[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
Caring for parents and elderly relatives - Carers UK Forum

Caring for parents and elderly relatives

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Like it or not many of us are living longer and as we approach the end of our lives, many of us need more rather than less care. Often it falls to the next generation – the adult children, relatives, sometimes even neighbours or friends – to pick up the reigns. We’re looking at what happens when you’re called on to provide this kind of care for parents and other relatives.How involved are you? Are you able to share the responsibilities with your siblings or other relatives? What impact does caring for them have on your own life and other family responsibilities. Have you thought about moving a parent in with you or perhaps moved into their home instead. Or perhaps you’ve helped to move them into some kind of sheltered accommodation or care home. We’re going to be exploring the other side of the coin too – how it feels to ask for help when living independently becomes a problem. Author Carol Lee joins Jane in the studio. Her memoir Out of Winter, explore how she cared for her parents long distance. We also hear from listeners and from Nel Hales, who is still living independently at the age of one hundred.
you can listen to the programme here
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03wphhn
Yes this is so true. We cannot deny the fact that sooner or later we will have the responsibility of giving our elders the time and care they need. But options and choices are just in our way, it's either we our time personally or we hire people or establishment that will do the thing. Think twice and make the best decision for your family, they are worth sacrificing for.
"Think twice and make the best decision for your family, they are worth sacrificing for."

Is that always true? It's true lots of times, hopefully the majority of times, but simply from reading some (the minority, luckily) of the posts here it's clear (to me at any rate!) that some elderly relatives don't 'deserve' consideration as they have handed out nothing but contempt for and exploitation of their own family in years gone by.

Someone who's treated their children abominably in the past does, not, to my mind, deserve any sacrifice by those mis-treated children now they want them to look after them in their old age and infirmity.

And sometimes, too, it is not 'family' directly that are in need of care, but relatives by marriage, and then again, the issue of 'sacrifice' is a more dilute one. Then it becomes far more of a 'moral duty' because there is no love to tug the heartstrings.

In my own (personal) Moral Code, someone who has been selfish and self-centred in their youth does not necessarily stop being selfish and self-centred as they become old.

Hopefully, though, as I say, the vast, vast majority of ageing parents are lovely, loving people for whom their children would willingly and justifiably do a great, great deal, and rightly so.
This topic almost always opens a can of worms. There is another side to it all too. That is when providing paid care to another person would have a negative effect on someone you already care for, and would be detrimental to your own health. Saying NO is alien to many carers, no matter the circumstances. Something I never ever thought I would say but was faced with recently.

Yet standing my ground has worked out better for all concerned. The said person is accepting paid assistants going in, 4 times a day, and although has refused care many times in the past, they now look forward to the care visits. Soc services are heavily involved, acute nursing teams on call 24/7, district nurses call twice a week and community matron once a week. Yet leading to discharge had I said yes I was willing to do it all, we would not have been given this package.
I am still doing stuff, washing, shopping, some meals but the heavy end and nursing care has been left to others.

I have faced criticism within the family, I see the looks on some of their faces. Yet not one of them knows what it is like to walk in my shoes. One did ask why I said No - however the reasons are personal and none of their business.

Even with the above, knowing deep down it was the right decision to make for all concerned, it still takes time to come to terms with a sense of guilt.

x x
Rosemary, you and I don't always see eye to eye on all topics (cans of worms indeed!!), but I applaud your courage in posting the post above, and I think too, what is most heartening, is that how NOT going down the self-sacrifice route has NOT been detrimental to the caree in question, but actually the reverse!

Yours seems a shining example of what can be done to achieve a balance between the needs and wants of both carers and carees.

Kind regards, and good wishes, Jenny.

PS - Also, for some folk (definitely me!), the aspects of caring that are actually least onerous are the 'doing' ones, eg, shopping, cooking, washing, sorting bills etc. The aspects that grate most are the 'spending time with' the caree ('companion caring' if you like) - the boredom of their company, their interests which are those of very old people (!) (eg, daytime tellly!)(LOTS of daytime telly!)(that said, THANK GOD for daytime telly, for when reading and even looking through magazines is no longer possible). Maybe a good indicator of whether someone will make a good 'companion carer' rather than a 'housekeeper carer' is how one responded to childcare. I found doing all the making the baby food, doing the baby laundry etc etvc SO much more enjoyable than having to entertain a small baby...SO boring!(after half an hour or so!).

By the same token, 'companion caring' is very often best undertaken in 'shifts' or 'relays', as spending an hour with a very old person may be absolutely fine and dandy, and even enjoyable (reminiscing about family history for example, etc etc) (I can even enjoy daytime telly for an hour!)....similarly, these days, twenty years on, I'd actually love to have a baby or toddler to enjoy for an hour or two. It's the 'non-stop' companion caring that is so, so wearing to temperaments like mine.
Rosemary, you and I don't always see eye to eye on all topics (cans of worms indeed!!), but I applaud your courage in posting the post above, and I think too, what is most heartening, is that how NOT going down the self-sacrifice route has NOT been detrimental to the caree in question, but actually the reverse!

Yours seems a shining example of what can be done to achieve a balance between the needs and wants of both carers and carees.

Kind regards, and good wishes, Jenny.

.
We probably have more points we do agree on than disagree. Image

However, it is not so much disagreeing with each other, it is more a case of each situation is unique. We all travel different paths, our lives been so different. The relationship we have with the person/people we care for can be different. My coping tactics may not work for someone else, and vice versa. All we can do is share our experiences, both ups and downs, and hope to learn from each other.
"Think twice and make the best decision for your family, they are worth sacrificing for."

Is that always true? It's true lots of times, hopefully the majority of times, but simply from reading some (the minority, luckily) of the posts here it's clear (to me at any rate!) that some elderly relatives don't 'deserve' consideration as they have handed out nothing but contempt for and exploitation of their own family in years gone by.

Someone who's treated their children abominably in the past does, not, to my mind, deserve any sacrifice by those mis-treated children now they want them to look after them in their old age and infirmity.
My mother fell into this category when she became ill. I needed to forgive her for things she'd done because if I had abandoned her at the time she desperately needed help then I would have become like her. And even if she ran away at signs of trouble, I didn't want to.

So I worked hard to forgive her. It wasn't easy, but afterwards, mostly all I saw was an old ill woman who had made many mistakes in her life, who had hurt me often, but did not now need me to treat her in the same way. So I cared for until she died.
We also change: our personalities and interests are not static, and as we grow older, the pleasure of spending two hours crawling around on the floor with a stack of duplo bricks and a lively puking toddler may begin to pall. With the very frail elderly, for almost all of us, their sheer fragility makes it impossible not to feel empathy and kindness, but with the more cantankerous and demanding parent, it can be sheer torture.
This thread has really struck a chord for me today. My lovely Dad had yet another fall last night - it's always when he's getting his dinner. I won't go into chapter & verse, but he was lying on the kitchen floor for 4 hours - a combination of him deciding NOT to press his lifeline immediately, in the hope that he would suddenly be able to move and turn the oven off Image , then waiting for ambulance - which wasn't an ambulance, it was one lone female paramedic, then waiting again for ambulance crew to help lift him. And me with a trapped nerve in my elbow trying to clear up chips that had by now been ground into the carpet, random bits of turkey escalope littered here and there, and blood from the kitchen cabinets at just past midnight.

My kids & I have been agonising as to what we should now do, and he phoned me this afternoon to ask me if I wanted him to move into a home. My gut reaction kicked in and I said "no way" - which is the truth - and he cried, and said "thank you, thank you so much. At this point I'm not sure how I kept it all together, but it did give me the opportunity to say to him that maybe we need to think about getting someone in to do his dinner and give it to him and have a quick clean up in the kitchen, which I think he took on board and we've agreed to have a chat about it tomorrow.

Well, since I put the phone down to him I've shed floods of tears, because his only concern is the strain his now quite frequent falls are having on ME. He's so lovely and I know he would HATE to move from the home he & my Mum shared. He's 94 this year and no one is infinite, so I just hope I'm doing right by him (and my Mum, who asked me the week before she died if I would look after my Dad and I promised her I would, and I will.)

Yes, I've sacrificed quite a bit to look after him. Yes, I'm completely on my own, no siblings and both my children live some way away. Yes, there are times when I could easily make a dent in the wall banging my head against it. Yes, he can be a stubborn old so-and-so at times, Yes my health has suffered.

Would I have it any other way? Don't have to think about that for a nano-second. No I wouldn't.
Ladybird, I can quite see why you are OK with making sacrifices for him - and I would say a major part (to my mind) is how appreciative he is of what you do!

I think getting someone in to help in the evenings is an excellent idea, and I do hope it works out well for both him and yourself.

Kindest wishes, Jenny