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New and just want to feel normal - Carers UK Forum

New and just want to feel normal

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Hi all. Decided to go online looking for support as I'm struggling at the minute. My dad who is 71 had a brain bleed in April. He lived with me, my husband and my son prior to this event but we decided as part of his recovery he would be better not coming back to the family home. Dad struggles with his memory and is a typical 71 year old stubborn man anyway! It's hard for him because he's gone from being completely independent to relying on people for support. This is mainly me and I'm not coping at the moment. He lives in extra care housing now so has carers help with his Meds twice a day. BUT he won't wait for them to come in and help with his tablets, this week resulting in him taking a double dose. I spend my whole life worrying about him and it's making me ill. I also feel very angry all the time which is usually directed at Dad. I want him to accept his limitations but all he ever says to me is 'don't worry about me'. How do I get past the constant worry and feeling of being totally responsible and utterly inadequate? I feel like I'm the only person in the world who feels like this. Thanks for listening
You're definitely not the only one. Caring for someone is one of the most frustrating, emotional, difficult things anyone can do. We all want to feel we can cope with anything and that we'll do what is needed for our families, because we love them. Things is, we only have limited control over our emotions, sometimes they get on top of us and take over. I think as carers we have to allow ourselves to have negative emotions as well as positive ones and not to beat ourselves up if we don't conform to our own personal picture of how we ought to be and what to feel. Try to remember that you matter too and that noone expects you to make everything "right" for your Dad. Things will go wrong despite your best efforts so try not to take on the whole world on his behalf.

and one more thing...sending lots of virtual hugs...everyone needs them now and again :)
Thank you so much for your reply. Just knowing that I'm not the only one who feels like this helps a lot. And hugs are always useful whether virtual or not so thank you for that too. It's hard coming to terms with not being able to fix everything but feeling like it's all my responsibility. I'll be staying on here for sure just so I don't feel like the only one who has ever felt like this
Hi Sarah, and welcome to the Forum,

No, you are most certainly not the only one to feel like this. When caring for my mum, I felt like it most of the time. Caring for a loved one is the hardest yet most important job you will ever do. I think most carers at some stage, if not all the time, will feel angry, frustrated, out of their depth and of course guilty! I suspect also you are coming to terms itch the aging of a parent. In a sense, mourning,the loss of what they once were.

The good news is that you have found the Forum which certainly to me was a lifeline at times. We may not have all the answers but we certainly understand.

Have a wander round and join in where you feel like it, you will soon feel at home.

Anne x
Thank you Anne. You're certainly right I spend most of my time wracked with guilt. And I get frustrated with Dad because he won't accept his limitations. I have to keep reminding myself that he is yet to come to terms with what has happened. I feel guilty at directing my anger at him when he can't help what has happened. But thank you for listening and not judging x
I supported four elderly stubborn parents. It's really tough. I also have a 37 year old son, brain damaged at birth. Life can be very trying, but it's not my son's fault he was brain damaged thanks to a trainee nurse without supervision. We both have a life sentence, best to make the best of things.
I had counselling to help me manage my mum's demands, and I think it might help you too. After all, it's not just dad adjusting, it's you too. Both of you are going through something like a bereavement process, and anger is part of that too. Don't take it out on dad, or your family. Find some way of dealing with it.
I have thought of counselling but the time it takes stresses me out. I'm balancing a full time job, a home with a husband and 12 year old son and all of Dad's appointments too. I don't rank me getting counselling above any of those things right now. That's why I've started with the forum just to get a feeling of whether all this is normal or just me!
Hello and welcome Sarah.

You certainly are not alone in feeling the way you do. I look after hubby (advanced vascular dementia and a number of physical ailments) Because he is housebound, I pretty much am also, except for having Crossroads for three hours once a week.

As regards your dad not waiting for careworkers to give his medication, is there anywhere you could keep meds safely, eg a locked cupboard which would be out of bounds for dad but the careworker could access on arrival?

Violet x
Sarah, it's actually the other way round. You need counselling MORE because of all the competing demands on your time. Did you know that you are classed as "disabled by association" and have rights to time off to help dad? The Carers UK helpline can give you full details.
If dad is muddling up his tablets, the chemist should be able to supply them pre packed.
Why not write down everything you do for him, then work out which of them stresses you out most?
Why do you go to all dad's hospital appointments, for example?
There are all sorts of ways round problems, use the collective expertise here. However, the really big issue is whether you still see him living alone in 12 months time? If not, maybe this is the time to start looking at residential care? Some homes offer various types of day respite or have regular respite, so they get to know a potential full time resident. I know how difficult this all seems, but there comes a point when living on his own is simply not sustainable any more.
Thanks for everyone's input. We are trying to maintain dad's independence as much as possible so locking his tablets away may not be the answer just yet. He has them in blister packs but he got his days mixed up so took 2 doses in one day. After coming on the forum I've made a start at trying to tackle the issues that stress me. I've made an appointment with my own gp to discuss the physical effects. And I've actually talked to dad to explain how I feel. I've asked him to help by listening to me and doing the things he can to help reduce my stress. For example waiting for the carers to come in before taking his Meds. It went over well and hopefully we can make a start now at getting towards what normal will be like for us. I have to go to all his appointments as his memory is so bad he can't remember what he's been told. But writing things down and getting stuff off my chest may be a good tool.
Thanks again everyone for your input. It's nice to know I'm not alone and that I am actually normal for feeling how I do!