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Where do I start.....? - Carers UK Forum

Where do I start.....?

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
As the subject suggests I don’t know where to turn at the moment :-??? So many things going on Firstly I am looking after my mother who has dementia, step father in hospital (due to be discharged soon with a care package 4 x a day) and son with severe anxiety disorder. My mum is not too bad (yet) Some days are very difficult. My step father has been in hospital over 4 months after a fall at home, then a fall in hospital resulting in a fractured hip, then a collapsed lung and repeat chest infections. My son is almost 22 living at home, not working, has previously been in a lot of trouble with the law including a stint in young offenders (which isn’t helping the job situation), has a pregnant girlfriend and suffering with worst anxiety I have seen, he has been to emergency department at least 8 times in 6 weeks only to be told nothing physically wrong with you - thinks he is having a heart attack constantly! I work 5 days a week 8-2. My husband (his father) works full time. My daughter is also pregnant with her third child due any day and I am to be honest totally burnt out I don’t know how long I can go on like this I have no quality of life because all my time is spent either working or running after someone! Finding everything so difficult. And to top it all off the menopause! Sorry for lengthy post but needed to get it all out there before I burst :(
Lordy, to much to cope with by a country mile (whatever that is...)

Time to 'simplify and prioritise'.

Firstly, your daughter has two previous children, and knows what to do! Leave her to it!!!!!!!!! (And it was HER choice to have a third, so she can't moan for that reason - if she is!) (her choice, her responsibility).

Second, the pregnant g/f - has she family of her own? When is she due? It was clearly hopelessly irresponsible of her and your son to start a baby in such adverse circumstances, but 'too late now' sigh (and maybe they thought having a baby would cheer them up, etc etc, sigh again) (who knows, maybe it will - could be the making of your son you know, having to man up and take responsibility!)

Thirdly, your mum/stepfather. Hmm, will your stepfather actually be able to do ANY care for your mum with dementia? It sounds like things have 'gone through' to another set up now, and can't 'go back' to the way they were.

I totally get how you are totally torn and totally overloaded. I think 'sorting your mum/stepfather' is the priority, as the pregnant women can wait! (till when, though?)(Where is the g/f going to be living - at home with her parents, setting up with your son, in single accommodation - DO NOT LET HER MOVE IN WITH YOU!)
Hmm not convinced I’m I right forum with the suggestion that someone with a mental health problem should “man up and take responsibility” clearly never suffered a mental health issue and if so you would know that “manning up” is not as easy as suggesting. Thanks for your input though.
Don't give up with the forum
Lots of experience on here, all types of issues crop up. I have found it very supportive.
Lots will be along with advice on you getting the support you really need. We do have a saying that is true, that NEEDS have to to priority over WANTS, in order to keep going.
Although my circumstances are different to yours, is, what I WANT is to be able to care for my husband myself, however his NEEDS far outweigh what I want.
So hang fire, and hear the options that will be no doubt offered to you.
((( Hugs)))
I'm sorry, mental health is outside my experience but I can well believe that 'manning up' is an offensive term, as though suffering from chronic anxiety were a sign of weakness. I hope others will be along with better advice. What is the situation with your mother - you say you are looking after her, but that she is not too bad, but obviously things are likely to get worse. In the circumstances, are those careworker visits going to be enough for your stepfather, or does the whole thing rely on you being available to look after your mother because it would be too much for him - because it seems to me you have more than enough on your plate with your son. Is that a safe hospital discharge? Are there others you can talk the situation through with? Are the parents of your son's girlfriend on your radar? Is your stepfather a support at least mentally?
Absolutely not a solution whatsoever for a situation that really must change, but have you considered HRT? It is no longer seen as cancer-inducing and it can cheer you up. But I don't really believe strengthening you is the way to go.
I'm sorry I can't be of more help - I really feel for you.

Everyone has a breaking point. You have now become what I call a "Clapped out carer". You have done too much for too long. If you don't take some action now, your health will fail. My husband had a massive heart attack and died. Don't let this happen to you.
Your role needs to change to that of care MANAGER, making sure that everyone has the care they need provided by someone else, rather than provide hands on care. Counselling looking at how to manage everyone's competing demands on your time would be hugely helpful. I found it life changing.
I'm regarded by my friends as being hugely capable, but I was disabled in a car accident, soon after I found my husband dead in bed, with a son with severe learning difficulties and a business to run on my own.
Nevertheless, my housebound mum would "save" jobs for me when she had carers 3 times a day, a cleaner, and a gardener!!!

I don't know much about mental health, so I'll start with mum and dad.

Mum and dad both have very high care needs which are just going to get higher and higher.
How those needs are best met now, and in the future depends on various things.
How old are they?
Is it realistic for them to stay in their own home?
Do they have over £46,000 in savings?
Do they own their home?
Do you have Power of Attorney?
Have the hospital done a Carers Assessment for you?
Visited your parents home to see suitability?
Are they aware of mum's dementia?
Thank you for your replies.
Yes “manning up” is not a term to be used with MH issues. No I’ve never had a care assessment done. Meeting with SW on Wednesday to discuss step fathers discharge and care package- apparently they don’t need to do a home visit. He is no way capable to look after my mum as the discharge is on the terms of a one level living which given the bedroom/bathroom is upstairs he’ll basically be living in his bedroom. He is 78, my mum is 81. I have POA for my mum but not my stepfather (he has no family). Own their home and between them have over £40k savings separate accounts.

Think my issue is more guilt not being able to “juggle all the balls”
In anticipation of a hospital discharge ... the BIBLE :

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-se ... -hospital/

NHS GUIDELINES ... both for NHS hospitals and the patients !

Being armed and forewarned is a distinct advantage ?
Not easy, but I have learned to change the word guilt to sad. A lovely person, no longer on the forum, suggested it, and it helps us all who feel the guilt monster on our shoulders. Sad, because of what has happened, but not guilty, as none of it is our fault.
You have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about, as you have been coping in very difficult circumstances. Now it's time to try to make life more bearable for yourself, in order to carry on.
Thank you all for your advice and thanks for the link Chris - very helpful