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Hello. I have typed so many posts but deleted them without posting them, hope I can be brave this time as I really feel at the end of my tether. I don’t know how people manage to find time for themselves while caring. I feel so overwhelmed, no time for my own life while caring for my mum. She is in hospital so I thought I would take advantage of some free time to do my carers assessment but the council website didn’t send the code to save it so I wasted all that time. Not had time to do it before & now feel worse that I wasted precious free time that I never usually have for nothing. Mum had a fall & is in hospital. I am sure they have left her dehydrated as she was delirious when I visited yesterday, can’t get through by phone for update & visiting isn’t until 2pm. I see people say make time for yourself but I am either at her house or sorting stuff out for her on the phone when I do get to come home. Last time she was in hospital I stayed with her 24/7 apart from popping home to shower, for 9 days/nights. I don’t feel I can cope with that this time. Sorry, didn’t mean to come on here & offload but need to have somewhere to release some tension as I feel guilty saying caring is making me feel mentally drained, physically exhausted. I just smile & pretend I am ok but I know I’m not. Maybe I do too much but I feel guilty if I’m not with her. Any advice from someone who has felt the same & managed to get through it would be appreciated. Thank you.

Hi Carol, glad you have posted.
I could have written a very similar post when my own mum was ill.
One day, I’d been sorting out her over full house ready for yet another discharge which was yet again doomed to fail.
Driving back to my place, a voice came into my head. (I don’t hear voices as a rule!) It said “I just can’t do this any more”.
Mum wanted to be home, I wanted her to be home as I knew it was where she wanted to be, but realistically, it was all too much for me, on top of everything else I was doing with my own health issues.
After a big battle with the ward sister, mum finally went into residential care. She was mentally fine, and realised that going home, immobile, with just 4 visits a day, meant she would have to wear incontinence pads. For her, that was the deciding factor. Having someone around any time of the day or night was what she needed, and it wasn’t an option at home.
Sit down and write a list of all mum’s ailments, and what she NEEDS to have them met when you are not around.
Put them in priority order.
Then decide if she can EVER come home again, or if that is simply unrealistic?
If it is, think about the level of support she will need WITHOUT YOU.
If not, consider the options.

Thank you so much for the advice. I will make the list now & take it to the hospital this afternoon. I do think she has reached the stage where she can’t stay at home any more.

It’s very sad when this is the case.
What you want to avoid at all costs is the Yo Yo situation, going into hospital, home, hospital, home.

Focus now on finding somewhere that will be able to manage mum, however ill she gets, for the rest of her life.
Remember that the hospital’s piority is getting their bed back.

Then you need to think how it will be funded.
If you look at the Care Quality Commission website, they list all homes in your area.
Work out the nearest one to you. My mum ended up only a mile away from me, I had to pass it on the way to the supermarket.
I could pop in whenever I wanted, and we regained the mother/daughter relationship we both missed.
Visit them one at a time. Only one a day. Ask for a copy of their prospectus, guide, or similar.
Ask if they take Continuing Healthcare patients, or funded by Social Services?

Feel free to ask anything about this process.

That’s so helpful, thank you. I was worried about how to find the right care home. I really appreciate your replies, thanks so much.

Long, long ago I was responsible for finding suitable care homes for elderly people.
In many ways, it’s easier than you think. Just ask yourself if YOU would be happy living there.
Like buying a house, you usually know very quickly if it could or would never be your home.

Do the residents look cared for, hair brushed, properly dressed? Do the staff smile and say Hello?
Make an appointment with the manager/matron to look round properly the first time.
Second time, arrive unannounced just before meal time with a query.

I well remember making an appointment and then arriving at the wrong time - dirty bedding was rolling down the stairs, when the staff member called up to the manager that I had arrived, she swore! Of course, the laundry should have gone in bags, and the beds should have been clean before my visit, not cleaned for my visit!!!

Doing it for mum is going to be very stressful, but the end result will be worth it.
During the process, self care is really important too. Treat yourself to some sort of personal pampering, when you can relax and just think of how good it feels to relax. Conserve your energy.

Thanks so much bowlingbun. It is all very daunting but, with your valuable advice, it might make it easier. Much appreciated. Glad I finally posted on here.

Please do NOT feel guilty about this.
Mum is lucky to have had your support, without you she would probably have been in residential care years ago.
Feel PROUD of all the love and care you have given her.
She is paying the price of old age (unlike my husband who died suddenly at 58).
Your role will still be a carer, but in a different way. Ensuring that whatever is arranged is appropriate and they do what they say they mill. More care manager now, rather than hands on provider.
It’s SAD that mum now needs 24/7 care, but you didn’t make her ill or old, you must therefore dump any feelings of guilt, and replace the word guilt with SAD instead.

Thanks for the advice. My mum has now caught an infection in hospital & is delirious. We have always been so close & she really appreciates all I do for her but now she is imagining all sorts, including her needing help & me not giving it. It’s breaking my heart that she thinks these visions are real & that I wouldn’t help her. Last time she had a UTI she was imaging all sorts of unspeakable things being done to her because of the delirium & it’s so hard for me to see the change in her.

(((HUGS))). Your mum is very ill and not responsible for what she is saying, it’s the illness talking.

It’s horrible I know. Shed many tears when my husband had delirium and things were said that broke me. Eventually realised it wasn’t him but the beast of delirium.
((( Hugs from me too)
Take care of yourself and try to remember happy times

Delirium made my Mum think she’d seen puppies come onto the ward to steal meds using distraction methods to confuse the nurses. It was hugely detailed…and rubbish, of course. Unless Pets As Therapy have a novel fundraising method… :unamused: She’s also believed she was in a hotel in Australia (on a hospital ward), and on the same ward she thought she’d been in an ambulance that was involved in a multiple vehicle pileup. There were other, less funny, ones.

They’re always hard to deal with, though. (((hugs)))

Thanks everyone for the replies & much needed hugs! It really helps

Caring is very hard work. If you ring up your local council first thing on Monday morning or email today they can then send out a social worker in order to do a proper care needs assessment next week. This is the prime opportunity to discuss all of your issues and concerns face to face. Make the most of it. Make some brief summary notes during the assessment in addition. Be honest.
You have nothing to feel bad about. Truly. Within days of my lengthy email to the local council, I was promptly allocated a social worker and had a care needs assessment that was done as well. We discussed the many different ways to remain safe and independent at home. Hugs. This is the first step to get some help. And a break.

Thank you Thara. Will do