might offer Day Care services ?
Privately hired care-workers cost something like £15-20 an hour if your caree is self-funding. A care worker could come in to make her lunch, and look in again half way through the afternoon.

You say 4 hours is the max she can be left on her own (she's bedbound I take it?) (or at least immobile). Can she either use a commode by the bed or get to the bathroom? Or does she need a carer to assist her in toileting?

I'm trying to understand what her needs are - and if they relate to her physical immobility, or her anxiety/depression.

BUT, alas, your dilemma does seem to indicate that the situation you are in is increasingly unsustainable......
Alison, I do hope you managed - or will manage - to get to your conference

But what the experience is showing you is just how completely impossible it is to be a fulltime carer AND have a life of your own at all.

It just can't be done.

All of us here who've tried it - and I count myself as one - simply gave in. We either dedicate our entire lives to our caree, make them the centre of our universe, and do everything they want, when they want us to do it......or we 'hand over' to others.

BUT, I do think, in your particular situation - and this applies, really, to all where any kind of 'mental isues' are involved in the care-relationship, ie, in your case, your care's anxiety and panic attacks - that it's essential first of all to assess, objectively, just how much 'care' (as in 'time spent with them') they really NEED.

And how much they merely 'want.'

A great deal of the 'burden' of caring comes not from the practical activities -eg, helping them get dressed/bathed/medicated etc, or even in the 'housework' side of things like keeping their place clean, and the caree fed, but in the 'companion caring'.

It's the latter that is so, so often the 'killer' - because we have to look after them 'emotionally'. And that can be draining, exhausting, infuriatingly clingy, and, above all, time-consuming.


To be honest, what you described in your opening post on this thread - that you HAD to get to a full-day conference, but you also HAD to make sure your caree had the care she wanted (needed?) - reminded me SO much of when I was a working mother of a toddler. It reminded me of that blind panic that used to hit me when I HAD to get somewhere for work, but the (shared) nanny phoned at 7.30 am to say she had flu.....

We CANNOT split ourselves into two.

You'll have to choose - reclaim your life and hand over (far more) care to 'others', OR, give up your life and become a full time carer.

There really isn't an alternative, and your dilemma now highlights that completely.

Wishing you all the best, whatever decision you take! Kind regards, Jenny
Hi Alison

I have got few contacts on 'services offered' on online classified - might be worth a try?

I have to say I disagree with Jenny. Circumstances have meant I have become a de facto full time carer for my mum but I undertake it only on my terms.

At 41 I musthave some focus outside caring. This is not just my opinion; both my gp and psych agree.

So keep on trying to fit your caring responsibilities in with rest of your life if that's what you feel works best for you.
I think the keyword there is 'on my terms'. That makes ALL the difference.

It means saying 'no' to things about caring that are NOT on your terms.

It means either saying 'you don't need me there for that period' (whatever it is), or 'someone else can provide the care for that period'

For so many of us, we get 'sucked into' caring. We start off thinking 'I can do this, it's not too bad, I can give my time and attention to my caree'....and so you can. BUT, when and as the demands increase, then it's a slippery slope down to the point where Alison is. ie, things have suddenly got MARKEDLY worse, and the impact is dramatic. EITHER Alison foregoes her career conference OR she puts her caree second in her life.

I Guess what I'm saying is, you can't have two conflicting priorities - my life or theirs. You have to choose - even if that choice alternates over the timespan. For me, for example, I chose 'me' for 99.99% of the time - the remaining tiny sub-percentage my priority is my MIL, that's when I'm visiting her. Mine is an extreme example, but that 'allocation of priorities' is what all carers have to face at some point.