new member - not waving but drowning :/

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi! I'd say how lovely it is to be here but, I imagine, we've all been driven here by need. :P

I care for my father, in his late 80s. I live around the corner from him and he has 4 carers a day. All I have to do is help him with the various agencies of Council/health stuff and see to his groceries and pills. He spends the day mostly asleep under a blanket. Dicky heart. He can't walk far but he hasn't reached the stage where he accepts what has happened to him over the last few months. He wants to return to where he was a few months ago, when he could still go out on his buggy. For the last two years he's been waiting for the magic day when he can shake it all off, walk about and stop feeling sleepy. Every time I visit him (twice or three times a week) he talks about having to "shake it all off" and get back to himself.

Meanwhile, in another universe, I'm collapsing by inches. I was an only child, and the only adult in the house, once my severe gran died. I spent nearly all my time as a teen out with friends or in my room. I never got on with my mother and my father is passive-aggressive and impulsive. He first nearly died 7 years ago and, since then, it's been a gradual slide into dependence and frailty. And I'm no longer coping well with it. There's no other family and I've spent the last year quarreling with my partner, who really isn't competent to help. As it is, back at home, he usually asks me to sort something out for him two or three times a day.

So I've been driven here by the need to ask how on earth you all cope? What are you lot doing that I'm missing? But, apart from that - whatever your situation, have a hug. You probably need one. :)
Hi Hamsterwheel,
Welcome to the forum, as you rightly sumise, we are all here because caring isn't easy and all the members on here are current or ex-Carers.

Do not underestimate how much you do, it can be difficult and time consuming to:
help him with the various agencies of Council/health stuff and see to his groceries and pills.
Others will be along with lots of good advice. I recommend this thread too https://www.carersuk.org/forum/support- ... mood-12505

Melly1
Hi Hamsterwheel,
Thought I'd just say hello as treading a similar path but no real words of wisdom- just that you are not alone. I care for Dad whose 91 and have a couple of care visits most days and do the rest myself. I don't have anyone else to worry about though and have given up my job to cope with it all. Dad had been in bed asleep 9/10ths of the last week and also doesn't really acknowledge that he needs help. He's even started saying to me sometimes that Henrietta will do it - I don't know who he thinks he is talking to and seems to blend me in with those pesky carers that keep bothering him.
Hi Hamsterwheel
I'd echo all the others good advice, and add in counselling too as that can help with the feelings around caring. In most NHS areas you can self refer online or by phine. Try googleing CBT amd your area and see what comes up.
I 've had face to face counselling in the past, and you can pay for this at about £35-45 per hour but am currently trying free online CBT. Seems to taking the edge off.

Kr
MrsA
The only power he has over you is the power you let him have!!
I was brought up to respect my parents, that a "good girl" always did what they asked. Do as you were told, that sort of thing. Counselling at the age of 60 made me realise that I was still behaving like that, but I didn't have to. After all, what could a disabled housebound mum do if I didn't go along with everything she wanted to do? (I also have a son with severe learning difficulties, was newly widowed, and newly disabled, trying to run my husband's business to make ends meet)
You can't change dad but you CAN change your response to him. I'm sure it would help you tremendously.
You need to accept that he will always dream of days gone by when he was fit, well, and active. You can even go along with the "one day soon you'll feel better" comments, as a kind lie. No need to be honest about these things, kinder to live in their world.
Thanks to all who replied. :)

I had counselling 25 years ago, about my relationship with my mother. Then more a few years ago, from an absolutely fantastic woman, because I thought I couldn't cope at all about my father. That's kept me going these last 2/3 years. I have changed certain things but it's all getting worse, again. Guess it's time to look up counselling support again. :/

I work 24/7 as a writer, so everything interrupts that. It's also my release. I was alway pretty bad at dealing with household tasks and personal health stuff, so that's gone even further off the horizon as I have to concentrate on my father's grocery list and interactions with the care assistants. I would willingly rearrange the relationship with my father but I've reached the stage where it's either a matter of walking away or else of doing this stuff.
IMHO trying to do anything 24/7 is unsustainable, be it caring or writing. Better to divide time into compartments so that when you are doing one thing you can concentrate on that then move on to the next compartment with a clearer mind.
It's similar to taking time away from caring or work to exercise or do something else specifically for you. An hour of 'me time" can gear one up for another 8, 24 or more of something else. Likewise not allowing a small compartment of time for vital house work means it builds into a big problem (emotional as well as physical,) whereas 30 minutes a day keeps the germs and guilt gremlins away
Ditto with personal physical and mental care
Granted its difficult with caring in the mix but there can be more of a balance. It's when things get too out of balance that we feel stressed.

Kr
MrsA
Can I ask how poorly he is? As he has four carers a day, I suspect he can't do much at all for himself?
You do not HAVE to do anything at all for him. When did you last have a holiday? This is not a flippant question at all, I suspect you may have reached what I call Clapped Out Carer stage, where you have done so much for so long for others there is simply nothing more to give anyone?
Why not go away for a week, it doesn't have to be anywhere exotic, but just away from your work, and him, and everything else. Find yourself again, take some books, sleep in, have early nights, go for walks, get back in tune with yourself. I find self catering is best then you don't have anything else going on around you, or have to be presentable for breakfast!!
MrsAverage wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:27 pm
IMHO trying to do anything 24/7 is unsustainable, be it caring or writing. Better to divide time into compartments so that when you are doing one thing you can concentrate on that then move on to the next compartment with a clearer mind.
thanks. All you've said is great advice. I can put the writing aside but I have to keep a notebook or my phone by me, so I write down things that come to me. I can't shut that off, even if I walk away from the desk. It's in that sense it's 24/7. :)
bowlingbun wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:53 pm
Can I ask how poorly he is? As he has four carers a day, I suspect he can't do much at all for himself?
You do not HAVE to do anything at all for him.
I'd like to believe that. The one problem I can't find a solution for is his groceries. He has no computer or smart phone. What do other people do?
Why not go away for a week, it doesn't have to be anywhere exotic, but just away from your work, and him, and everything else. Find yourself again, take some books, sleep in, have early nights, go for walks, get back in tune with yourself. I find self catering is best then you don't have anything else going on around you, or have to be presentable for breakfast!!
This is my current dream. Except I think I'd prefer two weeks. Four weeks. A year.... ooops. I guess a week would be good. ;)