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Allowing myself to enjoy a holiday - Carers UK Forum

Allowing myself to enjoy a holiday

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Evening everyone.

I have been caring for my dad for years. He's 90 and very up and down. One week we think he's dying ...two weeks later he's working in the garden. He has depression ... anxiety attacks due to bad untreatable vertigo, Parkinson's and prostate cancer.

I had to take five weeks off work to care for him earlier this year after a fall. Since then I've not had a day off... I'm either working my job or working in the home we share.

I have ten days holiday booked in Sept ...and true to form ..my dad has suddenly developed blood in his urine which has made him go into panic mode. He has seen the gp and will do again on Monday. But he's gone very withdrawn and I can sense that he's going into one of his 'im dying dont leave me ' periods. Common sense tells me its the cancer but we will see. However ..it's already making me feel like I can't reasonably go away on my holiday and if I do go how do I stop myself worrying and feeling guilty or like I'm abandoning him. He won't allow anyone else to live in with him ...he has no other care or help but me. My sister will visit him when I'm away. But as much as I feel I need the break ...I dont know how to let myself actually relax and enjoy it.

Any advice or experiences appreciated.
Ask your GP if you need a break. When my mum was very ill her GPpractically ordered me to go away whatever happened, as I had my own health issues, and was utterly exhausted.
You cannot do anything to make dad better, sad but true. If he refuses outside help, that is his choice. He must not try to bully, intimidate, or subtly blackmail you. He needs you to be well! I'm not good at doing nothing, but always take some light reading. I love sitting in the shade reading, watching the world go by. Enjoy your holiday, you've earned every moment.
Hi babybyrd
The Guilt Monster (as we call it) rarely disappears altogether but there are ways in which it can be minimised.
First of all you put into place whatever care Dad needs while you are away. Note that is care he NEEDS. It may not be what he wants, but as someones care NEEDS grow their WANTS have to decrease in proportion. If Dad then refuses that care, that is his decision and is NOT your fault.
You will need to be clear and firm and unwavering. You need to believe that you deserve and NEED this break ( and regular breaks too)
(Of course if his needs do change radically before you go, medically, then it is upto you whether you defer the trip )
Have you looked into him going somewhere for a little holiday while you are away, this may be a short stay in a local care home i.e. respite care? Could he go stay with sister?

You need to decide for yourself how much his 'phases' are physically real and how much they are psychologically induced to get you attending to him.

You may well find the stress of arranging care, worrying while you are away and coping with a sulk when you return diminish the good a break does, BUT it will still bring benefits. Worn out stressed out carers become ill. Who will look after him if you cannot due to you being poorly?

So no easy answer. Sorry.
You deserve this break .i would go on holiday.as your sister will be popping in im sure she can make sure hes coping ok.life is too short not to do things for yourself..im slowly learning this myself
Thank you ladies
I know I need this break ... guess part of me feels that I need permission to go ...I also think once I'm actually away from the usual surroundings then the carer part of my brain/heart will be able to switch off for a bit. Thank you