Another new one

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Hello everybody

I hope I am in the right place. Looking through previous posts it seems like everybody is a full time carer. This is not the case with me, in fact I have never thought to call myself a carer until a nurse who did an assessment on my Mum sent me some details in the post about Carers UK and Carers Link.

I am a forty year old female living in Lancashire whose mother has dementia and Parkinsons. She currently lives alone in a sheltered bungalow with a care agency visiting 4 times a day to help get her up, make her meals, use the toilet and ensure she has her meds. I visit her regularly, do her shopping, deal with her financials and any other paperwork that arrives in the post and take her to appointments with doctors, dentists etc, along with being the person she rings when she is having a panic attack or if she can't remember how to switch the telly on.

Does that make me a carer? I haven't and have no intention of ever giving up my job to care for her full time. I think it is amazing that you people have given up so much to do that. I have been independent from quite a young age and have in the past found it difficult to deal with the change in role between me and my mother. I have no children myself so was not used to looking after anybody but myself. I have come to terms with it a lot more now and I realise that a lot of people have to deal with a lot more than I do.

Having been diagnosed with Parkinsons over 20 years ago (although occasionally a doctor suggests it may be something else, but then can't decide what), my mother's decline has been gradual until the last 2 years. The consultant geriatrician finally diagnosed the dementia a few months ago.

The diagnosis itself seems to have got a few things moving with the health professionals though. Mum is now on a waiting list for a "Very sheltered" flat where there is a staff member on call 24/7. She has been for a physio assessment who has then referred her for some help in other areas. Again having read some people's stories I think myself lucky that these things are being done, which will improve the lives of both my mother and myself.

I have sometimes felt that I was banging my head against a brick wall trying to get certain things done for Mum. There is so much red tape with everything, such as the data protection act which whilst i fully understand why we need it, makes it very difficult when trying to help an adult who can't manage these things on her own. I am interested in helping to campaign to make things easier, partly I have to admit because I haven't got kids myself and do wonder who would look after me if couldn't manage myself. I sometimes think that people would be left to rot if they didn't have that one person prepared to do something. In fact actually that does happen, there's got to be something wrong there.

Anyway that's my rant over with for now but I can't promise I won't need another one soon if that's OK?
Hi Redex,

Welcome, nice to meet you. Feel free to rant as much as you need to.

Karen x x
Hello Redex nice to meet you and welcome to the forum Image A Lancashire lass eh my missus is a lancashire lass
Hi Redex, welcome aboard.

And yes, you're definitely a carer!
Hi Redex
Lots of lovely people on here with help and advice for you, we will also make you laugh now and then Image Feel free to rant for days, we do that too Image
Bluebird Image xx
Hi Redex,
'course you're a carer. At least half of all carers also work full or part time - the picture is very varied. I've never really stopped working, though i moved to part time three years ago and work from home for some of the week.
Thanks for welcomes everybody.

One initial question I have. Is there somewhere I can get any training in how to safely lift my mother? People who do this for a living obviously get trained in this and as mum seems to be having more bad days than good days, her social worker has now increased her care package so that 2 people come as on a bad day she needs a lot of help getting to the toilet.

But there is no guarantee that she only needs the toilet at the times the carers are there. When she moves into the very sheltered flat this won't be a problem as there are carers always on site. Also it can be difficult getting her from the wheelchair into the car and vice versa. I have no idea if I am doing this anything like it should be done or if I am making it more difficult that it needs to be. I have suffered from back problems in the past and don't want to do myself any damage.

Thanks
hello redex


welcome to the forum Image
Thanks for welcomes everybody.

One initial question I have. Is there somewhere I can get any training in how to safely lift my mother? People who do this for a living obviously get trained in this and as mum seems to be having more bad days than good days, her social worker has now increased her care package so that 2 people come as on a bad day she needs a lot of help getting to the toilet.

But there is no guarantee that she only needs the toilet at the times the carers are there. When she moves into the very sheltered flat this won't be a problem as there are carers always on site. Also it can be difficult getting her from the wheelchair into the car and vice versa. I have no idea if I am doing this anything like it should be done or if I am making it more difficult that it needs to be. I have suffered from back problems in the past and don't want to do myself any damage.

Thanks
Hi Redex, speak to your Social Worker or local carers centre, my SW organised for a training session at home on how to lift my Mum properly to stop any damage to myself or her. I can't say I have been able to put it into practice very much, but at least I know I am doing the lifting as best as I can for us both.
Good luck,
Bluebird
I visit her regularly, do her shopping, deal with her financials and any other paperwork that arrives in the post and take her to appointments with doctors, dentists etc, along with being the person she rings when she is having a panic attack or if she can't remember how to switch the telly on.

Does that make me a carer?
Certainly sounds like one to me Image Have a read of this briefing called Facts about Carers. As Rob says, there are about 3 million people in the UK who care for someone but also have a paid job. That's about half of all carers. Every situation is different.

Facts about carers PDF

You might want to read our new booklet for employees who have caring responsibilities as you have certain legal rights in the workplace and many employers are beginning to see sense when it comes to supporting carers in their workforce. We also have a booklet specifically about the right to request flexible working which is a new legal right we won for carers in the Work and Families Act 2006.

You can download the booklets at
http://www.carersuk.org/Information/Wor ... leworking/

Or if you would like hard copy you can order at 0845 241 0963

Matt