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Caring for Dad - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Caring for Dad

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi Jane
These questions are for you to think about, not because I want you to write an answer.
Would consider your brother as having a full time day job caring for Dad or would you consider it part time, in that he is able to leave dad, to do something for himself, for some time during the day?
If you would say that it is a full time job and you are working full time, then you are equal.
If your brother was employed by someone to care for a stranger then both you and he would arrive home after work and be faced with the care of Dad.
Would you not then work out a 'share' of the caring. Would you not arrange that your brother has an evening or two to himself and the same for you? Would you not share weekends in that you have Saturday to yourself and brother has Sunday for example?
I imagine that your brother feels that he is stuck with dad all day and evenings should be taken over by you. After all, from his point of view, you are the lucky one with a job and can get away. If you both could look at it as a split between the day 'job' and the night and weekend 'care' , maybe you could give each other a break?
As for dad and his medication, Carers, Nurses etc have a tick list. On it there are headings like, name of med, date, time offered, observed taken, refused. Make a spread sheet, print it out and every time you give dad his meds fill it in. When he asks what you are doing tell him that it's up to him whether he takes his meds or not but you are not going to be held responsible when he ends up in hospital so you are keeping a record to show the doctors. It might worry him enough to comply. You could also add a column which indicates 'dad says he did but I don't know'.
My 99 yr old Mum also hates the idea of hospital so can be persuaded that taking medicine or doing other things like drinking lots of water to avoid urine infections will help keep her from having to go in!
Hope I've helped.
Elaine
Hi Jane. My name is Theresa. I care for my mother and my nephew.☺
Sadly my Dad died in hospital in January. He became more unwell and he was admitted as an emergency to hospital and died of heart failure and pneumonia. I now feel guilty about what I said about caring for Dad but as I said in my previous posts I found caring for him a struggle. I didn't move house and stayed with Dad until the end.
Jane, please dump the guilt. You were there for dad, not simply ignoring him, not at the other end of the country, not at the other side of the world. None of us want our relatives to be ill, none of us ask to be carers. We do our best in the circumstances, with no advance training, and little day to day support. Feel proud at what you could do. We are all human, not perfect, but reading through your post, dad wasn't always perfect either? So please feel proud of what you did for dad. He was lucky to have family who cared.
Jane, it's sad to hear about your dad ...BUT....I know I will not be the first to say this, and you've probably heard it dozens of times now from all and sundry, but...yes, the phrase is, of course, 'merciful release'....

I know that it can be inflammatory, or wounding, or hurtful or 'too easy' to say it, but I would say to you I that case to go back and read again your initials postings here, that vividly and brutally outlined just what your dad was coping with, and therefore what you and your brother were coping with.

Infirm old age is not easy to endure, and not easy to look after. But one of the hardest aspects is not knowing how long it will go on for.

If, when you'd posted back in November first, a doctor had said ,'Look, your dad won't last out the winter, I'm sorry to say' then you and your brother would have known that you could rally round, do everything in your power to make your dad's last months as absolutely good as you could for him, doing everything 'his way' and so on.

BUT, that foreknowledge is not given to us (usually), and that means we have to take decisions about caring as if it's going to last for years, and what we can do for a short while is seldom what we can do for a sustained period of years.

I know you feel guilty now for what you said about how difficult it was to care for him, but it WAS difficult! It wasn't easy - it took a significant toll on you and your brother, and on your relationship, and that is just the truth of it.

And, even more sadly, as he aged more, and got more infirm, with more health complications, then it would just have got more and more difficult. Losing him now will have spared both the two of you, and, even more, your dad himself, a lot more ill health and problems - things could not have 'got better' alas.....

So please don't feel guilty about 'complaining', because you DID have a difficult situation on your hands. For all of us caring for an elderly relative with health issues, whether mental or physical or both, we know that the only 'end to it' will come as nature takes its course.....

Over this coming year your dad will be in your thoughts endlessly, but it will get less painful as time goes by, and gradually, you know, we remember those we loved and lost not as they were 'at the end' but in the much better and happier times that are much longer ago. Maybe digging out some family photos of all of your together, would remind you of that and bring you some comfort.

It would be lovely to think that your dad is now with your mum, and they are both 'relaxing on a pink cloud' (!) and catching up with each other. Let's hope so. :)

Kind thoughts now, at a time of bereavement, Jenny