My gp suggested I join carers uk as I have been the primary carer for my mum for the last 3 year’s as she has stage 4 lung cancer. As I am sure you will all understand it has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows (mainly lows but we try to keep a sense of humour), emergency hospital admissions and an unsympathetic employer. My father is an alcoholic and had a complete breakdown two weeks ago with sever DTs even when drinking morning, noon and night. My parents are long term divorced and live in different towns from me. I had my mum staying with me after being discharged from hospital, I then had to send her home alone so that my dad could come and stay as he is mentally and physically incapable of looking after himself at the moment. I don’t have any brothers or sisters so the responsibility is all mine with minimal support from extended family. In the meantime I’m trying but failing miserably to hold down a full time job.
I ended up getting an appointment with my gp this morning as we discovered yesterday that my mum now has pressure sores on both feet caused by peripheral neuropathy and can’t walk. He has signed me off work for a week and given me sleeping tablets but I know that’s only a short term fix. I’m worried, upset, exhausted and furious with my dad and the world in general at this moment. All of this is also putting a huge strain on my relationship with my partner. I would honestly like to run away but that’s just not an option.
Sorry for the lengthy outpouring of self pity!!
Are you looking for advice or/and a good listening ear from the forum.
We can sometimes make suggestions - not everyone seek advice. Just people to understand there circumstances.
Hi Kaye and welcome to the forum. So sorry that you find yourself in this situation and I’m surprised that you haven’t collapsed into a puddle of melting jelly long before now. You most certainly cannot carry on in this way and desperately need help.
You say that I would honestly like to run away but that’s just not an option.
Actually it is an option. Maybe not one you would dream of taking through love, sense of duty, feeling responsible but no one has to care for another adult no matter what the relationship. You don’t have to do this, most certainly not alone and to the detriment of your own health, your own well being, your job and your relationship with your partner. You and your partner are important too.
Time to start screaming for help.
Mum first. Have you looked up the Macmillan website, made contact at all? They should be a great source of support for you and Mum. Is there a Hospice near you? If so, look up that website or call and see what they might be able to offer you.
Has Mum had a needs assessment from Social Services? Have you had a Carer’s assessment? If not then request them as soon as possible. This is one of the first steps to take. Tell it how it is. Use words like ‘termanally ill’, ‘vunerable adult’, ‘safeguarding’ about your Mum and ‘unable to carry on’, ‘imminent breakdown’, ‘might lose my job’ , ‘will walk away’ about yourself and be firm. You Cannot carry on. NO saying ‘I can manage a bit longer’. It’s urgent.
As for Dad, it’s completely unfair that you should be expected to care for someone in his state of health. You might consider saying to him, ‘Dad I will get you help but I cannot do this any more’. The it’s up to him whether he accepts help. Needs assessment for him too and try the Al-anon website and his local Mental Health team.
Now, if, as SunnyD wonders, you just want someone to listen, then sorry for going on. However if you do want paths through this pointed out to you then keep posting because there’s loads of both sympathy and experience, plus information here and I hope members can help to show you the way.
You have been trying so very, very, hard but please realise that no one person can possibly cope with everything that’s on your plate. It’s not ‘failure’ to get outside help, it’s just common sense.
It’s time you stopped being “Piggy in the Middle” of your parents.
Your role should now change to “Care Manager/Supervisor” for both of them. Make sure they get the care they need, without you providing hands on care.
Mum should be entitled to NHS Continuing Health Care which should pay for residential care for her, and dad can go back home, so you get your life back!
I know how upsetting this next suggestion will be, but you need to do it asap.
Google “Signs of Dying” so that you understand the process that takes months or years. It explains how the body shuts down, and why people are more prone to infections, sores etc.
Has anyone said how much longer mum has?
Are you prepared for the “final arrangements”?
Thank you all so much for your replies. It means a lot. I spoke to my local carers support service yesterday and should get an appointment with them for a carers assessment today. I have also referred my Mum and Dad to social services for a needs assessment, whether they like it or not! Until yesterday I didn’t think of myself as a carer, just a daughter. I should have reached out long before this but I’m here now and it is a relief just to feel heard. I do have final arrangements in place for my Mum and have power of attorney. My dad is just a hopeless case. He doesn’t want any form of support except for medication to help with the dts but no one will prescribe this to him unless he also agrees to rehabilitation, which he thinks is a nonsense.
Hoping today will be a first step in getting some support…x
Hey I feel your pain having been carer for both parents at one point. A big steps was recognising that I was a carer, not a just a daughter helping out. Dad dies in Feb, but I still care for Mum with Alzheimer’s . I still do some things, as does my sister, but not all. Some falls to outside carers. And I am much happier, I have managed to return to work and time with Mum is better because it is more sociable and not just stressing about doing stuff. Mum wasn’t happy, but she wasn’t happy when me and my sister did everything. The big change is me and my sister are happier! She also accepts the outside help now.
Please try and take care of yourself too in all of this.