Hi all, I’m new to carers UK and am really struggling mentally at the moment (which is what led me to joining). I care for my best friend who is in her 20s (so am I) who has life-limiting cancer and her 6 month old son. I am live in, and luckily have her husband around to do a small amount, but he is the sole income getter at the moment so feels like he needs to work really hard. I am fortunate in that my friend is able to do things like feed herself given the right set up, and dress herself, but all childcare, laundry, cleaning, and some cooking has been left up to me.
I have autism as well and this has definitely contributed to my problems as I get anxiety if there isnt a routine, panicky if things arent done the right way, loud noises and top strong smells and tastes are hard to deal with (which is difficult because the husband is partially deaf). Also I have her horse to take care of and I know some would say to sell him but our lifelong dream has been to have a working horse small holding and my own pony can plough/hoe/pull stuff etc and the only thing we need is the land, but then this happened and she wants me to live the dream for her and also her son as I am his godfather as well. So basically there is always too much to do in the day, I never have any time to myself until I have a breakdown and cant do anything. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
if your user name is your real name, I suggest you change it to protect your and your friend’s identities.
It’s important to take regular breaks to prevent you having breakdowns in the first place. Does your friend and husband know much about autism? Perhaps giving them some information to read and then having a chat with them about what would help e.g. a regular schedule which includes breaks for you. Keeping you regulated will ultimately help them too as it will enable you to carry on caring.
you can find information to give them on the National Autistic Society website What is autism
or you could show them this video clip or What is autism or similar.