ok. since lockdown & caring. Have been effectively on my own for six years
yes, there are shopping expeditions & those brief interactions etc
if / when the time comes that my time as a carer comes to an end . no clue exists as to what will happen my end
poor social skills & history of same poor quality relationships does not bode well with me
yes _ am aware of the being in the present thing & all those techniques. but the practicalities still concern me.
please don’t chime in with the “join a club” lark
Whether now or in the future; you may find this information helpful;
When caring ends or changes | Carers UK.
Hi. I think I know how you feel. There have been dark days when Graham has been very ill and I have started to think the worst when I wonder what I would do when Caring ends. So much time on my hands, only having to think of myself, being able to do what I want… Then I think - hang on I don’t want to have all that free time. I don’t want to just go off somewhere when I want. Although there have been times when I have hated being tied down and locked into a routine, I need that and I feared what I would do to replace it. I have even had images of me sitting in the house, not speaking to people, not going out. It scared me!
We had a minor version when our dog died last Christmas. My days started at 6am - up and grab a mug of tea before out for an hour in the fields, before back to start the day of Caring; out in the afternoon for another walk before back to prepare food, sort the washing which I had put on earlier… trying to squeeze some time to go to the gym and rushing back so I wasn’t out too long. Wouldn’t it be lovely not to have all those ties. No it wouldn’t, it would be hell.
Then thinking about it, I could go for a dog walk and NOT rush back, maybe stretch those walks out a bit. Get to the gym and stop to have a coffee afterwards and not feel guilty.
I don’t have the answers, but one suggestion - and it may not work for you - once thing settle a bit perhaps consider a rescue dog - you get rewarded with loyalty and companionship - you HAVE to go for walks - people actually talk to you when you have a dog. The downside is a dog is dependent on you so you can’t suddenly take off for a couple of weeks in the sun, but I know I could not live without a dog now. It’s only a thought/suggestion and NO ONE can TELL you what to do or has all the answers. I have a m8 who keeps telling me “what you want to do is…” and my reply is getting more angry ‘I DO NOT WANT to do that - if you mean “how about doing…” or “have you considered…” then say it - don’t tell me what I want…’
At the end of the day, when Caring ends, you can always come onto this site and still get support and advice and chat/let off steam/shout/throw teddy bear out of the play pen - whatever you need and no-one will judge you.
And if all else fails - you can always “join a club”… ducks quickly
Seriously, I am sure everyone feels similar to you - not knowing what will happen next, but that’s what is so good about having this little Community of those who DO understand and will not judge.
Lol. Thanks for the reply
I do understand your reservations with regard to Clubs. Would you consider though contacting your local Carers Centre? They may have a telephone befriender. I found mine mega useful during lockdown. Often they are former Carers so could help you through the adjustment when the time comes?
I have to echo Chris with regard to a rescue dog. Animals whilst a tie, given structure to the day. I could not have survived lockdown when I lost my Rotary, Book Club and Wine Club and any semblance of normality/companionship without my cats .
I do not know where you live or if you have community events but maybe explore them. Our Community Cafe has a Mens Breakfast meeting once a week. I realise it is hard as a Carer to get out that much but you could at least look into voluntary work? Also if you have a local animal rescue locally could you volunteer for a couple of hours a week? Maybe foster to see how you would feel about having a dog full time?
I think of what I will do when I am no longer a Carer. I would hopefully find some vol work or ideally paid work as financially loss of my husband’s state pension would be hard as I am under pension age.
This is a very supportive Forum and when the time comes we WILL be there for you to make suggestions and help you through…
@helena_2006 has a point - most animal rescue centres welcome volunteer dog walkers or even just people to sit with animals to give THEM company - that can work both ways. Of course, you may not be an animal person, but it’s amazing how calming the presence of an animal can have on humans.
Helena is right - this site is an amazing place for support no matter what happens or how you feel. Remember you are always in control as you can dip in and out as you feel the need and never have to share more than you feel comfortable with.
Hi, Hello there, you are right to think about the future. My husband and I were inseparable, we ran a business together, shared hobbies together, never argued despite the stresses of caring for brain damaged son, all four parents, and other relatives. One night he had a massive heart attack and died. Three months later I was disabled in a car accident. I had no work, just one good friend. I would suggest you bought a book called Starting Again by Sarah Litvinoff. Although primarily written for divorcees, there is so much relevant to anyone at a crossroads in life. After major knee surgery, and the death of my mum, I am now free to travel again. I’m just back from 2 weeks in Crete. I have a new close friend I met there, we walked miles and chatted a lot. She is also a carer, so understand so many things that don’t need to be explained. There is a lot in the book to help you work out what you want for your future, not just filling empty hours, but really enjoying them. Some things might make your current life easier to bear. It’s really easy to read, I kept it by my bedside, you could just read a page or two, dip in and out and find ideas that make you think about yourself, not anyone else! It made me realise I’d always been a people pleaser, now I do more for me.
When my hubby died I had a period of brain fog. This is quite normal. Eventually I started to adjust to a different way of life. With me the house and garden had become my responsibility. ( not shared with hubby) It was quite scary. This may not be for you, however most people do adjust almost without realising they are. Something clicks. So of course you are wondering what will happen but try not to overthink it for the time being. I sometimes was in quite a state. Looking back I put myself through it but have coped.
Hi The End of the Line.
My name is Kristie and I am an online host volunteer for Carers UK forum. I would like to say welcome to the forum! You are not alone in the forum and i am sure that many on the forum will understand exactly how you feel and will offer you the support that you need. Caring can be very lonely and the pandemic has made caring responsibilities challenging as many carers have been socially restricted and unable to attend social groups etc.
Carers UK are running online weekly meet ups for carers and you can find the information on how to register at Care for a Cuppa:-https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/get-support/online-meet ups. There is a second online weekly meet up for carers and you can register at:- Share and Learn | Carers Scotland.
Our Telephone Number to ring on is 0808 808 7777 and the line is open from Monday to Friday from 9am-6pm and our email address is (firstname.lastname@example.org).
They provide information and guidance to unpaid carers, This covers:-
-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.
I will check the book out
thank you for your kind reply
Often on eBay, not very expensive.
bought used copy on Amazon. Here in a few days
I thought i was the only one that is feeling what you have described! In the exact same position. Even with help from meds i still get those days of total isolation and loneliness, social experiences scar the life out of me and i just exist. No amount of “keep myself busy” doesnt last forever, then burn out sets in and im right back where i started, lonely.
Well, there is always this forum if all else fails
Its what i need interaction, and we are all in the same boat! I just need to recognise that more and all the best to you.
Hi Kel, welcome to the forum. Would you like to tell us a bit more about who you care for, and what they need help with? How much “me” time do you get?
Hi @Kel23 Welcome!
and hi @Hello_there
yessss Hear you, and you’ll maybe be surprised how many of us are on this boat…what seemed like a small rubber dinghy is an armada - perhaps of lots of rubber dinghy’s roped together - but still, we’re very much tied in our collective experience.
If you can drop into the Roll call thread - there’s a daily rhythm that may appeal to both of you, in terms of the interactivity. You’re not alone. There are online meet ups if that’s not too daunting, otherwise, several of us are on here daily.
take care, sending over some empathetic hugs!
Your feelings are normal and yes, the isolation is so difficult to deal with plus it is not easy to make firm plans as a carer.
The Roll Call is a safe place to share your news and it is very supportive and non judgemental and a safe place to rant if you need to. But it is also a place where you can get support and advice and have a good giggle at times too. Please give it a go. You are certainly not alone. Just tell us as much or as little as feel comfortable to start with or even ‘lurk’ for a while.
Hi Kel - Welcome Aboard!
You are not alone - you have a whole group of new ‘friend’ here ready to chat and give support when you need it.
I like the analogy from @Victoria_1806 of lots of rubber dinghies lashed together - one on it’s own could be overwhelmed by the waves of life, but together we can link and form a flotilla which is not so easy to swamp.
The “Roll Call” thread mentioned can be a great place. It can be funny as well as serious and often helps to bring the day back into perspective when things seem dark and the day is miserable. You can vent, join in a joke or discussion and share however much you feel comfortable with - safe in the knowledge that no-one will judge you or try to be directive, rather offer suggestions based on personal experiences and knowledge gained from (in some cases - many) years of experience as Carers. I think each and everyone of us has found it a place to gain strength at one time or another.
We live in a small village and while I have the dog to get me out and about, I can sometimes go days without actually speaking to anyone and only seeing neighbours going by in their cars. A lot of friends have fallen by the wayside because I/we can’t go out regularly and if we do the time is limited - either because I have to get back to Graham or he can’t cope with long visits/social events without becoming exhausted. Even a really good friend - you know the sort who irritates yet you still like to be around (hang on isn’t that the definition of “husband”?) takes four or five days to reply to a text message - not upset him, cos I have asked, but I feel that he still doesn’t get the fact G cannot be the life and soul of a gathering, no matter how few people.
Hope you get out of the Forum as much as I have.
Thank you so much for the advice will give it ago.