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Carers UK Forum • Suddenly feel out of my depth - Page 2
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Suddenly feel out of my depth

Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 8:24 am
by bowlingbun
I have just been through a similar process with my mum, which I will share with you as it might help, but of course every situation is unique. The hospital tried to send mum home alone, even arranged for a hospital bed to be delivered to her house. This was essential before she was discharged. I just didn't go over to let it in. The hospital then said they knew mum had a front door key, and if I didn't co operate, then they could use that to let her in. Mum has a double glazed front door - which the key was for. However she also has the original front door inside that - which she didn't have the key for, but my son and I did. I locked it. It was clear to me, as her daughter, that the time had come to admit defeat and accept that mum living at home was no longer an option, she simply needed too much care. After five months in hospital, mum was finally discharged to a nursing home. She should be entitled to Continuing Healthcare, but the assessment was flawed, and that's now in the hands of a specialist solicitor. Mum will never go home again, so I'm selling her house to fund the care, as I've been told she is unlikely to see next Christmas. There was enormous pressure on me, however my former work and qualifications meant that I could just about deal with this. (I've just come back from a 2 week recuperative holiday in Crete, sleeping a ridiculous amount of tired because I was so worn out). I can only speak from my own experience, but I would say don't believe any reassurances that you will cope if you think you can't. After discharge, you will be more or less on your own, and it's far, far more difficult to arrange residential care from home. So this is now a time for some real soul searching. Do you want your husband home again? In reality, is this a practical solution? If your husband is no longer able to make a proper reasoned decision about his future, then you will need to take control. Think about what he NEEDS now, not what he or you want. In hospital or a nursing home there is a team of carers day and night. You will be caring 24/7. If you have any health problems of your own, then that is a major factor to consider. I'd suggest you go and see your GP - to talk about this (the hospital are only concerned about getting your husband out of their bed). You cannot be forced to care. It is a truly awful situation to be in, be kind to yourself through this.

Suddenly feel out of my depth

Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 9:50 am
by Nem
You're welcome Janet. Glad to hear that the consultant is being reasonable.
Not surprisingly, I totally second what bowlingbun has said and, well done bowlingbun, good for you! Once you have a family member back home, getting them into residential care, even for respite, can be an absolute nightmare and it can be very easy to find yourself resenting someone that you love for a situation that neither of you is responsible for and that's a cycle of self loathing and anger you don't want to find yourself facing.
Please be very aware though, that if you WANT to be responsible for your husband's care, don't let me or anyone else put you off. I just want to help you to make the decision with your eyes open as there isn't a "I'll just give it a go and see how I cope" option.
Another point that I'll mention as it's not one that you'll hear often, your relationship with your husband will change as his carer. When you take over his full-time care, you're likely to stop seeing the man you have loved all these years and start viewing him more as a child that you care for. Whatever age someone is and however much you love someone, cleaning their nappies is not pleasant and is likely going to lead to you naturally infantilising them. For your husband on the other hand, you are still his beautiful wife and he is likely to still have sexual feelings for you. You'll want to prepare yourself for that and think about how you'll cope.
I hope this helps you, I don't want to be all doom and gloom, I just want to try to let you know about the sorts of things you won't be told about elsewhere.

Suddenly feel out of my depth

Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 5:30 pm
by bowlingbun
My relationship with mum is much better now she is in the nursing home, I am her daughter, not the odd job Jill of all trades I had been for years. We now have quality time together.

Suddenly feel out of my depth

Posted: Thu May 22, 2014 6:58 pm
by phoebe
Hi Janet,
and welcome to the forum, you will get lots of help and support here, it was my lifeline when i was a carer, (and still is!)
Love Phoebe xx