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I would really like my life back - am I a bad person? - Carers UK Forum

I would really like my life back - am I a bad person?

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82 posts
Hi - of course I don't intend to do anything about it but, after one and a half years of full time caring for my mother, I really hanker after getting my life back. (Before this I was a part-time carer for her for 7 years). I suppose I shouldn't complain - I know so many here have it much worse than myself. It's just tedious, monotonous and restrictive. I only get to leave the house 3 times a week - 4 hours each time to briefly visit my flat (therein lies the rub...the sadness) and do a food shop. Quite isolated - my lifesaver are various forums online.

I could pay for more time (via Crossroads) but, realistically, I could use a longer break than just a few more paltry hours. I have a brother and sister who both work.

To be honest, when I came to live with her (after her heart attack, following a previous stroke) I thought it would probably be for only a few months - she was 91 then. I place a high value on freedom so it was an enormous concession for me to move in yet I did so in good spirit. It's mostly harmonious here but so dull and tedious.

She's a sweet woman but given to Jekyll & Hyde changes in temperament (her weak, ill condition no doubt), i.e. can easily scream over something minor. Also there is no decent conversation since I invariably have to repeat everything and it gets harder for her to grasp the topic. I do everything for her - she is quite spolt, e.g. provide her good cooking, select and record her favourite programmes, shower her.

I guess this may be a common feeling - to want your life back. Is it something to be ashamed of?
No, Amy it's nothing to be ashamed of. My life is similiar to yours. I look after my 90 year old Father. Mum died in December last year and she was his carer so now I've taken over. It sounds like you need a break. It's difficult because you say your brother and sister work. Could you arrange respite care for Mum. That's easy to say because I know if I mentioned it to Dad he would really hate the idea. I am lucky, my brother is retired and lives in Swindon, (we're in Derbyshire), but he's prepared to come and look after Dad while I go away for a couple of weeks. I don't know much about it but have you had a carers assessment? I haven't because Dad would not be happy. But they may be able to help.

I know what you mean by having to repeat yourself. It's the same with Dad and then a few minutes later he will ask the same question. I know I feel like screaming sometimes. I'm new to caring so don't know a lot of answers for everything, but the people here are absolutely lovely, friendly and knowledgeable.

Dad expects me to do all the cooking, cleaning, shopping and then go out and do gardening while he gives his orders. Had an argument the other week and I've now decided to go with flow. It makes life easier for me but having said that I do feel resentful but then remind myself he's my Dad and he's been a great Dad. Changed a lot as he got older

So please don't feel ashamed. It's a natural feeling and you wouldn't be human if you didn't.

Keep posting and if you feel like having a rant then go for it. I know I have. It helps to get things off your chest.

XX
Thanks for your post dogloverlabs. Hope it is true that it is not something to be ashamed of....it feels somehow selfish not to be thinking of her needs first at all times.

Yes, I know I badly need a break but, as you might guess, she would be loathe to be subjected to the upheaval that respite care would mean. She doesn't even like strangers in the house so that's not an option.

I'm a pensioner so don't get carer's assessment. It's not a financial issue but one of how to leave her and get some time to myself. Ah well, I do feel it's not for much longer so will try to put my growing desires on a back burner as much as possible.

I see you posted on my "Off Their Rockers" TV programme (in general chit chat section) - glad you enjoyed it! It's my sense of humour that puts things into better, more bearable perspective. I used to do stand up comedy (when I was alive) and still love to make people laugh, e.g. in a spiritual chat room that I frequent....it's my lifeline! Image
It must be so hard to do the caring without any break at all. We have cared 24/7 for our severely physically disabled, ventilator dependent son for 21 years but at least we got 4 nights break 4 times a year. Don't know what we will do when this stops in a year or two when the children's hospice throw him and all his friends out because they have lived too long. Image

Eun
It must be so hard to do the caring without any break at all. We have cared 24/7 for our severely physically disabled, ventilator dependent son for 21 years but at least we got 4 nights break 4 times a year. Don't know what we will do when this stops in a year or two when the children's hospice throw him and all his friends out because they have lived too long. Image

Eun
Wow...lived too long!? Words fail me. Here's a hug ((((Eun)))
Amy, you are entitled to a Carers Assessment whatever age you are. It's Carers Allowance that you can't get after 65. Caring involves trying to balance the needs of the caree with the needs or the carer. I had up to 5 carees for a few years, and became seriously ill. Three have died, and I now only care part time for the other two, mainly making sure the carers do what they are supposed to; and making sure the things that they aren't allowed to do get done. That's anything from dealing with the bank accounts to picking the fresh raspberries. You have a life too, dad needs to understand that your role is NOT replacement wife, but daughter. There are many differences! My son wishes he could still live at home with me; mum says she'd love a live in daughter. The reality is I couldn't cope with either. After 34 years of caring, I know I can never be Superwoman, doing everything for everyone; that it's OK to say "No" now and then. Otherwise, the more you do, the more is expected of you.
Wow - bowlingbun - 34 years of caring! I feel somewhat pathetic now. Image

I seem to recall that getting a carers assessment meant I'd lose another benefit. I currently get a state pension + pension credit. As mentioned, the finance isn't the issue and my mother won't tolerate being left with strangers. So am somewhat stuck and will have to not think about wanting my life back since it just makes me miserable to do so.
The assessment is done by Social/Adult services, specifically designed to give you an opportunity to discuss, in confidence, the problems which you have as a carer. Entirely different from any DWP benefit.
The assessment is done by Social/Adult services, specifically designed to give you an opportunity to discuss, in confidence, the problems which you have as a carer. Entirely different from any DWP benefit.
I see but it seems a dead end in terms of what can be done, i.e. my mum would get too distressed, disorientated left with strangers. I can't subject her to that.
Every parent wants a child to care for them, not someone they don't know. Mine only accepted outside carers when I had a life threatening illness requiring major surgery. Now she really enjoys having more company, (3 calls per day) hearing about their children, cooking, holidays etc. Ideally, your mum needs to get used to any new carer before being alone with them, so you might have to stay for the first few visits, then gradually leave the carer with mum longer and longer. Could you both enjoy outings together, or a club? Both are arranged near me, but obviously every area is different, which is where the Carers Assessment can be so valuable, you may learn of services available locally which you didn't know about. Just don't soldier on for too long without help so that you end up making yourself ill like I did. Sadly, there are too many other carers on this forum who have ended up in a similar situation.
82 posts