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I'm really scared now - Carers UK Forum

I'm really scared now

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi all, I have cared for my husband who is disabled for over ten years. He has a series of problems including arthritis, reocurring tumours and fibromyalgia. I have also held down a full time job as a Teacher (Head of Department) which is stressful enough on its own.
Then last year, my Dad died and I now have to look after Mum as well. She's not too bad at the moment but I can see her getting worse, weekly. She gets confused and she suffers with shortness of breath. and arthritis.
Also, at a weekend on Saturdays, I look after my two year old grand-daughter so that my daughter can work.
About four weeks ago, I just felt that I couldn't cope and I have been on sick from work since then. Problem is, I know that I'm not going to be able to carry on like this for much longer and something will have to 'give' - probably my job.
If I give up my job, how will we manage? I have a mortgage, so I don't think we will get housing benefit. Income support seems be be not enough to live on....
I'm very frightened - will we be put out onto the streets? I try so hard but my mental health is now shot to pieces and I don't seem to be able to bounce back. - what do I do????
Hi Kitty. Welcome to the forum. Image

You really do have your hands full. Image First thing I'd suggest is try this link and see if this organisation can help:
http://www.carersuk.org/Information/Fin ... ffordshire
They're the nearest local group I could find and may have someone who can give you accurate advice for your situation - the benefit rules are very complex and for anyone to give you good advice they would need far too much private information from you to put on a website. But it may be possible to get some help with your mortgage - so you need to get advice quickly.
Hi Kitty,

Welcome to the forum.

Its understandable that you are scared.

Firstly there is help and advice out there and whilst it seems daunting we can "talk" about it here too and hopefully you will start to seek the right pathway for your situation.

Does you husband get benefits? Incapacity benefit? Disability Living Allowance?

does you daughter know how tough things are ? Perhaps she could ask fro help for a few weeks from somebody else so that you can have a rest on a Saturday? I am sure you want to see/care for your Grandaughter and in no way am I suggesting never to care for her but could you arrange something different for a couple of weeks and there after just give yourself an occasional break?

What help are you having for your Mum? Is she claming benefits such as attendance allowance? I know it doesn't resolve the problems but might help ease the strani re paying for care as and when required? Is she entitled to pension credit etc. Make sure "they" do a benefits check for her when you seek help! Does you Mum get day care anywhere? What about an age concern day centre? I know the thought of her having a social worker might seem scary but they can and do help and once we got to that stage with my parents ( both with disabilities as well as my self as carer being disabled!) the SW was fantastic and helped in ways we had not thought about! Does your Mum have some daily care at home? Somebody to help her in the mornings/evenings/pop in during the day to help her with a meal? Again seek advice and get a SW for her as (A) it is easier and (B) the costs she will pay even oif it is the full max costs will be less than if you arrange it privately both for the home and the day care centre type care!

Now on to you!! You are unwell and so if you had a broken leg you would not be working or of you had needed surgery you would need time to recover........same as this! You need time and just ebcause nobody can "see" the condition the stress has badly affected you and that is nothing whatsoever to hide or worry about further.

Please don't resign from work!

Seek help as a matter of urgency and ask/insist for a SW for both yourselves eg your husbands care needs/benefits etc to be assessed and your Mothers. State how urgent it is and if you live close by eg in the same area the same SW might be allocated so you can deal with one person for all of you rather than two!

You as a "carer" are entitled to a carers assessment and this does not have to be completed in front of either your husband or your Mother. I am not saying you have to speak about them in secret but it can be helpful to express your needs openly wthout worrying about saying something that might cause more stress/distress to any party! The choice is of course yours but please take up the chance of having the assessment as things can and do come from them and somebody is listening to your needs too!

I know there are negative stories about care in the community /care provision etc but there is help and support out there and so please please pick up the phone and insist somebody helps you.

Your health and welfare needs are as important as your husbands and your Mothers.......infact in many ways more so because without you neither of them would cope atm - hence your stress levels rising! Seek help and get help and insist they do anything possible to help you with this situation. Keep your GP fully informed and make sure s/he knows how bad you still feel and do not under any circumstances go back to work until you are sorted out and ready to face things. Your Union should support you whilst off sick and if you get any form of hassle from work inform the union straight away. The Occupational Health Dept will/should be on your side too and so please please don't worry! There are things that can be done and if you get to that stage reduced hours etc for a short term might be an option they might discuss with you. Seek advice from them at any stage you feel panicky about the situ at work.

Gosh this is quite an epic post and so please know we will support you in any way shape of form! I cannot say you will be entitled to more money or more anything but tell them and ask them and insist they listen until you are happy with care plans in place with support for you too!

Good luck Kitty. Keep in touch.

Chris
Dear Kitty,

You are having a really rough time so it is important to get advice before giving your job up. Have you consulted your union for advice? One possibility would be going for early retirement due to ill health. Don't go back to work until you are feeling better - they will manage without you.

Thinking of you

Allison
Hi Kitty!

As I said in my "epic" post contact the union/occ health but do not suggest ill health retirement until every single option has been explored! Regardless of this you need the other help first and foremost and then deal with work issues later on! You have 6 months full pay whilst off sick and so please sort the other things into some sort of action first! Even if you never worked again you still need the other help!

As an "ill health retired professional" I can assure you the whole system needs to be explored first. for ill health retirement from a profession such as teaching you need proof the condition is "permanant" eg the condition causing you to retire not that of those you care for! That is very hard to prove and needs extensive medical backup and often months into years of stressful negotiations can follow for some people! So that "option" is not one which is as easy as others might think esp if they have not encountered this situation! Your union rep could of course advise you further on your own conditions/situation but even they are not always fully conversant with the truth of claiming under this scheme!

If you want to chat about this further I am happy to do so in a private message. You should see a message saying " you have one new message" at the top of your screen now!

Chris
Hi Kitty,
In the same way that employees get leeway to work more flexible hours because of young children you may find that your union can advise you whether being a carer would entitle you to any consideration.

It's hard if you work school hours but maybe something like a temporary job share could be arranged while you explore other ways of sharing the caring load.
Liz