Ex Carer

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
Hello all,

My name is Bill and I was caring for my elderly mother 24/7 at home for around 9 years until she died on the 24th of february.

She had Cancer, dementia, was registered blind, couldn't walk and had many other health problems. I miss her terribly.

After her death I was still paid the carers allowance for 8 weeks or so. During this time there were lots of mess ups with paperwork etc. I am still dealing with some of them.

I recently had to register at the jobcentre, who are now trying to force me into jobs that I feel I am not yet ready for. I am not work shy or trying to avoid work, as I have worked all of my days before giving up to look after my Mother. I do feel though that I have not even had time to gather my thoughts and get myself into a normal sleeping pattern, after not sleeping properly for over 9 years. I feel depressed and physically and mentally tired. I dont know how to go about telling my Doctor this, without seeming to appear workshy and lazy. If I was allowed time to get my health sorted and was feeling better about myself, I could probably find my own job in time. Has anyone else here felt like this, or is it just me ?

Regards
Bill.
Hi Bill

I haven't been in your situation but the way you feel sounds perfectly natural to me and I think that you should be allowed to grieve and adjust to your new situation before being pressed into finding employment. I can only suggest that you ring the CUK carers line, I'm sure Rosemary will post the details when she reads this, and perhaps arrange to see a welfare rights officer at your local CAB or other welfare rights organisation.

As for being workshy, I don't think that's a label that could ever be applied to a carer, current or former, I know of no other group in society who work so hard for so many hours, frequently without breaks or respite, no-one here will think you're workshy and you're among friends who can understand how you feel.

Best wishes

Annie
Hi Bill

The number for CarersLine is 0808 808 7777. They are open Weds and Thurs 10-12 and 2-4pm.

You might also find this section of our website useful: http://www.carersuk.org/Information/Whencaringends

We've also have a booklet called 'When caring comes to an end'. If you would like a copy, please send me a Private Message with your postal address and I'll arrange for a copy to be sent out to you.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes

Christine
Hi Bill,

First of all accept our condolences and hopefully we can help support you through this difficult time.

Sometimes when a carer loses a loved one I think we grieve twice over,once for the person we lose and then also for the gap left in our lives.By that I mean the sheer amount of time left on our hands.I know after losing my mam that was one of the hardest things to adjust to.I used to wake up at all times with a sense of urgency that I should be elsewhere and doing something.Does that make sense to you Bill??
I dont know how you feel Bill but for me another thing was my confidence had gone.For so long my life had centred on my mam and her needs that anything for me had taken a back seat.
Any skills I may have had were now obsolete and although I was physically fit for work I did not feel ready to.... a) go through the process of interviews, and b) meet new people.I am still a carer so I needed flexibility too.

At the job centre I asked for an advisor about getting back to work and explained my circumstances.She advised me about seeing a doctor as it was only going to be a temporary thing.My doctor gave me a sick note.Just having that time to come to terms with everything,to adjust, made all the difference.The advisor kept in touch every 3 weeks to see how I was.I never classed myself as workshy,I wanted to work but just was not ready.

One of the things that amazed me and I would need check to see if still in place but because I went from Incapacity benefit to a job I was allowed £40 per week for a year on top of my wage.Yet due to overlapping rule I had never been able to claim CA.The mind boggles at this government at times... Image Image Image .

So take some advice Bill,look at all your options,after all noone wants you to be getting a new job too soon and then finding you are unable to cope.

I hope the above has helped and whilst you are sorting all this out ,just know that we are here for you about anything and everything.Lean on us at any time.

Be strong Bill

Rosemary
x x x

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Hi Bill

I haven't been in your situation but the way you feel sounds perfectly natural to me........

...... no-one here will think you're workshy and you're among friends who can understand how you feel.

Best wishes

Annie
Thanks a lot Annie.
XXX
Hi Bill

The number for CarersLine is .....

You might also find this section of our website useful...

We've also have a booklet called 'When caring comes to an end'.....

Hope this helps.

Best wishes

Christine
Thanks Christine. That was very helpful. It also reminded me That I have a stairlift, a wheelchair, a zimmer from very early on, a hospital style mattress, an electric reclining chair and a few other things to return yet.

I will PM you soon with my address for that leaflet. Thanks very much for that.

Bill.
XXX
Hi Bill,

First of all accept our condolences and hopefully we can help support you through this difficult time.
Thanks Rosemary. I appreciate that.
......I know after losing my mam that was one of the hardest things to adjust to.I used to wake up at all times with a sense of urgency that I should be elsewhere and doing something. Does that make sense to you Bill??
That makes perfect sense to me Rosemary. Hope you feel much better now. I sometimes think I can still hear her and find myself bubbling up like a big baby for no apparent reason in the strangest of places and breaking into a sweat when I think of things too much.
I dont know how you feel Bill but for me another thing was my confidence had gone.For so long my life had centred on my mam and her needs that anything for me had taken a back seat.
Any skills I may have had were now obsolete and although I was physically fit for work I did not feel ready to.... a) go through the process of interviews, and b) meet new people.I am still a carer so I needed flexibility too.
Yep, I was with my last employer for 15 years and was supervisor for a lot of that time. My employer no longer exists now and I am being offered slave wage jobs that have nothing to do with what I used to do. One of them said "Must be able to work at heights", Just what I need right now.
At the job centre I asked for an advisor about getting back to work and explained my circumstances.She advised me about seeing a doctor as it was only going to be a temporary thing.My doctor gave me a sick note.Just having that time to come to terms with everything,to adjust, made all the difference.The advisor kept in touch every 3 weeks to see how I was.I never classed myself as workshy,I wanted to work but just was not ready.
My "Advisor" doesn't even seem like a human being. She seems more like a robot and doesn't seem to care at all what has gone before. I think she must be on a bonus for pushing people into work ?
So take some advice Bill,look at all your options,after all noone wants you to be getting a new job too soon and then finding you are unable to cope.
My priority I think should be to get healthy and possibly, if I can find the funding, go back to college and gain some relevant skills later. Think I need to pluck up the courage to ask the Doctor for a sick note. Visited him the other week about a soreness in my right side. I've had this for a couple of years , but didn't want to go see about it earlier, as if I did at the time, caring for my Mum would have been interupted. With her dementia I dont think she could have handled having someone else from outside. Doctor thinks I could have pulled or torn something lifting and laying my Mum at some point. The nurse took blood tests last tuesday and I see the Doctor again on wednesday. Jobcentre tomorrow morning.
I hope the above has helped and whilst you are sorting all this out ,just know that we are here for you about anything and everything.Lean on us at any time.

Be strong Bill

Rosemary
x x x
Thank you rosemary.
XXX
Hi again Bill,

As serious as this situation is I am sat here chuckling away.I never meant for my 1st reply to you to cause you so much work Image Image .I reckon I owe you an hours wage for your reply Image Image .If we keep this up I am sure we can get you a job as a temp ....mines milk no sugar please Image Image Image .I reckon I could get used to a male secretary Image Image .You willing?

What type of employment were you in before Bill if you dont mind me asking?

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That is the best job offer I've had for quite some time Rosemary. Image I would be quite willing to be your male secretary, if you would take on a 48 year old clapped out Engineer. Image Image I can make a decent coffee BTW. Image

I was in heavy fabrication before caring for my old Mum Rosemary.
I can make a decent coffee BTW. Image
To be honest Bill I dont drink tea and coffee but a diet coke ( ladies will understand me here Image Image Image ) would do just fine Image Image Image Image Image

I would imagine in the years since you last worked that your job has changed.Do you have any thoughts on what direction you want to go in the future?

Rosemary

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