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Time and Motion - Carers UK Forum

Time and Motion

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Just wondered how many of you have ever checked exactly how much "care" you give in a week. I don't mean for purposes of DWP claim but in reality just for curiosity sake.
I've been tempted to do this because some times it feels like I never stop but when I write down what I do , it doesn't seem to amount to much.
What would you include? For example getting a family member a meal (perhaps you would be doing this anyway without the care tag).
If you've always sort of done some jobs each in house and garden , but over the years you gradualy realise you are doing 100% of them , again what would you include?
If you do something for mutual benefit such as cleaning the sink? Would you count it?
Would you count things you do now that you didn't do before because of your role as a carer- eg travel time in new job which fits in with DWP earnings restricitons.
Do you count being awake in the night with worry? trip to bank that you weren't otherwise going to make just when you are passing?
I am always wanting to do this but never know what to count or how to break things down into caring and normality (what was that as my current life bears no resemblance to former life)
Interesting ot hear your thoughts.
It might be easier to do it the other way round actually. Try working out what time in the day you are doing something exclusively for you. Whilst I know you may have prepared, eaten, washed up a joint meal; would you really have chosen to eat that, there, and then if it wasn't for being a carer? Would you rather have eaten with friends, or a takeaway, or pub? Look at the clothes you wear. Do you chose them because they are pretty and feminine, or because they are "practical" for caring? It's a very sobering exercise to do this. I know that I only feel free from caring able to do what I please, when I'm on holiday in Crete.
I agree with BB, I think there's very little most of us do that's as we'd do it if we weren't looking after someone else - even if I'm not with my boy (which isn't often) I'm always very aware of the time as I need to get back to him, I've got to make sure I've got my phone on and it's charged in case there's an emergency, I have to prioritise what I need/want to do so that the important stuff happens regardless of time etc so I think a lot of the time you're still 'caring' even when you're not, if you see what I mean?
Carings just the same as being in the Fire or Ambulance services..

The crews are still on duty whether they're running on 'blues & two's' or whether they're just waiting for a callout.

And so are us carers.
So, so true. When we were supporting all four elderly parents, all with serious health problems, we nicknamed ourselves "Thunderbirds" ready to jump at a moment's notice. I even gave up the occasional glass of wine just in case I needed to drive. (One New Year's Eve I had to tell the call centre that I couldn't visit mum as I was "over the limit". It didn't go down well!!!)
Thanks - that all sounds good advice and yes I really only feel like it's me time when I manage to get away completely. I can certainly identify with that need to get back all the time.
I will do that , count the me time, so next question is -does that include walking my dog (she is mine and I would be doing this anyway) and does it include flaking out in front of the tv feeling clapped out LOL.?- or in deed sleeping?
Henrietta wrote:Thanks - that all sounds good advice and yes I really only feel like it's me time when I manage to get away completely. I can certainly identify with that need to get back all the time.
I will do that , count the me time, so next question is -does that include walking my dog (she is mine and I would be doing this anyway) and does it include flaking out in front of the tv feeling clapped out LOL.?- or in deed sleeping?
Hi Henrietta,

The standby part of caring is still caring so far as I'm concerned.

I'm not actually doing anything for my wife at the moment but I'm on hand in case she needs something.
Henrietta,

I guess walking the dog counts as me time but don't under-estimate the amount of being on call time. When mum was alive, I refused invitations outside a certain radius in case I needed to get back quickly. In fact the mobile became a chain round the neck in some senses. Even now, some months on, my heart still pounds when the phone rings.
I agree with the others, Henrietta.

Being on call is exhausting and part of caring. I realise how on call I am when ever I try to do something uninterrupted and fail e.g. A 10 minute relaxation listening to my iPad and I get called, watching something on TV (even a short news story,) typing a post from start to finish on here ...

The meals I cook have to suit S's dietary needs, so I often end up cooking two variations of the same meals, he produces a lot of washing etc These aren't the things that wear me out however, it is the total lack of ME time except once a week on Mondays.

Melly1
Even though mum now spends the mornings in bed and comes down at lunchtime the 'baby' monitor is on, and I am working out what tidying etc I can do best in the time I have. It is sort of me time but with conditions. Once she is down I am constantly watched or feel watched as she has her eyes closed most of the time. As she has just refused the chance of a room at a local private care home none of this is going to change any time soon.
Me time as far as hobbies or interests have all but disappeared, apart from knitting and even that's beginning to loose it's appeal.
Tracy