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First Post - Carers UK Forum

First Post

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi All

I am a full-time (live in) carer for my 84 year old Nan. I have been a carer for her for over a year now. I am 35 years old, single with no children. I became a carer by accident really. I was looking after my Nan part time while working and maintaing a six year relationship but everything can to a head a I suffered some sort of breakdown last year and could no longer cope with work I also ended my relationship which was hard I guess. Then my Nan had an operation for Colon cancer so I moved in to look after her when she came out and well have been here since Image She has various health issues and has had a number of falls which have affected her mobility but generally she is doing okay in herself as long as I am with her. Most of the time I am happy but occassionally I feel a bit trapped mainly because of the grief she gives me if I say I am going out (even if its just two hours a week!!) Her sister died a couple of months ago, she had previously lived with my Nan for 15 years before going to a care home (she had dementia among other problems), well she died in February after a bad fall before Christmas and going down hill from there. My Nan's neighbour died this morning in similar circumstances, her husband is looking ill so I will do what I can to help him - after all he is 84 and I'm 35 so I can take on a bit more - I would hate my Nan to be alone. I guess my main worry is my Nan having a bad fall because I have seen the after effects it can have. She has had two falls in the last month which have not been serious but then I have been here to help so that kinda makes me want to stay in anyway. Also the boredom, I stuggle sometimes especially as the weather has been bad so we havent been out so just been long days with not a lot to talk about Image I feel guilty because she never seems to get bored with me (I dont know why! honestly I drive myself mad some times!!)
I loved my Nan and she lived with me from a teenager and sort of brought me up so really Im just paying her back, I think its just hard seeing what its like to be old.
So just wondering really how other people feel about caring full-time and if anyones in a simialr situation.
Hi Henny and welcome Image
Others will be along soon to welcome you too and I'm sure you'll find lots of support Image
Hi Henny and welcome to the forum Image

If you are worried about your Nan having more falls get in touch with your local Occupational Therapy (OT) team and ask them about a 'falls' assessment. They will come and check out your home for any obvious 'danger' points and can also supply any aids (walking frame etc) that your Nan might need.

Also try to get a referral from your Nan's GP to the local Physiotherapy team - ours run exercise sessions (mostly chair based) for elderly folk to help them avoid falls.

When you get your 'respite' time do you have any one to stay with Nan whilst you're out ? If not you should contact your local Social Services team for an assessment for your Nan and a Carer's Assessment for yourself.
Hi many thanks for response and advice,

I have had social services involved to help with equipment and for an assessment and they have been great. My Nan refused point blank to have any one come in and help and was quite rude to the lady!!!
My Nan has never lived on her own, my Grandad died about 25 years ago so she moved in with us, then about 15 years ago her and her sister lived together, then her sister had to go into a care home cause she had dementia and my Nan couldnt look after her anymore, so I moved in. My Mum will come round if I go out, but my Mum doesnt get a lot of time because of her commitments so I dont like to ask too much. Even then my Nan gets annoyed with me for going out!!! I think she may be showing signs of dementia cause she is acting to me like her sister did to her - the doctor knows but says he wants to sort her other health problems out first.
I think I am just worrying because I have seen dementia develop and I dont want my Nan to get worse.
Also the rubbish weather hasnt helped because we have been stuck in a lot more!!!!
I will try to get her into a day care centre but I think that will be very difficult because she is so stubborn and feels independant and says I dont need it - but then I see her fear when I say I am going out so that stops me mainly because I feel so guilty. It must be horrible for her to rely on me all the time after being independant for so long.
And I appreciate this time I am having with her - she does make me laugh so its not all bad Image
I think I was just having a bad day, but I guess that's all part of being a carer Image
Hiya and a warm welcome to the forum.
Hello Henny. Good to have you with us.

As you can see, many of us here very much understand the emotions you talk about. The practical side of caring is one thing. The emotional side is another and is often the bit that we struggle with the most. Yes, its tough and we can too easily feel somewhat trapped and although we are happy to support someone that we love, we can still miss the freedom and life we once had. We all have to find a way through this and find some sense of balance. But its important to be aware of the range of emotions we feel, and to express these things. And its very important to understand that there is nothing bad or wrong in feeling this way. Its quite normal in fact !

Carry on loving your Nan. And keep loving yourself too.....

All good wishes, Henny.

Robert
Hi and welcome to the Forum,hope you find it useful and fun.
Welcome to the forum from me too, and well done for looking after nan with such love. I sympathise about the weather making things worse, my son is away this weekend and I was hoping to get out and about, but it's too cold and damp for me. I think you would feel heaps better in yourself if you could get out more, at least one day a week to do your own thing. Others have said how good the day care is in their area, but I could not persuade my mum to go to the one she was offered. If nan's health is going downhill, she might be entitled to additional benefits, which could possibly be used to make life easier for you both. Incidentally, don't be afraid to call the ambulance if nan falls over, mum has needed them to help her up a few times and they are always very kind. They keep a note of how many times someone falls, and this may trigger extra support to help stop the falls. Does she have a Lifeline pendant to call help in an emergency? I hope that helps a bit, let us know if there is anything else we might be able to help with. Take care.
Missed your post Henry, just wanted to say hello, and Image
Hi thanks again

Yeah my nan has the life line but I don't think she would think about using it. Also I know I should call an ambulance when she falls but even that's hard - for example she fell out of bed and woke me at 2am by crawling into the hallway shouting I can't get up (I didn't hear her on the baby monitor) and she was trying to get up by herself and was panicking so I helped her to the bathroom and managed to get her up that way, it makes it hard to make decisions, she doesn't like hospitals and I know they prob won't need to take her in but it's hard to leave her to make that call when she's so frightened. She is seeing a variety of consultants to see what problems there are so hopefully we'll get something sorted. I know I should go out more but even that I find hard cause I'm always talking about my nan and my friends are great but that say I should have some time and that makes me feel bad and then I dont feel like going out anyway (does that make sense?!) it's really hard not knowing what's around the corner and when she's really bad it scares me that she won't get better, then she does and I sort of go down hill a bit so we are both on a rollercoaster lol. Thanks for listening, I appreciate it x