Im carer to my husband who has an ‘mild’ brain Injury as the result of a road traffic accident. He is 32, I’m 37 and we have a three year old little boy too. So a young family who has had quite a bit to adapt to since everything happened 14 months ago.
My husband didn’t get a formal diagnosis until 10 months after the accident and its take a while for occupational health and support to kick in. Anyway, we are getting things in place now. Adult social care designated 17 hours of care a week plus respite.
Although we await our financial assessment, today was our first day (and experience) of having the help of a carers come into the home. It was an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening from a local care agency.
I found it really difficult!! Firstly the sense of someone I didn’t know in the upstairs of the home, then not knowing what exactly to do - like to I stand, watch or direct them or just go away and see what happens.
Please tell me it gets easier or more normal.
When they arrived this afternoon, my husband fell asleep and I found myself making the woman a coffee. It was all a bit weird, caring for the carer.
Anyway. Hello. And thank you for reading!
My partner too has a brain injury. We only started having carers after several years when he started needing to be hoisted and couldn’t shower himself any more. At first we had really good carers who became friends. For the first couple of weeks I stayed around telling them what to do and how to do it and then supervising to ensure they knew what they were doing. After that I was always around so they could ask me anything and I made it clear that if my partner was distressed for any reason I would comfort him. I found I couldn’t sit around doing nothing while they were here so I usually got on with housework or paperwork unless I was really tired. Other people always say if that was me I’d have my feet up with a cup of tea but I couldn’t do that with other people in the house so I understand how you feel.
Having carers in was always a compromise as I spent almost as much time finding where they had rearranged things to as I saved not showering him myself. But at least that was physically less demanding than showering him myself.
Unfortunately when we got continuing healthcare funding they stopped paying these carers and when they eventually got them replaced they were more trouble than they were worth and only lasted 3 visits.
Any sort of change is difficult but it will feel easier and more normal in the same way accepting your husband’s condition has become easier and more normal to you already.
I care for my Mum and she has carers come in to cook her meals. She found this really hard at first and it has taken a while to get used to it. But has got to know them over time and it has got easier.
PLEASE try and find time for yourself whilst there are there. Go for a walk, spend time with your child. Get them to make YOU a cuppa!
As your husband was injured as the result of a car accident, have you been in touch with the insurance company?
There are time limits for making claims, do NOT leave it too long to claim.
Thank you everyone
Very much appreciated and I’ll try to slip off when they are here
Yes, the insurance company know. As his injury is classed as a diffused microtears, its not showing up on MRI. So his solicitor said its going to be a difficult case to prove as we have little medical evidence…it could just be him having a nervous breakdown(which is ridiculous) or faking it.
So it’s not going to be a quick process.
That’s a horrible situation. I also had a bad car accident but my injuries didn’t show up immediately. I was told my painful knees would “get better in 6 months”. I had a wonderful holiday planned on the Great Barrier Reef, until the physiotherapist told me I wouldn’t be well enough. Instead of sailing around the Reef I had knee surgery in Southampton, and later, 2 complete knee replacements 5 years later.
Just make sure your husband doesn’t sign away his rights to compensation too early.
My Mum had 3 different Care Companies. One was magic and Mum came to regard many of the ‘girls’ as almost extra daughters, one was not good and the third was OK but all the carers were not good English speakers and Mum couldn’t understand what they were saying. I think on the whole they were good hearted but difficult to explain things to.
My advice would be- go with your instincts. At first, be around the house and pop in now and then, even lurk out of sight and listen, but chat to the carers in between times and make up your own mind as to whether you trust them. See how ‘open’ they are. How friendly to both of you and importantly, whether they do the job they are there to do. You should get the same carers not complete strangers each time.
One essential thing. Make sure no valuables are left around, even in drawers. My Mum had her engagement ring, her Ruby Wedding ring and various other pieces of jewellery mysteriously disappear. I hadn’t been keeping a check or making sure they were locked away after Mum had worn them, so we couldn’t even pinpoint when we had last seen them or when she had last worn them. The loss of my deceased Dad’s gifts to her upset us both very much indeed. Mum never got over it and I still feel guilty for not taking more care of her valuables. I was on edge and counting the money (not much) in her purse for months afterwards. Nothing ever went missing.
Don’t think you ‘ought’ to trust the carers or the Care Company. Like the rest of the world there’s good and bad out there. Keep sharp until you are sure.
I would suggest locking all internal doors - if they don’t have locks, and funds are tight, the Bobby Trust might be able to help. Consider getting a cheap safe. I bought one from Homebase for well under £40. Then make it clear to the carers what you expect them to do, where, and how, especially tidying up after themselves and putting the rubbish in the bin.
Put anything you don’t want them to see in one room, and lock it.
I know this sounds like I don’t trust carers, there are lots of good ones, but some light fingered ones. My mum kept having her teaspoons stolen!! You could also get a cheap CCTV camera linked to your computer if it puts your mind at rest.
Thank you everyone
I have moved everything precious or private into my bedroom and pretty much stated there is no reason for them to go in. It’s mainly paperwork and cash but I got a sense it was a way if keeping some things private.
Really do feel a loss of privacy, not because anyone is particularly nosey, its just the presence of new people in and out of the home really.
I really appreciate everyone who has taken time to reply. Took all your suggestions on board too