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Hi, I'm the latest newbie Image

My sister & I look after our elderly parents. Mum is 80 with Parkinsons, continence issues, arthritis & hypotension as well as other bits and bobs. Dad will soon be 80 and is diabetic, has osteoporosis in his spine, arthritis and is generally just getting older & frailer & forgetful with each passing day.

Both my sister & I have health issues of our own (she's diabetic and ceoliac: I've fibromyalgia & perncious anaemia with a dash of severe IBS thrown in for good measure), and I try to work full time - though between my health issues and hospital/doctor appts - well, let's just say I have a very supportive line management at work, for which I am very very grateful, but I do feel guilty that I can't fulfil my contractual terms and that I end up with menial tasks even though I do have a reasonable level of intelligence. One day they will have to sack me, or I will have to resign and I have no idea how we'll cope with the financial situation. However, one tries to keep some form of perspective - I'll deal with it when it happens (I hope)! lol

I just find it incredibly lonely - the friends I had when I was well and when I didn't have as much responsibility at home - they're still there but they don't find it easy dealing with someone who can't just drop everything and go out for a day or an evening or have to cancel at the last minute.

After the last round of hospital admissions, I have managed to get some care organised - we have an OT and some professional carers who come in twice a day to help get mum up and dressed and into bed at night, which helps give us a little bit extra time for those nagging things like housework. I'm hoping for some respite but money is tight so even if I can get it, I won't be heading off for a nice restful few days away, I might be able to have a day or two out and that would be nice.

My escape is the internet, my cats and my painting & knitting (in the winter) and embroidery/tapestry (in the summer) as well as fiddling in the garden - but more intensive things & things which require more commitment - difficult as the firbo can flare at any time and not always with warning.

My sister & I have been caring for 10 years now, not surprisingly, it is getting more intensive.

And that's the readers digest version of life at the moment.
Hi Debbie,
Image
Hi Debbie,

It's understandable that you find it lonely, many carers feel the same. Hopefully this forum will help relieve that somewhat Image

You might be able to get some help with costs of taking a break - there is more info on our website here: http://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice ... et-a-break

Join in anywhere! This thread is where everyone updates with how how they're getting on, so is a good place to meet people]viewtopic.php?f=4&t=18913[/url]

Best wishes,
Lucy
Hi Debbie - welcome to the forum. You should feel pretty darn proud of yourself in how you cope with everything as you really do have an awful lot to deal with each day, particularly with your own health issues too.

Good that you have found the forum and I'm sure you will make new friends and enjoy the "chatter".
Have a look at the link Lucy has given too when you can.

Bell x
Hi Debbie and welcome Image
Hi and welcome to the Forum.Hope you find it useful and fun. Image Image Image
Hi Debbie,
Welcome to the forum. Lots of us here are caring for elderly parents who are becoming increasingly frail - have a look at some of the other threads and you will see that you are not alone.
What is is they say about cats? "Dogs have masters, cats have slaves". It's always been true here, sadly after 3 cats got run over, we are now cat free.
Thank you all for the lovely warm welcome - I'll certainly be checking links in the coming days.

My cats - Image - a favourite topic of mine - all rescue or adopted strays, am such a softy! Lucky's my eldest - he's somewhere between 13 & 16 - I got him from a local rescue centre after my first cat (Lady) passed away. Chloe's next, a colleague at work said that a cat on the farm where he lived had had kittens and he was looking for homes for them or they'd have to be given to the SSPCA, I went round &, well, my first experience with a kitten. She's very very independant & doesn't like much petting. She'll be 13 this year. Then there's Snuggle - who is as she sounds - another stray I found starving at a local beauty spot. After making enquiries, and lots of trips to the vets, she stayed. She'll be about 5 or 6 I should think. And finally there is Samson. He just turned up on day and started making eyes at Snuggle - who couldn't stand him! Image This went on for about a year (I'd occasionally leave food out for him) and then he turned up one lunchtime limping badly. I took him to the vets thinking he'd been bitten or attacked or whatever only to find out that he'd been in an accident (a car most likely the vet felt) and I was faced with an awful choice - have his back leg amputated or put him down. The massive softy that I am, I begged & borrowed the money for the amputation and now he lives here too. Lacking a back leg doesn't stop him climbing fences and such! I'm definitely owned by the cats! And they know just how to get me to do what they want me to do Image

Thanks Bell - in my own twisted way, I don't actually feel proud at all. I don't seem to be able to get it through my thick head that I'm ill, that I'm not as capable as I was even 4 years ago, even though I live in painkillers, dose myself up with caffiene and survive through mini bouts of meditation before everyone else is up in the morning. It's been a difficult adjustment for me (as well as Mum) getting someone else in to help out - I feel like I should be able to cope with everything without help. But when my sister fractured her spine it was obvious that, well, things just had to change. Though it has done Mum the power of good having some young chirpy blood around the house - it's good to hear her joking & laughing and making more of an effort than she did with us.

I was reading in one of the other threads about depression - been there, done that. I've been clear of it for almost 5 years now BUT sometimes it's so very tempting to just jump back into that hole and hide. Fortunately I have an amazing GP - and through his advice and through counselling & homeopathic treatment - I've succeeded in battling it. But it is so so hard sometimes.
Hi Debbie and welcome.

I find caring can be lonely too and this website does help.

I juggle working and caring and have oestoarthritis too. Not an easy life is it?!

Melly1