It gets harder!!

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I have not posted on here for a while but would like to share my thoughts on caring. It is still relatively new to me, nearly four months ago I took unpaid leave from work and moved in with dad to look after him.

Dad had been having respite care, which went on for a long time in a care home, it was wonderful to have him home, he flourished, it was challenging, but I could see such an improvement in Dad, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The first month or so was great, but then dad's health problems rocketed up a few notches, his lungs are collapsed, that is the biggest thing, but there are other issues.

We had about five visits to A and E in five weeks. Dad's GP was and is fantastic, really helpful, he put us in
touch with the local hospice. The hospice have been a great support for me, Dad went in for two weeks, during that time it was wonderful, I moved back to my own flat. My flat was near dad so I could visit easily, that was a wonderful time as I could relax and go out, even though I did visit Dad every day.

Now Dad has been out of the hospice for about four weeks as he is considered "stable".

For the first four weeks it was wonderful he had Marie Curie night nurses, who would sit with him for the whole night, three times a week. The hospice organised this. Sadly this has ended as he is "stable". I really understand this.... dad is not imminently dying, their care has been excellent and also they helped me! Impromptu councelling sessions through the night.

Dad is now under "Continuing Care" , another thing organised by the hospice. (I really am so grateful for this)

Initially the "Continuing Care" was not that great , the care firm were not really caring, also unprofessional and fibbed on the time sheets etc.

I have now sorted out a wonderful company for the continuing care, they are great! They do so much more than the last firm.

Back to my original title................... I am finding this whole process exhausting and deeply isolating, I appreciate that I have help and good quality help but as the days go on it is draining. I really admire carers who have done this sort of thing for more than a year! (I don't think that I could manage!)

My advice to any new carers would be find out all the help that you are entitled too. Also do not let the person who is your "client"push you about. If it is a family member point out the sacrifices that you have made, then look at all the support available to you.

I am lucky Dad really appreciates me. ......however it is utterly exhausting , and I am getting a lot of help!!

I am going to go back to work again, very nervously, if Dad really declines rapidly, I will take unpaid leave again. He is my number one concern but being a full time carer is not good for me!! I miss the banter of work and also the professional responsibility and the money!!

Thank you to this forum, I find it very comforting and also enlightening, even though I do not post that often. xx
Hello Theresa and thank you so much for your update.
I remember your early posts and my goodness, how far you have come in just a few short months!
It's interesting to contemplate the different routes your and Dads journey might have taken, and might still have yet to go.
So pleased you sought and found help.
Bet Dad is really proud of you.

Funny how 'going back to work' now seems less stressful than caring!! ;)

Kr
MrsA
I that's very realistic description of life as a carer - pros and cons, ups and downs and so forth.

Good luck with the going back to work!
Update, yesterday dad had a brilliant morning, he was up the whole time, reading catalogues and planning which mobility scooter he wanted to buy!! I was very happy for him, did not squash his dreams (like saying "Dad I think you are too frail for a scooter". )

That night, well early in the morning at 3.00am he got up to use the loo and he fell. Right now he is having a hip replacement operation, I am worried sick!! They are only giving him a local anaesthetic because of his age, I am worried sick that he will be scared.

His carers have been stars, I was on the verge of a panic attack in the hospital, the carers have been phoning and texting me, one of them came to pick me up, as I went in the ambulance with dad and did not have my car, I will go back after the operation.

My darling dad was laughing and joking before he went to the operating theatre, he is under hospice care, so if he struggles I know they will take him in.

I am stressed. Panicky. Terrified of him dying.
Teresa, don't worry, I have a friend who had a hip replacement without being fully "out" as she is very sensitive to anaesthetic. However, as well as the local anaesthetic you have sedation which means that you are very unaware of what is going on.
Teresa_16121 wrote: I am worried sick!! They are only giving him a local anaesthetic because of his age, I am worried sick that he will be scared.
If he's anything like my Mum Teresa he will thoroughly enjoy the experience !
She, too had her both her knees replaced using an epidural anaesthetic both times - she said it was like being in a stonemasons yard as she could hear them chipping away but as she was chatting away to the nurses and the surgeon during the op she hardly realised what they were doing. Secretly I think she was a bit disappointed when they said it was all done :roll:

I will admit when I saw her an hour or so after the op I was pleasantly surprised by how 'awake' she was - if it hadn't been for the morphine drip I wouldn't have thought she'd just had a major operation :)
And recovery from a local is so much quicker and better than from a general, especially in the elderly

Deep breaths Theresa. You and he will get through this, its just another episode in your caring journey. Nobody ever said it was a straight easy road did they? ;)

XxMrsA
y SIL had an epidural only for her hip replacement - the surgeons like you NOT to have a general anesthetic as the body is less 'out of it' which is better for the hip op and makes their job easier and they can do a better job really.

However, she was also 'sedated' with some tranquilliser or whatever, and remembers almost nothing - certainly not the sound of them cutting off the old hip-head etc etc!

(If anyone wants to see a video of a hip op, there's a good one on youtube - fascinating!)