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My Caring Dilemma - Page 16 - Carers UK Forum

My Caring Dilemma

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
167 posts
Hi all,

Hope you are all keeping well.

I'm still on the prowl for a house. Went to view one last week which was just about affordable but it had cockroaches in the kitchen so I walked straight out. The nicer ones seem to get snapped up in a day or two but I have contacted local estate agents and left my details with them so who knows. Mum is still adamant she will not move from here so I have given up having that conversation. It's such a shame because the ***** next door are making her ill - no sleep, constantly on edge but according to her God is going to help soon. I'm like whatever!

Has anyone stopped at a hotel since the easing of lockdown? I really need to escape even if it's just for a day. I used to look forward to having a night away once a month or every two months. I've not done that in forever!

Mum's lost even more weight and looks like a skeleton walking around. I really worry about her. I just don't know what more there is I can do. I still buy fatty foods for like avocado and nut paste and cakes but she only has two teeth now so we struggle.

The brother I look after has been put on those milkshake like things from his dietician as he also resembles a skeleton. When he got admitted to hospital for his gall bladder issues, they were very concerned about his weight. He is down to about 8 stones! Had a hospital appointment with him last month and they want to operate and take his gall bladder out so he is all over the place.

The sister I look after seems to be going downhill too. She spoke to her GP and they have told her to go to the hospital for her sciatica next month. She's had it for a year now and has not been able to get into the bath for all the time. We don't have a shower. Her walking seems to be getting stranger. She walks into people at home and she still walks like she is on a mountain or is drunk. She wouldn't let me speak to her GP when she had her appointment so I thought let's leave you to it then!

Sorry I just whinge when I come on here. I hate whinging. I would love to post more positively but there is nothing positive at the moment to post about. It's like I am living in an old people's home and looking after them all. LOL.

The irony of it all is that I sort out other people's lives via work and look at my own! I'm absolutely shattered and all. I've asked the GP for sleeping pills but he just told me to jog on. At least if I could rest, I wouldn't feel so miserable all the time.

Thanks for reading.
Hi Ontheverge,

I think a regular night away would do you the power of good. How about using a hotel you have used in the past and been impressed by their standards and levels of hygiene. Alternatively, a smaller B&B or air&b could be an option that would expose you to less people.

Re your caring situation: Sometimes it helps to think what would you advice be to someone else in your situation.

Has your Mum seen her GP recently re her weight?
Adding cream and using and adding butter can help increase calories and buying full fat everything. Sponge pud with full fat custard and cream; mashed potato with plenty of butter that kind of thing. She might benefit from blended/ soft ready meals - lots of companies do them.

Sounds like your sister has something neurological going on.

Hope suitable house comes up for you soon - it’s definitely a sellers market - any good ones are gone the minute they are put on the market.

Melly1
Hello again, OnTheVerge. Nice to see you back.
ontheverge wrote:
Sun Jul 18, 2021 5:16 pm
. . .
I'm still on the prowl for a house. . . The nicer ones seem to get snapped up in a day or two but I have contacted local estate agents and left my details with them so who knows.
Good move!
Mum is still adamant she will not move from here so I have given up having that conversation. . .

Yes, you do right to give up that conversation. Mum is adamant; she is not going to change her mind. Is it time that you became adamant that you are going to get yourself out of this hole? Mum can choose whether to have carers call or not. If she chooses the latter, why should she expect you to bail her out?
. . . Has anyone stopped at a hotel since the easing of lockdown? I really need to escape even if it's just for a day. I used to look forward to having a night away once a month or every two months. I've not done that in forever! . . .
Not a bad idea; it would give you a chance to reflect on your situation. Your folk could experience life without you for a longer period. The next step should be a place of your own where you could enjoy this soliude on a regular basis.
. . .
The brother I look after has been put on those milkshake like things from his dietician as he also resembles a skeleton. When he got admitted to hospital for his gall bladder issues, they were very concerned about his weight. He is down to about 8 stones! Had a hospital appointment with him last month and they want to operate and take his gall bladder out so he is all over the place. . .
If your brother needs his gall bladder out, tell him this is something to look forward to. I had mine out after years of all types of stomach upsets and pain. After the operation I was like a new man - rarely any stomach problems nowadays.
. . .The irony of it all is that I sort out other people's lives via work and look at my own! . . .
At work you are not emotionally and socially involved with the people you deal with in the same way as you are with your relatives. You have a successful day dealing with your clients, but at the end of the day you can leave their problems behind, for another day at any rate. When you go home you walk into problems you can't readily escape from.

I am afraid I need to be frank, OnTheVerge. In the year and a half you have been on this forum, you have made some effort but little progress. There are two strategies you can adopt.

1. Keep looking for alternative accommodation. You seem to have convinced yourself, in your earlier posts, that if you move you will have noisy neighbours there too. This needs not necessarily to be the case. Melly's idea of going for a top-floor flat seems good. It is less likely to be noisy, and top floor flats tend to be more affordable. A good point about renting is that if it does not work well it can be taken as a stepping stone to something better. A mortgaged freeholding is a better long-term investment, but if it does not work out it can be costly and complicated to change it for something else.

2. Look for full-time employment, or at least increased hours compared with your present. Are there any opportunities with your present employer? If you go for a mortgage you will be assessed on your present earnings and the deposit you can make. If you increase your salary you will soon be able to command a much enhanced mortgage and widen the scope of properties you seek, as well as enhance your chances of promotion. Yes this will mean less time looking after your family. Your Mum has imposed her will on you for too long. Is it not time you imposed your own will on her? There are caring alternatives available; if Mum rejects these then that is her own silly fault and own problem.

Why don't you start to take decisive steps towards a better life, before it is too late?
Hi everyone. I've been meaning to post on here for such a long time but have just never had chance or have had to stop mid post.

I ended up getting COVID at work and was really ill for a few months. It was the delta variant. For the first time in my adult life, I had to be "taken care of" and it felt awful. Work were complete jerks and kept pestering me to return after 2 weeks but in the end, I returned after 3 months. I was struggling to breathe and walk and do anything. My GP kept telling me to take more sick notes but I gave up in the end.

I've since returned and it almost feels like I am being penalised for being off. My case load is 2 times more than any of the other staff and whenever I have mentioned it, I am told it will get better! I'm being forced to physically go into work even though most of my team don't. I put my foot down and said no so my manager referred me to the occupational therapist at work thinking they would make me return to the office. The OT fully sided with me and said "don't go back into the office until you are ready, they can't force you to, it's not on, I've had people not go back into the office 1.5 years since they got COVID" and also told me to get another sick note if it was too much for me.

I self referred myself to some counselling through work and it was nice to chat to a random person for 30 minutes each week for four weeks.

I'm constantly tired. I still can't sleep and everything aches - headaches, neck aches, joint pain, muscle pain. You name it, I've got it. I'm not even 40 yet! I'm on the long covid clinic waiting list and hopefully they will be able to help me. I've been forking out lots of money on deep heat as that's the only thing that helps me get out of bed in the morning.

I try to do the best I can at home but I can't cook anymore. My arms hurt when I try to cut an onion and have to stop regularly. Cleaning I try to do but I am not once what I was. Most of the meals are from Ocado or Waitrose or takeaways. It's expensive and it's not even nice but no can do.

Mum's not too good anymore. Her hands are all deformed now due to arthritis. She can't see in her right eye. I can't even cut up her food anymore as my hands start hurting. I feel bad what can I do?

My brother is still not well and has issues with his gall bladder and gall stones. He is constantly depressed and it's wearing me down. He keeps saying "I wish I was dead" and at times I feel like saying "do you want a hand with that?". He just sits and mopes around. He won't go anywhere not even the shops. He won't buy anything. He won't treat himself. I wish I could slap some sense into him at times.

My sister is still as a mad as a box of frogs. She's constantly chuntering away. In her mind, she thinks she is "all that and then some" but she isn't. She doesn't help with anything at home. I try and wash all the cutlery and crockery every other day. When she sees me doing it, instead of helping, she runs off into another room. Whenever I ask her for help, it's always "I've got sciatica, I can't" yet she will happily go to the shops or even shopping.

Still no help or support from other family members. It really wound me up that neither my sister and her kids or my brother and his kids called me / offered to do our shopping etc when I was really ill. Yet when my sister and her kids got COVID, they were hounding me to buy them x, y, z!

Sorry for the huge whinge / rant post. I just needed to get it all out.
ontheverge wrote:
Sun May 29, 2022 1:02 pm
Hi everyone. I've been meaning to post on here for such a long time but have just never had chance or have had to stop mid post.
Sorry to hear you've had covid and are having long term issues from it, I hope you recover soon.

Have you seen the reply from Denis before your last post?

Have you had a social services care assessment done on your mother and siblings?
Have you had a carers assessment done on yourself?

You love your mother a lot and you care about her care and your siblings - get the care that they need from social services because you are unable to do the work of a team for all of them and hold down a job, especially not with long covid.

I really feel for you, it is so tiring and seems so impossible a situation but you can help yourself, long covid permitting and not allowing it to be an excuse not to do anything.

Frankly speaking and this is hard facts, you can take a deep breath and get social services on board and make life easier for yourself - and move out and have your own life OR you can stay put being a martyr to their dependency on you and sob your heart out in grief for your life and your disappointment in the other siblings not helping you - harsh reality, they never will because they see you as being the supportive one and happy to do it and they are not going to spoil their lovely lives doing it while you are mug enough to do it instead of them.

Radical thought, pack a bag and disappear for a week. Just go. when you have left message your other siblings and tell them you've gone away and don't know when you will be back and it's time they did some effort to siblings and their mother.
Rebel!
Your mothers diet
Try low sugar yoghurts
Spreadable cheese on bread or tuc crackers
Soups in cartons from the chilled section or buy a soup maker jug and use bags of prepared mixed veg or soup mix veg, add a can of tomatoes and add some cream for your mum.
Full fat milk or gold top milk has a lot of nutrients
A doctor check up is required with blood tests to ensure there isn't anything nasty going on causing the poor appetite.

Frozen sliced or chopped onions, minced meat, gravy mix, boiling water and a slow cooker, add frozen peas/veg halfway through and add dumpling mix if you can manage it in the last half hour of cooking.
Challenge your sister about her sciatica - it doesn't stop you doing x y z things so if you want to eat you help or so you are capable of doing x y z for tea, I'm sure she can manage these suggestions with rests in between.

Learn NO and mean NO
Ontheverge,

very glad you came back to visit us. Very sorry though to hear that you have been so poorly because of Covid and that your family continue to be useless at helping.

Some great advice from Breezey.

When I had my second hip operation my headteacher (boss) at the time kept threatening me with Occupational health and like you I was reluctant to go. However, it was also a very positive experience and they wrote a report and basically said Melly needs x, y and z to continue to do her job properly.

Have you tried microwave heat pads? They might work out cheaper in the long-term.

I think it's time you got your Mum a Needs Assessment so that she got some support to save you doing everything.

I can't remember if she gets Attendance allowance/PIP/DLA? This could be used to fund a cleaner to save you doing it. Your really need to focus on getting enough rest to aid your recovery. I hope you get your appointment for the Long Covid clinic asap.

Melly1
Hi Ontheverge. I think the strangest thing about covid has been the way some people have had it and not known about it - and clear in a few days, while others were slammed into an invisible wall and wrung out, and still struggling months (at least) later. Some of us are lucky that way, the sort of person who instead of seeing "a pin, pick it up, and all day long you'll have good luck" finds out that the pin was attached to a hand grenade.

I'm glad your Occupational Health assessment sorted things out for you. One load off your mind, anyway.

On the cooking front...it's possible to get frozen onions pre-chopped. Ready prepared frozen and tinned veg may not be as good as fresh prepared, but done right it's still better tasting than ready meals. Delia Smith did a cookbook where you could prepare from fresh/frozen/tinned. I always make sure I have mushy peas in the house, and if I have any ham left over chuck it into some mushy peas with a bit of frozen chopped onion and some stock. Slow cooker, and you get a decent substitute pea and ham soup. About 10 minutes in the kitchen and very little work: the slow cooker does the job in about 4-5 hours. A chunk of bread with it and I'm happy. Funnily enough, while I was typing this, Breezy came up with something similar. Great minds, eh? :lol: :lol:

I realise you may struggle even with that to start with. It's just a suggestion to try, see how you feel. But plan in the rest time, too. When my wife is cooking, I act as a commis chef and do most of the veg prep. But if I'm out and the mood takes her she'll spend a few minutes in the kitchen, then lie down for a bit, then back for a few minutes...she cooked a spaghetti bolognese that way from scratch. Took her a few hours to get all the prep done, but it worked. Helped with her confidence, and the next time might be a bit easier because she's learnt what works.
Ontheverge,
Have you noticed that your post has attracted a massive twenty seven thousand views now?
The title has clearly struck a chord with many people.
Your mother needs an occupational therapist assessment, she might benefit from a shaped spoon and a shaped fork to help her get food off the plate and into her mouth.

Also her food in a dish, like a pasta dish or old fashioned soup plate so she has an edge to push against to help the food onto the spoon.

Meals without gravy or sauce so she can pick up with her fingers.
Finger food.
It is a very difficult dilemma because of your mothers hands, lack of teeth and her diabetes, I appreciate there are so many limitations for options and factoring in preferences and getting bored of things, it is not an easy task.

My mothers hands can't cut her food up anymore, she has difficulty with the cutlery to feed herself and now she is nearly blind, so she eats with her fingers.

Your mother really does need a check up with the GP because such weightloss/lack of appetite is very bad and her stomach will be shrinking.

I hope your mother is keeping her fluids up.
GP told me to give her milk on days she has no appetite.
167 posts