I am 69 years old and I care for my disabled husband and my mum as well who is 99 years old. I sometimes feel as if I don’t have a life of my own and can’t cope but I get over it and carry on. I would love to talk to someone just to maybe have a moan and a laugh

Hi Carol, welcome to the forum.

I know that feeling! At one time I was supporting five carees all at the same time!!

Later, when I was very ill, counselling taught me some management techniques, to manage everyone’s expectations of what I could do for them.

Does mum live with you?
Is she receiving Attendance Allowance?
How much does she contribute to the running of the house AND the care she receives.

Try to sort out what you do for everyone into categories.

  1. What can be avoided altogether by doing things differently - Ironing, doing away with all the flower borders.
  2. What needs doing but does NOT need your involvement, just needs “someone” - a gardener, cleaner/carer.
  3. What thing can help you - dishwasher, tumble dryer.
  4. What you want to do. I’d say finances, so you know what can and cannot be afforded.

Have mum and dad both had a Needs Assessment from Social Services, and you, a Carers Assessment?

How much “me” time is put aside for you to have a proper break each week?
When did you last have a proper holiday?
How old are you and your husband?

You’re far from alone there, it’s very common. I’m possibly better fixed than some as I get some time to myself most days - I make sure of it - but things don’t always go to plan.

Take yesterday, Wednesday is a day when no carer comes to wash and dress my wife, (our choice, we pay them for four mornings per week), so it’s all down to me - she had a (first) trip to the Gym arranged at the suggestion of her Neuro consultant to improve her core strength.

We had to be there at 11:00am, that meant leaving home at 10:00, so no half hour lie-in for me on a non-carer day as l usually do, in actual fact I got up 30 minutes earlier than usual. Gym is a two hour session a 40 minute drive away - no point in going home, just hang around for two hours. Got home at 2:00, made lunch, cleared up and by 3:00 I was free for 45 minutes, (I glazed some pots), then it’s time to make a cup of tea for us both and then start on dinner. Dinner at 7:00, finished by 7:30, cleared that away and went and sat for a nicotine break, my recent fatigue problem then re-appeared with a vengeance.

I’d just got moving again at 8:30 to start the washing up when my wife-bell rang. She’d bypassed her catheter and consequently wee- ed in her wheelchair. Put her on the bed, cleaned her up, then the fun begins, wash the hoist sling, wash her trousers, wash my trousers (I sat on the wheel chair to drive it out of the bedroom), wash the wheelchair cushion cover etc etc.

I actually did last night’s washing up this morning whilst the carer was here.

Hello and welcome!

I think it is time for a needs assessment and then paid for carers. Can you afford to hire extra household help or not? Who takes care of the cleaning etc? I use a local cleaning service and they send me a lady once a week to come clean my flat and do some of my ironing too. I also find that asking other family members to do chores helps me out a lot as well.

Could you create a chart of chores etc? I have a laminated one which I printed off and is hanging on a kitchen wall above the kitchen table. Everyone can see it. For example on Monday the specific chore of the day is laundry. And so on. Alternatively you can ask paid for carers to support you in this. Would that work? Ask them for suggestions and tips as to what worked for their own families in terms of doing chores. They may be able to offer some advice and hints worth trying out too.