I am the sole ‘carer’ to my elderly mother who has been diagnosed with underlying Dementia for now, I say for now as she is due to go for a Brain Scan on the 6th November as requested by our doctor so more can be known, anyway I digress, I am a general office assistant for a private Tax company, which posts out and deals in a lot of confidential information and it is down to me to post out this confidential information, to which lately I seem to be making some grave errors resulting in rather serious consequences. Although I try to avoid these of course, sooner or later I let one slip, which not only cause me upset but upset to all involved and as I said serious consequences, my workplace have been understanding about this but it can not keep happening and I absolutely feel like running away from it all when it does, therefore I feel so strongly about this that lately I find myself thinking about resigning, so if ever it happens again, touch wood as I will try my best it doesn’t, but if it does I feel I should just throw in the towel and resign to being a full time carer.
My question therefore is has anyone on here been in a similar situation? What did you do, did you regret this decision if you resigned from your job?
The current situation cannot continue.
You know very well that you are a capable woman capable of holding down a good position. You need to keep your job. That is “non negotiable”.
How old are you?
Will you inherit the house, or is it rented?
The intolerable stress you are under is caused by mum.
That is the situation that needs to change.
Treat yourself to some good quality professional counselling, someone who you can offload to, not just now, but in the future. Mine was funded by Social Services as part of my Carers Assessment.
I would suggest you go to your GP and ask for him to say you are ill and need time off.
Once mum has had her scan next week, you will know more about what the future holds for her.
It will indicate the type of dementia, and how much it is already affecting her etc.
Some very tough decisions lie ahead for you, because you are now parenting your “elderly toddler” mum. I hate that phrase, but there is no better one.
It’s a very difficult situation which others here have experienced, and can share with you.
Mum cannot dictate to you what you do with your life.
Her dementia has taken away her ability to see what you are doing for her, and the toll it is taking.
That is normal for someone in her situation.
She has no power over you, other than the power you let her have.
Hello, Samantha. I have read the AgingCare web page, recommended by Sunnydisposition. Thought it is American, it is all very relevant to the situation in the UK.
I don’t recommend you give up your job, unless you are near normal retirement age anyway. It seems to me that worry about your Mum is impacting on your job performance. You need to address that problem directly if possible and try to find ways to avoid these worries.
Most firms have performance review procedures, whereby if someone is underperforming, they are taken though a formal procedure where their performance is discussed and they are given performance targets to try to reach. If after a given time you cannot meet the targets, then at best you may be demoted to a job that is less-demanding and less-well-paid. If they have no such post to offer you, then your employment may be terminated.
If you belong to a trades union then the time is ripe to discuss your problems with your local union representative, who can back you up if a review procedure should take place, and ensure that you get the best possible terms from your employer. Unions often offer a wide range of support services including counselling for personal problems that can affect work.
Have you considered having a carer pop in to see Mum on the days when you are working? This could do a lot to reduce your worries. This will cost you some money but you will be much worse off if you lose your job and your income.
Sorry for the late reply bowling bun, been really busy of late, thank you for your kind words, I am 50 years old
Regarding the house I actually emailed London & Quadrant, as we hold a joint tenancy and have a two bedroom house with them to which they confirmed I will inherit the house, I kept the email so its there as proof of what I was told, anyway that is so nice to hear.
People from various organisations have been in touch since I posted this, regarding support for me and my mother, which will hopefully make things easier not only now but in future regarding the any tough decisions that lie ahead.
I don’t see myself as being stressed, maybe I am or maybe I’m just used to coping with things on my own.
Bowlingbun I know my situation needs to change, but I honestly don’t see how it can at the moment.
I still am working full time, although due to the lockdown from tomorrow I am only going in 3 days per week with furlough for the other two days, so I will be at home more, which is always nice not only for me but my mother, as she loves it when I am at home as otherwise she is on her own for most of the week, as thats what really gets to her is nobody is here when I am not, oh I thought about a carer but as I said she really can see to herself, she makes her own lunch and can warm her dinner up in the Microwave if I happen to be late.
Thank you for your reply, yes we had our performance review at the end of last month, we discussed my mistakes in my work and the fact it seems to keep happening, as in previous appraisals, when unfortunately it has happened I have just stressed that I would triple check address in future. The directors do try to help, as they now make everyone address their own envelopes instead of leaving it to me, so they have took little bit of my job away to make it easier, which was working for a while and does normally, but one was left to me to address and I had to input the address into a fed ex form on the computer hence the mistake, so now I fear I will not meet there performance targets, hence my thinking of throwing in the towel as its horrible for all involved.
I now have though better of this idea reading previous posts, but as you point out if I keep doing this and can’t meet their targets if they can’t offer me less responsibility with less pay, I will wait for them to unfortunately terminate me as it will be worse if I leave of my own accord.
I have considered a carer but as I mentioned in reply to Bowlingbuns post she can see to herself, get her lunch, take her meds as I put them out for her before I leave in the morning, all she is really short of is company really, and I don’t think a carer will just sit there all day till I get in from work at 5pm.
A “domestic” could come in the middle of the day to clean the bathroom, kitchen, vacuum, do laundry, take mum out, maybe develop a little rota for each day, and you’ve already mentioned weeds and grass cutting. Just an hour in the middle of the day might make all the difference to mum. Normally I’d suggest taking mum out for a coffee or garden centre, but lockdown has postponed that option!
wow! Thank you Jane, I will definitely read that, as yes it is hard at times, trying to juggle work, being a carer and taking time out for myself. I just feel a bit overwhelmed at times, as what with my brother over the other side of the world, and my sister not being much help, its down to me, anyway thanks again xx
Hello again, Samantha. Thanks for your detailed replies. We have a clearer picture now. It is great that you are receiving good advice from many sources.
So it seems that your mum is able to look after herself physically but appreciates company. A visiting carer could be a friendly visitor during times when you are at work, but as you say, such visits would be of short duration - half an hour, if that. If this is not what Mum wants, perhaps it is better not to impose it just now. I presume that by now she has had the scan and you are awaiting results. You can discuss these with the medics when available and I am sure you will receive some useful advice here.
At 50 you seem a bit young to be giving up full-time work. If you were to stop work now, any pension would be sparse. You need an income to pay for house rental, general living expenses and a bit extra for quality living.
Try to keep calm and not worry too much about things at work. It seems to me that your managers are aware of your situation and are making concessions, though there is a limit to what they can do; the job still needs to be done. You mentioned a mistake in using a computer to address a Fed-ex package. Have you had training on how to do this? It is not good enough for people to assume you know how to do this because “everybody else can”. This is where a union representative can be helpful or, failing that, a friendly and supportive colleague, entitled to accompany you in review meetings. I doubt if you would be dismissed for just one mistake if your performance were to be improving in general.
If you feel you are getting overwhelmed at times, this is not good. You need to have some quality time in your life where you can enjoy yourself doing the things that you want. Is this happening? Is there a way in which you can share quality time with Mum, or is it just all housework when you are at home? It is good that you have ongoing tenancy entitlement to the house, but you will require income, whether from pension or work, full- or part-time.
When you have the results of the scan, this will be a good time to review your life-style, re-assess Mum’s needs and see what adjustments can be made. Do please keep in touch and let us know how things progress.
Thanks for your very kind and understanding reply much appreciated, you are right my mother is still at that fortunate stage where she can see to herself physically, so at this stage a carer would not really be the answer, so I have given up going down that road as especially as she is not to keen on that anyway.
You are right regarding my job, I must really keep this, not only for my sanity as to me that gets me a bit of respite from caring, but I must keep it for expenses as well, I just will try not to worry so much and keep calm, so that part of my life I need.
I do get to find time to have some time for myself, whether thats just going out shopping and stopping for lunch if only to read the paper, meeting friends for coffee or going to a restaurant for dinner, but most of this has stopped during lockdown of course. Also I belong to this social network who used to hold social evenings, I miss those as I used to meet so many nice people, I have even met 3 ladies I keep in contact with via a WhatsApp group and sometimes get to socialise with, government guidelines permitting of course.
Now someone from Adult Social Care phoned up and suggested a telecare pendent/wrist band for my mother, which she would definitely wear, but someone mentioned there is a cost for this, which I think is disgusting as it should be free, especially to those of a certain age.
Thanks for your reply, Samantha. Once you have had the results of the scan you will be able to investigate the various allowances, e.g. Attendance Allowance, to which you or your mum may be entitled. These allowances cover the costs of pendants or other useful aids.