It's my first time posting on the forum but have browsed many threads the last few months as we prepared for my mammys diagnosis.
Mammy is 73 and recently diagnosed with vascular dementia. I'm 33 years old and along with my 4 brothers we are trying to split the caregiving responsibilities, as well as juggle careers and families..I feel very fortunate there are a large number of us willing to help due to how much we love our dear mammy but it has been immensely hard, both practically and emotionally over the last 12 months. I actually live over 200 miles away but me and my husband are relocating back to our hometown as a result of the diagnosis as I am struggling to cope with the physical distance from family and want to be able to enjoy time with mammy while I can. The flip side is I'm anxious about being too close but I plan to set boundaries upfront so my brothers don't assume I'm moving home to become a full time carer, which is not the case at all!
I am terrified about what is ahead but feel so reassured and inspired by reading these posts and knowing we are not alone. Thanks to everyone who is brave enough to share their stories and speak through the forum, it has helped me a lot when I've felt scared and alone.
The only piece of practical advice I have is to speak to your employer if you are comfortable doing so to let them know what is going on as it is life changing for all of us. People do not naturally assume that people in their 30s have responsibilities of this nature so it might help to tell them. I broke down in work in December and ended up telling my management as a result and for me it lifted a huge pressure. I no longer feel stressed if I need to ask for time off to help with caring duties (take mammy to appointments) and as an office worker I've been granted some additional flexibility to work from home a bit more when needed. It also helped when my manager told me that I don't need to put on my happy face if I'm not feeling up to it (if like to say my usual self is fairly bubbly).
I've also taken a sick day last month when I was having a particularly low day. I stressed all morning about it as i wasnt actually sick but I knew that my mental state wasn't well enough to work that day, even remotely. I spent the day on the sofa resting and watching Netflix, and for me it was exactly what I needed in that moment. I understand this isn't an option for everyone financially to take a day off from work but if it is and you need a day to yourself, don't feel guilty about it.
Anyway, thanks again for all the contributions to this forum. I've had a low morning today and shed quite a few tears but I'm now proud of myself for finally registering and posting. I hope to speak to you all soon through the threads and grateful to have this community available xxx
Thank you for posting this. I feel like it has lots of similarities with my situation and like you say it is reassuring to know others are going through the same thing and that there are people you could reach out to on here for practical advice.