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Carers UK Forum • Hi I'm new!
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Hi I'm new!

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:13 am
by Guest
Hi all, nice to meet you Image

I'm a 23 year old girl I live in a small Devon town with my husband. I was designated a 'young carer' when I lived with my mum, although it wasn't really her that needed too much looking after as much as me and my little sister.
Unfortunately I can supply you with anything specific as to my mum's need for help, the doctors have never supplied us with a reason for mum's behaviour partly because mum used to forget to follow up appointments, go to hospital appointments (she can't drive and all of her family live up north).
Basically she suffered from bouts of depression interspersed with bouts of great enthusiasm for projects/ideas that were never going to happen coupled with high blood pressure and a kidney disorder, absent-mindedness, a certain lack of social skills and any adult friends or company (not a serious as many people on here who have real disabilities I know, but it seemed awful at the time =S).
Essentially from the age of about 9, I used to have to sort out getting myself and my sister ready for school and to school on the bus. I used to come home and cook dinner, have to wash my own clothes, try and remember to check the electric meter, go and do the shopping etc. I didn't have to do all these things all the time, sometimes mum would have a sudden surge of energy and be like the perfect (lol) mother for a few days before retiring to her bedroom again, or she'd manage to do some things and not others.
Nowadays my mum has kind of reached a plateau. Her meds seem to have stabilised her and she's finally found satisfaction in gardening. A recent influx of new people moving onto the street she lives has led to her having a really nice little social group of friends who look out for each other and go shopping together things like that. She's still forgetful and unorganised, but she's doing pretty well at keeping herself on top of things. My sister still lives with her but will be going to university next year, something I never managed to do, and I'm so pleased for her.
All throughout this I had support from my grandparents (my dad's parents) who used to give us food, money for electric, lifts to the supermarket. Until my granddad was made redundant when I was about 16, and shortly afterwards had a stroke which put him in hospital for a few months. He never fully recovered to his old self, but he worked hard and learned to write and talk again and started going for walks on the moors to keep himself fit.
Last year my nanna (who's had bad knees for most of her life) fell down the stairs in the middle of the night. She went to hospital and they detected a small amount of bleeding on the back of her brain, but decided she was fine and sent her home. Six weeks later my nanna started behaving very strangely. Unable to walk hardly at all, completely incontinent (she'd had mild incontinence for awhile) and started slurring some of her words, she seemed very confused.
The doctor sent her to the local hospital where they treated her for a stroke, and she only got worse until she couldn't talk or do anything herself at all. They gave her a brain scan only to discover that her brain was still bleeding and the asprin they'd been giving her was only making it worse.
Eventually she had an operation on her brain to drain it, and she steadily recouperated in hospital. The problems began when she came home though.
My granddad has essentially become her full-time carer. She can barely get to the toilet by herself, she gets easily confused and has major mood swings screaming at my granddad because she can't get a tissue out of the box and things like that. He does the best he can but he's basically killing himself running around after her Image He's very depressed and constantly exhausted. Basically housebound unless he can persuade someone else to stay with Nanna. Me and my mum help when we can but I work full-time so can only go and visit in the evening, by which time Nan's normally gone to bed to watch Eastenders, or on the weekend which tend to be very full anyway.
So basically I've joined for my Granddad's benefit. I'm trying to find out if there's any more I can do for him, anymore help they're entitled to, if anyone has any suggestions as to any help I can give them =)
I'm soooooo sorry for my first post being a novel but I wanted to fully explain lol XD

Hi Gemstar, Welcome to the forum.

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:27 am
by no1mum
Hi Gemstar,
Welcome to the forum. You should be able to get an assessment from social services and get a care package put together for your Nan which would take some of the pressure off your Grandad.
Karen x

Hi Gemstar and welcome to

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:46 am
by rosemary
Hi Gemstar and welcome to the forum.

There are so many links to information that can be provided but it may be best if you give Carersline a call.

CarersLine is staffed by experts and has years of experience of dealing with the problems carers face. We provide free and confidential information and advice on:

benefits and tax credits
carers employment rights
carers assessments
the services available for carers, and how to complain effectively and challenge decisions.
Our freephone number is 0808 808 7777 and we are open on Wednesday and Thursday 10am -12pm and 2pm - 4pm.


They will be able to tell you about carers assessments for your grandad and also do a financial check in case there are benefits they are entitled to.

Your grandad is lucky to have you watching out for him.Have they discussed getting outside help at all??
Was your Nan assessed when she was in hospital before she was discharged to ensure everything was ok at home?
Have Social services been involved at all ?

There is so much to consider but you have come to the right place.

Rosemary

.

Welcome Gemstar I'm sure you will

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:51 pm
by susieq
Welcome Gemstar

I'm sure you will find help and support here.

Your Grandparents GP can you put on the right path for services available in your area; and do try to get in touch with your local Occupational Therapy team - they are the ones who can provide all the gadgets that can make life so much easier for elderly patients and their carers - ours are brilliant.

best wishes
susieq

hello and welcome Gemstar I

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:50 pm
by Myrtle
hello and welcome Gemstar Image
I echo Susie, get in touch with your OT through your health centre. Ours has been absolutely amazing Image

Hi Gemstar nice to meet

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:41 am
by JohnT
Hi Gemstar nice to meet you.Welcome to the forum Image

Thanks everyone I'm in the

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:34 am
by Guest
Thanks everyone Image

I'm in the process of trying to find out exactly what my granddad has sorted out for my nan. Its hard because I don't think he's totally clear as to what is going on.

Their GP is bit rubbish really (well according to granddad), so far he's just said 'Well, she isn't helping herself and I don't think she's going to get any better.', yeah helpful lol (he's been nan's GP for years and he's always been a bit of a wet blanket XD).

She's had some kind of assessment, and somebody arranged for a new bathroom. The old one was gutted and its been made into a kind of wet room with a seat, but Nanna has never used a shower, not even when she was able to stand up properly. She's always just washed herself stood at the basin and used to have baths. This would've been a brilliant thing if it was was what they really needed... (I think Granddad is getting more use out of it tbh Image )

I think that there is a lady who comes around between 10am-12pm on a Wednesday (possibly every day, I'm not too clear) but she basically just sits with Nan whilst she watches TV and doesn't give granddad enough time to actually do anything on his own.

So.... I think the first thing I should do is sit down with Granddad and find out exaclty who they've spoken to/dealt with, what exactly is the help they're getting, and if there's any way to alter it so that its more beneficial to Nan (and Granddad's health/sanity too).

I'm annoyed with my dad and uncle because frankly, they're not the most helpful with this stuff. Dad doesn't deal with caring for others very well (its why he and my mum broke up) and acts like a spoilt teenager when he goes up to visit once a week. My uncle pops up a few times a week, at least its some company for my Nan but he doesn't get on particularly well with my Granddad so tends to leave rather abruptly when he gets too irritated.
I've tried discussing it with my Dad but it usually results in us agreeing to disagree because of the blinkers he wears whenever talking about his parents Image

Anyways, tar for all the advice. I'm gonna get on next week as my best friend is getting married on Saturday, so I'll be driving husband, sis and mum up to Doncaster on Friday, and sorting out all those things chief bridesmaid is required to sort out (like panicking brides Image )

Nice to meet you

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:00 pm
by Rie
Hello Gemstar, nice to meet you. Hope you find us helpful.

Enjoy the wedding - safe journey.
Rie
x

Hello Gemstar, crikey I thought

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:21 pm
by Pete the Paint
Hello Gemstar, crikey I thought I was reading my daughters life story! Your Mums "antics" have echoed our past family life to a tee! My wife has had depression all her life. She would just take to her bed for weeks and leave us all (thats me, our eldest son, our daughter and our youngest son) to fend for ourselves. I had to go to work, my eldest boy just wanted to play football and the youngest was too young. This left my Darling daughter Wendy to care for all of us, which she did from a very early age. She had my dinner on the table most nights that this episode went on for. Then, BINGO! My wife would rise from her bed with some wonderful new idea to make us our fortune, which usually entailed spending a great deal of money we never had on some harebrained scheme that quickly died a death!
My Daughter is now 42 and since her Mum had mini strokes in 2006 has been there for us as always. I am now my wifes full time 24/7 carer for the last 2.5yrs.
My daughter went through a period recently of feeling very annoyed with her Mum. I think she felt as though she lost her childhood looking after her. She also hates seeing me couped up looking after her and not being able to get out much these days.
I'm afraid that my eldest Son has no time for his Mother at all and thinks I'm stupid for staying with her through "thick and thin". He just makes my life more difficult and is no help at all.
Our youngest Son does the best he can but has his own family and his own health problems to worry about first.
My own sisters reminded me of your Dad and Uncle, they just didn't want to know. Especially when my own Mother became ill and needed looking after. They were so selfish it was unbelievable! We had to go up country to the Midlands to get her SS & OT help. My youngest sister managed to sabotage most of this when we left, telling her that she didn't need it!!
I feel sorry for your Grandad. He's in the same boat as me really, only your Nanna sounds worse than my wife. I do get shouted at mind you. That really annoyes my daughter!
I'm sorry I've rambled on so but parts of your post was like a mirror image for me.
You sound like a real Gem and a Star like my own daughter and I wish you all the help that you can get. I think the others have given you some good tips. There are some wonderful people on this site who will do all they can to help everyone.

Dont forget to care for yourself sometimes Gem'

All the best

Pete