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Timetables - Carers UK Forum

Timetables

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
I know a lot of you do a lot more caring than I do and often in the middle of the night so I'm not trying to sound hard done by- more just wondering what others are up against and how you fit things into a day. I find myself setting my alarm for just after 5.00 in the morning to walk the dog and start work at 7.00 AM, Back by 10.30 AM and then breakfast for caree followed by lunch for caree and later dinner for carree and then just when I am about to drop my caree wants supper ideally at 10.00 PM- no chance but usualy about 9.30. Other caree jobs in between of course.
Now I've never been one for drifting off quickly so an hour or 2 of TV is needed before sleep. This results in me often crashing to sleep some more during the afternoons and I get mad with myself for wasting time. I feel working part time I should be able to fit in more me time but it's always a struggle.
What are your average days like?
I now have a number of health problems, so your timetable looks amazing to me. I'm lucky, my son with learning difficulties gets himself to bed and up in the morning. In my view anything before 6.30am is definitely night time. Anything after 9.30pm is my time, or earlier if I can manage it. I will be in my room (with en suite) by then, not to be disturbed. I have Sky Plus, a kettle etc. in my room. To me, as a 62 year old, you are either Superwoman or heading for meltdown. I don't have a dog either, so can't see that it's vital to set the alarm so early! As for the caree wanting supper at 10pm, what does supper consist of? It's bad to eat just before sleep. Could you leave a flask? Is it not possible for you to do meals at the same time? It sounds like there needs to be a shift of power. You are boss now, you decide what you do and when you do it. If your caree doesn't like it, then there's one answer, get someone else to do the caring. Perhaps do the breakfast or supper time? Don't wait until you get ill, like I did when I had multiple carees. Introduce someone to share the workload.
My time table is a little more relaxed these days -thank goodness :D
we get up in 3 mornings a week for college at 6am. If k is up earlier he tends to stay in his room and at least I can still doze a little. Non college days are usually around 7-7;30 am. Bed time or rather going into our room time is usually 9 pm college days( K can take up to 3 hours to go to sleep some days) and non college days depends on what is going on.
Although we have 3 dogs they are quite old now and have their own health problems that they just rather stay indoors or just go out in the garden ( vet said that is fine as we got a big garden). So dog walking isn't so time consuming anymore
As for supper at 10 pm that's a little late to have something to eat I would think.
Is there any chance you could make supper time earlier if that is needed and prepare some of the next days dinner then,( I love my slow cooker and often prepare things the night before :D ) to free up some time during the day and finish a little earlier for some me time. As a carer I believe you have a right to set the timetable to your needs too and not just what the caree wants. Obviously taking into account their condition etc . But some me time for you is very important and beneficial for both of you
How about asking yourself which ONE thing would you most like to change (I mean, given the situation, not an end to it!) - and I would take a punt that it would be the late night supper.....

If it weren't for that you could go 'off duty' earlier, as most people do in our working lives - the evenings are our own....

Does your father need your help to get to bed, or once he's had his supper can you then go off duty? I do use the term 'off duty' deliberately - caring is a job, and we are either on or off duty (we are 'on duty' if we are 'on call'......)

I know from earlier emails that you are in an exceptionally difficult and intractable situation in that you are sole carer to an elderly father who won't cooperate in having others help him, and that you are 'stuck' with him because the only alternative is for him to go into care which would eat up the inheritance that you, totally understandably!, feel is your 'portion' after all you do for him)(I'd think that too!), and neither do you have PoA as, again, your father refuses to allow you that.

But on the other hand, in your favour in the overall power balance between you, (which is tilted heavily in his favour for the reasons above!), you can 'refuse' to be on duty at an unreasonable time. After all, being blunt about it, if you 'refuse' to give him supper that late, or indeed, at all (eg, as opposed, say, to leaving him a flask of Horlicks and a packet of biccies!), what is he actually going to do about it? He might be cross, or grumpy, but what is he going to DO?

Also, what if you shifted tea/dinner a bit later, so that he is less hungry before bedtime and therefore doesn't need supper at all? Would that work?

Being at the 'beck and call' of another human being is incredibly irksome and wearing. It grinds us down, even if it's only mild beck and call. For me, I now only have my MIL to stay on Sunday evenings, but even for that one short evening I am 'up and down' the whole time. I don't get to 'sit still' because it's a round of 'things' for MIL - cup of tea, hot water bottle, then early evening G&T, then cooking and serving dinner/supper main course, then pudding course, then last cup of tea, then up to her room to put the heating on adown and a new hot water bottle, then downstairs again while the room warms up, then helping her up to bed, then going back up again when she's in bed so I can say goodnight and turn the heating off....and only then do I go back downstairs at about 10 pm and make myself a cuppa, put my feet up and watch the telly I want to watch and go 'off duty'. I can do that once a week - but t's irksome all the same. Doing that every evening, and ditto for the day times too, 24x7 and I'd be a raving lunatic! (As I was last year when I was doing all that for weeks at a time.) Doing what you are doing living with your caree, for reasons I do understand why you are 'forced' to do it, is just ....well, unthinkable....

Also, as we know, being waited on hand and foot is something we all can take totally for granted, and we start to cease to realise it 'costs' the 'servant' anything to do it! On the receiv ing end, we don't see it as 'work' for the 'servant'!

As for 'wasting' the time sleeping in the afternoon - no, that isn't wasted time- it's essential physical recovery time. We CANNOT stint ourselves on sleep - it is very bad for us healthwise. We sleep when our bodies and brains require it......
I tend to do Dad's breakfast before work if I can fit it in and alarms going off a bit later at 5.30 now as I am down to just my own dog- also elderly and also big garden so not so manic first thing. Yes I have moved supper to 9.00 PM and ignore the daily complaints. Dad has always been a nightowl so thinks bedtime is 1.00 or 2.00 AM and has always eaten to a regimental timetable. I do grab me time in between chores and can't get help because over the funding limit , Dad won't pay and doesn't want it and I'm to broke to pay for it and he won't give POA. I do try to bunch things together job wise so I'm always doing about 3 things at once. Superwoman I am not though.
Suggested a flask but flatly refused to drink any of it! I have the ultimate stubborn one.
So dad goes to bed at 2.00 am and then you are up again at 5.00am. I make that 3 hours sleep and actually caring in the middle of the night too :shock: No wonder you fall asleep in the afternoon. You are burning the candle at both ends and even superwoman would struggle with that.
Henrietta, I do understand the 'cleft stick' you're in financially overall, but two thoughts -

Firstly, what would your father do if you simply refused to do the things that you would like an outside carer to do? Would he go without, or would he fork out for the carer?

Secondly, would your brother agree to loan you the money to pay for outside help, which he could then 'deduct' from your share of the inheritance when that time comes?

As for the flask, well, you've changed his supper time and he grumbled, so why not just leave him a flask and let him grumble about that too?

That may sound a little mean on my part, but, after all, he does have you looking after him non-stop, and making a little effort (even without him wanting to!) doesn't seem to be too harsh, compared with all that you do for him?

In the longer term, would it be worth sitting down with your brother, and really thinking through the coming years. I know you've said earlier that your brother would simply be content to see your father 'put in a home' and sell the family house to pay for it. But given your father's current life-expectancy (whatever it happens to be), can you do some rough calculations as to how much of his 'capital' would be needed for his care, and would the 'left over' be enough for you to live on once you are on your own?

You describe your father as 'stubborn' but is that the right word? It isn't pleasant to read of a parent being so unfeeling towards his own daughter, and so little concerned about her well being, and whether she is driving herself into the ground with looking after him. (I take it that dementia is not an issue, as otherwise you wouldn't be talkign about PoA, which can only be done with legal capacity.)
What does you dad have for supper Henrietta? Is it something you can prepare in advance and then just stick under his nose?
Can you simplify your life and cut things out? Life isnt a time and motion study.

PS, jenny. Please dont automatically equate dementia with loss of capacity. Dementia is a process and in the initial stages you have very few problems. The problems grow with time, but you can still have capacity until the dementia is quite advanced. Terry Pratchett has Alzheimers, but is still writing novels.
Crocus, sorry, I should have clarified I was meaning I guess 'deep dementia' ie to the point where legal capacity ceases. Maybe, though, there is a 'practical real life problem' in that although someone may not have reached that stage, they may have lost sufficient 'understanding' of just what their carer does for them, and therefore appear to be selfish and inconsiderate.

In cases where the caree refuses to lift any of the care burden off their carer there can, logically, surely be only two possible explanations - they are either 'selfish' or they are 'beyond understanding'. I personally would say the guidelines might be what kind of person they were before the dementia set in. In the case of my MIL she would never have been 'selfish' the way she is now (ie, taking my care of her for granted, depending on me for everything, from clean underwear to who is feeding her and keeping her off the street!), so I put down her behaviour now to dementia setting in, and therefore 'exonerate' her. Had she been selfish all her life towards me, I wouldn't be so generous! So maybe if Henrietta's dad has 'become selfish' and 'inconsiderate' to his daughter's workload, then maybe that is a sign of dementia setting in? Otherwise I guess it's just a question of being selfish and inconsiderate!!????
OOh thank you for your input and thoughts girls. Where do I start- yes always been selfish and inconsiderate (isn't it awful saying that about a parent?) but yes there is also an element of dementia but not total incapacity- forgetfulness, single minded obsessions, pointless trivia, inability to concentrate or work things out anymore- (major stroke few years back) . Current phase is listening to quiz shows from dawn till dusk.

Yes doing a flask earlier is an idea-might try that and like you say it will only swap one grumble for another, or he will go thirsty.
Like you say it's hard going "off duty" Still need to lock up, turn lights and heater off and sort out the tv/dvd for the late shift once I've gone to bed.
Yes I know what you mean about sleep. I think I feel it's me recovering from hysterectomy rather than unreasonable work load causing it. Bit of each no doubt.
As for taking on carer and discussing with brother- don't want him invoved in decisions and he wouldn't contribute anyway. I would rather work less myself and take on more at home than pay someone else. Maybe a chip off the old block?
Supper has been reduced by me down to a pot of tea and a cake or biscuit tin with night time water and meds. I've tried not making the tea but he just goes without and I come down to an empty cup in the morning.
Jenny- you also asked what he would do if I did nothing- i.e. would he get a carer- no he wouldn't . He would fend for himself until he fell over and then ended up in hospital. (Which wouldn't take long)