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Define a Carer - Carers UK Forum

Define a Carer

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
How would you describe your job as a Carer to a person who is a Non-Carer?
As the 'mother' of a 91 year old 'toddler'!!! (Who is, thank heavens for my sanity, now in a 'boarding school for 91 year old toddlers' - aka care home for an elderly lady, my MIL, with dementia).

(She has regular outings with me, a frail reminder to her of 'normal life' alas, sigh.)
Being entirely responsible for the physical, mental, health and sociable wellbeing of my caree. Supporting with all aspects of life. Being their advocate. Being on call 24/7.

Doing this is exhausting, involves self sacrifice and can be isolating. It can also be rewarding and worthwhile.

It can be an act of love or performed out of a sense of duty, or a combination of the two.

Melly1
We are slaves...

Eun
That small rubber thing on the end of toy arrows eg a sucker.
Hazel, how would you describe it?

To me, I think the phrase is that of being 'on duty' for the caree. For some carers, that is 24/7 and incredibly intense and non-stop/full on (as it is for Eun).

One has to be unselfish to care - the more needs the caree has, the more unselfish the carer has to be. (Unless, like me, you've 'outsourced' it to professional carers.)

I've found that another key factor is whether the carer loves the caree. My caree is my MIL, and although I'm fond of her, there are no 'heartstrings' and that seriously limits how unselfish I'm prepared to be. Sad but true.

Sometimes, though, from reading some of the posts on this whole forum, I feel that carers can be too unselfish, and their carees too unappreciative! (Sometimes, of course, the lack of appreciation is not the caree's 'fault' because they have dementia. Not so sure about the ones that have depression.....maybe that will come back to bite me one day, and I'll be the one with depression!)
For the most part no one ever plans to be a carer, you are either launched into it by some crisis , or it creeps up on you unnoticed until one day , you wonder whether you might in fact be one and start reaching out to other people in the same boat comparing notes and feelings and come to the conclusion you've actually been one for some time whilst trying to carry on in a parallel normal world .
Henrietta wrote:For the most part no one ever plans to be a carer, you are either launched into it by some crisis , or it creeps up on you unnoticed until one day , you wonder whether you might in fact be one and start reaching out to other people in the same boat comparing notes and feelings and come to the conclusion you've actually been one for some time whilst trying to carry on in a parallel normal world .
Henrietta, you are SPOT ON!

Melly1
Certainly not a slave ... more of a hostage! :lol:
The person who didn't, or couldn't, step away from the needs of others.