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Carers' health buckling under the strain - Page 3 - Carers UK Forum

Carers' health buckling under the strain

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I know that there are bigger issues that Carers UK need to address, but what about them getting behind this 'free courses or hefty concessions', it might be just a small victory and on the face of it not seem to mean too much to many, but it's a start, it raises the Carer profile, in the wider community. I believe it would do a lot of good, and help improve the lot of Carers.

Men/women, that suddenly have to take up the reins of running the house, shopping (but making the list by them selves) cooking, cleaning all the stuff perhaps they have never had to do, because their spouse or partner did all that sort of thing. Well they would benefit form a cooking/nutrition, course (basic, to start with), but as they become more confident there are so many things they could learn. Internet shopping, a bewildering concept for many that have never tried it, or are not very computer literate, would find life a little easier and less lonely (they could join Forums).

I'll leave it at that for now, I'm getting a bit dizzy up on this soap box Image
I worry about my own health only with respect to who would care for my husband if I needed an operation or had long periods when I was too ill to care. He would not do well in a care home and he'd probably refuse to go; even though realistically he would have no other choice. His daughters couldn't be bothered with him, of that I'm sure. His sister works and couldn't take care of him, even if she wanted to ... which I'm sure she does not.

My mental health? My husband's health is going downhill quickly and it seems these days I am always moments away from tears. I would see my GP if and when depression was getting the upper hand, but the reality for anyone in my position is that being happy is out of reach.
My husband needs surgery for an inguinal hernia. I need surgery for a prolapse (front and back) - its a ring holding my insides in basically and also need surgery for an umbilical hernia. Neither of us can have it because of the caring situation. We already both had surgery (although not for my umbilical hernia which I have had from birth but which has got a lot worse over the years) but the problems came back as soon as the extra help was withdrawn after six weeks or so. There is no point getting it all done again only for it to return once more because the caring sitation hasn't changed.

I'm so with you Stacey. Although i don't go to the gym I am a football fan and a season ticket holder for my local premiership club (Newcastle United). Since going on Facebook I have met up with other Newcastle fans. I used to go to the games by myself and go home almost straight after the game. But now, with my new found friends I get to talk to 'normal' people and have 'normal' conversations. Although there are times when I have to remind them that I am a carer and my isn't always my own. It's been a big help being able to talk about other things besides aches and pains and medication and listening to my mam talk about 'when she goes' and having her constantly being fixated on one (negative) thing that I haven't done instead of all the positive things I've done for her. I don't care for her for the gratitude and I know she is grateful for the things I do. I just wish she could concentrate more on the positive aspects instead of the negative ones. But I am so grateful to have my new friends. If I didn't have them I think I would have cracked long before now.
Eun, that's another side of the problem, isn't it? The lack of understanding of the impact of caring on your health - and the need to protect it once you've tackled a problem (like a hernia) or it all starts up again and you're worse off than when you first started.
For 10 years I had an unknown illness (because the doctors refused to send me for tests) that left me fatigued and excruciating pain in my muscles. Within 2 years of caring for my partner (now wife) my body is slowly collapsing. In 2 weeks time I am going to a hospital appointment in the hopes of a diagnosis and in the hope that whatever it is can be managed better. At the moment walking is difficult, bending even slightly is agony and the fatigue is unbearable, yet I try as determinedly as I can to push through it all so that my wife is cared for.

Recently my doctor thought there was a potential I'd had a mini stroke, in 3 weeks time I am seeing another doctor for a second opinion (on my original doctors advice) and I'll see what happens then.

My wife doesn't get respite care, nor do I think she would want it. Half of the time she struggles to get out of bed let alone getting dressed and walking to the living room, which is literally 10 steps away from our bedroom. The mental energy it takes for her to just sit on the sofa and have a drink is sometimes enough to send her back to bed.

I'm often reluctant to go to the doctors in case it's something that will take me away from being a carer. Often when i've been very ill or in unusual pain I have refused to go to A&E because there is no one that can look after my wife when I aren't here. Her mum looks after my brother in law who has cerebral palsy and has little time as it is, my mum works full time and as she doesn't drive and we live rurally she can't get here anyway. Everyone else works except for my sister who has 2 young children and she lives too far away. As it is our families struggle to accept the difficulties we face every single day, for a long time my wifes mum refused to believe that I was her carer at all because 'she doesn't need one', thankfully that has changed.
I haven't even seen my family for 3 weeks, the only time I get out is when we attend doctors or hospital appointments or when I struggle to take our dog for a walk.

I'd like to think it would be better with support but I suppose that would depend on what kind of support would be offered.
Jan and I have bad experiences (see 'who cares for the Carer, one of my older postings'). When the Carer is ill, the medical professionals promise, that here will be all sorts of care packages put into place to look after the person you care for. In our experience it's a load of b*+%^*s, in our case no help ever materialised. If it wasn't for our very good friends and neighbors, Jan would have been left in a right old state.

Also another thing to consider, is this hospitals, SS, have no realisation of the fact that the person that is cared for, will want and need to visit the Carer (regularly) whilst they are in hospital, there is no 'protocol' to facilitate this, and the hospital staff, don't consider it of any importance. Even though it's a well known fact that visits by 'loved ones' help people recover quicker, they seem to think that this is only the case if you are not a Carer, if you are, you don't need to see the person you love/care for, or so they seem to think.