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Define a Carer - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Define a Carer

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
jenny lucas wrote:Hazel,how would you describe it?
Some very good answers here. I would say if you care 24/7 and have done so for several years, then you are an expert Healthcare Professional. This is the truth but sadly society does not view us that way, (until it happens to them.)

We are the backbone of society and save the NHS billions as well as the Government.

It is true we do not feel appreciated, depending on the comprehension of the cared for.

Carers are the most hardest working people, no one sees what goes on behind the scenes, they just focus on the cared for.

Yes, you have to be selfless to be a Carer, laying down your life for your loved one, but you learn to be compassionate and a fighter.

In short Caring is a labour of love.
A to Z of what a Carer is?
Advocate/appointment maker
Bank manager
Cook/cleaner/companion/champion
Daughter/Decorator/Decision maker
Eyes and ears
Financial Advisor/faeces disposer
Gardener
Housekeeper/Home help/Hairdresser
Ironer
Junk disposer
Keeper/knitter
Laundress
Mediator/Morale booster/memory
Nurse/Nanny
Organiser
Pamperer/pill dispenser/protector/pressure sore monitor
Quality of Care checker
Reader/Reminder
Shopper/Scribe/Secretary
Timekeeper/Trustee/Teamaker
Urine monitor
Visit organiser/Voice
Window cleaner
Xmas organiser
Yesterday recaller
Zzzzzzzzzzzz comfortable sleep ensurer
Feel free to add any I've missed!
Elaine
Wow ,if you can do all that mr C ,we are going to take away some of your benefit ,and there is nothing you can do about it .
Hazel_1510 wrote:How would you describe your job as a Carer to a person who is a Non-Carer?
I wouldn't bother trying since the non-carer will glaze over after the first few sentences.

It's a bit like the "How are you?" question, all the asker wants you say is "I'm fine".
I agree - it's like trying to explain to a non-parent why being a parent to a newborn leaves you totally knackered!

I can remember when the first woman in our office to have a baby came back from maternity leave, and I made some jokey remark about how she had to knuckle down now again after months of swanning around at NCT coffee mornings, and she just looked at me and said bleakly 'You have absolutely NO IDEA what it's like.....'

I simply never realised that babies DO NOT SLEEP and ALWAYS NEED ATTENTION......

When I 'inherited' my MIL two years ago, and was looking after her myself, it was like that all over again (well, she did sleep at least!)....but I became absolutely desperate to 'put her down somewhere' so that I could 'run away' (back to my own life again....)

If I were still looking after her I'd be suicidal by now - and she is simply a nice elderly lady of whom I'm fond, which is incredibly 'light' in comparison with what others here have to contend with - but it was the utter loss of my own life that I simply couldn't believe was happening - I couldn't believe it - it was like being hijacked.....I revolved entirely around her....
I agree Jenny it's like you live your life in a freeze frame, your life and needs are put on hold by the one giant pause button that is caring.

It used to be like that for a decade, but caring is much more different now, in a positive way.

I guess some people will always be crass & ignorant
When you are caring for a parent, you know that is time limited. If you have a disabled child it's a life sentence. However well qualified you are, there is little hope of a career and financial security unless there are reliable care options in place.
bowlingbun wrote:When you are caring for a parent, you know that is time limited. If you have a disabled child it's a life sentence. However well qualified you are, there is little hope of a career and financial security unless there are reliable care options in place.
Sad but true BB. When I had my carer's assessment (which was with the wonderfully supportive and realistic head of children's services early help) and I said what I really wanted was to get back to work, she just looked at me with a knowing glance and said "let's try to find something realistic as a goal" :shock: :cry:
BB, yes, it's true that with the elderly, there is a finite amount of time one will have to be their carer for ...BUT....of the course the devil is in the 'how long though?' question. To me, it's the 'not knowing' how long my MIL will stay alive that is the problem psychologically. Because one doesn't know, one can't 'pace' oneself, in terms of caring.

If we knew for certain, for example, that a parent only had a year left to live, we could find the energy and will to do so much more for them, but because we have to assume they 'could' last for years and years, we can't keep the caring at that same level. So we caught by the 'sods law' factor - we could give brilliant 24/7 care for a year, and then discover they are still alive ten years later, and we're on our uppers with exhaustion and those ten years of our lives gone for ever, or we could give 'minimal' care, and then they have died within a year and we are tormented with guilt....

I do realise that in practice we just have to be 'non-tormented', and only provide the care we can cope with, as and when.

Elaine's predicament particularly terrifies me, that she started to look after her mother at 91, but her mum is still going strong at 99.....
PS to my earliest post:

Being a carer equates to "what feels like putting your life on hold" whilst you invest all your energies into meeting the needs of someone else.... for an infinite period.

Melly1