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Carers UK Forum • Has caring affected your diet? - Page 4
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Re: Has caring affected your diet?

Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:26 am
by flower555
My spouse couldn't eat for 5 months and was tube fed to stay alive after the CVA. I felt guilty eating during that time and lost weight. Tend to not eat much during the day- esp when with my spouse. Then in evenings when more relaxed I eat bread, toast, muffins- all the not good foods. Somehow have stayed slim though.

Re: Has caring affected your diet?

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:43 pm
by Cosmicsilver
Hello all,

My diet's very up/down as I rarely eat a regular meal now. Before my partner had her triple bypass op which caused a stroke and now she's got problems with swallowing food easily; we used to eat take-aways a lot for convenience sake. Now she lives off Fortisip drinks and rarely eats a normal meal except for breakfast! Because of this I don't tend to cook for myself and just end up either eating a sandwich or some chocolate & bag of crisps.

There's so many things she can't eat because of her Diabetes & Renal failure; plus because of swallowing certain food as it either gets stuck or makes her sick!

Thank god for Warburton's sandwich thins, as these are the only bread we have now as we used to waste so much of a normal loaf; these are just thin enough for her to eat whole! Image

I try to cut shopping bills down as much as possible now I'm not working, as the only money coming in is my partner's DLA. Luckily I got a reasonable payout from my employers for leaving voluntarily to become a full time carer, otherwise I'd not be able to cope! I need to try and claim for Carer's Allowance to help out further.


Re: Has caring affected your diet?

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:20 pm
by Lazydaisy
Michelle, you need to claim Carers Allowance asap. They will backdate it to the date you apply. I think you can claim it online, if you are not certain,then contact Carers UK as they will be able to advise you better.
Diabetes is very hard work, add renal failure to that and it must be an absolute nightmare for you worrying about food.Do you see a Dietician,which may be helpful post stroke,with the other health problems?

Re: Has caring affected your diet?

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:47 pm
by Guest
Hi everyone,

Tomorrow on Facebook and Twitter we are going to be discussing issues around caring and nutrition (such as looking after your own diet while caring, how to make sure the person you care for is getting the right nutrition and tips around managing mealtimes).

As part of this some of the professionals at Nutricia will be on hand to answer any questions people have around caring and nutrition.

Does anyone have any questions they would like to have answered by the people at Nutricia? They can't advise on specific medical issues but do have a huge amount of knowledge on diet/nutrition etc.

If you do join us on Facebook or Twitter or post them here/PM me and I can send them on tomorrow and let you know the answers.

Best wishes,


Re: Has caring affected your diet?

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:57 pm
by wornoutbattling
A 3-hour, 6-bus round trip to care for my parent means little time for shopping and cooking for myself. If I have a "day off" from being a carer, the last thing I want to do is trudge to a supermarket by public transport - the second last thing I want to do is stand over a stove. (and before anyone suggests it, the third last thing I want to be doing is staring at a computer screen ordering a home delivery from Tesco). I'm so worn out by caring that my time off just becomes slumping time. Before the caring started full time I used to run 5k three times a week and eat good nosh, now I'm lucky if I can summon up the energy to open a packet of biscuits. Don't want to sound dismissive, but I do know all about healthy eating, exercise, etc, etc, so websites and so on don't add anything. My view is that the NHS/local authorities should stop wasting millions of pounds telling carers they should look after themselves (something we already know), and spend the money instead on actually providing a joined up service for elderly folk and their carers. This could save carers from having to spend hours and hours on making phone calls, waiting for phone calls, researching what services the professionals should be offering, fighting for that to happen .... and on and on. I It's been my experience that the NHS/local authority love putting out missives and publicity about how they "work with carers" and "work to maintain elderly people's wellbeing and dignity", to give a general impression that they are actually proactive in those areas. Instead of telling us that's what they do, they should spend the money actually doing it for a change. From my point of view, , lack of time is only one factor in the unhealthy diet scenario. Another and larger factor is being emotionally and mentally drained most of the time.

Re: Has caring affected your diet?

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:08 pm
by bowlingbun
Yes, that pretty well sums me up too.

Re: Has caring affected your diet?

Posted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:18 pm
by Guest
Thanks for your comments - you make a great point about what a large factor being 'emotionally and mentally drained most of the time' is. People on Facebook have been saying how unpredictable their days are, and how hard that makes it to have a routine or follow advice on diet.

If anyone is interested, we do have new information resources which you can order for free (print or download):
http://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice ... -resources

The resources are]The importance of eating well for carers
Eating well and dementia
The role of good nutrition when caring for someone[/list]

If you do order them and have any feedback let us know, as it is really helpful.

All the best,

Re: Has caring affected your diet?

Posted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:30 pm
by Eun
Somewhat patronising don't you think - people already know what they should be doing - lack of support (and money has a lot to do with not being able to eat well - not to mention the very high level of stress a lot of carers are under. Plus carers don't just care for elderly people - some of us care for our adult children who have eating difficulties. I don't like the fact that Carers Uk are twinned with a corporate organisation flogging nutritional supplements etc


Re: Has caring affected your diet?

Posted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:59 am
by Anne001
I really tried to read these objectively and I wanted to like them .....

I agree with Eun that they seem to be targeted at the carer with an elderly caree (not always the case). I read with special interest the dementia one as I do have an elderly caree who does not eat enough. Frankly, there was nothing in there which any of us do not already know. They appear to be written from the point of view of a nutitionist, not from a carer. Were carers involved in the writing?

As many others have pointed out, lack of time, money, energy all take their toll. We all know the importance of good nutrition and how to achieve it. The theory is fine, it is the practice where we fall down.

Finally, I do agree about the wisdom of joint projects with commercial concerns. I understand the financial advantages but wonder if it is also wise?

Re: Has caring affected your diet?

Posted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:19 pm
by Guest
Thanks for the feedback Anne001, BowlingBun, Eun and wornoutbattling. It is really useful for us to hear, especially when you point out things you did not like, as it helps us when we are deciding what to do in the future.

It's interesting to hear the age issue come up - this is something that someone raised on Facebook as well. It's really important that information for carers reflects the fact that people of all ages and from all walks of life end up being carers, as well as being the person cared for. I know how frustrating it is when you're reading something that is supposed to be targeted at you, but you don't relate to the images or the tone of voice. We will definitely feed that comment back.

I know Matt commented a few months ago about how the information/theory is one thing but the practice is a very different matter, especially considering the huge financial pressure and stress carers are under. We discussed this on Facebook, and mental/emotional/physical exhaustion was one of the things that a lot of people commented on.

In terms of Carers UK working with Nutricia, please be assured that we never actively promote the products of companies we work with. We only work in partnership to highlight particular issues that are important to carers; issues which we prioritise as a result of surveys which we carry out with carers. For example, we discovered that ensuring carers loved ones were not malnourished was a real worry for carers. As a result, we decided to work in partnership with Nutricia to highlight this issue.

Hope this helps, but please do let me know if you have further questions as we're more than happy to explain more about the work we do.

Best wishes,