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Tips for Newbie carers - Page 3 - Carers UK Forum

Tips for Newbie carers

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Henrietta wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2015 6:24 pm
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
Try to celebrate the good times and not waste time looking at behaviours etc that match the diagnosis.
Have a journal to share your frustrations and worries with - preferably a book with an elastic closure.
Ask friends and Family to give you time away from caring, to talk to you beyond your caring role and see you as the person you are not just your "carer" part.
A helpful post. I usually cover up my pain to get move on but i have caused a lot of consequenses, now i don't try to be strong anymore, it's great advice for me

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Hello hung,
Welcome to the forum. I see you joined at 4.13 in the morning, when everything seems worst of all. Would you like to tell us more about your situation?
A very helpful thread. I'm not exactly a newbie carer for my mum, but her conditions (Parkionson's & dementia) have dramatically got worse in the last few months - a whole new level of caring. She depends on me for more or less everything now, includng timed medications.

I've just ordered an automated/lockable/alarmed meds dispenser to see if that can help.

The guilt of saying 'I can't do that today, Mum' & her reactions (she's not beyond sulking or getting really annoyed).

But given she has a dementia diagnosis now, I'm also trying to remember that I'll no doubt look back on this time as the 'better' times - as she's still recognisably her witty, stroppy self! Buat it's hard, hard, hard......
Don't feel guilty, because mum will probably have an endless list of jobs for you. The trick, which I learned during counselling, is not to say no you can't, but to think of a delaying tactic. Mine was usually as follows "You asked me to do this, so let's get it finished properly first before starting anything else". I chose the task, I chose the speed I did it, and I chose the next job! I ws therefore in control.
Learning how to do this, and feeling really proud of what I could do for mum, made things so much better for me. It takes a bit of practice to unlearn the idea that I learned in childhood, that doing what mum asked was "good", refusing to do anything was "bad". However neither of my brothers visited regularly, seldom rang mum. So in comparison, whatever I did was better than them!!!
I know exactly what you mean about brothers! (No offence to the many excellent male carers out there, honestly - it's just that I seem to know a lot of daughters who do an awful lot in comparison to brothers.......)

And thanks for the tip about distracting from the immedate request by delaying it - i'll try it
Sadly, the elderly (even without dementia in the frame) can become incredibly 'selfish' - they lose the ability to understand the impact of what they want, on their children. Maybe it's because they are frustrated they can't do things for themselves any more, and also I suspect because their lives become so limited that they only see what affects them, not the bigger picture.

You can't just give in to them, so let her sulk or get angry etc. You can't keep her happy all the time and there's no reason you should. I think BB's advice is very sensible - you are not saying 'NO' you are saying 'Later'. She'll probably grumble etc all the same, but it has to become like water off a duck's back.

She's lucky to have you - so don't feel guilty. Feel sad she is old and frail, but you cannot 'make up' for that by running around exhausting yourself. She probably has little else to think about now expect herself. (sigh)
Thank you!
This is so helpful. Another tip is to take notes during appointments. I always have a few questions to ask them too at each appointment.
Definitely, I used to take notes in a notebook at the front. At the back I kept all the contact numbers. Very helpful when you can quote a conversation back from three weeks ago.

Also, use a wipe off noteboard for caree's reminders (or for notes you want to leave for other people coming in), together with reminders of appointments etc. I kept my mum's under the TV