[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 585: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 641: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
Can we care too much? - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Can we care too much?

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
A tough one this. I keep revisiting it. It applies to all of us on different levels and meaning different things to different situations.

For our situation - it currently means - am I loving S so much that I'm sacrificing my own life? Am I holding him back by not going for the residential place? If funding had been agreed earlier, I'd have been helping his transition all this summer. It would have been hard, but the place has the right skills, activities etc for a young man with asd. I don't want him to have to just go without proper gradual transition ... as I fear he will fail. Can wwe go on as we are? Once he is settled in the local college placement will he get over the way he is at the moment? Will he get enough out of the placement? Or is he ready for more? It is very hard trying to work this all out on your own. I can't consult him because it is too hard for him to imagine experiences he has not had due to his asd deficits.

Bumpy rally field yesterday, but hubby insisted on trundling himself out of the engine pen down the hill round to another part of the pens to talk to a friend (has big engines mounted on lorries). I said I'd go with him and he said no, he'd be all right. Most of our engine mates keep an eye on him if I visit the loo or go to fetch burgers/coffee etc, so I kinda knew that if he did get into difficulty, there would be someone there immediately to help him.
It was a bit traumatic watching him going along the bumpy field amongst all the public, but once he was with our friend I knew he was fine (I could see him, by looking across and underneath the lorry!).
Everyone else was watching too, to make sure he was ok.
He's a grown man, he doesn't want me around all the time and doesn't get much male company here, I have to have faith in HIS capabilites sometimes. My heart's in my mouth, but he knows what he can and can't do. It's hard though.
Apologies in advance if this post is long.

I have been thinking about this topic a lot, as usual Scally gives food for thought. I think in all honesty, it all comes down to the individual needs of the caree, there cannot be a "blanket" answer to the question.

Apart from her food issues, my daughter had/has a whole heap of behavioural issues that caused us massive problems. I often felt guilty that we were holding her back and stopping her from moving forward in the world, after all, how does one learn to deal with awkward situations unless one is exposed to them?

The problem is, in a ideal world, people would just ignore behaviours that seem odd/threatening but that doesn't happen does it? On quite a few occasions I have had to step in when caree has been challenged/threatened over what others perceive as an insult to them, usually caree staring at what they are doing. We have got some charming folks around here. But I digress...

On many occasions in the past I was called to school/college etc because caree had thrown a wobbly and was refusing to move. Yes, really. She would stand in one position for hours refusing to move and telling anyone that came near what they could go and do with themselves.
What usually followed was another long embarrassing session of me threatening, cajoling, pleading and sometimes physically trying to manhandle her out of the nearest exit. Teachers and security staff did not feel able to move her (teachers for obvious reasons, security for much the same reasons) and it all boiled down to the fact that she was my responsibility.

She has shown other strange behaviours such as calling the police and saying that she had injured others, that she wants to be arrested and locked up..all these I have HAD to deal with because the buck stops with family..she is our responsibility.

Yesterday I had a call from caree at her new residential home. She was hysterical, screaming and crying and saying she wanted to come home but the general "gist" of the call was the very same hat we used to get at home, screaming, threats of self harm, everyone hates her etc.

I knew there would be an end to the "honeymoon period" so to speak, when she would get fed up, or things were not going the way she wanted and we would get the call saying she wanted out. To try and clarify I rang staff and found out that she has smashed stuff up (as she did at home), has called the police 5 times (ditto), has lashed out at others (yep) and walked out necessitating a call to the police to bring her back as she is classed as a vulnerable adult.
Apparently she also took a swing at one of the police officers.

I have spent a night with very little sleep turning things over in my mind...naturally I was very disturbed at the turn of events and having to be very firm and telling her that she was in her new home an we would not be coming down to collect her.

For a very long time, I had felt that it was the semi restricted life she led with us at home that was causing her problems. Even though we tried to set up courses etc for her to go on, activities that she herself wanted to do, she usually did something that meant that they could not keep her on, she was more or less a liability. So..where does that leave someone who does have these types of problems? What are people supposed to do? It seems easy enough in theory to say "well, I can't deal with them" but to think that someone else is going to take up the slack when there are these kinds of issues is fantasy. We have been there..it doesn't work like that.

My caree is an adult. She is more than capable of making many personal decisions but is incapable of controlling her behaviour during one of her (hours long) outbursts, which compeletly affects her ability to make safe and rational decisions. She is a vulnerable adult. This has been proven while she lived at home and it has now sadly been proven now that she has moved to the home of her choice.

So, although sad, we know that her difficulties are the way her condition manifests itself in her personally, it doesn't matter where she is. It wasn't down to boredom, it wasn't down to her health, it wasn't down to us..it is just the way she is.

So, in answer to the question..I don't think it can have a definitive answer. There are times when it is appropriate to let go and times when it isn't..it all depends on the caree themselves.

Sorry for the megapost. Image
Ladybird, you have written some things here that we have had problems with,and I had forgotten,as time has moved on.
My son was forever phoning 999. He did it once at the local swimming pool when he was not with us but his Care Worker. Thankfully the police were always okay about it.
He would also sit down, precisely where he was if he had had enough of something,and he would not move. He did this once in WH Smith, right in the door, where nobody could get in or out of the shop. WH Smith is one of his favourite shops,and he wanted to spend the day there!Trouble is,the staff were not a pleasant bunch,and the more they were harassing us, the more stressed we became,and the more difficult is was to find any way to move our son.
The same happened one time in Tesco,when he was with a Care Worker.He sat at the till,and would not move.The manage in Tesco came over and ordered the Care Worker to get him away from the till!!!!Thing is, people were gathered round watching, so my son was then playing to the audience. It was only wth bribery that they got him away from the till in the end.
At school once, he refused to get on the bus home, so the staff said,"we will have to leave you here then" Mistake, as he was delighted, went to sit on a bed in the respite unit and stayed there until he could be persuaded otherwise!
Another time at school, a teacher told him off in the playground. She had called him over to talk to him one-to-one,which seemed to be their policy,and he ran off. Went out of the playground, into a stranger's garden and into their house, locking the door behind him!
Respite was another fun time. Care Staff listened to me when I said that the windows would need to be locked as he would trty climbing out otherwise.unfortunately, they did not listen hard enough to want to lock the windows. Thankfully they were on the ground floor. At 1am, they had a knock on the front door of the hostel and it was him, he had been for a walk!
As he gets older my son is less likely to do things like this,and then all of a sudden ,he will do something of this sort for no apparent reason at all.
(He stopped phoning 999, after we did it for real when our tumble drier went on fire. It made him realise the importance of leaving the number for people in real trouble.)
I do wish that I could be my son for 24 hours, to see exactly how his mind works, as he is so intelligent, but only with what HE is interested in, which tends to be football, music and James Bond. (plus his ideal career, as he has decided he will be the next Dr Who).
Your damned if u care and your damned if u dont. Ive been a carer for 20 odd years of various family members and I still am ( now age 51). If I dont care who will?? being told I dont qualify for government help ( what little there is of it). probably because the govt knows Im there to do it all. but if I wasnt who would??
All other workers may work from sun to sun but is a carers work really ever done?? ( i dont feel like it is ).
i let amy live
she goes to chessington and goes on rides shes barely tall enough for and s braver than any adult i know
she has had a friend to stay and ive even got her a proper pushbike (early birthday pressie)

since we have moved she has not become more physically capable shes just not giving a care- she will do wot she can as best she can and if some one dont like it then she says tough- she enjoyed her self
she has said she feels not so dissabled even though ive noticed her decline , slowly but its happening
shes walking less, getting tiered more . but shes trying so hard
ive taken a step back and i watch her with pride , not smothering her means i can see HER as aperson more and blimey shes a gr8 person... always my baby, always a star and i hate letting her grow up, thank god for cerys! but then she will grow up as well Image be nice to freeze them how they are as they r both so lovely!
It's not the caring that is the problem, it's how it manifests itself.

As some of the members have so eloquently pointed out, you can become too protective or too suffocating of the person you care for. Then the caring becomes selfish. It is more about you and less about them.

My daughter went backpacking across europe with a friend when she was seventeen. She didn't have a mobile in those days. I hated the thought of her being out there on her own facing uncertain dangers. She came back after three weeks buzzing with excitement full of stories of her adventures. I wouldn't have denied her those experiences for the world.

I still maintain that you can never care too much. That doesn't mean you have to be there physically every moment of their lives.
Blue eyes
This is a really complex topic and it varies greatly from person to person but I do wonder if we're not encouraged to 'let go' even when our 'children' need the continued support and even boundaries that are afforded to them when they're younger.

We (as a society) seem to be quite focused these days on chronological age and have lost sight of the fact that many of these young people will always be just that... young people. My son's nearly 20 but to leave him home alone would be as irresponsible as leaving a 4 year old home alone. Having said that there are areas where he is capable and has many strengths and I encourage him to do as much for himself as he can while accepting that in some areas he will always need support.

Maybe the answer (for me anyway) is that No we can't care too much... but we can mollycoddle and prevent our children from flourishing to their full potential so it's about recognising the fine line between the two.

exactly, everyone focuses on the chronological age but few think about emotional age. my daughter is 27 legally but barely a teen emotionally. soooooooooo what should i do ?? let her go cos she is legal but if i do im condemned cos she isnt emotionally up to speed
exactly, everyone focuses on the chronological age but few think about emotional age. my daughter is 27 legally but barely a teen emotionally. soooooooooo what should i do ?? let her go cos she is legal but if i do im condemned cos she isnt emotionally up to speed
Its a chicken and egg dilemma]http://www.carersuk.org/images/icon_lol.gif[/img]