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Hi, I'm new - Carers UK Forum

Hi, I'm new

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi, I'm Jane, a primary school teacher, due to retire next year. At the moment I am not at work as the stress of the last few months has taken it's toll on me. I care for my mum, 87, who was finally diagnosed with Alzheimer's in July, following various visits to the memory clinic, a brain scan and a very long wait for a follow up appointment. I have been very worried about her since about this time last year as the "forgetfulness" was becoming more severe and causing her problems in her every day life. Anyway, she ended up in hospital in August with dehydration and a UTI as she had not been eating or drinking despite my efforts to encourage her. Whilst in hospital the OT did an assessment and declared she was "unsafe to discharge" without a care package in place. I hadn't realised that mum could no longer even make a cup of tea - I always make the tea when I visit! Mum lives in sheltered accommodation - but there has been no warden since July which hasn't helped. She had been having meals on wheels since January - but over the last few months rarely ate them or left them until they were cold. She hasn't washed up or cleared anything in the kitchen for many months, and wasn't taking her medication unless I went and gave it to her- these were all signs to me that something was really wrong.
Now we have a 3x a day care package and I have employed someone privately to go and prepare a simple lunch on weekdays. This is starting to work well and mum is physically better than she has been for a long time. I'm now able to "back off" a bit but the responsibility remains. My sister lives abroad, as does my daughter and my son has a young baby and lives some distance away, so I feel as if I never get a break from the worry.
My GP has told me I'm depressed and put me on anti - depressants - I seem to have lost my confidence and am worried about going back into the classroom. I guess the fact this all happened at the beginning of a new school year hasn't helped.
Sorry to ramble on, but that's me. thanks for reading this.
Image Hi and welcome, so pleased you`ve joined us, there`s nothing worse than feeling issolated and depressed with the feeling there`s no one who understands, so hopefully you`ll make lots of friends here.
Hi and welcome.
Plenty of support and advice to be found here and lots of lovely friendly people.
Hello and welcome to the forum Image
Welcome to our little 'online family', Jane Image
I have a similar situation to yours, apart from having to go out to work as well. It's amazing how quickly a Mum can change and get older and more confused without us actually realising it, isn't it? Mine now goes to Day Centre every day and gets 3x daily carers also.
I'm not sure whether or how things will change, but there IS help out there. Does your Mum have a social worker? Have you had a Carers Assessment?
One of the most important things I have found out is that if you do everything for your Caree - ie: my mother, you will be left to do it until you are burnt out yourself. At some stage, you need to cry out "I can't do this any more" - it doesn't mean that you are washing your hands of your caree, just that you need extra help.
This ploy doesn't always work, and it may not be right for some, but I did it, and now I get a lot of help with Mum, but always feel as if I am the main Carer.
Gosh, looks like I'm rambling too! It doesn't matter what else you may be doing though, the worry is always there, eh?
Good luck with your job - is it possible to maybe take some time out? x
Thank you for your replies, and Audrey, I take comfort from your quote re depression! I shall keep that in mind when I get depressed about being depressed! Caring mind - thank you for your post - luckily my GP is also mum's GP so knows what the last year has been like and has signed me off work for the time being. But now I'm worrying about going back!! Hopefully I shall begin to feel stronger over the next few weeks and regain some of my former strength and confidence.
It is a great comfort to be able to come onto one of these forums and "offload", especially when there's no-one at home to talk to. I'm lucky and have some very good and patient friends, but they must get fed up with the same topic of conversation (although they never say, bless them!) and they can't really appreciate the feelings I'm having.
Welcome Jane Image
Welcome! Image
Welcome to the board Jane. Wont be long before you feel like one of the 'family'

x
HI Jane
I am also in a similar position you, but my 81 yr old mum lives with us.
I work and so did my hubby till he got ill 3 yrs ago, and so I am a carer to both of them! I also have 2 young kids, 7 and 11.
I was off work with depression for a few mths, and finally decided to go back, but it was tough, and I felt that nobody really understood about what I had to cope with although they said all the right things like ' oh you have so much to cope with you poor thing'. I now do a flexible working pattern, which gives me weekends off, but I dont really get any time for myself.
Luckily I have a brother nearby who is unemployed the mo, so he takes over when I am at work and gets carers allowance, otherwise I would have no alternative to give up work.

Please use all the rights you have as a carer regarding work, maybe look at going back part time for a while, your workplace must have a welfare dept that can help you get back to work slowly.
Good luck with it, at least you are not far from retirement, I have another 10 yrs left till I can pack it all in!