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New to forum - Carers UK Forum

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Hi everyone,

I have been a carer for my 90 year old father since my mum died on 4th December 2012.
I'm trying to cope with the trauma of mum and at the same time I've got to look after my Father.

We've had problems with the pension service. One minute they're giving dad extra money and the latest letter says that they've reduced his state pension and also stopped his severe disability allowance and I've got to claim carers allowance which I've done today. Dad hasn't really stopped complaining about it. I keep telling him its because mum died but he just keeps on about it.

I think the worst thing at the moment is that I haven't got my own life anymore. I've moved in with Dad because there's no way he can look after himself and I wouldn't put him in a home either.

He has problems with walking and needs a lot of help. I don't begrudge doing this, it's just that I don't seem to have any life I help him with dressing, going to the loo, do all the cooking, cleaning, shopping and take him to drs appointments etc. He's a very stubborn and selfish person. Funny thing is a few weeks before mum died (we didn't know she was ill then, her death was fairly sudden) she said he was a very selfish person.

I'm a widow, my husband died suddenly 5 years ago and I've moved away from my friends to be with dad although we do keep in contact by phone and email.

I have a brother who lives in swindon but he doesn't seem interested in doing his bit although he is coming for a week in February while I go away for a quick break. I guess its normal for the daughter to become the carer.

I know I could go to social services but there's no way that Dad would have anybody here to look after him apart from me even for a few hours.

Do you know reading this back I feel like I'm a real moaner especially when I've read other posts where carers really do have it hard. All I've got is an elderly selfish stubborn sometimes demanding father.

Anyway feel better now I've had a moan. Its early days yet and what is it they say? Things can only get better?
Hi sussexrokx thanks for that. You're right. DWP are a nightmare. They stopped Dads severe disability allowance but didn't mention I could get carers allowance. Hopefully that's sorted now.

Thanks for your best wishes.
welcome to the forum.
I love the name, I have a golden labrador,called(predictably),Goldie!
Do you know reading this back I feel like I'm a real moaner especially when I've read other posts where carers really do have it hard.
It sounds to me like youve got it quite hard too. Its not easy caring for someone 24/7 with no breaks, but its really important that you do get breaks otherwise your health may well suffer.

Im glad your brother is going to take over for a week. Make sure you use it to have a really relaxing break and maybe your brother will see what its like for you and do it again more regularly.
Hello and welcome Image
Welcome to the forum. You can't be forced to care for dad. My mum stubbornly refused to have carers in, preferring me to do everything, until I became very, very ill. She now loves having carers in 3 times a day, and I feel really sad that my health was permanently ruined by her stubborness. Contact Social Services and ask for a Carers Assessment, tell them how you feel, and find out what is available for dad in the area. He won't like you not caring 24/7, but there is only so much you can do. The longer you leave it, the more difficult it will be to get him to accept help. Make sure you both have a proper benefits check from Carers UK, there may be benefits which you are not aware of, which you could be entitled to. You might also qualify for Direct Payments if Social Services do a "Needs Assessment" for dad.
Hi there doglover, welcome.

I was looking after my father from when my Mum died in 1999 until he died last year. He had muscular dystrophy, so from being able to walk a little with support in 1999 he eventually became unable to stand and had always had weak arms/shoulders. My mother also died quite quickly after diagnosis, so we also had that awful shock to deal with, too.

From what you write, your Dad might benefit from the various types of equipment the Social Services (often called Adult Care now) supply on loan. This would need an assessment by an Occupational Therapist (OT) to see what your Dad can/can't do for himself. Even if your Dad is selfish, he would surely prefer to do as much as he can for himself, we found some bits of kit made a surprisingly big difference. Things have moved on from the days when they could offer only a wheelchair! Without the OT's input, I could not have kept Dad at home.

I would suggest your Dad needs to get used to the idea that you have to have some help coming in. Perhaps you could have an appointment or a sick friend to visit, at such a distance/time that you need someone to call in to give Dad a meal or even just a cuppa. Invent the appointment/friend if necessary - you will both benefit in the longer term. Do a 'dry run', say the first time you will be there to show the care worker where to find things, how your Dad likes things done, etc. Having no help at all will sooner or later result in you becoming ill/injured, then where will you be? The switch from the parent being 'in charge' to the adult child taking control is difficult, but it has to be.
Hello, welcome and feel free to have a good moan, it gets it all off your chest and helps you think straighter Image Image
Good advice from Cotula, if your Dad doesn't have an ot, then you need a referral from his doctor or an assessment from the ss.
Look into getting outside help because, as I'm sure your neither you nor your Dad really want you doing his personal care on a regular basis, it's a lot less embarrassing for you both to have a non relative doing this, which would then open the door for him to accept more help.
As a daughter you already have a life and commitments, don't lose yourself.
Sometimes if you refer to a carer as a "nurse" instead the help is more readily accepted. After all, there are various grades of "nurse" and in fact the carer who came to see me after my operation had an official title of carer but was a qualified nursery nurse. Some might see this slight change of terminology as slightly deceitful, others might find it a wonderful way to get the help they desperately need. Entirely a personal decision, either way.
Hi everyone,

Many thanks for your support and ideas. I feel better in myself now since last week. User name dogloverlabs is because I've got a beautiful yellow labrador. She's getting on now, she'll be 13 in April but she's fit and healthy. She's helped me a lot. My husband died suddenly 5 years ago last October and she really helped me through that and now she's doing it again.

Dad is still the same, irritating, selfish and stubborn. I feel guilty describing him like that as he's been a terrific father but as he's got older he's changed a lot.

Brother coming at the weekend for a week (depending on weather, he lives in Swindon). That'll help. Also I'm looking forward to 4 weeks on Saturday when me and meg (that's my lab) go to Devon.

Still got problems with DWP. They're looking at another form that we filled in and will write and let us know. Have got a few phone numbers of advisors for welfare benefits and will contact those if we get no joy from them.

Got to say you're a lovely bunch of people. It certainly helps knowing that there are people
that are going through hard times as carers too and that you can get things off your chest by talking to them.