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Alone and struggling - Carers UK Forum

Alone and struggling

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Trying hard to adjust to life since my husband went into a nursing home 6 months ago. He had a stroke, and soon after developed vascular dementia. Miss him terribly, and miss the life we had together. Also my parents are becoming frailer and a big worry to me. Struggling to cope with my job while going through so much emotional stuff every single day. Phoned the local branch of Carers Association for some support but they could only suggest a morning group once a month. I don't know how I'm going to get through this constant juggling act between different demands on me. How do you all deal with it? It just hurts too much.
Hi Jo,
Welcome to the forum.
Juggling work and caring is hard enough, never mind factoring the emotional side of adjusting to your hubby having had a stroke and now dementia and requiring nursing home care.
Have you seen Pet's thread https://www.carersuk.org/forum/support- ... rney-25407 She is on a similar journey to you.

I hope you find the forum friendly and supportive.

Hi Jo, welcome to the forum. I've lost all four parents, a brother, and my husband in the last few years. I would suggest that you bought a copy of a book called "Starting Again" by Sarah Litvinoff - there are usually copies on ebay. It deals mainly with people who are divorced, but I found there was so much relevant to me and my situation. Especially exercises looking at what you do now, and what you would like to do. I married when I was 19, so had never even lived alone until I was widowed!
This is the time to look after yourself, and to set clear boundaries about what you can do (different from what your parents want or expect you to do).
Support your parents to get any help they need, but don't provide hands on care. Try to see yourself as their care manager. Make sure they have all the benefits they are entitled to, that they have a washer/dryer or tumble dryer, a dishwasher, an easy to use bathroom/shower if possible, and easy to care for garden and a gardener. Help them declutter getting rid of things you know they will never ever use again (my mum was a hoarder, nightmare!). They can have Wiltshire Farm foods, Tesco deliveries, a cleaner. Social Services may provide domiciliary care, subject to a financial assessment.
I have a counsellor, when things are getting me down I go and see her, because there is no one else I trust to share my thoughts with on a confidential basis, to help me find solutions. Definitely recommended.
Hi Jo,

Welcome to the Forum.

I guess there are two sides - practical and emotional. You have gone through a life-changing event so it is not surprising if you feel overwhelmed by it all. For this, I think, B'bun is right, counselling could be a good idea. And of course chat to us on the Forum - many of us have been through similar.

On the practical side, make sure your employer knows you are a carer as you do have rights associated with that:

https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... ts-at-work

Are you able to work from home at all, or do reduced hours to give you some breathing space? For your parents, I would suggest contacting Social Services and get a care assessment to ensure that they get all the support they can, and of course any financial support they are entitled to.

You need to put your own "life-jacket" on first before tending to others. Do NOT neglect yourself - it is hard when you have so many demands on you, but be kind to yourself

Take care, Anne x
I agree with anne.contact local social services and get assesment done for parents.see if they can get help in so its not left for you to do or worry about..really need to do things to look after yourself.to take the stress of you i would speak to your employer see if there is any option open to you to help you as your situation has changed with husband emotionally talk to gp see if there is any couselling you could avail of to help you with coming to terms with whats happening . Wishing you all the best xx
Hello Jo and welcome.
Sadly my husband is in a nursing home because of strokes and vascular dementia. He hasn't lived at home now for 18months. Life is very different. Learning to cope with the practical side of things that my lovely husband used to deal with. Desperately miss the life we had.
Do you have any 'me time'? I've learnt that it's important to enable me to cope. Took a long time to understand that.
I found the admiral nurses very helpful too.Do you have them in your area? Otherwise counselling will, I'm certain, be beneficial to you.
I feel you must allow help with your parents too. One person cannot cope alone.
My heart goes out to you at this difficult time. Please keep posting, the forum is a place to share and vent, and it certainly helps.
Hello all and thanks for your replies. Pet66, I have started to read your topic New To Dementia Journey, and find many of your experiences similar to my own. I will reply more fully on there when I reach the end of that thread.

Mornings are very hard. I wake up shaking with anxiety. I'm still on a low dose antidepressant. I was improving for a while but recent issues over my parents have brought everything back to the forefront. I had to make so many major, unexpected decisions last year. Now I have to go through it all again with mum and dad.

During the day I generally pick up a bit and can get some things done. Yesterday I discussed my working hours with my manager and have got a small reduction in those for the time being.

Bowling bun, I have ordered that book, thanks for the suggestion.

Re counselling - I was on a waiting list through my doctor. They said the list averaged a 16 week wait. Because I couldn't afford to keep the house on after my husband's stroke I had to move, and also changed doctor. I still hadn't come to the top of the waiting list by then! I know I'll have to go on another waiting list now and it's just ridiculous. I called Samaritans last week actually because I just had to talk about things.

Anyway, hope all of you have as good a day as you can. Back soon. x
A house move on top of everything else! No wonder you are overwhelmed with everything. Now you must be kind to yourself for a few weeks. This takes practice when others keep wanting a piece of you. Most of all some quiet time so your head can catch up with things. No shame in taking some medication at the moment. Feel free to talk through things here.
Hi Jo
If finances allow, you can self refer to private counselling at about £30- £50 ph. Most offer free first session. Benefits over NHS are that you can choose your own and can continue beyond minimum sessions.
We find it invaluable, better than medication.

And stop beating yourself up, you have a tremendous amount in your plate. Everyday try to take just ten minutes to sit and list priorities and do just one thing. Anything that can wait, will