Hi, I’ve just joined as I feel it may be beneficial to have a connection with others in a carer position.
I’m a woman in my 30s and moved onto my now 99 year old Grandmother’s property about a year ago. I have a separate living space by virtue of an annexe in the garden. Originally it was just so that she had a bit of company and an extra pair of hands around the house for things she now finds difficult such as laundry and light cleaning and for safety as she had fallen a few times in the preceding 18 months.
When I moved in Grandma was still very socially active within her church, the mothers union and civil service retirement fellowship. I would go out to work at my 9-6 office job in central London Monday to Friday and still had a reasonable social life. Then Covid-19 arrived. I moved to working from home and shielded with Grandma. After a few weeks both my parents contracted the virus; Dad was bad enough to be admitted to hospital. Thankfully both recovered but Dad now has complications with his health and we suspect is a sufferer of long COVID.
I became Grandma’s sole companion and carer as well as taking on responsibility for my 70 year old high risk Uncle with learning difficulties who lives a short drive away. After being separated from the family by lockdown and deprived of her comfort of the church Grandma now needs a lot more care both emotional and physical. I’m trying to keep it together for her and do my regular job to keep the money coming in.
I’m not doing so well. I miss my boyfriend, my sister, my nephew and my friends. I feel forgotten by the government who make provision for single parents and persons living alone in their guidelines but as the person I care for is an adult I cannot have any kind of support bubble.
This was not what me, Grandma or anyone in the family envisioned when the arrangements were made for me to come here and I wouldn’t leave her alone but I am doing my best in the circumstances.
You’re in the right place to talk to people who understand your circumstances and feelings. Many carers say they feel that caring has isolated them from other friends and family.
It’s important to get all the help and support you can, have a look through our help and advice pages for suggestions:
If you’d like to chat to other carers online we run weekly meet ups for this, ‘Care for a cuppa’ where carers take a short break and come together. There’s no pressure to join in, you only share what you’re comfortable with. Join up here:
Bowlingbun at the moment I am doing everything myself as Uncle Ed was managing to live independently quite successfully until November last year. When he had some deterioration of health over the winter my Dad helped a lot too but since he came down with Covid in April I just hadn’t had time to make any enquiries for assistance.
Things came to a head over the weekend when Uncle Ed almost went into a hypoglycaemic collapse as he had overdone his insulin but thankfully he called me and I got down there just in time (his blood sugar was down to 2.4) so I have ended up insisting he come and stay with me until he can be stabilised again. I took yesterday off work and made a lot of calls and am now waiting for an emergency care line pendant to be fitted in his flat and for both social services and the community diabetes team to arrange assessment visits.
Until then I am stuck with him. I’m going to have a hell of a week until the careline is fitted Friday and I feel it is safe to let him go home as he’s already thrown a tantrum today over the lunch I prepared him and told me he wishes I had just left him to die. Grandma tried to make excuses for him as she always does and I have just walked away for half an hour peace before I go back to my desk for my day job.
I’m afraid you did the wrong thing this week, you should have dialled 999.
No one is going to believe there is a problem until they see there is a problem.
He can go back to his flat immediately if he wants, but must take the consequences.
You are not obliged to care for him, that is the role of Social Services.
Had you dialled 999, the most likely scenario would be emergency care being arranged immediately.
I know how difficult it is, but you must learn to step back, not forwards, when this sort of thing happens, so your uncle gets the support he needs.
Stepping back is really hard, I know. At one time I was caring for all four parents, son with LD, running a business and a national club, as well as a home. My husband ended up having a heart attack, I ended up in hospital.
You MUST put yourself first.
Think of the airline advice. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first, make sure you are OK.
I understand where you are coming from Bowlingbun but they wouldn’t have taken him to hospital unless he had fitted/gone into a full hypoglycaemic faint and could not be roused. I tried to get them to take him last autumn when this happened and because his blood sugar goes back up and his colour and lucidity come back when they give him glucose gel they won’t take him.
This is going to be an awkward few weeks until he’s stable and the diabetic community team take over more regular monitoring of him (I hope) and if not I will argue with his two brothers (my Dad and other Uncle) that he must be put into a facility.
I will consider your points if this repeats as you are right that I don’t have infinite resources to deal with it permanently but as it stands at the moment he is here and I’ve just got to put up with him until the careline alarm is fitted in a few days.