Any 30 somethings out there who are also carers?

sdmhred

Registered User
Jan 26, 2022
2,684
0
Surrey
I’m not quite in my 30’s but agree with @lfox
ive happily put my life on hold to take care of mum whilst shes still able to have some quality of life.
it occasionally grates when I see a job i might have applied for - or miss a ’do’. But I know I don’t / won’t regret this time spent with mum.
I see from this forum that being a dementia carer does on the positive up skill you which if we have any energy left could be used in the future.
 

Rachael03

Registered User
Apr 17, 2023
133
0
I’m not quite in my 30’s but agree with @lfox
ive happily put my life on hold to take care of mum whilst shes still able to have some quality of life.
it occasionally grates when I see a job i might have applied for - or miss a ’do’. But I know I don’t / won’t regret this time spent with mum.
I see from this forum that being a dementia carer does on the positive up skill you which if we have any energy left could be used in the future.
Its been a few weeks since I logged on but that is such a positive comment! It's funny that it's something I've thought recently too.

I work in finance and manage a team, have worked hard through university and after to build a career and its given me such a sense of self whilst also providing a level of financial stability that I never knew growing up.

Anyway, once it became clear we were awaiting a diagnosis for mammy (pwd), it just seemed like none of it mattered anymore. All the work and effort, unimportant and irrelevant and just a job! That was 7 months ago and ever since its been an avalanche of caring responsibiltiies, learning, processing whats happening, grieving, adjusting to the new normal for our family and just about everything else to distract me from focusing on work. I think my attention span might be broken or it definitely needs rebooted haha! it is NOT EASY. I've mentioned before im lucky to have a supportive employer who knows what I'm dealing with to an extent which has relived the pressure, but not fully. I have dropped the ball on lots of things and not delivering my usual standard on others.

But I completely agree with what you say about the skills we develop in caring. Not only the practical multi-taking, crisis solving, legal interpreter, finance manager, medical practionner skills, cleaning/cooking and everything in between skills!. But just as important is learning to deal with new emotions ourselves and difficult ones, to be more considerate of what other people might be dealing with in their day or home life, to prioritise and only sweat the biggest most important things as there's no time or energy for the small stuff at a particular point in time.

I'm hoping to be a bit more outspoken about my caring responsibilities to normalise it in my workplace at least. I would 100% value the skills and experiences gained through walking this journey if I was hiring into my team and maybe I wouldn't have had i not had to deal with it myself!

I didn't mean for this to be a novel but being relatively young and juggling a job (when your caring responsibilities may be invisible to others) is something that isn't discussed enough at work and I hope there might be more awareness raised so workplaces can support their employees or those wishing to return to work or take a break from work.
 

Carerin20s

Registered User
Jan 1, 2022
13
0
Hi all,

I have been searching for a similar thread for a while, but as my name suggests I'm just the right side of 30 (29) for a few months.

My Mum started showing early symptoms back when I was 25. I moved back to my parents home at the start of COVID in March 2020 in order to enable them to shield due to the fact they were both in their late 60s. My Mum was then diagnosed with Vascular Dementia at the age of 68 in 2021, and as I'd stayed home I gradually began to pick up more caring responsibilities without even realising.

Unfortunately due to miscommunication between various services, her case was never flagged up to our local memory clinic, so myself and my father cared for her at home for around 2 years with no contact with any memory services, only occasional telephone consultations with the GP. Due to COVID, alot of local groups were still on hold and the amount of info was so overwhelming and confusing, we didn't know where to start looking for help. She took a steep decline in May 2022 and after an incident we called the emergency social services team. She was put into residential care in June 2022 after 6 weeks of intense 24 hour care by myself, my Dad and a rotation of my elder brothers.

I have never encountered anyone my age who has experience of being an unpaid carer to a parent or loved one with Dementia. It was and still is a wholly isolating experience that made me feel incredibly frustrated and angry at various points. I still feel at times resentment towards my siblings who had less to do with my Mum's care, local care services who failed to give us proper support, and friends my age when talking about their own mothers.

Now my Mum is in care, it has been the best option as I knew I'd given her everything I could at home. It was severely affecting my mental wellbeing, impacted my employment status, friendships and lack of relationships due it's time pressures. I'm still searching for more resources targeted at carers, who don't fall into the bracket of young adult carers, but I'm saddened to find almost nothing online. Particularly for those caring for Dementia/Alzheimer's patients. If anyone has any pointers or leads about caring circles/ talking spaces for younger carers, I'd love any info.
 

Rachael03

Registered User
Apr 17, 2023
133
0
Hi all,

I have been searching for a similar thread for a while, but as my name suggests I'm just the right side of 30 (29) for a few months.

My Mum started showing early symptoms back when I was 25. I moved back to my parents home at the start of COVID in March 2020 in order to enable them to shield due to the fact they were both in their late 60s. My Mum was then diagnosed with Vascular Dementia at the age of 68 in 2021, and as I'd stayed home I gradually began to pick up more caring responsibilities without even realising.

Unfortunately due to miscommunication between various services, her case was never flagged up to our local memory clinic, so myself and my father cared for her at home for around 2 years with no contact with any memory services, only occasional telephone consultations with the GP. Due to COVID, alot of local groups were still on hold and the amount of info was so overwhelming and confusing, we didn't know where to start looking for help. She took a steep decline in May 2022 and after an incident we called the emergency social services team. She was put into residential care in June 2022 after 6 weeks of intense 24 hour care by myself, my Dad and a rotation of my elder brothers.

I have never encountered anyone my age who has experience of being an unpaid carer to a parent or loved one with Dementia. It was and still is a wholly isolating experience that made me feel incredibly frustrated and angry at various points. I still feel at times resentment towards my siblings who had less to do with my Mum's care, local care services who failed to give us proper support, and friends my age when talking about their own mothers.

Now my Mum is in care, it has been the best option as I knew I'd given her everything I could at home. It was severely affecting my mental wellbeing, impacted my employment status, friendships and lack of relationships due it's time pressures. I'm still searching for more resources targeted at carers, who don't fall into the bracket of young adult carers, but I'm saddened to find almost nothing online. Particularly for those caring for Dementia/Alzheimer's patients. If anyone has any pointers or leads about caring circles/ talking spaces for younger carers, I'd love any info.
I'm glad you were able to find this thread and I completely relate to the feeling of isolation going through this at a younger age than what might be expected.

It sounds like your mum was very well cared for by you and your dad at home for as long as you could both manage. It's such a shame things need to reach crisis point before local services can start to offer the extra help or caring options to families. I hope she is settled in her new home and you and your dad can enjoy time with her knowing she is now well looked after. It also hopefully gives you tike to look after yourself too.

I can alsp relate to all the negative feelings. I have the best bunch of beautiful friends and lately I am so resentful when they speak about their time with their own mothers. I hate feeling like that as I'd never wish this upon them or anyone else! I guess it must be a good thing we are at least acknowledging these feelings. That's what I'm telling myself anyway, it's part of the grieving process. It doesn't make it any easier though. I'm still trying to work out how to talk about my caring normally in their company the way they talk about their babies....but potty training your 2 year old isn't exactly the same as dealing with accidents with your mum! I do want to talk about it more though, not for any sympathy but the topic still feels so taboo that I fear people don't know how to look at me when I mention it and I really want that to stop.

I'm not sure where you are based. I'm in Northern Ireland. I haven't actually researched groups targeted at young age groups but I doubt there is one. A coffee group was only set up recently where I live for carers at all. I haven't had the chance to attend yet but I do plan to, but from the photo I seen online doesn't look to be a demographic that will relate to my current chapter in life . But maybe that is the first step. A few of us attend a general local circle and we encourage others in the same boat to do the same.

I also feel lots of carers out age may not relate they are carers, same as what you said before. I was doing a lot for mammy for a long time once she hot her late 70s and covid, particularly as she lived alone. The penny only dropped a few months ago for me that I am one of her carers along with my siblings.

Anyway , glad you found this thread and keep posting. Wishing you a lovely weekend x
 

jackdog35

Registered User
Aug 21, 2022
377
0
Nottingham
I help my dad care for my mum but I don’t live with them. I got married three years before my mum became ill and i also work. How do people cope with working as I get calls and missed calls throughout the day. When I explain I’m working my mum doesn’t understand and then starts ringing my husband. At times I’ve had to rush out of work which I can’t keep doing and it’s also damaging my marriage as the situation causes arguments and I’m always so anxious and depressed. How do people find they cope with juggling normal life and caring for an ill relative?
 

Rachael03

Registered User
Apr 17, 2023
133
0
I help my dad care for my mum but I don’t live with them. I got married three years before my mum became ill and i also work. How do people cope with working as I get calls and missed calls throughout the day. When I explain I’m working my mum doesn’t understand and then starts ringing my husband. At times I’ve had to rush out of work which I can’t keep doing and it’s also damaging my marriage as the situation causes arguments and I’m always so anxious and depressed. How do people find they cope with juggling normal life and caring for an ill relative?
Ive found it really tough juggling full time work and caring so far. It definitely sounds tricky getting lots of calls while you are at work.

Does your dad live with your mum or is she calling when shes alone at home? Would your dad be able to suggest a time for her to call you (agreed with you to suit working hours) to manage the timing and frequency of the calls and give you control over the timing?

Have you told your employer that you are now managing caring responsibilities? I've recently told mine (not internationally, melted down in work) and its made the world of difference for me mentally, as they are aware if i have a distracted day its not due lack of commitment to work but due to other pressures. I'm not sure what your job involves but if its acceptable for you to take a short call in the day, your employer may not mind this if they understand the context. Although it is still so distracting for you and would be so much easier if we could focus on the work day without these extra stresses and worries 😟
 

Rachael03

Registered User
Apr 17, 2023
133
0
I help my dad care for my mum but I don’t live with them. I got married three years before my mum became ill and i also work. How do people cope with working as I get calls and missed calls throughout the day. When I explain I’m working my mum doesn’t understand and then starts ringing my husband. At times I’ve had to rush out of work which I can’t keep doing and it’s also damaging my marriage as the situation causes arguments and I’m always so anxious and depressed. How do people find they cope with juggling normal life and caring for an ill relative?
This forum is also so helpful and supportive though so please keep posting. I'm sure someone may have more suggestions and tips soon. I'm very new to all of this but it's all so hard and please know you're not alone in how you are feeling xx
 

jackdog35

Registered User
Aug 21, 2022
377
0
Nottingham
This forum is also so helpful and supportive though so please keep posting. I'm sure someone may have more suggestions and tips soon. I'm very new to all of this but it's all so hard and please know you're not alone in how you are feeling xx
Thanks Rachael, it’s certainly not easy when I’m at work and get calls pleading with me to come round even if there isn’t an emergency. My boss is understanding to an extent but obviously the work has got to get done and I need the job to pay the bills. I think I need to have more of a scheduled phonecall and maybe leave a note by my number to say when my working hours are and then maybe she’ll understand when I don’t pick up xx
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
75,850
0
73
Dundee
I’m sorry you are all facing these issues whilst so young and also working full time.

I wondered if there would be anything useful in either of these links.



Keep posting here too!
 

Rachael03

Registered User
Apr 17, 2023
133
0
Thanks Rachael, it’s certainly not easy when I’m at work and get calls pleading with me to come round even if there isn’t an emergency. My boss is understanding to an extent but obviously the work has got to get done and I need the job to pay the bills. I think I need to have more of a scheduled phonecall and maybe leave a note by my number to say when my working hours are and then maybe she’ll understand when I don’t pick up xx
It's worth a try. Everything seems to be trial and error in this dementia support journey.

Sometimes need a few different strategies as certain things work on certain days ans not others depending how the pwd is feeling.
 

Woodsy07

Registered User
Jul 29, 2022
33
0
I help my dad care for my mum but I don’t live with them. I got married three years before my mum became ill and i also work. How do people cope with working as I get calls and missed calls throughout the day. When I explain I’m working my mum doesn’t understand and then starts ringing my husband. At times I’ve had to rush out of work which I can’t keep doing and it’s also damaging my marriage as the situation causes arguments and I’m always so anxious and depressed. How do people find they cope with juggling normal life and caring for an ill relative?
Hello,
I set up this particular thread on the forum as I am facing much the same issues as you and I only wish I had all the answers, but sadly, I don't. However I thought it might be reassuring to know that you are not alone and that others are trying to navigate their way through it too.

My sister works from home and is currently facing the same battle as you, trying to navigate working whilst also having constant interruptions from my Mum (our family memeber with dementia). We haven't found the answer as of yet but recent things we have been recommended through reaching out for support is respite care or hiring a PA. Neither seem quite like the fix but we are exploring them none the less. Respite care would mean that my mum could go to care for the day (or longer periods, if necessary) in order for my sister to be able to soley focus on work. Alternatively, hiring a PA to essentially spend the day with my mum and entertain and stimulate her so that she isnt bored and depressed - which seems to be our issue. As I say, very early stages of exploring how this would even be possible but wanted to share even the seed of an idea incase it was helpful!

x
 

jackdog35

Registered User
Aug 21, 2022
377
0
Nottingham
Hello,
I set up this particular thread on the forum as I am facing much the same issues as you and I only wish I had all the answers, but sadly, I don't. However I thought it might be reassuring to know that you are not alone and that others are trying to navigate their way through it too.

My sister works from home and is currently facing the same battle as you, trying to navigate working whilst also having constant interruptions from my Mum (our family memeber with dementia). We haven't found the answer as of yet but recent things we have been recommended through reaching out for support is respite care or hiring a PA. Neither seem quite like the fix but we are exploring them none the less. Respite care would mean that my mum could go to care for the day (or longer periods, if necessary) in order for my sister to be able to soley focus on work. Alternatively, hiring a PA to essentially spend the day with my mum and entertain and stimulate her so that she isnt bored and depressed - which seems to be our issue. As I say, very early stages of exploring how this would even be possible but wanted to share even the seed of an idea incase it was helpful!

x
Thanks we’ve just started looking into getting some help. I took parents to a day centre last week which they enjoyed but my mum won’t go on her own at the moment. We’ve got the attendance allowance so hoping for someone to come in for a few hours to sit with her. We can only spend so much or they’ll run out of money and these things are so expensive x
 

Woodsy07

Registered User
Jul 29, 2022
33
0
Thanks we’ve just started looking into getting some help. I took parents to a day centre last week which they enjoyed but my mum won’t go on her own at the moment. We’ve got the attendance allowance so hoping for someone to come in for a few hours to sit with her. We can only spend so much or they’ll run out of money and these things are so expensive x
Glad to hear that you are getting some help, it certainly makes a difference.
Do you mind sharing a bit more information on the help you are getting where someone is able to come in and sit with her for a few hours? I only ask as we have previously been told that it isnt something that is possible to us.

Thanks
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
2,146
0
Some charities provide sitting services but I doubt that the sitter would come for more than a couple of hours at a time. 'Normal' care agencies provide companionship services too. Some local authorities will pay for / fund breaks for the carer. @Woodsy07, have you approached Social Services? Day care is probably the most efficient way of getting cover for a few hours.
 

Woodsy07

Registered User
Jul 29, 2022
33
0
Some charities provide sitting services but I doubt that the sitter would come for more than a couple of hours at a time. 'Normal' care agencies provide companionship services too. Some local authorities will pay for / fund breaks for the carer. @Woodsy07, have you approached Social Services? Day care is probably the most efficient way of getting cover for a few hours.
Hello,

Thank you for your reply. We didnt have a good experiene previously with Adult Social Services - we had carers that would arrive at any time of the day, rather than routinely. But perhaps worth another try! I have been looking into respite care recently but perhaps I need to look back into companionship care.

Thanks
 

jackdog35

Registered User
Aug 21, 2022
377
0
Nottingham
Glad to hear that you are getting some help, it certainly makes a difference.
Do you mind sharing a bit more information on the help you are getting where someone is able to come in and sit with her for a few hours? I only ask as we have previously been told that it isnt something that is possible to us.

Thanks
We’re paying for someone to sit with my mum three hours a week. I’ve just been ringing round various private carers and befriending services. I found most of them recommended on Facebook or asked friends for recommendations. The carers hub did a carers assessment with my dad today and said they would apply to local council to fund three hours respite a week. They said we could either have that or they would fund a day at a day centre. However it wasn’t a definite, think it’s up to the council.
 

NewTwinMum

New member
Jul 20, 2023
2
0
My mum has been diagnosed with mild dementia and I’m in my 30’s and have two small children. I live a 45 minute drive from her too and while she is still at home, I am shocked by the changes in a short space of time and am worried for the challenges ahead. How are you coping with everything? Do you have lots of support? I feel overwhelmed by this being so young and never expected to be having to deal with this while trying to enjoy my family. It’s hard and I know it’s only going to get harder. Sending you love though.
Hey, I’m in this exact position! How are you coping with it all? I’m really starting to struggle and feel overwhelmed with the decisions I’ll have to make and how it will affect me mentally and financially!
 

NewTwinMum

New member
Jul 20, 2023
2
0
Hi everyone!

I was feeling a bit lost and lonely when I stumbled on to this forum, I’m sure many of us have sadly been in the same position…but as horrid as it sounds I’m just so glad that there are other people going through this that I can relate to and vent to.

Me (32f) and my siblings have been going through the very slow process of getting my mom (55) diagnosed (only recently have doctors resigned themselves to the fact that this is likely early onset dementia) despite us feeling like this was a strong possibility from the start. It’s really felt like a juggling act to be listened to by any medical professionals or taken seriously at all.

I used to live with my mom and brother (29) and left to move in with my partner, mom was unwell at the time but her decline has been quite sharp since so needs eyes on her pretty much all the time. I reduced my hours at work to take a couple of days of care. My brother is still living with her and isn’t working so he picks up the majority of the care. We have an older sister but she has young children and doesn’t drive / live in the immediate area.

I know it’s hard on my brother, he’s so stressed and angry all the time and he lashes out at the rest of us. It’s probably important to note that out of my siblings I’m the most responsible and easygoing so I’ve always had a very easy relationship with mom. My brother is the baby and has always been spoilt by my mom so this has been particularly hard for him.

I love her so much and I don’t want to see her in a care home but I also feel so anxious and hopeless at the thought of having to move back in (with my partner in tow) to offer the kind of care she needs. Some days I’m grateful just to see her happy face because I know that she’s only going to get more poorly with time…but then I feel so much guilt that I don’t want to spend my 30s caring for someone else; I want kids and to get married but caring for my mom is like a full time job.

She doesn’t like to leave the house anymore, she doesn’t have any hobbies to enjoy…I just feel like I’m not doing enough and I don’t know enough. Finding where to get help and support is a mess. This is all a big ramble really…it’s just so so hard.
Hey, I’m also 30 and feeling guilt for not wanting to be a full time carer for my mum (I’m an only child).
I got married last year and gave birth to twins earlier this year.
I’m finding it hard to live my life and still be there fully for my mum.
I say all that to say, I completely get where you’re coming from!
 

Rachael03

Registered User
Apr 17, 2023
133
0
Hi @NewTwinMum and congratulations on your 2 new additions earlier this year. I'm not a mother myself so can only imagine the exhaustion...and then the stress of worrying for your mum now on top of it all!

You'll find lots of practical advice on this forum when you need it and a safe space to talk, vent or clear your head. Has your mum received a formal diagnosis yet? You haven't mentioned if she lives alone or getting any other caring support from family or friends. I dont want to bombard you with information but there will be various options for you to access support and care, depending on your circumstances. There are lots on this forum who know a great deal from their own lived experiences and can offer advice.

Regarding the guilt, I can fully relate to this. I'm mums only daughter and after she was diagnosed was terrified that I'd be expected to give up my own life (33, recently married, good career) to care for her. Ive also been wondering how i can even contemplate starting my own family in the middle of all of this, not something i expected to be thinking about! It's hard to ignore the guilt monsters when they knock but I try to remind myself that I do help her a lot and that it's OK not to spend every spare hour with her or supporting her. I know she wouldn't want me to or expect me to (even though the dementia would probably want me ober every day!). As a mother to 2 new babies, you have even less reason to feel guilt as I'm sure your own needs are bottom of the pile most days!