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Carers' health buckling under the strain - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Carers' health buckling under the strain

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hi Linda,

When I read posts like this it makes me feel glad I don`t have siblings. I get all the sh1t to deal with but the decisions are all down to me at the end of the day. I am only one person, I can only do my best. Getting harder in my old age. I used to say "yes" to everything to please everyone. Now I just say "if I can" or "when I can".

Take care
Meg
What makes me laugh with my brother is that he was talking to my mam and we were trying to get him to delay his holiday to his daughter's place in Scotland by one day so that I could go to a friend's hen party and he said to my mam that I go out more than he does!!!!!!!!!!!! No-one stops him going out. He doesn't have to get any form of cover in order for him to go out. I actually have friends now that want to me to go out with them. I haven't had friends like that for a lot of years. Thanks to facebook and my love of Newcastle United I have friends now. If I didn't have them I would have had a breakdown a long time ago.
Sure, I'm probably in a minority here, but having a son with Downs Syndrome and looking at other people with DS made me very aware of the importance of physical fitness and a proper diet as a way to tackle obesity and poor coronary health, so for the last decade or more I have been supporting his activity programme and healthy diet myself, leading by example, because schools are nearly useless on the exercise front because they are obsessed with competitive sport to the detriment of participation, and just fill the kids with chips, fat and refined carbs to save money. Plus I quit my stressful management job and the long commute, so since my early 50's I work p/t from home. End result is that I'm feeling at least as healthy as I was ten years ago, maybe even more so. I even quit my smoking habit to improve my ability to keep up with sport and so I wasn't a bad example to the children. No, I am one of the lucky ones. I could even argue that caring saved my life, as my last boss (who was a total control freak and workaholic) recently died of a massive coronary, and he was five years younger than me.
I need a drs appointment and can't get one to fit the times when I have my respite sits. And yes I could leave hubs on his own but as our drs frequently runs up to an hour behind its not very practical.
Booksey,I can't get one at a time to suit my caring life either. I don't have the energy to keep trying.
Since my daughter (caree) has moved out, my health has, without a doubt, improved.
I have had serious health issues but if I were to categorise them, I would say the mental strain was the worst. Being under appalling pressure everyday leads to a battering of ones pyschological health which IMHO, is just as important as physical health needs.

I sometimes see posts (are your ears burning Scally? Image ) which say that we have the choice to care or not, that decision is up to us and nobody is forcing us to do it. It's true, sometimes we don't..but we love our carees so we do it. When people write that how could they leave their caree in the hands of those who seem incapable of following simple instructions, they are right.
Things do go very very wrong and it isn't a rare happening, it is common.

So they have the choice to stay..and watch their health gradually unravel over the physical exertion or their mind follow the same path for the same reasons..or to hand over the responsibility of care to someone else who might be able (or maybe not) to care (or not) to a reasonable standard and ensure caree is physically and psychologically looked after.

I had got to the stage where I sometimes hated my daughter for what she was doing to me, my family, my home and my life. I do not use the word hate lightly but if I cannot be honest on a Carers Forum, I cannot be honest anywhere. We did not have the support we needed but not due to Social services or anyone on my daughter's health team..her needs were such that we were told that even in an emergency, there could be no placement for her found by Social services..I know, to my everlasting shame I rang them up while she destroying my home and told them to please get her out of there. That is how desperate I was and as mum of 5, all older than her I was no pushover. Now I am in a position where I can look back and analyse I know that we didn't do anything wrong. Activities and care in her community were not an option for her and I never in my worst nightmares ever dreamt she would end up in a secure hospital, almost unheard of for someone with her condition. It works, she is doing well and has a life of her own and so do I. My mental health is the best it has been in years, physically I am up and down but I now have the choices to do things I couldn't before.

Now I know that was my circumstances and I will not make comparisons with anyone else as all our experiences are valid here (and I hate comparisons!) but when we talk of support for us, what do we want? I have raised this question before on the forum but will raise it again here as I do think it is pertinent.

What do we need to make our health better. Some refuse careworkers because their carees don't want them so what support do these people need. Respite, not if caree doesn't want to go.
Someone to take over their caring role..again, if the caree has complex needs, will their caree have proper care taken of them. Or more to the point, is it a risk that a carer is willing to take?

I'm sorry, I know it might not be a popular viewpoint but sometimes there just isn't any answers. Making statements about Carers health buckling is..pardon me..stating the blooming obvious..but we know that many carers (for all the right reasons) won't take a chance on someone else taking over. So will raising issues like this make any difference to us?

I'm not sure that it will but am awaiting expert opinions to put me right. Image

PS. Apologies for yet another mega post Image
ladybird,we are all human and miracles take longer so they say,your right you can be frank on a carers forum,why should people judge anybody without living through a certain situation,i smile when i see things on tv about depression and nervous breakdowns and think i'm doing well this month because i've not wanted to end it all or had a nervous breakdown this week,i care through love for my wife because i can and not worry about the time that i won't be able to.
Ladybird,thank you for your honesty.One of the reasons I find it so difficult to cope with the death of my younger son is because I had also hit rock bottom. I had begged for help and support, it was not available. I kept being told that if he was living alone, he would have better support,and I needed to make him homeless.This was told to me several times. In May 2008,I had reached the bottom, I could go no further down,but neither could I see a way up, all I was doing was pulling my family down with me. I begged Social Services for help,yet again. I remember the phone call, sitting there, crying my heart out like I had never done before.The Carers Assessment Manager told me that he would get an interview with some people who would support my son in finding him somewhere to live. My daughter and husband went with him for the interview.I felt(and I still feel),such a lousy mother for letting him down so badly).He was classed as homeless and several weeks later given a room at a hostel. Extended family on my husband's side, who have never bothered to help,suddenly turned up and said how horrible we were.Our son came home each evening for a meal,three days later was rushed into hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis. I only found out by accident.Hospital asked for someone else as next of kin,instead of me.At that moment, it was the lowest point in my life. I thought,as I had been told that my son walked into the ambulance, that he had requested me not to be there.I found out later that he was so ill after arrival at the hospital that they needed an anaesthetist there to support his breathing.They would have allowed him to die without a person who loved him there.Community Psychiatric nurse sawe him the next day and said he still needed to live away from us.He would get better help.A few weeks after that,and without our knowledge, Mental Health team signed him off their books completely.Eight months later,he was dead.
The worst decision I EVER made in my life was to listen to the people who said he would get support in the community. I am terrified of something similiar happening to my elder son,too afraid to trust professionals and their word,anymore.
A few weeks later,
Some of you may not consider this quite the appropriate place for me to bang my drum, for concessionary fees, or free courses for Carers, I would include Gym membership too.

I know not everyone has the spare time to even think about going to a Gym, but I think for those that could it would offer a great opportunity to help maintain/improve fitness levels (for all ages), as well as giving that ho so necessary break form the Caring roll. It would give Carers the chance to meet people, that are not necessary Carers, that would be a big change, I'm sure for many of us, imagine chatting about 'ordinary' stuff, about 'you' and how you are improving you fitness, planning and achieving new personal goals.
Jimbo,yes it is just the right place. I would love to be able to go swimming every day. I used to,when the children were small and I was still working.Our lives were well organised then, even with caring,and I really loved it.Now, it is just not an option. It costs £2.30 for a swim in off peak hours.
I agree, it is really good sometimes to meet with people who are not Carers, just to be able to look at the world in a different way and have a chat about things other than caring.