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The cost of caring ! - Carers UK Forum

The cost of caring !

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Hello,my name is Dawn and I am at an all time low.I have been a carer for my 83 yr old mum for 2 and half yrs and I don't know if I can carry on any more.I have lost everything,my job,my freedom,( I am with her 24/7)I don't have any friends,I do have two children but hardly any support from them only when they have nothing better to do.Up until a month ago I could cope with it all until my partner of 11yrs decided he'd had enough of us not having any time for each other and has started to make a life of his own and has started going out for meals with his friends and coming home at stupid o'clock drunk and smelling of cigarettes(he gave up 2 yrs ago)I have lost my best friend we used to do everything together and loved each others company.my mum who is probably more alert than me hasn't even bothered to ask what the problem is she just carries on as if everything is normal.I am so angry and so hurt and feel so abandoned and so utterly alone.is this the payment for being a carer?
Sorry my first post is such a miserable one,I have been coming on this forum since January and you have all given me great comfort but only just summoned the nerve to actually join
Welcome to the forum. You need help, fast, don't put mum first all the time, or you'll have a lonely old age. Ask Social Services for immediate help, and a Carers assessment. If possible, some emergency respite.
Thanks for your response Bowlingbun.
About 2 months ago I had to call the doctor as I couldn't stop crying he told me then to get some emergency respite,but when I told my daughter what the Doctor said she went mad accusing me that what I was after all the time and she asked if I had ever seen inside any care homes.so naturally me being the people pleaser didn't take it any further.
I don't often go "John Blunt" this quickly, but to be frank, your daughter has a nerve, Dawn! If she's so keen on you're not accessing respite, will she give you a break? If not, she has no right to dictate to you.

She's right that there are some rubbish care homes out there, but a break doesn't necessarily mean going into a home either. You need to get your mum and yourself assessed as soon as possible to take some of the load off. If you want to know more, take a look at https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... al-support - carers assessments and community care assessments will be a good start, but there's a lot of information there.
Dawn, YOU matter too. You have a right to a life of your own too. Has your daughter ever cared 24/7 for a long time? We know here how tough it can be. I've been a carer for 34 years, for a number of people, the only way it can work long term is to have help now and then. Having a complete break now and then will refresh you hugely. There are really good care homes with caring staff, my mum now lives in one. Most have respite beds. Whatever your daughter thinks, you need a break. Incidentally, it might help if you felt able to say what is wrong with mum, as there are probably people with experience with the same problem here.
Adding to the good advice given by Bowlingbun and Charles, get yourself to a GP as YOUR health is an absolute priority.
You and your health are just as important. x x
Absolutely agree: and many nursing homes are very caring, in fact many of our carees quite like their 'holiday' too.
Hi Dawn, welcome to the forum. Seems as though things are certainly all getting very difficult and you certainly do need to have some help and respite - you are human and if you carry on in this way you will be poorly yourself too. Please talk to your GP, you need someone on "your side" that can offer practical help.

Please keep in touch and members here will, without doubt, help to support you wherever possible.

Bell x
I fully echo what the others here are saying. First of all tell your ridiculous daughter to go stuff herself (!) (sorry, but honestly, indeed, what a damn nerve she's got!). Then see your GP, and take it from there.

You most DEFINITELY need respite care for your mum, and that's just for starters, to give you an immediate break NOW (or as soon as!).

Then, I'd say, sit down with your partner, and have a real heart to heart. He hasn't left you, but the signs are there - and I'm sure he is only 'escaping' because he can't stand the situation any more than you can, except that you feel you can't escape......

Why does your 83 year old mum need you 24/7? What are her actual NEEDS - as opposed to her WANTS?? Not necessarily the same thing at all!

One of the most distressing things about the elderly, and I speak from experience of my own 89 year old MIL, is that they become 'self-focussed'. There may be all sorts of reasons for that - they may be in the process of becoming mentally impaired, so 'other people' (including you!) start ceasing to exist. Or they may be consumed by fear that if they lower their 'needs' in the slightest, you will disappear, or put them in a home, or whatever - ie, because they have become dependent on another person (you!) for their care and comfort and companionship they simply daren't think about anyone else any more.

But whatever the reason for their self-centredness, it does mean that the carer (you!) has to 'give up' on the hope that their caree will 'suddenly' see themselves as the 'burden' they have become, will think about YOUR needs and wants and any idea that you might possibly (goodness me no!) want some kind of life of your own.....

Sometimes they can be made to realise it - a heart to heart about the stress of looking after them can achieve it, though it can be hard to say 'you are a burden!' to someone......but you probably shouldn't expect them to 'volunteer' that realisation!

My MIL, for example, really doesn't seem to have much clue that I have spent 7 months driving up and down the M6, 400 miles at a time, to visit her, having her with me for weeks on end, taking her out and about, cooking her meals, cossetting her, etc etc etc. She just doesn't seem to notice what I am giiving up....

(BUT, now I've started to point out to her what I've had to do for her, and how I can't do it any more, she's been surprisingly accepting and agreeing with me! So a heart to heart with your mum might work??)

Just thought, though, from her 'self-absorbed' state of mind, she might actually WANT your partner to leave....because he is her rival for your care and attention, and with him gone, she would have you all to herself, with 'nothing else to do with your life' except look after her?????? (hope not, but you never know!)

One of the 'deadly' things about caring for a very old person is that you end up living THEIR lives, not yours! I could spend all day, every day, living the life of an 89 year old - fine if I were 89, which I'm not!

So, with you, you've 'run up a flag of distress' here, and it's time to sort something out that will reduce the burden that your mum is at the moment, and achieve some kind of compromise, so that she gets you 'some of the time' but NOT 'all of the time'. That will involve other people taking some of the care-load - whether it's her grandchildren (unlikely - and to be fair, is there any reason they should?)(other than to help you!)(and NOT to 'condemn' you for 'abandoning' her - honestly, what a nerve indeed!), or outside carers coming in sometimes, or day care centres, or regular respite care etc etc.

The problem is that, right now, your mum considers everything, as you said 'normal' - well, it is for her OK! But NOT for you - it's as abnormal as one can get to give up everything that is 'yours' simply to devote your life to 'hers'.

So, time to tackle the situation, and get enough of your own life back to keep you sane, and you and your partner happy together again. Yes, that will mean your mother will have to have less of you, but as others here are saying, and I completely agree, there is absolutely no justification for her having everything 'her way' and you nothing at all, and the keyword is going to be 'compromise' - and that means SHE compromises as well, by accepting some care from someone other than you!

All the very best, and things CAN get better for you -

Kind regards, Jenny