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Carer Fatigue

Vitesse

Registered User
Oct 26, 2016
187
I’ve just been reading the latest posts, and I have to say, I’m in awe of you all. Everyone is so caring and concerned about their loved ones. We are less than a week into this enforced social distancing and I am in despair. I’ve mentioned on TP before, that my husband is almost 90 with severe AD, and I am 20 years younger. His speech is badly impaired to the extent that mostly I have no idea what he is trying to say, and he is deaf, so everything has to be repeated several times before he may understand. That is with his hearing aids!! He watches recorded TV sport, and worries constantly about his money, but other than that there is nothing of the old Ken left. I am his sole carer, as he wouldn’t have outside support or go to Day Centre, and I had become dependent on Memory cafes and dementia groups for light relief. Now they have stopped of course so I have resorted to taking him for a short drive most days to give some break from the 4 walls.
i know everyone is in the same boat, but you all seem so positive. How are you explaining this forced isolation on your loved ones? Yesterday I tried to tell him that we had to stay in because of this awful illness that has spread around the world, and that set him off about his bank account! Wish I’d never mentioned it. How are you keeping your loved ones occupied? As I say he can’t read any more, and doesn’t seem to want to do anything except sit in the chair. Perhaps that’s enough, but I don’t feel I can busy myself around the house while he just sits and dreams up problems.
sorry to go on, I’m just having a bad few days!!!
 

Pierwalker

Registered User
Apr 1, 2017
21
Stangely enough, the ONLY thing that keeps my wife occupied (7 years into Alzheimers and aged 75) are puzzle books. After initially showing reluctance, she is now almost obsessed with them, and will spend 6 to 8 hours with head down if I let her. Initially I was worried but responses from Talking point friends in effect said if she's happy, just let her do it. There is a huge variety out there in bookshops and garden centres and maybe some simple ones might just hook into your father. Good luck with that.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,171
South coast
Im sorry @Vitesse , this coronavirus is making out hard lives even harder.
There is no point in trying to explain the dangers of the virus - the concept is beyond most of them, and even if they did understand they wouldnt remember.

My OH is also happy to just sit in a chair all day. It is amazing how hard it is to do things when there is someone watching all the time. I pretend that there is a glass walled box around him and it seems to make it easier.
 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
6,789
Bristol
So hard for you to take, @Vitesse. I am impressed by your resilience in keeping on caring through hard circumstances before this isolation hit us. All the bits that keep us going like music are sadly not much use to your husband, but I hope you can still enjoy some music on headphones.
 

Vitesse

Registered User
Oct 26, 2016
187
Thanks all for your replies. I was feeling low, and I know I can get some kind words from my friends on TP because you all understand exactly how it is.
 

White Rose

Registered User
Nov 4, 2018
532
Hi @Vitesse , I'm very behind on reading posts as it seems impossible to find the time, my partner has become so demanding of my time. How are you getting on? No they don't understand the virus at all - good or bad thing I don't know. So often lately my mind is going back to good times, before all these worries, where did it all go? How I wish the real J would appear, I'd love to know his thoughts on this situation. Last week my daughter was staying with us and although J was absolutely awful to her - didn't know who she was and kept swearing at her - it was so good to have 'normal' company and we even managed a few laughs. I'm feeling guilty now to be on TP because he's sitting in a chair with his head hung, which seems to be his regular position unless I'm entertaining him! Hope you're managing to get some time for yourself.
 

lell

New member
Nov 21, 2017
9
Here's something different! My dad understands the virus, but forgets about it until reminded (he actually told one of my friends, a few weeks ago, to 'f' off because of the virus!! What is really different is that one of my neighbours is still having visitors (even though she's the first to tell anyone that she's on the at-risk list having diabetes!) I have diabetes and angina and don't give a damn about it for myself, but I do care for my dad who has COPD, asthma, emphysema as well as alz! I have kept him indoors for 2 weeks now and the poor guy is going stir crazy! Another neighbour goes out everyday with her 2 children to visit her mum. A third went off to their caravan, as usual, then on their return a daughter visited who lives in london! Has the world gone mad, where an elderly person recognises danger but so-called sane folks don't!
Nonetheless Vitesse, we all understand the frustrations, the pain, the resentment etc., but we also recognise that you must care or you wouldn't be on this site! Chin up gal, you are not alone in this.
 

Mousehill

Registered User
Nov 28, 2018
69
Well, I'm no saint! I go to bottom of the garden, stand at the back of the garage and turn the air bright blue :)

I have an arsenal of silly songs I keep in my head and on bad days, they play in my head all day - becoming sillier and often ruder by the minute!

I pretend my PWD is someone I am looking after, who I don't have any personal connection with on the very worst days, and try to be objective about everything and take nothing personally, but it's hard!

Most of all, I really, really enjoy the good days and I never let the day end in anger or resentment. Every night, I tell my PWD they are still the best in my eyes :)
 

Vitesse

Registered User
Oct 26, 2016
187
We had a lovely morning, sitting looking at some old photos I got printed recently. We even got out some colouring books and pencils although he thought he wouldn’t be able to do that ‘because I’m old’. Never mind, we tried. Then this afternoon he’s off again, worried about his finances, going to the bank, his wife has died etc etc. I’ve told him everything is closed because of the illness, we’re not allowed to go out, but nothing sinks in. It’s like a broken record, and I’m bereft of ideas. Perhaps the TV could start a new programme “I’m a carer, get me out of here” I’ll be the first to sign up!!!