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Carer for 3 and at end of tether - Carers UK Forum

Carer for 3 and at end of tether

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
This is my first post on any type of forum and I hope I can get this right!
I care for my mother and father (both very unsteady on their feet and won't use wheelchairs) and my mother in law (quite healthy but would love to be ill so she could complain a bit more!) I'm so sorry to moan but I really am at the end of my tether and just don't know where to turn. My parents have various problems - heart failure, kidney failure and neither of them can get around unaided. Mother in law doesn't have any real health issues apart from a hernia and can get around on her own. I am trying to look after all 3 of them plus their housework, shopping, hospital appointments and their huge gardens. Feel like I am fighting a losing battle on all fronts. I work part time and have a family, house and huge garden of my own and just feel so desperate.
My parents have regular falls (both are very overweight) and expect me to lift them when they fall which I physically can't really do on my own. They refuse outside help of any kind. I just don't know what to do. I think the biggest problem is lifting them when they fall over - they are far too heavy for me to do this on my own and all their neighbours are elderly so I usually have to struggle away for hours trying inch by inch to get them into a chair.
I am so sorry to moan like this. I just feel so useless because I can't keep up with everything. Giving up work isn't an option as it's my only time off really!
Hi Beanz,
Welcome to the forum Image
You sound like you have a lot on your plate.
Please don't take this the wrong way, but I do think your Mum and Dad need to realise that you cannot keep doing this alone.
I'm sure you've tried this, but perhaps a very frank discussion is in order, explain to them that you need help, to be able to carry on helping them.
There should be help available via Social Services, even an O.T visit could help, - I recently found out one of other members has an inflatable chair to help when her OH has a fall, I hope she will be along shortly to give you some more info.
How would they cope without you? If you carry on, there's a risk of you making yourself poorly or resentful.
I'm sure other members will be along soon to offer help and advice, there's lots of lovely people here caring for a variety of different needs
Best wishes
Hi Beanz

Welcome to the forum

You do have a lot on your plate. I can sympathize about the MIL I've got one of those too. Whilst her own health at 82 is pretty good she enjoys (yes I'm sure she enjoys) her sons my carers health problems and the kudos(sp) it gives her amoungst her peers Image

As for your parents please be careful of your back. Some area have falls teams who may be able to help you with aids and advice.
If you really are struggling to get them up ring an ambulance, don't worry that your wasting their time. My dads a big chap and We've had a ring a couple of times for help

Some one will be along soon with something more helpful I'm sure
Hi Beanz

I too am a newbie here but have no where near the amount you have to deal with. My nan (or I) am fortunate enough to have carers come in but insist I do their work before they arrive as "They dont do it like you do"
I cant offer you any advice Beanz, its a mammoth task you have to deal with every day, but I admire you immensly and can only suggest you keep the posts coming if only to vent some steam. Do be careful of your back as suggested, and unfortunately you may need to have that frank discussion with them....
Keep in touch
Ten years ago, I was in a very similar situation. All four parents alive but very poorly, with various cancers, joint replacements, stroke, heart attack etc. etc. In addition, I have a son with severe learning difficulties. I did all the paperwork for my husband's business, and ran a national lorry club. In 2004 I developed a very severe illness, am lucky to be here today, but after major surgery there are lots of things that I'll never be able to do again. The same will probably happen to you if you carry on as you are. You MUST get help. NOW! Start with lifting - just don't do it. Always call an ambulance. If they get called a lot, that will trigger an automatic referral to the falls team etc. Do they get Attendance Allowance. If not, organise the forms for them, fill them in, get them to sign them etc. and you make sure they're posted. Then tell them that the money is for them to PAY someone to do their shopping etc. Once they have this, you can then apply for Carers Allowance, and they will also be entitled to more pension etc. if they have modest savings. I'm now down to one parent, the rest have died. Mum has carers three times a day and it's great to be able to go and see her without having to start work the moment I arrive there. Now, I can be her daughter again. Of course there are still all sorts of little things which need doing, picking flowers for her lounge, shopping for nighties, organising all the little extras which make her life better. If she needs anything from Health or Social Services, then I arrange that. You have children who have a right to a mum with enough energy left for them, so that they have a good childhood. The more you do for your parents, the more they will demand. I know this makes me sound a bit heartless, but I'm not. I'm just concerned that you don't fall into the same trap that I did. Take care.
Hi Beanz,
I know how you feel, i did have two very strong minded people to look after, but now only one but, Mum won't have anyone in or have any help in any way apart from me, i am trying to hold down a part time job, the only thing i have been able to do is get a gardener in, one job out of the way, but its not always they way she would have done it, but ha ho, but there is help out there and you have a family to care for, have they got a personal alarm so they can call some one if they fall or feel unwell? we are a great lot on here. we are good a listening, and hopefully good at giving advise, but keep us updated,
Hi and welcome to the Forum.Hope you find it useful,relaxing and fun.The advice i was going to give has been covered,but i will say make sure you are okay first.If you overdo it you will be no use to anyone.When i decided to care for my parents i made lists,lists of what might need doing,lists of what i would miss out on,lists of things to do to prepare,and lists of ways to reduce stress.It not only helped me prepare but also made me aware of how much it involved.I find the Forum great when i need to wind down,i read/answer posts,play the games,etc.But i also make sure that i have things in place to turn to when i get `me` time.Think carefully before you take on such a workload.Best wishes. Image Image Image
I missed the bit about large gardens first time round. Mine is half an acre. After I was widowed and had a car accident I couldn't look after any of my borders properly. The only way to deal with them long term is to do away with them, have a patio, and pots. My eldest son helped me sort this out, it's now wonderful. Youngest son (with LD) cuts the grass with his garden tractor, twice a year the hedge gets a haircut. Job done! For the first time in almost 40 years we can all sit outside drinking coffee with a clear conscience, rather than seeing all the jobs which need doing. I still miss the flowers and the apple trees, but I can honestly say that I wish we'd been brave and simplified the garden long ago. The only other realistic alternative is to find someone who wants some ground for an allotment, and let them use the garden in return for some of the produce.
Thank you so much everyone. Just overwhelmed by the kindness shown here. I've learnt a lot already...didn't know I could call an ambulance for a fall. That was the bit that scared me most. My dad had a fall today and it took me almost an hour to get him into a chair. Got a calll from community alarm people at work saying he had fallen and could I attend. There lies the problem with alarm system in this area...parent presses alarm....people at the other end phone me! Thanks all..I now know what to do next time. Yes I have hurt my back on several occassions and tried phoning the health centre at one point when I couldn't move my mother from the floor but they told me there was nothing they could do so I just thought I'd have to deal with it myself.
Bowlingbun - thank you! I had no idea about allownaces available. I will certainly look into that. I sort of just fell into this caring role. Nobody asked me....I didn't decide to do it...it was just expected by parents/mother in law that the female in the family would see to everyone's needs.
I have my own garden set out in grass, gravel, trees etc..fairly low maintenance. Parents garden is an acre+ and was once lovely but just can't keepup any more and they don't have the cash to turn it over to a low maintenance variety so I guess I am stuck with that. Great suggestion about allotment space but sadly they live in the middle of nowhere so this probably wouldn't be an option although I will ask around. Mother in law however does have the money to hire a gardener so will also take this in hand and insist she gets someone in or converts her garden to something manageable.
Thanks again everyone. You are all great. Feeling so much better. Sorry to moan so much last night! I was really at the end of my tether and couldn't see a way forwards.
I'm first on the alarm call list too, and it's really important that you are too, so that you know what is going on BUT you don't have to go if you don't want to, there should be 3 people on the list of people to call. At Christmas mum fell about 3am and decided that she didn't want me woken up. This was misinterpreted by the call centre and they recorded that mum didn't want me to know at all. I only found out the ambulance had been called 12 hours later when I went to mum's house and she wasn't there. The call centre refused to give me any information due to "patient confidentiality" and in the end I had to dial 999 to just find out where they'd taken mum! I have had a series of abdominal operations and I'm banned from lifting anything heavy, and this is recorded on mum's call centre notes. If mum falls, they usually call the ambulance and I meet them at mum's house to sort out a bag with nightie etc. if required. On one occasion I had to decline as I couldn't drive due to alcohol consumption. I'd had two glasses on what would have been my wedding anniversary, but I'm widowed. It made me sound as if I was on the slippery slope to alcoholism whereas I probably consume only two bottles of wine per year! I worked towards my Duke of Edinburgh's award when I was young, and it was difficult finding some Community Service. Perhaps you could find out if there's a scheme at one of the local schools, colleges, Guides, Scouts. They could then do the garden. For any youngsters living near the parents this would be great. Living in the New Forest I know how tough it is to find transport. PS I have two friends, both experienced paramedics. I happen to say to them one day that I was so grateful for the way my mum was treated by their local colleagues - and was amazed to learn that picking up little old ladies when they fell was regarded as a plum job. You could not begin to imagine some of the ungrateful time wasters they have to attend. Some will call them out 5 times in one day just because they're lonely. So don't worry at all about calling the ambulance in future for a genuine fall!