How do I get time out

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
I look after my mentally ill wife who suffers from psychotic depression, she also has other problems that are as long as my arm, ranging from IBS to arthritis in her lower back and is wheelchair bound, we have been married for 21 years and have been a full time carer for 4 years ( I used to work full time night shift), my wife needs me much of the day as she gets very agitated and have little time for myself, I get annoyed when I can't get the paperwork done and sometimes take it out on her, I don't mean to, I think that it is a lot of stress, but I find it really hard to get time for me, it means either getting up really early in the morning or staying up late into the early hours, but after a time, it starts to catch up and feel completely exhausted, I am currently waiting for an assessment, but it has already taken 2 months with no reply, I keep chacing them up, what I really need to know is how do other carers find time for themselves, sometimes it really drives me mad, doing the same thing without a break, I am still waiting to hear about restbite, that seems to be taking forever, could anybody give some advise how they cope.
Many thanks Mark. Image
Mark, you are special and you deserve a break. I'm Image that it appears that I am your first reply. I really hope that you are feeling better.

I have had times when I just haven't known which way to turn to get a moment to myself. It makes you feel helpless and resentful and a bit guilty too.

Sometimes it is easier to find someone to help you with the jobs that need doing rather than the caring and although that's not ideal it does take the pressure off a bit.

All the best
Mark, I am sorry I did not spot your message sooner, among the many!

I have not had to do this, but what comes to my mind is something like this, if you still have not had your Carer's Assessment: when you are feeling really fed up, stressed, tired etc., especially if it is outside normal office hours, telephone your local Social Services and tell them 'I don't know what I might do, I feel so desperate, I am getting no help or support'. If it does not get you at least an assessment pronto, keep doing it. Just keep telling them that you are so worried that you will not be able to care properly for your much-loved but very difficult to care for wife. The prospect of Social Services having to cover her care should improve their focus a bit.

I know that the business of chasing up services that are supposed to be there to support you is wearing, but at the moment, it is the way the system operates. You may be able to get support from a local Carers Support organisation or your GP/District Nurse, who may be able to 'encourage' SS to get their arses into gear.

I wish I could suggest something that would get you some support instantly, but that has never been the way life works, has it?
Hi Mark

I hope that by now you have had your assessment, it not get your GP to chase them up for you. My assessment took place 3 weeks after my GP got involved and they have provided me with 10 hours off over 7 days to have sometime to myself which started last week. It doesn't help with the tiredness - I've been up since 1.00 am today with my Mum, but it does mean that I can see friends and get out of the four walls that have literally become our prison. Tomorrow I have 3 hours off in the afternoon and I am even looking forward to visiting the crematorium to tend to my Dads grave, how sad is that for a life?? Image I bet it rains!
Good luck and let me know how things are now
Love Bluebird
Tomorrow I have 3 hours off in the afternoon and I am even looking forward to visiting the crematorium to tend to my Dads grave, how sad is that for a life?? Image I bet it rains!
Good luck and let me know how things are now
Love Bluebird
Hi Bluebird

I hope you enjoy your time off and that the sun shines on you.
Hi Rie

Thank you. Lets hope the sun shines on all of us tomorrow.

Blubird Image
Hi there

Its very hard to get respite care for mental health, believe me, I have been caring for my husband who has Bi Polar for over 26 yrs, and he know at 55 has other physical problems too, as happens to us all as we get older right? so even more caring is involved. I have been where you have, and its hard, very hard, bringing up our 2 children who are in their twenties now. We shouldn't have to cope alone, and it seems its the people that SHOUT LOUD ENOUGH that get heard, but why should we have to do this?

I have a care assessment and a fat lot of good that has done me, my husband is in hospital at the moment and no one looks at it.

I say, you need to keep on and keep on and keep on, this in itself is exhausting, and very stressful, but that is my experience of the system.

Mental health respite care for a carer is very hard to get.
I know EXACTLY what you are saying, when my wife was very poorly, I said to all of the proffesionals that we should have a meeting in the same room, as nobody would sort it out or couldn't be bothered, it was ME that had to organise this, it shows how much they really care, I have been looking after her for 23 years, its only the last 5 years that I have received any help, talking about shouting to make yourself heard, I must have shouted for England and restbite my wife's social worker comes around fortnightly all she ever says is I'll chase it up, she has been saying this for 3 months now, how long do you have to wait??
as you say it is very exhusting, trying to do their job aswell as our own.
You could always ask if it would be better to ask her manager to chase it up - and if she doesn't have the time, you will do it for her? Image