New here (sorry for the essay!)

Hi I’m new here. I’m Harmony and I’m 33. I care for my dad who is 63. I dont live with him, I live with my mum and cats… but have my own car.
I have been a carer for my dad since i was 14-15 years old. He was far more able then and could still do a lot of things under his own steam. In 2012 things took a turn for the worse. He lost most of the feeling in his feet and legs (more or less over night) due to diabetic peripheral neuropathy as the doctors/consultants could find no other reason causing this. Since then things have been very tough. My dad has no one else, only me. He has a multitude of other aliments. Diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, alcohol issues, constant skin itchiness which cause endless scratching on his part but the doctors etc cannot determine a cause., depression/anxiety, OCD, partial incontinence, high blood pressure, back pain, frozen shoulder issues… the list just goes on…
I’ve had several major arguments with him over the years. Ive tried to get carers to come in to give me a break but he chucked them out after 4-5 weeks, as they were ‘apparently’ breaking stuff and not apologising, being rude, not doing things right, rushing things, being too rough when helping him wash and apply creams etc. And said he’d rather cope alone crawling around on his hands and knees than have these so called carers. So eventually I took on full duties again and have done ever since.
I have been off work since Jan 2023 with depression and anxiety issues, passed around various mental health service teams since then but not actually receiving any real help or support.
We (my dad and I) found out in Oct 2023 that my uncle (his brother) had died unexpectedly at home and was found by police after neighbours raised the alarm back in Aug 2023 but authorities had never informed us as they apparently couldn’t trace a next of kin. My uncle was a solitary soul and kept himself to himself. He lived in my late grandparents house which had been sold on their passing and my uncle was paying rent to the new owner to remain there. It was only when got inside the house we soon realised this was going to be a mammoth task as stuff was piled high in every room! It took us the whole of Jan and Feb to clear the house with me going all but 7 days out of that 2 months . My dad came and took over when he was able to. By the end of it we were exhausted to say the least.
Then, I admitted to my latest mental health team late Feb this year that I was close to breaking point and had contemplated things i maybe shouldn’t but see no other way out. I was put under daily telephone support for half a week then referred back to my local community team which I can’t seem to get anything out of now, just silence (like getting blood out of a stone!) I’ve rang several times to be told they’ll get someone to ring me back and they never do. I am still visiting my dad around 4 days a week but desperately struggling.
There has been mention of the possibility I may suffer from ASD and personality disorder but nothing has been assessed/confirmed. Its only with this coming to light that and looking into it that I have the suspicion that my dad is autistic as he’s always been challenging with people. We have problems understanding one another frequently.
My GP is trying to persuade me to reurn to work 1 morning or afternoon a week on an informal basis. As with having no real treatment/therapy i cannot return to full duties. My mental health is just slowly worse. I’ve almost given up on self care. But yeah it might be beneficial. My employer has been very understanding and supportive.

Thanks if you managed to read all that! I just needed to off load a bit.
Take care :slightly_smiling_face:


Welcome to the forum. I’m dismayed at what you have been expected to deal with. Have you ever been able to escape and have fun? Generally my advice to people like you is to develop an escape plan! Dad will never leave you in peace while you are nearby. How many hours a week are you doing things for him? He has to accept somehow that you are not going to be his slave any more, and that’s not going to be easy. When did you last have a Carers Assessment? Are you having counselling? It was life changing for me at 65, just 30 years too late. There are a lot of people here who have had difficult careers. You are among friends here.

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Hey Harmony, welcome to the forum. You have certainly been wormed out from reading this.
Sending you hugs.:people_hugging::people_hugging:
You might need to talk to your dad social worker about what is going on, see what can be done.
You could employ someone either a living carer or as a PA to help if he will not let carers come in but there are some private companies who do things with a person some will not do like physio etc. Worth looking at. Take some time to do something you like than just go back to work
Take care.

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**On the other hand, going back to work and telling dad that you can’t see him those days could be just the excuse you need? Social Services are supposed to be doing everything to support carers who want to keep working! You could even be devious and tell a little white lie that you have to go back full time when you are only part time???

Welcome from me too Harmony. Old people can be incredibly selfish. You do NOT have to care for your father. TBH with the elderly with co morbidities things tend to get worse…

I echo BB with regard to seeking counselling. Yes it is not always easy to find a good counsellor but they are out there. We have a local Support for Carers and although they do not advertise this, they do have links with a Counselling organisation and will sometimes provide 6 sessions if the person caring is at breaking point. Also you could talk over your options over the phone/

You do need more support and I would agree that returning to work part time is a good step to consider.

Please let us know how you get on. I would personally write to your Father’s GP and send letter recorded delivery to prove receipt. I would stress your own health issues and say that you are NOT going to provide care for your father and that the GP Surgery has a ‘Duty of Care’. Would he consider wearing a pendant alarm?

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Thanks for your reply! :slight_smile: :hugs:
I find a lot of people say a similar thing, that they can’t believe what I’ve had to deal with. In reality, I feel I’ve had little choice considering the circumstances. I am able to have days away with my mum (who is my main support) but I’ve never felt I am able to fully switch off. It’s at a point now where the things I use to enjoy, I no longer do much. Most of my life I’ve done what everyone else does to enjoy themselves… e.g. going out, cinema, coffee, window shopping, visiting other cities etc but always feel more worn out than I do prior! I’ve never really been able to understand it. I feel I need quiet alone time to then recoup. Although, now I feel this maybe to do with the possibility of me having ASD… but that’s another story and I’m getting off the original post now lol.

I do go to my dads on average 4 days a week and can spend between 4-8+ hours there. It varies depending on what I’m helping him with, at the moment his latest thing, putting flat pack furniture together to store the things he put aside from my grandparents/uncles house.
Since my original post I took it upon myself to contact my local carers support service and managed to get a face to face appointment last week for a carers assessment. At the end of the assessment the lady I saw said if I wasn’t already then I’m almost at full burn out, which my GP has also echoed previously. We have no social services contact, as my dad I know used to put in numerous complaints when they were involved! Think just had enough of each other tbh!
As for counselling, I said in my original post thats an ongoing battle with my local nhs community mental health team! I have since had confirmation that I’m on a waiting list to be seen but they could give me no time frame as to how long that would be for. And this is for the ‘intensive/home treatment team’… one stage before hospitalisation!
I do feel I’m more or less constantly on the edge… bouncing at the bottom. I have said multiple times to various people that if anything else happens that would impact me negatively now then I feel that would be it… I’ll be a goner for sure!

Anyway, just bobbing along for time being…

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I had the free 6 session counselling, but no one told me it was just 6 sessions! Pointless, I needed regular ongoing counselling, trying to juggle the needs of disabled son and mum, brother dying of cancer, and then two deaths and two over full houses to empty and sell! My GP said he could recommend a private counsellor but it was £30 an hour, 10 years ago. Ultimately this was funded by Social Services after my Carers Assessment. After your assessment, was anything offered to you? I also had gym membership paid for, again, after a battle!

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Yes 6 sessions would seem totally pointless! Regular ongoing support and talking therapy is what we need tbh.
I had a bad car accident in 2022, my car (which was only 4-5 years old) was in body shop for 6 weeks! I had bad whiplash and my mum who was a passenger in my car broke her hand and was in plaster for 8 weeks and off work. Yet I still had to look after my dad, go to work (on reduced duties), help my mum with certain tasks whilst dealing with insurance companies, car repair shop queries etc. After that 6-8 weeks, it just seems like one blow after another with no real time to recover. So I know what you mean.

The carers service who did my carers assessment, are meant to be calling me this week for a follow up appointment. So will just have to wait and see what happens and if anything is offered.

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