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I am struggling to care - Carers UK Forum

I am struggling to care

A place for those 18-35 to chat about all things caring.
I am really struggling. I have had an unhealthy relationship when I moved in with my grandma. Boundaries have been really difficult to maintain and I am constantly reiterating them or on the alert because she will "hint" at what she wants even though she knows I do not want do it.
I've recently started caring for her more than I used to as her health has declined.

When she is really unwell, I feel sad for the pain she is in.
When she is not doing too badly, I find my role of providing medication, keeping in touch with the doctors really difficult. I just about manage to make sure I contact the GP for myself let alone someone else.
I feel unable to look after my grandma while I work. My job is stressful and this responsibility makes it harder for me to have time to myself.

I feel angry, guilty, anxious. Angry when I think of the unhealthy part of our relationship, guilty because I can't look after her and don't want to and anxious because I don't want her to be ill.

I have almost recovered from depression but I have to be very careful that I take care of myself. Living with elderly grandparents is really difficult and I feel bad because I know they looked after me especially when I was young therefore how can I not help her?
Zulekha _2209 wrote:
Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:22 pm
I am really struggling. I have had an unhealthy relationship when I moved in with my grandma. Boundaries have been really difficult to maintain and I am constantly reiterating them or on the alert because she will "hint" at what she wants even though she knows I do not want do it.
I've recently started caring for her more than I used to as her health has declined.

When she is really unwell, I feel sad for the pain she is in.
When she is not doing too badly, I find my role of providing medication, keeping in touch with the doctors really difficult. I just about manage to make sure I contact the GP for myself let alone someone else.
I feel unable to look after my grandma while I work. My job is stressful and this responsibility makes it harder for me to have time to myself.

I feel angry, guilty, anxious. Angry when I think of the unhealthy part of our relationship, guilty because I can't look after her and don't want to and anxious because I don't want her to be ill.

I have almost recovered from depression but I have to be very careful that I take care of myself. Living with elderly grandparents is really difficult and I feel bad because I know they looked after me especially when I was young therefore how can I not help her?
Hi Zuleka

Breathe. You are not alone now, you are here.
Elderly care is difficult and gets more demanding as they deteriorate.
it is a lot to have on your shoulders and your thoughts, feelings and emotions are natural human nature, don't feel guilty about them, but don't dwell on them, recognise them, process through them and move on from them, be resilient.

The elderly can lose boundaries and can get curious and just plain nosey.
They don't have a lot going on if they are home and get bored.
I'm sure you are the apple of her eye which doesn't make it easier.

Have you had care needs assessments done?
https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... -allowance

Are you registered as a carer? you will have rights at work for time off for care, within reason for hospital appointments.

Medications, at my mothers surgery it is done on the website and I set a reminder in my phone/write in her diabetes diary.

Please phone the helpline to talk with them for some guidance and help.

I am caring for my 91 year old mother who is ageing now so I understand some of the demands on you.

If your gran is deteriorating how much longer can you continue to care for her while you are working?
What then when she needs more care and you can't be at home? If she needs to go into a care home that is not a failing by you, it is getting her the best care by a team of people 24/7 because you can't do that alone. You still love her and care about her, it's just that you can't be a 24/7 team for her.
Hello Zulekha

Welcome to our forum, I'm not sure if you are aware but we are currently running a series of online weekly meet ups for carers to get together and chat informally. There's no pressure to share any more than you're comfortable with. Join up details are here:
https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... ne-meetups

We are also running Share and Learn sessions, these are a series of fun and relaxed online sessions where visiting speakers who share tips and skills on a range of topics - please have a look at the link and see if one grabs your attention. https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... e-sessions

Both session are very informal in layout and its a great way to meet other carers who are experiencing similar situations to yourself Zulekha.

There is also Carers UK's helpline should you need advice or support - Our Telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact us by email advice@carersuk.org

with best wishes
Ingrid
]Thank you very much for this information. I have signed up for a few and I am looking forward to them. It's already helped me to not feel quite so lonely as a carer
Hello Zulekha

Welcome to our forum, I'm not sure if you are aware but we are currently running a series of online weekly meet ups for carers to get together and chat informally. There's no pressure to share any more than you're comfortable with. Join up details are here:
https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... ne-meetups

We are also running Share and Learn sessions, these are a series of fun and relaxed online sessions where visiting speakers who share tips and skills on a range of topics - please have a look at the link and see if one grabs your attention. https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... e-sessions

Both session are very informal in layout and its a great way to meet other carers who are experiencing similar situations to yourself Zulekha.

There is also Carers UK's helpline should you need advice or support - Our Telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact us by email advice@carersuk.org

with best wishes
Ingrid
Thank you so much for your response Breezey. The medication comes through from the doctors monthly, but even getting them into dosset boxes, giving her her pump (she can't push), applying creams/ointments or ringing the GP as her preference to medication changes, feels like a lot.

I want to be more resilient but I am struggling. It doesn't help that I sometimes don't feel great about myself.

I will check out the Needs Assessment as well as the Helpline and Carers Passport.

What you have written about the care home support helps me feel better at understanding that I can't do everything. The only problem is that my grandma would despise going into a Care Home just as much as she doesn't want carers (she says she has family to look after her)
Hi Zuleka

She has family to care for her - the operative word being 'family' that is not just one person.
One person cannot do it all, it takes a family to do the work of a team and it takes a team to give proper care to an elderly person.

Society has changed, the world has changed, life is expensive and people need to work to afford it, many people cannot be at home to care for their elderly who are deteriorating and dependent.
Unfortunately it seems that she doesn't understand that, old fashioned views and stuck in those times.

You can't be just staying afloat trying to keep your head above water because it will go under.
But for now you are getting some help and support and I hope it spurs you on to get more.

Nobody wants to go into a home, but for many that is the only way, the only solution. Your gran will deteriorate and become more care dependent, she can't expect you to give up work for her.
I was fortunate enough to leave work to care for my mum and she has chosen for her end of life care to be in hospital to spare me doing that which is so selfless.
Hi Breezy, thank you for this. Sometimes realistic decisions clash with guilt. But I'm grateful to have read what you have written.
Also if I go under, the "little I can" will no longer be possible


Hi Zuleka

She has family to care for her - the operative word being 'family' that is not just one person.
One person cannot do it all, it takes a family to do the work of a team and it takes a team to give proper care to an elderly person.

Society has changed, the world has changed, life is expensive and people need to work to afford it, many people cannot be at home to care for their elderly who are deteriorating and dependent.
Unfortunately it seems that she doesn't understand that, old fashioned views and stuck in those times.

You can't be just staying afloat trying to keep your head above water because it will go under.
But for now you are getting some help and support and I hope it spurs you on to get more.

Nobody wants to go into a home, but for many that is the only way, the only solution. Your gran will deteriorate and become more care dependent, she can't expect you to give up work for her.
I was fortunate enough to leave work to care for my mum and she has chosen for her end of life care to be in hospital to spare me doing that which is so selfless.
Zulekha _2209 wrote:
Sun Sep 25, 2022 5:59 pm
Hi Breezy, thank you for this. Sometimes realistic decisions clash with guilt. But I'm grateful to have read what you have written.
Also if I go under, the "little I can" will no longer be possible

Hi Zuleka

It seems that a lot of the care is a two-fold of emotional erm encouragement from the elderly and guilt from the carer both based on old fashioned societal and cultural background and emotional guilt, the government saves a fortune on this - millions? billions?

You need to phone the helpline or if you'd prefer email them for more guidance and help.
Your gran will deteriorate and need more care as time goes on, she will need a team of people and you are just one person with a job. She could become clingy and dependent on you as she gets lonely and less able.

Don't be alone, find your local carers group for support and advice.
Be kind to yourself.

In order to care for her you need to care for yourself too and that will be having carers in or finding a residential place for her, either way, as said, you still love and care for her, but it is just that she needs and deserves a team of people to look after her needs, not just you.
Yes she gave a lot to your upbringing, but she will be your downfall if she doesn't accept help or go into a home.
Is she proud of the work you do? Tell her you are struggling at work because you are tired because it is all too much for you and you fear losing your job and all her good work in helping raising you and your studies will be lost. If it could work, give it a go.
Nobody wants to go into a home but it doesn't mean she will be abandoned by you, you can visit her and you might be allowed to take her to a cafe, she will have friends there instead of being lonely at home, I'm guessing she is lonely and when you come home she lights up and is excited and intrusive on you being pleased to see you. But in a home she can have friends or at home with the carers she can have a rapport with them.

A local carers group should know about charity sitting services, a few hours a week, they will sit with the relative, they don't do medical care but they will watch tv, do a jigsaw together or a crossword puzzle etc there are also telephone befrienders - look up Silver line this was set up for the elderly by Esther Rantzen who set up Childline
https://www.thesilverline.org.uk/

Sometimes the thought can be harder than the deed or sometimes they need to realise and accept they need the help.

Please contact the helpline or email.
Carers UK information and support
Our telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact us by email (advice@carersuk.org)
Guilt. You have nothing to feel guilty of, you didn't make her old or infirm, did you?

What people want isn't necessarily what they NEED. If she needs care, she needs help.
If she refuses carers to help, then that is her decision, but she cannot make you provide that care instead.

I always worry about grandchildren being left to care for grandparents.
Where are your parents?

Grandparents and parents should be doing everything possible for you to have a happy young life, to have a career, fun, holidays, family, a home of your own.

It's not you who should feel guilty, but them.
I understand that they may have come from a different culture, but they chose to live in the UK!
Thanks Breezy,
Reading what you said, there is a lot to think about.
Unfortunately they're not into Carer groups and when it comes to work - she is pleased that I work but if it was to come to it, she would want her family to be there for her ("for what would be the point of her raising children and grandchildren if we didn't").

She is happy when she sees me, but sadly I don't like talking to her. I feel her speech is manipulative, she will have digs at me and can be unkind. If I didn't say no, she would get me to do everything she possibly could.

But I have spoken to my family and told them I am struggling to care for her and I need help. My uncle is helping with appointments which is good. She is better at the moment then she was about a month ago but I have told my family, if she deteriorates again, I will need help.

Hi Zuleka

It seems that a lot of the care is a two-fold of emotional erm encouragement from the elderly and guilt from the carer both based on old fashioned societal and cultural background and emotional guilt, the government saves a fortune on this - millions? billions?

You need to phone the helpline or if you'd prefer email them for more guidance and help.
Your gran will deteriorate and need more care as time goes on, she will need a team of people and you are just one person with a job. She could become clingy and dependent on you as she gets lonely and less able.

Don't be alone, find your local carers group for support and advice.
Be kind to yourself.

In order to care for her you need to care for yourself too and that will be having carers in or finding a residential place for her, either way, as said, you still love and care for her, but it is just that she needs and deserves a team of people to look after her needs, not just you.
Yes she gave a lot to your upbringing, but she will be your downfall if she doesn't accept help or go into a home.
Is she proud of the work you do? Tell her you are struggling at work because you are tired because it is all too much for you and you fear losing your job and all her good work in helping raising you and your studies will be lost. If it could work, give it a go.
Nobody wants to go into a home but it doesn't mean she will be abandoned by you, you can visit her and you might be allowed to take her to a cafe, she will have friends there instead of being lonely at home, I'm guessing she is lonely and when you come home she lights up and is excited and intrusive on you being pleased to see you. But in a home she can have friends or at home with the carers she can have a rapport with them.

A local carers group should know about charity sitting services, a few hours a week, they will sit with the relative, they don't do medical care but they will watch tv, do a jigsaw together or a crossword puzzle etc there are also telephone befrienders - look up Silver line this was set up for the elderly by Esther Rantzen who set up Childline
https://www.thesilverline.org.uk/

Sometimes the thought can be harder than the deed or sometimes they need to realise and accept they need the help.

Please contact the helpline or email.
Carers UK information and support
Our telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact us by email (advice@carersuk.org)