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Need advice - Carers UK Forum

Need advice

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Firstly, I joined quite a while ago but haven't spent half as much time in here as I should and I never post anything or reply to anyone so wanted to apologise for that and that k anyone in advance for any advice I might get..
I wasn't sure where to post this, there didn't seem to be a caterogry that really fit for the advice I need.
I'm after some advice... I'm 23 I'm from Newtown powys midwales and I'm my mums full time carer and currently 22 weeks pregnant I don't live with mum I have my own rented house just 10 mins away from her
I spend around 40+ hours caring for mum which I have being doing full time after quitting my job to do so for over two years now.
I am 23 and I am my mums full time carer, I spend 45+hours a week caring for mum and I am currently 22 weeks pregnant, I don't live with mum but I live close by :) in from midwales, Powys.

I've been trying to get a carers assessment from my local council all year. Infact ive sent them messages and enquiries about it since i became her full time carer, but it wasnt until this year i started to press harder for one. It wasn't until complaining in April that I finally got a response in may to arrange an assessment... I didn't hear anything again for a couple of weeks and had an assessment arrnaged for June 2nd, which the person running the assessment cancelled on the day of for personal reasons. The assessor wanted to rearrange for some time for before the 15th which we couldnt do as we were away and so they said they would get back to us.. Eventually they did and they rearranged for the 17th of June, unfortunately we couldn't do this date she told me to let them know what dates and times I could do and I replied that we could do any day and time after 3 thinking we would get one soon (afyer 3pm gives me plenty of time to get all the big jobs done at mums then)
But the soonest they could offer was 2nd july at 3.30 which I couldn't do because of an appointment at the hospital, so I was offered the 7th of July at 3. The day before the appointment they changed it to 2 which I said was OK since I was fed up by now and then they contacted me on the day to cancel yet again!! I havent heard anything since and im at my witts end
I know its been hard to find a date we can both do, but I feel so lost... me and mum really need this assessment. I'm struggling to cope as it is and have no idea how I will once I'm further along In The pregnancy and once the baby is here. I feel so lonely there's no one else to help out, my younger sister has autism and can barely look after her self, she has support workers etc, my brother lives in Kent and my dad is exhausted into the ground working overtime to support him and mum when he really isn't well himself. To top it off my gran who is around 85 moved into our town almost 2 years ago and she is so so so demanding especially to my mum who she can't accept isn't well enough to do any of the running around she expects from her and always just demands I should do it or my dad or sister. My mum has a string of physical problems aswel as mental health problems (she was in a pysch ward for some of my child hood and had electrosis treatment and all sorts) my mums depression is getting worse because how much of a nightmare my gran has become latly and feels very pressured and overwhelmed herself because she doesn't like to ask me to do it because of how bad my relationship is with my grandma even though I would do it, mum just doesn't like to ask.
To top all of this off I'm not doing to well myself, im having bad dizzy spells and exhausted and backache to the extreme, I put it all downtown normal pregnancy stuff, but I went to the doctors on Thursday and he put me in for a blood test that day with a nurse, and said he thinks I might be aneamic and if I'm not I need to go into hospital for more tests so now I can't stop stressing about that which I find out on Monday. Honestly the way I feel right now I just wish I could pick up my life and run away ... I don't know what to do and me and mum just aren't getting the help
Hi Josie and welcome to the forum. It sounds like you have so much to deal with and need to set some priorities as you clearly can't be doing it all. BY the sounds of it your number one priority is the health of your baby and then your own so you must make sure you don't jepardise your baby by making yourself ill.
Once you've got this priority fixed in your head, I should say the next thing to do would be to make yourself available for the next appointment they can offer you, Anything else you had planned, for mum or gran will keep a few hours. Make sure you attend and do plenty of preparation before the meeting. There are threads on here with good advice or we can help if you need it with suggestions.
You may well get an earful from Gran but she will just have to wait her turn when you are available. I think that is enough for now. Ring them first thing Monday and let us know when you get your appointment. It sounds like Mum and Gran will also need two separate Needs assessments.
I'm really concerned for you. Top priority is your baby, and you need to stop caring now to get your own health in tip top condition and enjoy the "nesting" process, such a special time in your life. It is now vital that the assessments are done urgently. As children, we have to do what our parents want, but as adults, we have a choice, however sometimes parents like to think they have the upper hand and can still control us. However much mum and gran expect you to run around them, it is time to start saying "No" to them. I had counselling to help me manage my mum's never ending demands. They won't like it, but just keep telling yourself, and them, that your baby (their grandchild/great grandchild) comes first now. You will still support them, ring them up, make sure they are OK, but they need to learn to either do things differently, or get someone else. I know they will try all sorts of emotional blackmail, but you must be tough. Believe me, you need to set things up now, before the little one arrives. Caring for two people and a new born is a non starter.
Hmm, from what you say I'd say the most pressing problem is your gran. She seems to be the root cause of the pressure (and the root cause of your mum's problems I wonder??????).

The good thing, though, from reading what you write, is that you seem to be pretty 'wised' up about your over-demanding gran, and her attitude towards her daughter. I suspect (??) that is why you have a 'bad' relationship with her -because you are defending your mum from her??

What is it that your gran expects your mum/you to do for her, and why is that your mum/you have to do it? Old people, even nice-as-pie ones, can be very very demanding, simply because they fail to realise that 'taking over' someone else's life is not acceptable, and they don't really realise how much their demands are in total, and also because they are frustrated that they can no longer do things for themselves.

I, personally, would recommend that you, your mum and dad, and maybe your brother too, all sit down one evening and talk about 'What shall we do about Gran?'. And I would personally suggest that the time has come when family hand over a lot of the care of Gran to other people.

That will mean tackling three issues - one, Gran's accommodation (at her home, or in a care home). Two, financial - are her finances such that she is above the limit for receiving free care, and has to pay for it herself. Finally, how is she likely to react to the rest of her family going 'off duty' from endlessly responding to her demands?

The latter will probably be 'badly' (!), but this is where all of you have to 'hold the line'. I'm not saying 'Never see Gran again' (!), but I am saying, work out what she needs, and what she wants (not usually the same!), and then agree between yourselves just what you are prepared to do yourselves, and what you are going to hand over to professional carers. Then tell Gran.

She may kick off (!), and make dreadful accusations of disloyalty etc etc, but in the end her reaction cannot influence you, if you stay firm together. Like I say, you're not abandoning her completely, just drawing back, and letting others do some of the care (preferably the most onerous) and then spending some time with her as family.

I definitely agree that your priority is your baby, but I would also say something that may sound harsh, but is true for all that. Your gran has already had most of her life, whilst you, let alone your baby, have not. Many of us here have found, myself included, that when we 'hand over' a lot of the care of the elderly to professionals, our own relationship with them actually improves significantly. We are less tired, less stressed, we have our own lives back, and the time we spend with our elderly is usually much, much nicer because of that.

Because your mum sounds rather as if she has been 'dominated' by her own mother, your gran, and because your priority does need to be your own baby, I would suspect that it will be up to you to get your family to 'rally round' to make the decisions to have a lot of your gran's care done by others. Would it help for you to chat to your brother and dad first, so you can plan your campaign, as your mum may feel guilty, or be made to feel guilty, about drawing back from meeting all her mother's demands....
Oh God, I just write out a really lengthy reply and accidentally pressed saved draft instead of suit, but it errored and I have no idea whether it is saved in drafts anywhere and if it is I have no idea how to find out! Opps!
I will try again lol...
Firstly, thank you to all your replies, sorry I'm only just replying myself!
To the second poster, you seem to have misunderstood, its just my gran who is the demanding one, not my mum, my mum is lovely and in fact thinks I should have time off to relax and such but unfortunately I know, and I know she knows that it just inst relalistic, when I even take so much as an extra day off it just turns into a mess really, it just means o have more to do when I go back from not being there for an extra day or two.
To the third poster.. It's like you know my gran!!!! Uncanny lol, you clearly have experience with someone like her!
We spent a good part of a year pushing and trying to convince her to get carers in and omg it ended in tears and disaster! So we finally got her to get carers, and now fair play to her they were aweful, they could only offer her two half hour slots a week and first thing in the morning at about 8am, and she just doesn't need help that time of day, she usually gets up about 7/8 and dresses herself and makes her own breakfast even though it takes her all morning and such she's happy to potter about doing that at her own pace, what she needs is help from about 10.30 onwards with day to day jobs and such and things like someone to wash her hair do her dishes prep lunch you know typical things like that, so anyway because of the time they offered as well as the amount of time she found it difficult to know what to ask them to do for her especially since it had to be things squeezed into half an hour, she also had problems with them being late, or even not turning up at all ! It didn't even last a month and her one bad experience with this company has given her a total 'I told you so' attitude about getting carers in and I'm pretty confident we will never convince her to try it again with a different place, plus the fact it was costing her something like £22ph (so pw) for them to do nothing really...
I'm going to add to this reply later cause mum is up.late today and only just woke up so need to go sort her out but also wanted to add, my brother lives 400 miles away so can't help, and there isn't anyone else around here to help there is only me and mum.
The fact remains that you can't please everyone all the time. As a mum of two adult children, with a total of nine carees in the last 40 years, from newborn to 87, with a vast range of illnesses, I know a lot about caring and time management!
I'm always on the side of the carer, but know that sometimes our desire to please everyone all the time is impossible. As a result of trying to do this, I ended up with a life changing illness requiring emergency major surgery, and so I try to help others avoid the same traps I fell into. In addition, pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding place huge demands on your body, even if everything goes according to plan.
When you are in the later stages of pregnancy, or caring for a new born, your current workload is going to be impossible. Your baby will have to come first, and until the baby sleeps through the night, you are going to need a nap during the day.
Try writing out a timetable of what you do each day, and where. Draw up a chart with 24 rows, 4 columns. First column, each hour of the day, 1-24. Second column, write down what you are most likely doing, and where. Third column, what you think you will be doing for the baby. Fourth column, how you will care for all three people together?!
Who arranged the outside carers? Who funded them? If arranged and funded by Social Services, did they mention Direct Payments? Social Services give the client the money the care would cost, and the client can then employ someone herself, at a time of her choosing. I use DP's for my son's care, it works very well, and all the paperwork is dealt with by an outside agency, funded by SSD.
I really like the idea of writing up the chart,I'm defonetly going to do that, thanks :)
And my gran funded her own care, I don't know why I don't know of that was because she couldn't get funding or what or perhaps because she gets disability benefits she's expected to pay for it, I really have no idea but It was arranged through social services which I had very little to do with, my mum sort of dealt with it all and I never really asked that much about it but I will certainly find out and ask mum if gran was offered any finding etc. As far as I know the company came from social services recommendation.

Me and mum have talked about me going 'part time' for her towards the end of my pregnancy and num is more then halpy to do anything and everything toa ccomadate me during my pregnancy and once baby comes , she keeps insisting my health and baby come first and when baby is here baby will come first.

We are desperate to find out what help we can get whilst I'm off and until in ready to return to being mums full time carer or even at least part time, lhckily baby is coming at Christmas and that means my brother will be about for around 2-3 weeks which is some coverage, and dad usually takes a week off somewhere around new years which is more Coverage so i think we have about 4 weeks covered... Now just need to sort out the rest. How do people normally cope when they have a baby and they're full time carers!?

I also came up with something today that I hadnt thought of, it was spur of the moment and not sure how it would work out yet, but I was thinking that after a few weeks after baby is born if my other half could get up to mums even a couple times a week then that could really help. I hadn't even thought of asking him and its not that he wouldn't want to I just have a bit of a habbit as seeing things like this as 'my' problem when I hadnt really considered that even though it's 'my' mum its both of us having a baby and since I'll be breast feeding (well hats the plan at least) its going to be harder for me I. The first weeks then it is for him (since it will be me getting up in the night until I can hopefully express)
I think I've covered everything there.
Thanks again xx
I meant to add - which does indeed make it 'our' problem. In a lot of ways.
Unfortuantly he won't be able to do anything for my gran, despite her only meeting him once about 4 years ago she completely hates him which is hilarious if you know my gran cause she does this about a lot of people and you either have to laugh or you would cry lol.
Hi Josie, I breast fed both of mine. The year before he was born we moved back to the UK from Australia, and bought a cottage in the New Forest, near both sets of parents. We lived at my brother's house (which we sold to him) whilst we did the worst of the work - it had no inside toilet, no wiring upstairs, had leaked for five years and a jungle garden. We finally moved in at the end of February, with no internal doors, and only an open fire. when No.1 son was 6 weeks old. By that time I'd mastered the art of breast feeding, and he had a large old fashioned style pram to sleep in to start with. He was a wonderful baby, slept through the night by 6 weeks (how lucky was that?) and would even fall asleep when my husband was using a power drill. Once you get the feeding established, you may find it's easier to take the little one with you to mum's. Consider getting some equipment to leave at mum's, it doesn't have to be new, as long as it's clean. I also had a "bouncing cradle", all the aboriginal babies in the hospital where I worked in Australia had these, then the nurses could rock the cradle with a foot, whilst doing paperwork etc.! Freecycle and ebay are brilliant for baby things. Hopefully mum can supervise the little one while you are doing things for her.
With regard to Gran, does mum know her financial situation? If she has under £16,000 then she may be entitled to some free help from Social Services IF she meets the criteria. Perhaps mum could help here?
A Carers Assessment asap would give you a clearer idea of what help will be available, then you can work round that.