A New Carer!

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi Catherine

I have been a carer for my mother since s stroke left her completely disabled almost three years ago. At the time I was given no information from official sources in order to prepare myself for the role I was about to undertake and even since then official sources have provided precious little useful information.

As a result of this I undertook a project of my own in order to help others that found themselves in the same situation.

I have since written two books on the subject of caring for an elderly parent, I have included links to both of them here.


"Caring For Mum"
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00R ... entries*=0

"A Caring Christmas"
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00S ... entries*=0

It is a difficult, but rewarding task, that much is certain. What I would say is, be prepared to fight for what your father needs.

I wish you every success and should you need any advice on a specific area or issue then please feel free to ask me. If I can help in any way, then I most certainly will.

Good luck and best wishes to you both.
Hi everyone
Thank you to everyone who has replied and given me such good advice! My dad has now been living with me for the past two weeks and I have managed to find sheltered accomodation for him very nearby to me. He gets the keys next week. I think he will be OK once he has settled in and have some company of his own age. It has been a real emotional roller coaster as since he has been livung with me I fully realise that Incan care for him but not live with him. I can't explain it exactly but it just doesn't feel right. My Dad is easy going but I am constantly in a state of anxiety and I don't know why other than that I can't do his personal care etc. I can shop, cook, wash, iron and clean for him but can only do that well if he's in his own place. So now I feel very guilty!! My sister has sort of abandonned him since he's move in with me so that makes me feel even more sad for him.
I think because I nursed and cared for my husband before he died of cancer just a few years ago, I have developed a horror of having to do that care all over again.
Am I being very selfish ? I think I am being honest but I am very mixed up emotionally and there seems no one who I can turn to so I'm glad to be able to talk honestly on here.
Catherine_15042 wrote:Hi everyone
Thank you to everyone who has replied and given me such good advice! My dad has now been living with me for the past two weeks and I have managed to find sheltered accomodation for him very nearby to me. He gets the keys next week. I think he will be OK once he has settled in and have some company of his own age. It has been a real emotional roller coaster as since he has been livung with me I fully realise that Incan care for him but not live with him. I can't explain it exactly but it just doesn't feel right. My Dad is easy going but I am constantly in a state of anxiety and I don't know why other than that I can't do his personal care etc. I can shop, cook, wash, iron and clean for him but can only do that well if he's in his own place. So now I feel very guilty!! My sister has sort of abandonned him since he's move in with me so that makes me feel even more sad for him.
I think because I nursed and cared for my husband before he died of cancer just a few years ago, I have developed a horror of having to do that care all over again.
Am I being very selfish ? I think I am being honest but I am very mixed up emotionally and there seems no one who I can turn to so I'm glad to be able to talk honestly on here.
You're not being selfish at all, Catherine, I don't want to speak out of turn but if your sister has abandoned him then I think there's only one person being selfish and it isn't you. It's very hard when other people could chip and don't; it only takes a small effort but someone else spending a couple of hours with him or doing the ironing every other week or something really helps, many hands make light work and all that. It's a shame that caring seems to fall on the shoulders of one person but it seems to happen a lot, I don't know why. It sounds as if your dad has a good set up now and will be happy and comfy as much as is possible, he would be in a much work situation if you weren't around at all so try not to feel guilty (I know it's difficult) because you sound as if you love the bones of him and have done/are doing the very best you can, none of us can do any more than our best and there's nothing selfish about wanting a bit of your own life either, particularly if you've already had to nurse someone you love. It's very draining and difficult to recover from, I think, so try not to give yourself a hard time when you're doing such a great job.
Not selfish at all, but sensible. I supported my elderly parents, and my husband's, for many years, each within 6 miles of our house, but they never moved in with us. We did everything we could for them, but our households were so different it wouldn't have worked at all. It's important to acknowledge our own limitations. There are no rights or wrongs, we are all different.
Hi Catherine, just a warm welcome from me here without much advice I'm afraid! I hope you find joining this forum as helpful as I have. Take care.
Thank you to everyone for their support and good advice! Myself, my daughter and a good neighbour with a van helped to move my Dad into his sheltered accomodation today. We are doing it gradually so he is staying with me for a few days befor he's in properly. I'm so worried about him but I now feel,that once he's got used to the place and we make sure to visit and check in on hi every day then it will pan out. I just hope his care package continues as it is. I have managed to arrange a visual assessment for him via the OT so I'm sure they will help. I think I'm doubly sad as he seems more frail because he is sad that my Mother can no longer come home and has to go into a nursing home. It's breaking all our hearts. I think we are grieving for her before she has passed away. I am now hurtling into the mind frame that after dad is settled, safe and secure, we can give Mum some cosseting time to make her new situation happier! Tonight I'm trying to think how lucky we all are to still have them around and that they have some family to 'fight their corner' for their care but it's so sad watching your parents decline.
I'm so glad that your father's accommodation has now been sorted, and it will go ahead.

Please don't feel too bad about not having him with you - even without your memories of nursing your husband, having a parent/inlaw live in with you is quite, quite different from just having to look after them in their own home (and you in yours, of course). We each need our own space, and having someone 'live in' is extremely difficult and stressful.

And I personally do understand about the reluctance to have to care for someone else after having cared for your husband. It is similar with me, in that one of the main reasons for my 'resistence' to having to care for my MIL is that I too lost my husband to cancer a few years ago. I felt, and still do (MIL is now in a home thank heavens), that it was bad enough to lose my husband, let alone to inherit his mother!!

In your circumstances, I do hope that it will be possible for you and your parents to spend some 'family time' together, even if your parents have to live apart due to their separate health needs. Even things like meals out, or family gatherings, if such is possible, would give you all some periods of 'reconnection'. I'm not sure whether this is possible, but perhaps there could be some weekends when you gather both your father, and your mother, to stay with you (or you and your mother at your father's new accommodation perhaps??). I do hope so. Perhaps even your sister might think to come along to such a gathering??

All the best, and the good thing for now is that your father has a suitable place to live now.

Kind regards, Jenny
Thanks Jenny!
Such good advice! I know deep in my heart that I will be less stressed and have more patience with my Dad now that he's settling in his new home. I want to be able to have a bit more time with my Mum as well but up until now all my time has been focused on a Dad and his move. I didn't think I would be so stressed again since my husband died but I have. Hopefully now things will start to settle down and a new routine in life can form and we can all get a bit of calm for a while.
Thanks for all the support.
Cathy
Catherine, glad things are starting to settle down. I think when it comes to caring we hit these 'frantic periods' when we are rushing about trying to sort stuff out, and then thankfully it all quietens down again. I've just done this recently with MIL being 'evicted' from her first care home at very short notice (she'd started to wander and the place couldn't cope with that, it was unsafe), and I was given a WEEK to find alternative accommodation for her!

I managed it, but it was a close call, and took over my life totally while it was going on! Now, phew, it seems to have settled, and I very (very!) much hope that she is now in a place where she will not need to have to move from again. And I've got (most of!) my life back again. Hurrah!

If possible, why not give yourself a little 'treat' to reward yourself for all your efforts on your father's behalf, and cheer yourself up. :)
hi catherine
try asking your dads doctors for a physio therapist assement on his mobilitiy as they will be able to work out the appropriated walking aids and yes the british lung foundation can help not only you father but all of your family to come to terms with the illness. Rnid might be able to suggest ways of making his home more safe so he can return there. but also get in touch with you local carers centre and see if they can push social services along .
As they might also point you in the direction of a agency that can come out to carry out basic thing such as helping him dress etc.