I suddenly became a carer for my husband in the autumn of 2019 after he’d had a number of falls and was finally taken into hospital after a fall he couldn’t get up from. He was diagnosed with liver disease and renal failure. After 3 weeks in hospital he returned home and I had become his carer. It was a huge shock for me, I’d gone from being in an equal partnership, where we shared all household tasks, to suddenly having to do absolutely everything. It’s tough!
I was widowed suddenly at 54. That was 15 years ago. Soon after, I was disabled in a car accident. Once you realise that you cannot do all the work you both did, life gets easier. Flatten the garden. Do away with all the borders, and get someone to now the lawn. Regard the dishwasher and tumble dryer as your “mechanical slaves”. Let them do what they are designed for. Do awY with anything you don’t need for your current and future life. The less you have to keep in order, clean and tidy, the easier it is. Have a domestic to do the bathroom, vacuuming etc. So that in due course, you can go shopping, to the hairdresser knowing there is someone you can trust in the house.
My wife passed two yeas ago…
Let some/all of the garden go wild for less work. (it’s good for wild life too).
Most people have a garden and do gardening.
I have a jungle and do jungling.
Shut up as many rooms as possible to avoid dusting.
Buy some good quality ready meals, say 3 times a week, to cut preparation times . (less washing up too)
Cut down on ironing. (sheet/shirts etc all get creased when first used anyway ! )
On the subject of laundry/ironing, gradually change to clothes that slip on and off, and made of jersey. I love Lands End clothes. Sign up to their emails, put something in your online basket, but don’t buy it immediately! They will send you offers of up to. 40, 50, or even 70% off. Every minute you save makes life a bit easier.
It’s so hard when that shift in relationship and status happens. Be kind to yourself and let others help. Please don’t try to do it all on your own and make time for yourself. Be selfish at times for your own wellbeing and try to remember the joy of the man who you met. Keep some smiles for the good times you shared
I wanted to wish you a warm welcome to the forum and to highlight some of the options for connecting with fellow carers and for getting support from Carers UK should you need it.
Carers UK are running online weekly meet ups for carers to take some time for themselves and chat to other carers. Feel free to join if you’d like to and there’s no pressure to share anything you don’t want to. I’m sure you’ll find others in a similar position to yourself.
You can find information on how to register to our online meetups at the following pages:
Care for a Cuppa: Online meetups | Carers UK - the next online meet up is today (Monday 16 August), 15.00-16.00 with further sessions shown in that link. This social is a great way to have a little break if you are able to and spend some quality time talking to people who understand what you are going through right now.
Share and Learn: Share and Learn | Carers UK - these sessions range from creative writing activities to beginners Latin dance sessions.
There is also Carers UK’s helpline should you need advice or support - Our Telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact us by email (email@example.com)
Carers UK also provide information and guidance to unpaid carers. This covers a range of subjects including:
Benefits and financial support
Your rights as a carer in the workplace
Carers’ assessments and how to get support in your caring role
Services available to carers and the people you care for
How to complain effectively and challenge decisions.
You all soynd amazing, my husband hasn’t been home a week from a home yet and I’m just nit coping
Susan, welcome to the forum.
If your husband has been in hospital, did they arrange for 6 weeks free care at home before he was discharged?
What is troubling you most today?