Caring making me unwell - need advice

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hi all

I'm sure many people will relate to this. Can anyone give me some advice?

I care for someone with a spinal cord jury, following an accident in May 2015. I carry out all aspects of his care as his family cannot. I have suffered with edpicondolytis, carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis for many years, before my caree became my lodger back three years ago now (before his accident)

I cannot get him into the shower and have never been able to get him in the bath, I have to place towels over the bathroom floor and, in effect, "blanket bath" his whilst he sits on the edge of the bath or on the toilet seat.

I'm also suffering great pain just helping him up and down the stairs or on and off the sofa. I recently lost the use of my arm for two days, it's OK now though.

Does anyone have any suggestions on aids or how they manage?

Thanks again everyone
Social services should be able to help, ask them to do a needs assessment, involving an occupational therapist assessment. My very disabled mum enjoyed a daily bath thanks to a rise and fall bath seat. No structural alterations needed. I think he should consider having outside carers for personal care, especially.
Hi Mary P, I think BB is quite right. The only way forward for you is to get some outside caring help in for his personal needs etc. Call Social Services and ask for that Needs assessment. Also a Carer's Assessment for yourself. You should not be putting yourself at risk at all. I thought you were going to look into this a few months ago? Didn't you get anywhere?
Elaine
Well, I guess we all have to ask ourselves the question, when can/should we retire from caring? Its a tough one: caring gives some of us a mission in life, whether welcome or not, and life past caring can seem very bleak. However, there are some tasks that are simply too heavy or emotionally draining to continue, and maybe it is time to look at alternatives such as a care home, or demanding some proper help from social services. Your call.
It's really important to NOT see asking for help as failing your caree in some way. In fact, it's the reverse. The more help you have, the longer you can continue as carer, if that is your wish. It's not your fault that his condition is getting worse. Feel proud of what you can do, not guilty about what you can't. After all, where would he be without you?
It's also important to recognise that there may come a time when, whatever your efforts, he needs specialist help, so don't ever make promises that you "won't put him in a home" because if someone is very poorly and needs 24/7 care, it's often only available in residential care.
Could not agree more.
Imagine for example, a frail, 90 year old granny trying to care for a lively 10 year old kid: it would be ridiculous. Care works where the carer is capable, it fails when the carer takes on more than they can chew. Love and good intentions, sadly, are not enough.
Mary_Poppins wrote:Hi all

I'm sure many people will relate to this. Can anyone give me some advice?

I care for someone with a spinal cord jury, following an accident in May 2015. I carry out all aspects of his care as his family cannot. I have suffered with edpicondolytis, carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis for many years, before my caree became my lodger back three years ago now (before his accident)

I cannot get him into the shower and have never been able to get him in the bath, I have to place towels over the bathroom floor and, in effect, "blanket bath" his whilst he sits on the edge of the bath or on the toilet seat.

I'm also suffering great pain just helping him up and down the stairs or on and off the sofa. I recently lost the use of my arm for two days, it's OK now though.

Does anyone have any suggestions on aids or how they manage?

Thanks again everyone
You can make a self referral to you local OT dept. Can be quicker or waiting on SS.
I did and got a OT visit the same week. My husband received a walking frame,raised legs for a chair and bed raiser. All very useful!
I just want to give you a little update on this ...

I had a visit from the O/T and the following has now been installed ..
A bed riser under the mattress of M's bed to sit him up to make it easier to get him out of bed and lay down when I put him back in bed.
A rise and lower hand rail at side of toilet.
A bath seat that raises and lowers him into and out of the bath / shower
A handrail on the stairs.
What I call "elephants feet" to raise the height of his bed.

As M is a "proud" man, he would not accept a stair lift at this time or have the bath removed and have the suggested wet room instead.

I have purchased a new, sturdier bed as he kept falling on his other one and broke it. I have also purchased and installed some grab handles for the bath / shower.

Life is a little easier now and daily caring activities are not so painful for me.

Thank you all for your help, advice and support x
Would your husband agree to a rise and fall bath seat? My mum had one of these, although very disabled it was easy enough to use so she could have a bath every day (osteoporosis and a host of other problems). I'm surprised the OT didn't suggest it.
Hi MaryPoppins
Sounds like the OT has done a great job. Have you followed up on the needs assessment though? Your caree may be a proud man but he should not be making you unwell and expecting you to be his sole carer. How can he take pride in that? Please do ring Social Services and ask for that assessment.