Hi, I'm the latest newbie
My sister & I look after our elderly parents. Mum is 80 with Parkinsons, continence issues, arthritis & hypotension as well as other bits and bobs. Dad will soon be 80 and is diabetic, has osteoporosis in his spine, arthritis and is generally just getting older & frailer & forgetful with each passing day.
Both my sister & I have health issues of our own (she's diabetic and ceoliac: I've fibromyalgia & perncious anaemia with a dash of severe IBS thrown in for good measure), and I try to work full time - though between my health issues and hospital/doctor appts - well, let's just say I have a very supportive line management at work, for which I am very very grateful, but I do feel guilty that I can't fulfil my contractual terms and that I end up with menial tasks even though I do have a reasonable level of intelligence. One day they will have to sack me, or I will have to resign and I have no idea how we'll cope with the financial situation. However, one tries to keep some form of perspective - I'll deal with it when it happens (I hope)! lol
I just find it incredibly lonely - the friends I had when I was well and when I didn't have as much responsibility at home - they're still there but they don't find it easy dealing with someone who can't just drop everything and go out for a day or an evening or have to cancel at the last minute.
After the last round of hospital admissions, I have managed to get some care organised - we have an OT and some professional carers who come in twice a day to help get mum up and dressed and into bed at night, which helps give us a little bit extra time for those nagging things like housework. I'm hoping for some respite but money is tight so even if I can get it, I won't be heading off for a nice restful few days away, I might be able to have a day or two out and that would be nice.
My escape is the internet, my cats and my painting & knitting (in the winter) and embroidery/tapestry (in the summer) as well as fiddling in the garden - but more intensive things & things which require more commitment - difficult as the firbo can flare at any time and not always with warning.
My sister & I have been caring for 10 years now, not surprisingly, it is getting more intensive.
And that's the readers digest version of life at the moment.