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Caring is Indeed Rewarding ! - Page 5 - Carers UK Forum

Caring is Indeed Rewarding !

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Of course not: we don't have to be Pollyannas or boy scouts, cheerily whistling and singing our happy Carers song every day. But broadly speaking, if your life as a carer is really one of relentless never-ending misery, then it is very important to know that you do have the right to stop being a carer and throw in the towel. A lot of people don't know that. And there have been some horrid stories in the news of people throwing themselves and their carees off Beach Head or whatever .... that is appalling.
Scally, I have been here a few years now and have experience of both sides of the coin.

When my caree was at home, I used to read posts that you wrote, about walking away from caring when it was too much and wonder what the hell you were talking about.
In our case, the theory of doing it was just fine. Let's cut to the chase and talk about the practicality. How can this be done? Do we leave a vulnerable person in the house alone, hot foot down to the nearest Social Services office and say there is someone on their own at home, I can't take any more so can you please arrange care?
Of course not because it can't be done. I did the carers assessment, I did the "I refuse to provide care" bit and it got me absolutely nowhere. If the caree has significant needs, not just companionship and someone to take them here there and everywhere, when there are medical needs as well, suitable care is thin on the ground and in the case of some, not there at all.

My daughter (caree) lives in a secure unit, a private hospital for people with learning disabilities and severe behavioural problems. She was placed there 7 weeks after leaving our care, in those 7 weeks she had been in a specialist home for people with her condition. This home has been on the TV a few times, it was 5* CQC rated and provided an environment which catered to the needs of people with this syndrome.

After 7 weeks, my daughter was given immediate notice as they were unable to cope with her behaviours. They, with their specially trained staff couldn't cope with her.
On that day, I felt my world had fallen apart. It was due to the care manager we had at that time that our daughter did not come back to us, he was insistent that we couldn't manage to care for her anymore and he was absolutely right. R was placed in that unit for an assessment and still resides there now. She is happy, has just started college again and is gradually maturing. It has also been recognised that she does in fact have psychotic episodes where she becomes extremely aggressive and violent.

I recall well Scally your feeling towards specialist residential placements of any kind and if memory serves, I think bulldozed might have come into the conversation somewhere! The supported living that you speak so highly of does not work for all and it is something that many of us have considered and in some cases tried.

I can't believe that it isn't blatantly obvious enough but for some of us, there are NO services available. None. Nada. If combined care is needed, even tougher to get what's needed so all this gumph about walking away is fine in theory, lets see it explained in practice. How exactly can it be done?

I'm all for supporting those who have had enough to stop their caring role. I'm also all for telling them exactly how they can do that. Remember, I had been here. I called Social Services once in a crisis, when I was being attacked by R and got told to call the police. Yeah, that did a lot of good.
But my hackles rise when I see the same stuff being trotted out. Yes, we do have a choice but for most, it really does boil down to can you walk away and leave a person who is incapable of caring for themselves at all and go to an office somewhere saying that you have left them?

So please, let's support those who are desperate to get the Carers Assessment and all that stuff (did bugger all for me but hey ho..) and to help them let go of the guilt. Remind them that they have a choice and that there is a process that they need to start.

I do also think we need to remember that many post here as a release, they are stressed to the max and need to share their desperation. That does not however mean that they necessarily want to stop caring and I think that sometimes over exuberance is the order of the day, telling them that they are doing too much, they shouldn't be doing that, they need to get an assessment, do this, do that, contact Tom, Dick and Harry..

It should not be our place to tell somebody else what they should do, unless they specifically request that type of advice. Just because we have the experience, we are not necessarily right. Often people just want a few friendly words while in crisis, not a whole list of things they have to do!
We should be careful not to let our own experience, useful as it may be, cloud our listening skills.

For Riyad, I'm glad that you feel the way you do. Many others do but there are also many of us who are worn down by years of physical and psychological struggle, not to mention financial difficulty.

For the majority, leaving caring is not simple so can we stop making out it is? There's enough guilt floating around anyway..
This site can help with support and advice for those who continue to care and those who choose not to. That is the really rewarding thing IMO.
Ladybird - a powerful and eloquent post. Thank you. I am glad to hear - if I've understood it correctly - that you have, finally, found a placement for your daughter that seems to be working for her, and for you, which I hope is the case.

As ever, reading what others here are coping with is truly sobering.

Kind regards, Jenny
Each situation is unique. I used to work as a fairly senior officer in both the NHS and Social Services for two decades, and you might be surprised to know that individual cases like this often take up a great deal of time at top-level management meetings: senior managers are not unsympathetic, far from it. And decisions are taken based on the evidence available, not just on cost. So, if you have a better, more cost effective care solution: then by all means put your case to the Director of Social Work and demand a personal meeting. You might be quite impressed by the result. But most people just don't realise that THEY have the power to make change happen. You do. Use it.