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Hello. Struggling right now. - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Hello. Struggling right now.

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Alex, sometimes the 'deal' with parents has to be that they get US to look after them SOME of the time, but ONLY if they accept third party care as well for the rest of the time! What we can do for them PART TIME is NOT what we can do ALL the time! When I am with MIL I am '100%' tending to her (my 'cossetting' role, I call it)....but, the only reason I can do all that cossetting when I'm with her is BECAUSE I don't have to do it all the time! I did try doing it 'non-stop' (up to five weeks at a time, with her staying with me) and I was driven to the edge of a nervous breakdown.

We can all hold up a kilo weight for, say, five minutes. Not a problem. But trying holding one up for 24x7.....your arm breaks.

I know parents can be resistant to third party help because (not unnaturally!) it's 'nicer' to be looked after by their children (though 'good parents', I firmly believe, so NOT want to 'collapse' on their children!), and yes, they may not want to accept that they need help (as if their children looking after them is different somehow??????!!!), but I also believe that some of their resistence to outside help is that they fear it is the 'thin end of the wedge' and that the moment a care-worker comes in the door, an ambulance will arrive to 'take them into an 'old folks home' ......

I think once they realise that having outside help in does NOT mean their children scarper for ever, but, just the reverse, that with some of the work load placed on third party shoulders, their children actually find it easier psychologically and physically to do the 'cossetting' that they do do, then our parents will relax and realise that it is not the thin end of the wedge at all. That by accepting outside help they actually increase their ability to stay in their own homes.

I do think that the fact you are posting here shows that you are recognising that 'something has to change' in terms of the care your parents need now, and that you cannot be the sole provider any more, or you will shatter in pieces.

Your parents are exceptionally lucky to have such a devoted son - but their care needs must not drive you over the edge! You are entitled to a 'good life' too.....

All the best, Jenny
Hi Alex
What i'm about to suggest may not be possible or easy to do. I think you need to try and detach your feelings, yes they are your parents and you their obviously loving and caring son but you will be of absolutely no use to them if you have a breakdown. Try to imagine what advice you would give to a parent or carer of someone with MH issues that you were dealing with at work. Make positive changes to their care that make things easier for you, ie the lifeline, explaining that it is as much for your benefit as for theirs.
Have you maximised their benefits? Attendance Allowance if they are both over 65 could help with the cost of getting someone in to make them dinner once or twice a week giving you a much needed break, introduce the person to them as a friend who wants to help. Most people who resist care are afraid. Afraid that their time is up soon.
In my experience when things are personal they get messed up. Just look around to see how many people on the forum can't understand why they have been refused a benefit that they should be entitled to but have been refused. Because they wouldn't admit the true nature of the problem and couldn't detach themselves.
I keep a large box of tissues on my desk because I need to ask the difficult questions of people with disabilities but when they get their award they thank me for my directness, for asking the awkward questions.
As many have already said you are not alone and you never will be.

Harsh realities.
Seek out other careers and go to a meeting Carers uk can tell you about this,
Continued Harsh realites.
Carers uk can advise you of groups in your area and CAB or dial.org.uk can help with benefit advice. I struggle dealing with my own stuff but because I can detach my feelings I am able to help others. in life you need to help yourself first so that you can help others.
Like I said not easy just food for thought.
My Best Wishes
This thread is continuing to act as therapy for me right now, so thank you. I haven't managed to work my way around the forum yet but fully intend to :)

Bowling Bun - I have been meaning to learn a bit more about Power of Attorney and how it might relate to my situation so thanks for the very valid prompt there.

Jenny Lucas - I loved your analogy of the kilo weight scenario and how eventually we all buckle if we have to carry that weight around all the time. That definitely applies to me right now!

Floyd_1504 - Thanks loads for that. Your comments really touched me. Re benefits, thankfully I managed to get my mum onto high rate PIP, both for care and mobility. Didn't even need to go via appeal which was refreshing. She is the more disabled of my parents. My dad was rather harshly turned down for AA. We took it all the way to tribunal. It would probably be reasonable to consider re-applying now. In previous jobs as a support worker, I've often taken a lead role in applying for benefits and I was always one of the more successful support workers in maximising clients income. I enjoyed that part of my job massively.
POA'S have changed recently. Most importantly is the fact that they take about 3 months to be registered and you can't use them until this process is complete. I got my mum to sign hers less than a month before an emergency hospital admission - so I said it was all signed (but didn't say it wasn't yet registered!!). At the end of mum's life, I told the GP that above all I wanted mum to be pain free. Fortunately, she took appropriate action, so mum just passed away in her sleep, after 40 years of a painful condition.
You are most welcome.
Alex_1504 wrote:Thanks for that Jenna.

I also wanted to come back to some of the replies

CaravanJ - I know what you mean, or I think I do. There is probably only so much training can address in terms of the issues faced by carers, especially the psychological impact on carers. It's just one of those things you probably (but perhaps not always), have to have 'lived' experience of really to truly understand the perspective of a carer.
Hello Alex,

No person, no matter how highly qualified, will ever in a million years really know what caring's all about if they've never done it, any more than I, who's never had one, can really know what a broken leg feels like.

I may think I know but the reality is that I don't know.