My name is Ian iam 53 single now I look after my 93 year old father. Lately finding it hard to cope(not easy looking after old people) friends/partner seem to drift away(I understand) would look to hear from others in similar postion as me.i know the majority are young cares%70.feels every day is Groundhog Day for me(I’ve been a bit of a people pleasers I past) if feel iam begetting my own needs.would love to hear from others(troubled shared troubled half). Ian 53 thanks x
Hi Ian, welcome to the forum.
What other help are you getting?
When did dad last have a Needs Assessment from Social Services, and you, a Carers Assessment?
How much can dad do for himself?
Do you have everything you need to make life as easy as possible, things like a dishwasher and a tumble dryer man you can claim back a few minutes each day.
List everything you do during the week, and work out
What can be dumped altogether by doing things differently - Ironing!
What can be dumped by changing something slightly - gardening.
What can someone else do? Most obvious thing in this category is domestic work, you are dad’s son, not his skivvy. If the domestic help is actually a carer, and you can “pop out” for longer and longer periods, you can get back lots of valuable “breathing space”.
I’m sure you realise at dad’s great age things can change very quickly. Have you investigated respite care at a local nursing home of your choice, so that in case of emergency, either him or you, there is somewhere you are all familiar with?
Ian you are entitled to your own life even as a carer. It’s time to get your father outside help.
Caring is very isolating and its even harder during the Pandemic…I know I have had a good few tough days…much more than is usual for me.
Although I care for my two sons and not a parent we all feel similar emotions… e.g. that we are neglecting our own needs, just dont have time for ourselves, no control over our own lives.
Obviously with an elderly parent as their needs increase so does the demand on you.
I cope by trying to fit something into each day that I like to do such as walking or listening to music.
Thanks for your kind words and support gloudygal,it must be hard and differcult for you(but rewarding) dad was in hospital and then residential care home for about 3 weeks over Xmas.it did give me a break.split up with partner over 2 years now.i can understand why friends and partner drift away.but there a many of use in same boat(or similar Ian x
Thanks sunny disposition, you have hit the nail on head,have become more reclusive now (partly down to Covid 19).need help,no good me being to proud. Thanks ian
Thanks bowlingbun.ive phone about Carers assessment form 21/9/2020.i need to help myself as well,being to proud will not work… people on here are willing to listen and help.i suppose in a rut,nice to think others think of me. Ian thanks
Stop being proud and get someone else involved.
What would happen to mum is you suddenly became ill?
There needs to be someone else involved who mum gets to know and trust, initially when you are there to provide guidance, and then gradually get time off.
Someone who might be able to step in at short notice.
My husband died suddenly at the age of 58.
When I was just 54 I had a scan to find out why I had indigestion which wouldn’t respond to medication. The scan showed I didn’t have indigestion, but cancer of the kidney, which needed a major operation to try and save my life.
You don’t get notice of things like this, they come like a bolt out of the blue.
It could be argued that your pride is getting in the way of making a long term best interests decision for mum.
Time to think again?
(Just realised you posted while I was writing).
Yes you have hit the nail on the head bowlinbun,very very humbling to here your story,makes me realise others have been through mill.very positive responses to my story.is suppose deep down I’m scared a will always feel like this.its hard to express to people who don’t understand how i feel.sorry to here about your loss ian
The best thing I ever did was to have counselling, albeit years too late.
The counsellor made me realise I was struggling, and on the verge of a breakdown, because everyone wanted a piece of me when I was newly widowed and hobbling around with a walking stick needing two knee replacements after a serious car accident caused by a boy racer.
There was a constant battle between mum and son with learning difficulties living away from home.
First thing counsellor did was to tell me I couldn’t and shouldn’t even try to meet all expectations.
In fact, I didn’t HAVE to do anything at all.
I had a right to my own life, something that had got completely lost along the way.
Mum was housebound, disabled, but had plenty of money from her civil service pension to buy whatever help she needed, and could tell her staff what to do.
To deal with her never ending list of wants, not needs, he told me to choose what I was going to do, when I was going to do it, and how fast I was going to do it.
When inevitably I was given another job, before the first was finished, I’d say “you asked me to do this, so let’s get this finished before starting anything else”. Later, I’d add “I haven’t forgotten about that but let’s get this …”
Mum would then stop mentioning it or get someone else to do it. She had carers 3 times a day, a gardener, and a girl to do her shopping and ironing, and sometimes the girl’s husband would do jobs too.
My son couldn’t speak up for himself, so he had to come first, I told mum, she didn’t like it, but couldn’t argue with the reasoning behind it.
Knowing that I didn’t have to do anything, knowing I had the right to say No, or not do things asap, gave me a new feeling of freedom, as I was in control, not mum in control of me.
Then I could do things not out of duty, but out of love for mum.
Yes, we were different as chalk and cheese in many ways, but we loved each other.
Mum hadn’t been a perfect mum, who is, but I never ever doubted for a minute that she loved me.
I loved her too.
Avoiding jobs, getting someone else in, doesn’t mean you don’t love your mum.
Quite the reverse. The more help you get the longer you can care for mum.
You can get domestic help, a gardener, electrical items (I call my dishwasher and tumble dryer my “mechanical slaves”) anything you need to make life easier, some may even be funded by Social Services.
I know,sometimes lives just bigger picture,I wish i asked for help sooner,it’s good I can relate to someone that understands.maybe for years I’ve pushed people away subconsciously in my life,friends/partner.i don’t think you can have a normal social life and be a full time Carer ian
My life has changed hugely, and I often feel sad for the life I lost thanks to an unqualified midwife without supervision the night my son was born, but I can’t change my son’s resultant brain damage, or the cover up that left him without compensation.
However, I only have one life and I make the best of it, I’ve still managed to do lots of unusual things, and I’ve met lots of lovely people on the way.
Would love to know your first name…keep writing bowlingbun,your positivity is a rare quality these days,been through so much yet your willing to help others.ive been through a lot myself (partner dying/loss of partner) being honest I’ve had given up.ian
Just thought I’d say that I feel very similar to you often, though I do have a partner (who lives separately to me, so I care alone). I’m 34, so a lot younger, and still the groundhog day feeling is precisely what it feels like. Really sometimes I could scream just at the sheer repetitiousness of it, and how it can feel like nothing will ever change. For me, now, it will change, because my mum (who I care for ) is now coming towards the end of her life, but until August when I learned that, the three or four years leading up to that point were like being trapped in a tunnel. I don’t have any useful things to say really, except that anything little you can do each day that brings you joy, or means you learn something new, can be wonderful. Even putting on a song you like and being silly in the kitchen to it for 5 mins, or reading a little or learning tree names or whatever is interesting to you, can at least make it feel like your day is yours, in some small way. Sending solidarity, i hope you find a new phase in this difficult circumstance soon.
Thanks Emily,yes life is never easy,I’m so used to it now,sounds horrible(he should have been in home/residential care years ago) friends/partner seem to drift away(I understand)caught between a rock and hard place. Ian
You can refer yourself to ITAK easily without a doctors referral either by phone or online.
Talking things through often makes things feel a little less pressured.
My life can be rewarding. But it is also pressured, overwhelming and exhausting at times. Leaves me feeling trapped with no control…or hardly any.
I myself am trying to move things on in my life…my older son is transferring to supported housing…and I am trying to sort my younger one out too.
I realise that this life as it is is just not sustainable for me mentally and physically.
I read in a book that their disability becomes your disability. That rings so true with me.
I need to get a bit of “me” back.
I hope you can do the same
“Sustainability” is such a good word to use.
Just because our relatives don’t live with us all the time doesn’t mean we don’t love them. it means there is a team of people to care for them, not one tired, ill carer.
Thanks for your kind words(cloudygal) I live from day to day now.hopefully thinks will improve for both of us.ian
So true …
Just not possible for one person to do it all. The transition to supported housing has created a whole heap of more work… but it will be worth it in the end…
A team if people is indeed whats needed.
Just feel on the edge of what it is possible to deal with right now. But will manage.
You are welcome.
…and thank you…things will get better.
Thanks. If you ever fancy /chat,iam a good listener.a problem shared! Ian😊