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Feeling stressed - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Feeling stressed

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Barrie, sounds likethe hospital just 'dumped' your mother on you, because they knew you would look after her!

In this harsh world of caring, you will find, grimly, that the 'authorities' are only too too happy to let families take the strain, to save the state money etc.

This is why you have to stand firm and stand your ground, and REFUSE to be 'the carer'.

You are a working man, you have a job, the need to bring in money. You are NOT some 'unpaid carer' for the state to benefit from!

The flaw in this argument, of course, is that most carees (the person being cared for) actually far, far prefers their own kith and kin to look after them, rather than the 'state'! So the caree 'colludes' with the hospital etc and blithely says things like 'Oh my son/daughter/husband/wife will look after me!' and the hospital simply says 'Oh, good', and hands them over.....

I'm going to recommend a bit of firmness in both directions. I'm afraid it isn't just a question of standing up to the hospital and saying 'actually, I'm NOT freely available to care for this frail elderly person with health needs!'......it's also a question of 'standing up' to your own mum.

It sounds like you are discovering there is a world of difference between looking after someone 'at a distance' - ie, with your own job, even if part time, from your own house/flat - and giving up your work and moving in to become a full time, 24x7 carer with not a vestige of a life of your own any more.

This is why I'm going to say what I'm going to say. Personally, my opinion (FWIW) is that you have to make clear to your mum that you NEED to work (and it doesn't matter whether you do or don't!), and that because of that, for while you are at work, an outside carer WILL be coming in to look after her.

You say she doesn't like 'strangers in the house' - well, no one does! But you CANNOT sacrifice your entire life to your mum - you just can't! She could live for years and years, and you wil lbe drained out like a husk, and gone dullally yourself with stress!

A regular carer will not BE a 'stranger' after a while! Your mum will get used to it, and you will keep your sanity.

As they get older, one thing has become clear to me - you become the parent, not the child, and you start to 'tell' them what is going to happen, not 'ask' them what they want (because what they want is YOU!)

You say you've become 'tetchy' with her, and hate it, and forthat reason if nothing else it's an indication you HAVE to be able to get away from her, even if that is at work.By limiting how much you do for her, how much time you spend with her, it enables you to continue to function, to keep your sanity, to retain just enough of your own life to keep going, and, best of all, to be glad of your mum's company when you have it, becuase you don't have it ALL the time.

All the very best, and be firm with both the authorities, and your mum.
Know how you feel, went down same route as yourself and very hard-isolation and financial ruin are result.
Getting right carer is not easy but have just found someone who C actually likes. Hope it lasts (however it is only for short time weekly)but the right person will do the trick of acceptance.
Good luck with making right decision, I very much oscillate between right/not right decision. Certainly friends said similar to Jenny Lucas and in some respects wish I'd listened.
Once faced with decision-it's harder. Easier to think things through in advance. Very best wishes for a cleverer route than I took. So hard to know what to do.
Hi Barrie,

You need to look after yourself before you look after your mum. You will be of no use to her if you end up in the hospital ward!

Difficult, I know, but if at all possible, I would not give up the part-time job. It is your lifeline to the outside world and will give you a chance to talk about something other than mum. This means that mum might have to accept strangers in the house.

I know it is difficult. My mum has had them for 5 years and still complains about it! You need to phone Social Services and request an urgent Care Assessment. Do not give mum the choice about this. This does not mean that you stop caring, it just means that you get a bit of help.

As for being tetchy, join the Tetchy Club. I am a full-time member. Caring is hard and we are not saints. Give yourself a break.
I completely agree with Anne's post. Don't give her a choice - just tell her what is happening, and that is that. You don't have to say 'this is for ever, Mum' - you can say things like ' we'll try this out and see how it works' ....and then keep everything 'temporary' and 'trying it out' etc etc.

One 'trick' in dealing with the elderly is to let them have their own way on the littel things that don't matter, so they still feel they get choices in life. It's like dealing with children !

All the best, stay firm - things will ease up if you do. Kind regards, Jenny
Tetchy Club member here too! Carees would like family carers 100% of the time, but we all need to have our own lives too. After all our carees had theirs, didn't they? Caring for a parent is inevitably going to end, and it is really important to have a life to go back to, however selfish it seems.
I used the 'well, you've been paying into this for years and now it's till to get your money back' approach to using all possible resources.
Exactly, Juggler! Yes, the NHS and SS are strapped for cash, but they have enough to pay mega salaries for their top executives. I stopped feeling 'guilty' about claiming 'our share' of the public purse when I started noticing the salaries being offered in the jobs section of the Sunday Times - things like part time executives on £40k plus for three days work blah blah blah.

Utterly disgraceful.

So yes, we should claim what we are entitled to, because believe me they will only spend the money on themselves otherwise!