Becoming A Former Carer

After caring for both my parents,my mother to some degree for two years until her death and for my father for over four years almost full time,after his admission to hospital a few weeks before Christmas it is apparent he will not be able to return home as his care needs are something I can no longer fulfill.After the relief of not having to get up in the night etc plus the usual caring duties I now feel at a bit of a loss.I am keeping busy with work etc the change in circumstances is something I am finding hard to adjust to.Do any posters have tips to help with the situation?I know it is early days as yet and I am sure it will pass but being very close to my father I am finding it difficult.

Hi Mark.

Your new situation is only far too common … a sense of loss in more ways than one.

Have a read of an old thread of mine … written from a lone , male , prospective … might be a few things in there that you
can relate to :

Your father … care considerations … CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare / NHS Nursing Funded Care … any one may be appropriate
… ever considered / offered ?

Your abode ?

If the worse happens , safe in your current home from a financial viewpoint ?

Just some initial thoughts …

Hi Mark, I supported all four of our parents, as well has having a son with learning difficulties. It takes a long time to settle down again. It’s only when you stop that you realise just how much you have been doing, and what an effect it’s had on you.
I suggest getting a notebook (or opening a computer file) and writing down initially everything that you think about, large or small, then sorting it into clusters. Fore example:-

Top of my list would be Housing
“Where am I going to live”
How much will it cost me
Can I afford it

Sorting out future care needs for dad
Cost of that care
How will it be funded

My social life

Write down, for your eyes only, what you want most from the future. After I was widowed I read a book called “Starting Again” by Sarah Litvinoff, published by Relate, mainly for newly divorced people, but there is a lot which is very relevant to a former carer or someone who is widowed. Usually available cheaply on Ebay.

I have been a former carer for a year. You might relate to some of the things I experienced, but we are all different, so please ignore anything unhelpful.

Please remind yourself (especially if no-one else is telling you) that you have done well to look after your father for so long. Even those ‘good enough’ days contributed. Accept, too, that you are grieving for many things although your father is still alive.

Please try to develop good routines. (Don’t do as I do, do as I say! I still find it impossible to stick to a sensible bedtime and I am still not getting over the habit of broken nights.) Exercise of any kind, outside in daylight if you can fit it in, is good.

Are you agreeing to do anything on offer (coffee with a colleague, new group to join, helping dig flowerbeds in a local park, whatever)? You’ll need to be more selective after a while, but temporarily seeking out new opportunities or going back to old ones will help.

Others will remind you that this is a place for former carers too - do keep posting.

Hello Mark
As well as exercise (in some enjoyable to you form,), might I suggest doing some form of volunteering? I think most of us care because we are caring people and we do get pleasure and satisfaction from doing things for others. If volunteering with elderly is too close to home there’s many opportunities with charities for various disabilities, or Scouts and youth clubs.
If ‘people’ related doesn’t float your boat there are nature, animal and historical organisations too.

Even your local carers support would welcome you with open arms I’m sure, and they’d understand if you suddenly need to vist the Home more

Thanks for your replies.It is early days with much to think about.

My father passed away on Monday so my caring role has now ended after nearly 5 years.Although it has been difficult at times it has been a real eye opener to the world of social care and what is available and more to the point what is not.This site,information and the experiences of other carers has been invaluable.
We were just about to be passed over to a private company for his care which I was dreading. Before his discharge I had a meeting from the social team where I was promised that I would not be alone.Needless to say I never heard once from them.On the other hand the Hart team who cared for him for four weeks after the hospital were excellent.

My condolences , Mark.

Thanks Chris.
Your advice has been most helpful especially concerning CHC which I was in the process of exploring.Strange how different professionals gave conflicting such information. It is almost as if they dont want you to get it.

Your welcome.


It is almost as if they dont want you to get it.

Enough on that one around … what’s on the CGC thread , and what happens in the real world … chalk and cheese.

Perhaps I should rename that thread … The Snake Oil thread … although some do sail through … through treacle , that is.

Hi Mark,

You will feel a wave of conflicting emotions for a long time. Don’t make any important decisions for a long time.

My mum was very poorly before she died, spent the last year in a nursing home. I miss her every day, but couldn’t wish her to have lived another day in so much pain.

Your caring years will have changed you, so once the formalities are over, take some time to rediscover the “new” you.

Sorry to read of your loss Mark. I hope in the days and weeks ahead you can take some comfort from knowing you gave the best possible care to your father . There is a lot of advice available on dealing with the days that follow a bereavement on here if you need them.

Sad to read of your loss Mark. Keep in touch, if you feel you can and take care of yourself.

So sorry to hear of your loss Mark. Wishing you all the best during this difficult time