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I'm new here - any magical words much needed - Carers UK Forum

I'm new here - any magical words much needed

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi carer friends,
I hope you are all well, I'd love to hear how you cope when things are bad.
I've just joined the forum today out of desperation really. I won't bore you with all the details but in summary I'm a 44yr old single female who naively offered to support my dad at home following a terminal cancer diagnosis 4.5yrs ago. It was a tough & v scary 6 months but somehow it worked with the support of Macmillan & Marie Curie but it was the hardest thing I'd ever done. It took a long time to come to terms with it all & feel ready for life again.
Unfortunately I made the grave error of agreeing to look after my mum & that has entirely been a different experience. Probably not her fault but probably a very different character to my dad & the difference between someone who is terminally ill & someone who is old with various ailments & disabilities who could just go on for what sometimes feels like forever.
I struggle to believe I now see it this way because we always had a lovely close relationship, hence why I stepped up for both my parents when my 2 sisters didn't even consider it. But as I know you'll know, the stress & pressure of caring can be devastating.
I feel like I've reached capacity lately. I work fulltime plus lots of compulsory overtime in a pressurising job that I'm passionate about. Then I come home to constant complaining, misery, demands & expectations from my mum who just waits & relies on me for her everything including entertainment. My life over the last 4yrs has slowly but surely gone & in that time I've had 2 periods of 3 nights away with friends, whilst my sisters carry on with their lives unfazed but always giving opinions from afar.
I feel like I no longer know if I'm coming or going, other than doing the essentials of my job to a high standard & caring for my mum, the rest I know I'm abandoning including myself.
If I saw the former Me now I wouldn't recognise me.
I've become resentful that my parents & my sisters have all had families of their own but because I had a career first & was waiting for "Mr Right" (the irony) I seemed to offer up my apparently "free" life but never really realising the true cost.
I just feel very down & ashamedly longing for the day it's all over. By which time I fear I'd have lost all ability to know what to do with my life anyway.
This is a depressing post I know.
It is very sadly where I am at.
Hi Liz, welcome to the forum. My magic words? "Stop Trying to be Superwoman and start yelling HELP!"

Can you tell us what is wrong with mum? How old is she? Does she live in her own, or rented home? Does she have over £23,000 in savings? (Just yes/no). Do you have your own home?

I'd suggest keeping your job and getting much more help for mum. Yes, I know she only wants you, doesn't want strangers in the house etc. but it's simply not up to her to make the rules any more. Think about changing your role from care provider, to care manager, getting others to do the caring, with you making sure they do it properly. Once you've answered the questions above, we can make lots of suggestions. But remember, YOU are the one that calls the shots from now on, NOT mum.
Hi bowlingball,
Thank you for your reply. I take it all in, I just suspect I'm at a point of no longer thinking straight though so I know I'm useless at taking action in my own life anymore. I'm just getting by, going through the motions each day which must be frustrating to others looking in at carers having never experienced it all themselves.
Anyway. My mum is 86. She mainly suffers with arthritis so walks very slowly with a wheeled walker indoors but has no real strength or flexibility. She still has mental capacity but I wonder lately about her forgetfulness. I have POA.
When I first offered to look after my dad I was mid selling my house & buying another. I went through with the sale but put the buying on hold & moved in with my parents to be on tap for him.
Somehow I never moved out & just got stuck in this rut of caring....the guilt I feel for calling it that is terrible. So gradually over the 4.5yrs all my savings have disappeared into my parents needs & the upkeep of their home. In recent hindsight I know what a disaster that is for me financially.
So it's mums home & she has less than £23k savings.
That's awful. Does mum claim Attendance Allowance? Is she on any income related benefits? When did she last have a Needs Assessment from Social Services?

If you are struggling to "think straight" as I call it, then it's time
a) you had a complete break
b) you invested in some counselling
c) you insisted on some "me" time.

If you have been providing so much time and money in mum and her home, what are your siblings contributing?!
No she doesn't get any benefits bowlingbun. She's never had a needs assessment though, should she have one?
It's a good question re my sisters. They're busy enjoying their lives, as I should be. I expect they're happy I'm keeping their inheritance warm in the meantime. It's terrible to say that by this situation has affected our relationship & I don't think I'll ever forget their lack of support. I recently asked them to look after my mum one wkend so I could visit my friend in Wales. Gave them 3-4 months notice & my friend offered approx 6 different available wkends so you'd think it could be easily sorted. 1 sister offered only One night, the other sister offered 2 nights but these 3 of course weren't on the same wkend. I then had to hear how difficult it was for them to arrange around their own social lives. When my dad was dying I commented to one of my sisters how much pressure I was under, her response "what do you want, a b!@@?y medal??" So I know they're never there for me, just once in a very blue moon when it suits them to visit my mum for a quick cup of tea.
I am reminded of Cinderella and the ugly sisters!

Let's hope that Social services help, not exactly
Prince Charming, but some support for you.

I care for my wife and sometimes wish I had a
sister or two to help me.
Now reading this.................
It sounds as if mum should receive Attendance Allowance, and this might possibly trigger an increase in her basic pension too. If you go to the red Help and Advice tab above, a whole new section will open up, where there is information about benefits.
Carers UK has a brilliant helpline too, so if you either ring them, or send an email (it's often difficult to get through on the phone) they will get back to you within a week with an excellent answer.
Definitely ask Social Services to do the Assessments for both of you. My mum often told the social workers that she could do all sorts of things which she used to do, but couldn't do any more. Her pride got in the way. The other problem is that she would say "My daughter does that" without ever asking me!!!
Have your Carers Assessment done away from home, so you can rant, or bawl, or anything in between. They should be supporting you by giving services to mum so you can continue working.
That actually made me laugh Albert because one of my friends calls me Cinders for that very reason!!!
Thank you for your further advice bowlingbun I will make a request for the assessments to be done & see where we go from there.x
Be sure to make it clear that you CANNOT continue to care without a lot more help, if you don't get a lot more help.
Hi Liz
On here we call such siblings 'helicopters' because they zoom in infrequently, comment and leave.
If you enter helicopter into the search you'll see just how frequent a problem it is. Thers some ideas as how to redress the balance.

Have an interesting read. You are most definitely not alone.
Xx
MrsA