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Tired and ready to give up - Carers UK Forum

Tired and ready to give up

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I have been caring for my mother for about 18 months , I know this sounds awful but i have had enough im so tired i had to give up my full time job and for the past 6 months i have had to take 2 cleaning jobs as well because just could not do without the money. I think my mother has the start of dementia and this has made looking after her even harder. I have 2 brothers and a sister but because i get carers allowance they think they havnt got to help at all. Am i awful to want to stop and would putting her into a home be bad. Sorry to have to say this but just wanted to get it off my chest. Image
Sally you're not 'awful' at all - every Carer gets to the point where they just can't do anymore and need help, either from family (not often forthcoming as most of us have found) or from an outside agency like Social Services or Crossroads. None of us are superman or superwoman, we're only human and we can only do so much before we burn out.

Have you had a needs assessment for your Mum recently or a Carer's assessment for yourself ? If you click on the 'Help & Advice' link at the top of the page you'll find lots of information about how to find and access support. It is important for you to have a break, some 'me' time or else you'll just not be able to cope in the short term let along the longer term. The link will also point you in the right direction to check that you and your Mum are receiving all the benefits that you are entitled to.

Moving your Mum into residential care would not be a 'bad' thing, but why not try a period of respite first to see how she responds ?
Susieq has given great advice Sally, I hope it helps you.
Hello Sally

I'm not a regular poster here, but your post struck a chord with the way I have felt many times over the past few years.

I have been caring for my mother to an ever-increasing extent over the years, to the extent where I feel I have two full-time jobs! I work four days a week, which I enjoy and I'm grateful to get out of the house. My mum has diabetes, mild dementia and breathing problems. she is knackered and often finds her life depressing, which is understandable.

I live with mum now, and I feel life has passed me by to a great extent. I'm sadder and more tired than most of my friends who can't really fully understand the life I am leading. I have no romantic life and No children. I comfort eat a lot, and I have piled weight on. I have looked after mum through most of my twenties and thirties, although it is only in the last six years that I have felt overwhelmed by the responsibilities and daily drudgery of caring.

Over these years, I have felt like giving up several times, but ultimately I can't bring myself to put mum in a home. However, only you can decide how much you can cope with, and you shouldn't let yourself feel guilty or pressured into carrying on if you do not want to.

However, perhaps there are alternatives? I would urge you to talk honestly to social services, and your family. I know from experience that help can suddenly appear when you tell them you are on the verge of giving up!

at the very least I would urge you to try to get a break, even if only for a weekend. You have a big decision to make and a little distance from the Situation can make things clear, one way or the other.
Hi Sally, I've been caring ever since my son was brain damaged when he was born 34 years ago, then sister in law was ill, my in laws were ill, my parents were ill, at one time I was trying to support five people all entitled to highest DLA, although one was too stubborn to apply! I don't think anyone really understands what caring is like until they've done it themselves. I developed life long health problems as a result of too much caring with too little time off, don't let this happen to you. Most parents want their children to look after them, and make all sorts of reasons why they shouldn't have "a stranger in the house", i.e. a paid carer. However as their condition declines, there is simply no option, other than residential care. It's not a sign of failure, but a sign of increasing needs. Only my mum is left now, she rejected paid carers for years, until I was taken seriously ill, but her attitude now is very different, she knows that the only way she can live alone is to accept them - she is completely unaware of how much her stubborn refusal to have them affected my life. As you have brothers and sisters tell them you are entitled to a holiday and get them to do the caring while you are away.
Hi Sally,

I looked after my father for about 3 years, but about 3 weeks ago he moved into a care home. Dad has dementia and mobility issues (very weak legs), he also has low blood pressure and is an alcoholic. Dad had been neglecting his hygiene for years and had suffered urinary infections, pneumonia and numerous falls. His short term memory is almost non existent so he couldn't remember all his falls and was in blissful denial of all his problems. We had carers calling twice a day and me visiting regularly, but it was a struggle to keep him on an even keel and it just got to the stage where I realised that he needed a much higher level of care.

Dad has settled into the care home really well, although he is still confused and sometimes thinks he's in a hotel! Image He hasn't fallen once since moving there, and has ground floor room with an en suite toilet, so life is much easier for him. He was always a bit unwilling to use a zimmer frame at home, but due to regular prompting by the staff he is now happy to use the frame and his mobility is improving. He doesn't mix that much with the other residents, preferring to chat with the pretty young staff - there's life in him yet! Image The care home won't buy or supply beer for him, so I have to deliver it to them, but they are happy to store it and give him 2 cans each evening to keep him happy. Dad has even started having regular baths and lets them shave him - he looks so smart now! I'm so happy to see the change in him.

I hope my story will show that sometimes moving a parent into a care home is not only the best choice for the parent, but can also bring peace of mind to the family. I feel no guilt about moving Dad there, just some regret that I didn't do it sooner! Now when I see Dad I am no longer his carer, I am his daughter, visiting him not because I have to, but because I want to. It feels so different.

Visit some local care homes - it may help to put your mind at rest. Contact social services and explain how you are feeling. Make enquiries about funding issues. Good luck.
Shewolf, your post has given me some comfort, because I am getting to the point where I think that residential care will soon be the only option for my husband, but the thought of 'sending him away', of taking him from his home, is so painful and guilt-inducing. I am also terrified of raising the issue with the more hostile members of his family.
But I have to face the fact that I shall not be able to manage for much longer; his deterioration during the last three months or so has been marked and quite rapid.
I think all of us are scared by the many news stories of residential homes where patients are ill-treated, as well as by the bureaucratic complexities, and by the cost.
Your positive experience makes me feel a bit more hopeful. Thank you.

Hi Sally, nothing to add to the advice given. Just wanted to say welcome and we are hear to listen and support whatever decisions you come to.