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I think I need to give up work. - Carers UK Forum

I think I need to give up work.

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hello all
I haven't been here for a while, but I need to pour out my feelings and there is noone I can talk to.
I care for mum, who is 74. Until this year she was pretty independent, but she was taken into hospital in May. She was very confused. She then came home, but last month she had to be taken in again. She has now been diagnosed as having cognitive impairment (predementia) which is being made worse by low blood sugar (she has diabetes). Her doctor said today that she doesn't think things will get much better, and that mum will be ready to leave hospital in a few weeks. the doctor asked whether she would be coming home or going to a care home. I'm committed to having her home as she is mentally very sharp most of the time. it's just that every so often she has a paranoid delusion. I don't think I'm going to be able to leave her for long.

I want mum home, but I hadn't envisaged how this would utterly change my life. I had a meeting at work yesterday where I was given the strong impression that there won't be much flexibility, even though other people work from home. It's been made clear to me that I'll be expected to take a holiday for every doctor's appointment etc. In fact I came away thinking that they would be happier if I leave. I feel gutted. Things have been really hard over the past few weeks, and mum isn't even out of hospital yet. I feel I've got very few options at the moment. I feel constantly knackered and don't know how long I will be able to keep working. Has anyone been faced with this situation?
Yes Jim me and quite a few of us I should think.
I was a self employed Decorator for 41 years, when my wife had Mini strokes or TIA's leaving her unable to cope on her own for long periods of time.
I tried to carry on working, but when you start a job, the customer expects it to be finished without constant interuptions from a sick wife. In the end I was so exhausted that I had to give away over £11,000 worth of work to other Decorators, to look after my wife properly.
I had lost so much money that I had to go bankrupt and lost my home and my workshop.
Fortunately, a man I new well let us rent his detached house in the centre of town and another mate bought my workshop off the official reciever and rented it back to me for a fraction of what he could get for it on the open renting market.
I thought our life was on the rocks, but as I always say: "The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide" and it certainly turned for us and for the better in the end.
You may love your job as I did mine, but it's not the end of the world, it's just another chapter of your life beginning. Try and stay positive and play it by ear. If you find you cant manage your Mum, then a home is the best thing for both of you.
Keep in touch with us all on here. Others will be along with a lot better advise than I'm able to give you.

All the very best Jim,

Pete
Hello Jim,

As i was reading your post, it struck a chord with me and shot me back about 10 years!
March '99 my dad became unwell, but just presumed it was a bug, 'not getting any younger' etc etc. Then he got really sick and was admitted to hospital, at the time i wasn't just in a job, it was my career, and they were amazing about the time i needed off to look after my house bound mum. Dad needed an op, had it done, but it basically went pants from there Image

As with you, i was told that any time off now would have to be holiday, as all my sick had been used. I adored my career, and was desperate to cling on to it in anyway i could. I still to this day thank God for the personnel Manager, who stuck a good few weeks of my time away down as 'compassionate leave to perform a caring roll' I always remember that wording! But it got to the stage that they had to do the whole 'it's better if you leave because we may have to let you go' speech. My dad HAD been in hospital for almost 2 months, so i guess i had pushed my luck a bit.

For those of us who have to make this decision, it is never easy. But i'm very fond of saying that it's my dad, he gave to me when he had nothing and made sure i grew up right, it's only fair and right i give back. Don't you just hate morals sometimes?! Image
Like you, i could of never have for-seen how much my life would change. Looking back now, with the benefit of hindsight, i would still do the same all over again.

I would have to say, if you have some sort of union at work go and see them first, to confirm what rights as a carer you have with in your job title. Secondly, if you really want your mum home and not shoved somewhere, which i can totally understand and appreciate, then it sounds like it will indeed mean a complete change to your life. It is hard, i'm not going to lie to you, it will be very strange and even scary to begin with. One thing us humans have though, just for times like these, is a great adaptability. With a little time we can do things differently, even when we are given no time at all sometimes.

I'm a big one for music helping me through things, i hope this one's words can help in some way. Anytime you need to rant, or ask questions, this forum is always here. Keep in touch and let us know how things go, big hugs.

"Every new beginning, is some beginning's end."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNYQwZDcf1E
What about your income think about it attendance allowance in my opinion will be removed within the next year carers allowance will never be raised will you get a pension from work do you own your own home take a long hard look at at your circumstances you must look after yourself as well as your mum.
I want mum home, but I hadn't envisaged how this would utterly change my life. I had a meeting at work yesterday where I was given the strong impression that there won't be much flexibility, even though other people work from home. It's been made clear to me that I'll be expected to take a holiday for every doctor's appointment etc. In fact I came away thinking that they would be happier if I leave. I feel gutted.
Hi Jim

Please read our pages on juggling work and care.
http://www.carersuk.org/Information/Workandcaring

It's terrible that your employer isn;t being more supportive. Sharon Coleman's legal case was based on the fact that she was denied flexibility as a carer whilst other staff (with children) were given flexibility. You have a legal right to request flexible working and your employer has to give written reasons if they turn you down.

Giving up work obviously has huge implications not just for your current income but also your future pension, so you must make sure you explore all avenues.

There are a couple of PDF leaflets on this page that you should read
http://www.carersuk.org/Information/Wor ... bleworking

Is there anyone supportive in HR at work? You could let them know about http://www.employersforcarers.org

There is information on there about the Business case for supporting carers
http://www.employersforcarers.org/BusinessCase

Finally you could contact our helpline if you need to talk it over with someone
T. 0808 808 7777
Wednesday and Thursday
10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm
carersline@carersuk.org

Matt
I'm so sorry to hear of your situation, Jim....
before you do anything, as others have said, think about what giving up your work will mean to you. Then think about your Mum and how she would be with you looking after her - is it what she wants?
Will she have friends popping in, or will you be the only company? I say this, as I'm having problems with my mother at the moment, and am coming to the opinion that, as much as I don't want, and have never wanted to have her go into a care home, will her life have more quality with people to care for her 24/7 and others to talk to and make friends with?
I don't know what the answer is, but please, Jim, do think about what it is going to be like xx
Sorry to hear of your dilemma Jim this is a very difficult time for you.

You say your mum is still mentally sharp? so if that is the case she still retains mental capacity, although this will get worse overtime. Even if a person loses their mental capacity they still have a right to be consulted about their needs in the early stages of dementia... Its only when they become severely incapacitated that you can make decisions for them so you will need to arrange for Enduring Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney.

http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/factsheet/460 Mental Capacity Act.

Before you make any decisions you should visit the Alzheimer’s site, as it will answer lots of questions you might have about future care needs and what you should expect from the National Health Continuing Care and Continuing Health Care...

http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scrip ... entID=1049

Good Luck ..
I've always managed to juggle work and care, mainly by taking full advantage of a mix of social services respite provision (daycare), paying friends/locals whom I trust, or juggling working hours with other family members. If you can get a direct payment you can employ someone, but even if you dont you can use attendance allowance to pay for someone privately.

Frankly it keeps you sane to be able to get out a bit, and the income drop is huge if you quit work unless you have a private pension like George and me and a few others here.