[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 585: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 641: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
Hi everyone - I'm new here - Carers UK Forum

Hi everyone - I'm new here

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
I have recently had to resign from my job as a GP administrator/receptionist due to the failing health of my Mom and stepdad on top of my husbands condition of multiple sclerosis. I've been caring and working since my husbands flare up 6 years ago, he has not gone back into remission this time and so much has changed. I enjoy spending time with him but I am seeing a marked difference in cognitive ability, memory, hearing, movement, speech, eating. So much is changing and all I can do is be here and support him. I read a post on here that spoke about grieving for the loss of the person that you knew and, it's quite true that as disease progresses, it takes a little bit more of the person you love. I get that.

Then, during the first lockdown, my stepdad was rushed into hospital as his kidneys, bladder and bowel weren't working properly and he was really ill. He has aggressive parkinson's anyway so, my Mom and I used to support each other as we knew what the other was going through. That hospital stay knocked my Mom's confidence for 6. She couldn't go to see him so worried every minute of the day; her health conditions meant that she had to shield and she withdrew from life a bit. I was at her side constantly as I was so worried about her and my employer was not very sympathetic. To cut a long story short - when my stepdad came out of hospital, a lot changed. My Mom had several bad falls and her skin is paper thin so she really knocked herself about. My stepdad needed more and more physical help as he struggled to stand, sit, walk, dress etc and my Mom couldn't cope. I'm the eldest in our family and have always lived close to my parents. My sister works full time and would not give an inch to help out, her job means more to her than a lot of things in life but, that is her choice. My brother is a long distant HGV driver and is rarely in England, my one stepsister lives in South Africa and my other step-sister has chronic chrones disease and has spent the last 3 months in hospital herself.

I'm not being a martyr, there was an inevitability that something had to give and I resigned from my job last September. Lots of reasons fed into that difficult decision but my mental health was really suffering with the demands everyone in my life was making on what little time I had available. It is the best decision that I've made in recent months as I am now able to provide a security for my parents and am in a bubble with them as I do everything for them, my husband and I have sorted out a great routine that enables us both to be able to do what we need to do and I'm still there for him. The only thing that is missing from my life is the constant chatter that was always present in the company of my colleagues. I tend to internalise a lot of how I feel as I don't want to upset the loved ones I care for by 'moaning'. Some day's, I feel overwhelmed and its my tutor who has signposted me to this online support. I have just claimed Carers Allowance, applied for the carers assessment and signed up to this site and forum. I want to continue with my part time studying as I had to leave school in the eighties and start work straight away due to the economic situation of the time - my parents needed me to contribute to the household so, I didn't have the option to take the higher education places that I'd been offered. So, I'm doing it now!! It keeps my brain ticking and fits in with caring. It helps me to stay focused and happy, although I do miss attending the tutorials as I met new people.

I'm sorry for rambling, I haven't spoken to anybody outside of my bubble for months! Thank you for taking the time to read this and - helloo!!
Hi Alison,
Welcome to the forum.
There is only so much anyone can deal with. It's sad that you had to give up your job, but hopefully it will give you more time for your studies. What subjects are you doing?
Your parents should each have a Needs Assessment from Social Services.
Once the help they need has been assessed, then they have the option of choosing whether SSD arrange this for them, OR they can have Direct Payments and they can pay you. Make sure you are involved in the assessment, parents often say they can do things they can't any more!
I was always the one in the family expected to look after my parents, whilst brothers just carried on their own lives. It can be difficult running two homes (at one stage I had four to look after!!) Try to streamline mum and dad's place as much as possible. Do they have an accessible bathroom, tumble dryer for the inevitable washing? A dishwasher? Do you have them at home too?
Do both your parents claim Attendance Allowance? It sounds as if they may well be entitled to it.
Do your parents own their own home? Have over £46,000 between them. Yes/No?
Do you have Power of Attorney for either of them, and your husband?
If not, put this at the top of your priority list, don't leave it until "later".
Hi Alison, welcome to the forum.

I think lots of people will relate to feeling a lack of social contact, it's difficult to have that suddenly removed and find yourself without that type of support. We're running weekly online meet ups for carers to take a bit of time for themselves and chat to others. You're very welcome to join us, details are here:

https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... ne-meetups

You might also find it useful to have a look through our help and advice pages and check you're all getting the help you're entitled to:

https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice

Best wishes

Jane