Hello everyone out there. I’m new to this forum and quite new to full time caring. I am 64 and am one of the first cohort of ladies who should work until age 66. My husband is 73 and retired on the grounds of ill health when he was 59, due to what was classed as an industrial injury. In fact his health was damaged whilst working with chemicals and for that he receives Industrial Injuries disablement benefit. Since he reached retirement age he also has his normal state pension and also he has Attendance Allowance. He has several co-morbidities including asthma, COPD, heart failure, ventricular bigeminy and benign essential tremor.
Up until last March I was working in a University library but after several incidents when I was called by the local hospital because my hubby had been sent in there directly by his doctor, I became very stressed at work, worrying about him at home alone. We decided that I could afford to finish work to become his full time carer, if we managed our money carefully and I took my works pension early. I also claim Attendance Allowance. This means I’ve taken quite a hit in the pocket, and I will have less pension from my employer when I reach retirement age but it is worth it to have less worry and stress.
I finished work at the end of March 2018 and am at home most of the time with hubby. I attend all his various hospital and doctors appointments with him. Obviously I attend to all his needs at home. He is eating better than he used to, as I have more time to cook everything fresh, and his mental state has improved because he has my company during the day. However I am having problems with other members of my family thinking I am available to be at their beck and call. I do ‘the school run’ for my granddaughter, age 5, two days a week, morning and afternoon. Together with my sister I visit my recently bereaved brother-in-law once a week, for lunch. He has taken the death of my sister, his wife, very hard and we don’t feel we can abandon him just yet. Also, former work colleagues are constantly getting in touch with me and asking me to meet them for coffee or lunch. I know that probably sounds really nice but it’s actually a big bind for me . I don’t drive, but obviously I have to get into town to meet them in their lunch hour. This involves about an hours travel on public transport. My problem is, I don’t know how to say “no”. Does anyone else have this problem on top of their caring issues? I’ve not had a holiday for three years, as my husband does not like to go on holiday, and I’m too afraid to leave him on his own for any length of time. Now I’m also tied by minding my granddaughter twice a week, even during school holidays, because both her parents work. I feel as if I need a break but people just look to me to carry on.