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Tips for Newbie carers - Carers UK Forum

Tips for Newbie carers

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Tips for Newbie Carers

1. Recognise yourself as a carer, if you think you maybe one then you are!
2. Keep a list of contact names and useful phone numbers
3. Get yourself registered as a carer at the GP surgery
4. Request a Carers Assessment for yourself with Social Services at local Council
5. Request a needs assessment for your caree with Social Services at local Council
6. Make sure you are claiming all relevant financial help and benefits
7. Make sure your caree has all appropriate aids to make life easier
8. Use pharmacy services such as blister packs, prescription ordering and delivery services
9. Find out what support groups may be able to help you
10. Don’t suffer in silence and always ask questions
11. Keep a diary of symptoms, treatment, contacts, advice etc etc
12. Recognise when you need outside help. It is not a weakness .
13. If you are paying for outside help and it is unacceptable, change it!
14. Make sure you have some me time away from your caree
That's brilliant. Please can the mods make it a "sticky"?
Will do, I thought exactly the same thing myself as I was reading Henrietta's excellent post.

Yes, it's excellent, Henrietta. And you can read it here every day, but newbies don't see that.
excellent :D post
Not sure what a sticky is but if it means the first thing newbies, like me, see on a site it would be great.

Not sure where to put this.
I have learned that infections do not always show the usual symptoms.
E.g. Chest infections, no cough or raised temperature especially in older people.
Two senior doctors said this is why older people often do not survive
I have spoken to some nurses and they did not seem to have heard of this.
My 10 yr. old great granddaughter who has had chemo and seems to suffer from a compromised immune system often does not show typical symptoms either.

I try to notice a change of breathing, quite subtle, to indicate chest infection. The first symptom that is obvious seems to be very bizarre behaviour. If some normal behavior is a bit bizarre, difficult!

My GP fit say I was clever to notice a slight change, it does show how on guard we carers are.
I need a crystal ball to make life easier, any out there?

Just wondered if this info would help anyone.
My advice ? Try to avoid dealing with ANY government agency, including the NHS, by phone.

Always, ALWAYS, put it in WRITING - keep a copy - and send it SIGNED FOR (used to be recorded delivery).

That costs money - but is a lot cheaper than the time, effort and incredible stress when they suddenly deny all knowledge of a filled-in form, a phone conversation, or a promise; while all the time you are trying to care for someone.

If you have to deal with someone across a desk, face to face, make sure they (not you) write down the details, or print them out. If they ask why, tell them you need to show it to another relative, or you have a bad memory.
Do accept that no one else is going to do the caring for you.
Don't let it consume your life.
I've just spent a whole week with my Mum and her friend, another 80 year old, who came to stay with her, entertaining them and taxiing them around the area. We have very poor public transport. Every time I give as much as I can, it only increases Mum's need to see me, rather than lead to a recognition of the time I've spent with her, and then a reduction in need for a small period of respite for me. It also causes problems with my husband who tries to encourage me to take back some of my life. I feel pulled in all directions. I end up saying "no" to every additional outing Mum subsequently suggests, leading on from the last several outings we've been on, and saying "no" makes me feel bad, however nicely I manage to say it. It's a guilt trip from start to finish. Very hard.
Hi Caroline, I had counselling to help with my mum's demands, she was housebound, had lots of people going in and out to support her, whilst I was disabled, and had a son with severe learning difficulties. She would save jobs for me!!
Counselling taught me how to avoid using the word no too much. So after a week of being a taxi driver/hostess, I would say that I hadn't done anything at home, so let me catch up on my jobs, and we'll go out again soon. So no promises as to when and where whatsoever. Next time, could they stay in a hotel somewhere together? Then they would have all their needs attended to, gossip non stop, without involving you?
The more you do the more you will be expected to do, so gradually reduce what you do. Write down everything you do for mum in the next week, then work out the three jobs which irritate you most, and share them with us. Someone else will already have met the same issue, and may have found a solution. Top of my list of jobs avoidance tips are a dishwasher, a washer/dryer, and doing away with all flower borders.
Now mum has had a week of you hostessing everything, this is the time for you and your husband to go away for a week's break.
Henrietta wrote:Tips for Newbie Carers <snip>
Alternatively, run - now! I'm being serious here.

If you're lucky, you might only be a carer for a few months or a few years - if unlucky - you could be looking at more than a few decades.

Bear that in mind now, before it's too late for you.

BTW if you insist on ignoring what I've said so far, beg, borrow, buy, or steal a copy of "The Selfish Pig's Guide to Caring" by Hugh Marriott - it might save your sanity, your caree's life, or even your life. :)
Thanks for sound advice. Sometimes we need to go back to basics, it is so easy to drift away in our ever changing situations.

A big big thankyou to all who advised me about Attendance Allowance. I contacted Age Uk who sent someone out to help fill in the forms. Suddenly a post dated amount arrived in the bank before the letter confirming.

It is making such a difference.
I have found two, I am sure there are others, frozen meals providers that cook in restaurant size batches, no additives etc. As a keen cook from scratch, it has been hard to compromise but these are really tasty. Single size does for two with plenty of veg. Others are two portion but include more veg. I do a calorie and protein check to decide.

Last week there was another emergency hospital admittance to deal with, NHS was great but now I feel tired and lack lustre. It will pass again. Just trying to be kinder to myself.
Well meaning daughter said don't stress just relax more! Easier said than done.

Thanks again for so much help.