Transition from Full-Time Carer to Getting My Life Back

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
Hi - I haven't been that active on this forum but, for what it's worth would just like to share my transition.

I have been a carer for my mother for 10 years. The first 8 years were part-time, the last 2 years where I moved in with her and cared for her full time, following her 2nd stroke and heart attack. She had a stroke and, although still mobile, had vascular dementia. (It angers me knowing that the reason she got a stroke in the first place was that they took her off viox too slowly. It is an American drug and they had to take it off the market in US due to its links to strokes).

She is now ensconced in a good caring nursing home and I visit her 3 times a week (my sister and brother covering the other days of the week). The home is a mix of those with dementia and those with "behavioural" problems (some eccentric habits!). My mum seems to be the most lucid one there which can make her feel like she is in a mental institution but, overall, recognises that the place is good for her.

This transition to a home became necessary following a fall, where she contracted pneumonia. Remarkably for a 93 year old, she recovered but needs to walk with a zimmerframe. This made returning to her home highly problematic, e.g. would mean the bed having to come downstairs in the lounge with a commode in the room since there's a step down to the toilet in the conservatory. I had reached saturation point with caring (far too few breaks) so it would have meant a resident carer. Hence she is far better off in a home for variety and better caring facilities.

As for myself, it meant I could finally return back to my flat. I have been here almost a week and it is quite wonderful. I am a semi recluse so it's not as if I am suddenly living life in the fast lane! I love solitude and focusing on the garden and getting back into trying out recipes are the on-going hobbies. Since becoming a full time carer I got a laptop and am now addicted! Spend most of my time online, e.g. various forums and a good spiritual chat site. I am so happy to get my life back. :woohoo:
Hello Amy, good to hear from you again! I'm sorry that your Mum was poorly for a while with the pneumonia but it seems that the situation has improved for you both. Good that Mum seems to have settled well and she will receive the full time care that she needs.

I'm sure life feels very different for you know and good on you that you are able to get back to the hobbies that you so enjoy! Very pleased that you have come back to us too as I'm sure you have a lot of experience to share with others too.

keep in touch!

Bell x
Thanks Brindleboy for your kind post.

It just felt a bit like closure for me to record the change. I am mindful that hearing the words "getting my life back" may evoke sadness, depression and/or stress so I played down how wonderful that feels.

I am also aware that so many here have it much harder than I did. My situation was more one of restriction than my mother being demanding. I could only leave the house 3 times a week (4 hours each session) - enough to briefly visit my flat and then go on to do the obligatory food shop. My mum's needs were fairly easy to manage i.e. the timing of her medication throughout the day, feeding her, helping her to shower and selecting her TV programmes.

It became more difficult/demanding towards the end. She got gout and was wrongly diagnosed and given antibiotics (which she had to finish the course of) - this gave her uncontrollable diarrhea which was a nightmare to keep on top of (constantly cleaning the carpet and her nighties).

Actually I have been reasonably active here in the fun and games section. I foresee that, when she dies, I will be frequenting different sections of this forum.
It's so strange, isn't it, that 'solitude' becomes such a privilege....
Just joined site as looking anywhere for support - no friends at all to talk to about how scared and lonely I am as other half sick long time. So let down that old friends just don't care enough to even send a text message in weeks. No one to talk about feelings of loss - work full time and all counselling stuff is in work hours. Feel hopeless. How do people manage - I just don't think I can!
Michelle wrote:Just joined site as looking anywhere for support - no friends at all to talk to about how scared and lonely I am as other half sick long time. So let down that old friends just don't care enough to even send a text message in weeks. No one to talk about feelings of loss - work full time and all counselling stuff is in work hours. Feel hopeless. How do people manage - I just don't think I can!
Welcome Michelle. You have found a supportive forum for carers. There are many sections here that you may find valuable to both read and interact in. :)
Hi Amy and michelle, I can relate to both different situations that you both have posted about. I was a carer to first my mother inlaw, then my own mum, and then my husband, all of whom have sadly passed away so I am now a "former carer".
I understand the isolation that caring brings, michelle you are not alone on this forum. i have made so many wonderful friends on this forum who have seen me through tough times.
And Amy, I too, am getting my life back after so many years, it is bittersweet after my losses but i am slowly "re-discovering me" and taking up old and new hobbies.forum
welcome to the forum and take care,
Love Phoebe xxxx
amy green wrote:It just felt a bit like closure for me to record the change. I am mindful that hearing the words "getting my life back" may evoke sadness, depression and/or stress so I played down how wonderful that feels.
It didn't work. Enjoy every minute of it. And remember you don't have to try and get your old life back, you can always start a new one! :evil: