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Hello,new to forum - Carers UK Forum

Hello,new to forum

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hello,I am a carer for my 92year old father which I have been doing for nearly five years.He was diagnosed with colon cancer over three years ago and opted not to have any surgery and the cancer has only progressed slowly if at all.While he is mentally still alert the main problem is his mobility,wheelchair outside the house with a frame in the house.He has a carer/s six times a week to shower and dress him,one is excellent,the other not so good.I do everything else,cooking cleaning etc.He is becoming slightly more incontinent having to wear pads,this is for urine at the moment.He has had a few falls over the past year,one serious which involved an eight week stay in various hospitals and another last month where we waited over four hours for the paramedics.Usually I am a lemon to move him if he is sitting but he fell on his front and I couldn’t lift him.
I understand he is frustrated as he was a very strong man having worked up until his mid 80s and now cannot do what he would like to do but they way he talks to me and expects me to do things for him can becoming very wearing,it’s the usual those that do the most get treated the worst.Other family members help out a few hours per week,one is a helicopter and finds it very difficult.
It is taking a toll on my mental health,while I feel I can cope most of the time it can get very stressful and I feel I am not really living.
Mark, hi and welcome.

Sadly, you raise several issues which are all all-too-familiar here on the forum!! From parents who need us totally, yet still treat us like children (!), to helicopter relatives who 'oh dearie me just can't cope with it all' (HOW lucky that YOU can cope, then!!!!!!)(irony is lost on such siblings alas.....)(they are, dearie me, just SO much more sensitive than us, they FEEL more than us....)(which very conveniently as it happens means they don't have to DO anything like as much as us - how nice for them!!!!)

As you can tell (!) helicopter relatives get short shrift on this board. (I don't have any in respect of my MIL, as her surviving son lives in the USA and genuinely 'can't' do anything to help. If she weren't in a care home for dementia in the UK she'd just have to be in a care home for dementia in the USA - at probably ten times the cost!)

Back to you. One of the other 'great truths' on this forum and you illustrate this one too, is that 'what we can do for a limited period of time without excessive toll on ourselves is NOT what we can sustain for years and years an years'.....

You've discovered that caring is not a sprint, it's a marathon, and we have NO idea where the finishing line is going to be!! One member here tells of someone she knew who took on her mother's care at 90 (the mum not the daughter!), and the mum then lived to 104!!!!!

Sadly, again, another mantra here is 'the elderly do not die at our convenience'.....my poor MIL was totally independent until she was 89, NO ONE thought she'd come down with dementia. But she did, and four years later she is immobile, can't talk, doubly incontinent and hasn't a clue where she is. Ghastly. WHY didn't she die of a stroke or similar 'quick death' when she was 89? Her 'extra years' have been a misery to her, and her family. SO not fair.

Back to you again - all in all, it sounds like you have reached the point where you can't just 'carry on as before'. You need to rethink, have an assessment, and very probably a family conflab. The others in your family have to 'do more', your father has to stop treating you as a 'brainless skivvy' (aka ten year old!), and you need to plan ahead for the next five years, on an 'if dad lives then...' and 'if dad dies then ....'

That's probably enough for now - do take 'comfort' of sorts that your situation is ALL too familiar, and there are 'ways and means' to try and lessen the 'care burden' that has fallen to you. Either 'slightly' by rearranging things in your life, and realigning prioerities, or, 'drastically' by 'big decisions' (eg, care home at the furthest extreme.)
Hi Mark
Definitely sounds time to build in some regular breaks, and the occasional full break aka a holiday. Regular time off in the form of a few hours daily or weekly so you can do something you enjoy,

Sadly Dad will not change so you will have to be the one to instigate and follow through what you need for yourself. It's not selfish nor weak, its absolutely necessary or you won't be able to carry on caring at the levels you have.

It's also ok to say 'no' to a demanding parent, or at least 'not now'
And also to recognise his care needs will increase, so put things in place now ready for the future

Thanks for your replies.What you say is so true.
Hi Mark, welcome to the forum.

Dad is now a very old man, and his age is taking it's toll. When he gets cross with what he can't do, do NOT let him take it out on you.

YOU are now the one in charge. A bit more information would help us give you the best advice.

When did he last have a Social Services Needs Assessment?
Have Social Services done A Carers Assessment for you?
Is he claiming Attendance Allowance?
Does he have over £23,000 in savings?
Does he own the house he lives in?
Are you an only child?
Thanks for your post .
We had an assessment when he was discharged from hospital in November 2017,the person conducting it was not very pleasant and was seeing how little was required.I didn’t want an assessment at the time.
He receives the higher attendance allowance which nearly covers his morning carers six times a week shy of a few pounds.His savings are below the £23,000 and the house is in my name.