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Nother Newbie :) - Carers UK Forum

Nother Newbie :)

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Hello Image

The Carers' Week theme of 'Preparing to Care' this week is very apt for me as I am now just starting to consider myself on the edges of being a carer for my Dad and his wife.

Dad is old and frail, aged 84 and having had a stroke about 4 years ago. His wife is around 10 years younger, is pretty fit for her age but doesn't always keep all that well. Dad's wife is his primary carer but I am increasingly on call to provide support for them both on occasion. I live just over an hour's drive away from them and work full time - I help by staying with Dad for a few days whilst his wife has a holiday on her own and for just showing my face every now and then to talk to Dad and cheer him up to take the pressure off his wife.

Dad is perfectly mobile, if a little unsteady, can communicate well if very slowly and quietly, and can carry out all his own personal care when he is well. However, he is a very emotionally needy man and can be quite difficult to deal with.

Over the past week Dad has had a bit of a chest infection which has knocked him sideways, and dealing with him has knocked the stuffing out of his wife. I was able to go and help out over the weekend, and speak to the GP about my concerns for my Dad and also for the health of his wife. We were able to agree that Dad will have a short stay in a local nursing home - we are very lucky that he has the finances to be able to do that. Dad's wife will now be able to have some much needed R&R and time to herself during the week.

So, I don't have the kind of stories most of you do as I'm just being drawn in to a more caring role and it's a bit of a distant and occasional one at the moment. I'm just starting to think about how this is going to impact on and fit into my life.

Off to check out what else is in this forum Image
Hi and welcome Image
Anything you need to know, just ask, usually someone here knows Image
Hello and welcome Image
Hi weesilvie and welcome to the forum,
It is so lovely to hear how you are supporting your mum, many primary carers have no one else in the family helping. Im also glad that you are finding out about things before they become a problem and that your parents have a supportive GP. I must say, though, that most caring starts off gently and become more and more involved - caring sort of creeps up on us Image
Thanks all for the lovely welcome Image

Crocus, my Dad's wife isn't my Mum Image She's his third wife. My mum was his second wife and lives separately and his first wife is mum to my brother and sisters and is no longer with us. Don't worry though - my family confuses those within it, never mind everyone else!

I was very heartened by the approach of the GP - he's not who they're registered with, just another member of the practice who they have both seen before. He turned out to be exactly what was needed on Friday. He let me know that he was happy for us to contact him at the surgery if we needed to.

I am indeed becoming increasingly aware of the creeping up of caring responsibility, hence getting more involved with things like this forum and seeking out the information and support available on such things. I have been close to the edge of depression before (not caring related) and fully intend to not let myself get anywhere near it again. I don't even feel I can really call myself a carer yet as there's nothing I do regularly. But I am always there if needed. And if issues like this infection start cropping up more regularly, or Dad's wife becomes less able to cope, then I can see myslef getting more involved and I feel I need to be prepared for that. Difficult to prepare though as I can't say what will happen, what will change or how it will affect anything! But here I am anyway! Image
I can understand the confusion in the family, weesilvie Image
You are always welcome on here, even if you dont think of yourself as a carer. It is often difficult to know when youve crossed that line - I was caring for years before it dawned on me that I wasnt just supporting my hubby - I was caring for him.
hi welcome to forum