New to caring

I’ve actually been cari g for my 80 year old husband for a number of years, but only just been recognised, with underlying carers allowance. I am finding it more and more overwhelming. He has COPD, severe coronary artery desease and type 2 diabetes, among other things. Above all he gats very depressed, and I feel constantly having to be cheerful to pick him up. Its exhausting. Sometimes he does things of a physical nature in the garden, which he shouldn’t be doing. Then he’s in pain and frustrated and can’t do anything for week’s. We live in a big old farmhouse which needs a lot of attention, and of course it’s down to me. I’m sorry to rant on, but I needed. To get it all out. I have my own health issues as well. Mostly arthritis.

Hi Alison, welcome to the forum.
Is your husband claiming Attendance Allowance? It’s primary aim is to make life easier, by being able to afford things to help. Do you have a dishwasher, tumble dryer?
Is the garden really streamlined, no borders? Or still as it was years ago?

Hi Alison and welcome.

One of things you’ll find on here is a lot of carers willing to share tips to make life a little less hard! Bowlingbun has mentioned some of them, and no doubt there’s more to come! Take a look round the forum, there are lots of ideas already on here!

You are not alone Alison, you are here now.
You are not ranting, it is a lot for you to cope with.

When did your husband last have a review with the GP for his health and meds?
When did he last have a COPD/Chest check up at the surgery?
If both are over a year then he needs a review to see if his meds are right.
If not, ask for a review anyway because there are things to discuss eg his depression and his long recovery times in bed.

My mother has COPD, heart disease, type II diabetes, had TIA strokes and other conditions

If your husband is not on the Trelegy inhaler ask if it is applicable for him, it is once a day and it has a medication in it for the lungs which helps to stave off chest flare ups and infections, it has helped my mother greatly, stopped her coughing and saved us a fortune on tissues. Also she has not been in hospital for chest infections, pneumonia or collapsed lung since she went on it.

The condition is depressing, it has taken the wind out of his sails and clipped his wings.
I am guessing he took a lot of pleasure and pride in doing it all before - he will find it hard to concede, his mind still willing and wanting to do it, he has yet to accept and concede.

Can you express your concerns with the GP about his depression and doing too much and being bedridden? I take my mother to hospital appointments and she is bedridden the next day and a half being exhausted from it or going out for the afternoon.

This year we bought a wheelchair accessible vehicle because it is too difficult for her to climb in and out of the car now, so I hook the winch to her wheelchair and strap her chair in and off we go. That has made such a difference, she isn’t in a state of collapse on getting into the car and she isn’t bedridden the next couple of days, she gets up later the next day though.

It sounds like you need to give thought to making life easier for you both, simplifying things, or even moving to a bungalow and having a gardener to help you. Your husbands condition is progressive, it will get worse as he deteriorates year on year. My mother is nearly 91 and has only 30% lung capacity, every activity leaves her breathless/in a near state of collapse for more physical things eg transferring from wheelchair to chair. I don’t want to be a harbinger of doom, but that is the reality and things will not improve or get easier, he will become less able and more dependent on you as my mother has.

My mother gets frustrated and upset that she can’t work in the garden due to her heart & lungs, arthritic hands and near blindness but she’s tempering it with the fact that she has me ‘helping’ i.e doing it all, I absolutely detest gardening! Her happiness and quality of life means a lot and so I do it for her pleasure, but quiet contrarily I like to grow veg - go figure that out! :laughing:

Does your husband have any mobility aids? my mother had a walking frame and an outdoors one with a seat on it, but now she has an electric wheelchair for the house and garden and I push her in a manual one elsewhere because she is nearly blind and unsafe in public!

Thank you everyone for your advice and support. He has just had all his annual reviews thankfully. He wo t admit to depression as he has an old-fashioned view that they’ll lock him up as crazy!!!. Moving is not something he will consider. He loves our home too much. The garden is massive, but I just have to do what I can, around the house at least. He does gat attendance allowance, which helps, and pays to keep our car goi g as we don’t live on any public transport routs. It also helps with gardening issues and home maintenance. Thanks again it’s helpfull to know others are in the same boat.