Full Time Carer...think Really Hard

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by KIM62, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. KIM62

    KIM62 Registered User

    Apr 12, 2008
    I know some people will not think highly of what I have to say, but this is only from my own personal experience.

    In my working life, I worked with physical disabled students in a mainstream school. I then went onto caring for someone in their home, 5 days out of 7 - no night duty.

    Last year my sister-in-law was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia, before and after the diagnosis, my husband and I were beginning to care for her more and more.
    It went from popping in three times a week for a couple of hours.
    To going in every day, nearly all day. No sooner getting home when the phone would ring, because she could not lock the door - even though we had made sure she was secure before leaving.
    To getting phonecalls during the night, relating to going shopping to asking what time it was. Finally, we got Social Services involved, and Respite care was organized, to give us the rest.
    Then she came home, and we decided to divide the days and hours between us. Basically, it was 2 of us working a 24 hour shift 7 days a week. Family and friends cannot always be relied upon because they have their own lives to lead.
    Home care was offered, to make sure she got her medication, the lies she told (of course because of the illness) about eating/drinking fluids/ medication. Of course there were no sleep overs from home care.
    Respite became more and more available, much to my sister-in-laws approval to go.
    Gradually, this eased her into full time care, and life became better for us all round. No longer did we become to 'resent' my sister-in-law.
    We can now enjoy visits as we use to, converse at leisure and just enjoy the company again.
    As much as we love the ones we care for, caring too much can cause resentment. Its not worth being a martyr, and risk losing the good that was there.
    What you can do is make sure you find the right kind of full time care they deserve, and the dignity to enjoy their life.
    If your not happy with anything then complain or move on, but never ever just 'put up with it'.
    You have to be at peace of mind, knowing your loved one is taken care of.
    And remember, who will take care of both you and your loved one, if you fall ill...
  2. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    Just what I need to read .

    Oh its hard giving up caring full time . so yes this weekend am thinking very hard .

    Its just so hard not been able to tell mum she never coming home , as she does want to come home . she feels she done something wrong & she has not . Its me that can't cope any more .

    Wishing you all the best .
  3. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    I second all of that and Margarita you have done more than the impossible you deserve a well earnt rest and time for your own family , you have nothing to reproach yourself for
  4. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    It does feel so good just being home with me & my daughter it what I have wanted for a long time Just never had the courage to do it, till something broke the cameral back so to speak .

    I keep thinking what if

    and I known I should not think like that . am so glad we have TP
  5. judyjudy

    judyjudy Registered User

    Mar 19, 2008
    west sussex
    thinking hard too

    Hi, Been there and got the t-shirt. Ma went into full time care two days ago. Day 1 not too bad considering. Today, day 2 was the most difficult thing I have ever done. She was pleading to come home and I was saying 'not today Mother'
    I left feeling as distressed as her, for different reasons of course. The only thing I know is that she is SAFE and that is the most important thing. Good Luck
  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I`m sure your daughter will have wanted it too Maggie. Enjoy each other`s comapny and have time for each other too.

    Love xx
  7. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    Oh please keep sharing, because I am dreading the day mum realises that she not going home. I feel like some evil cruel person. So when I finally tell she or she realises that when it’s next Saturday I go to see her I am not taking her home. I can think of every one on TP, thinking my mother not the only woman that it happen to .

    The Guilt oh guilt & they I was in denial thinking Guilt I don’t feel it

    I look at mum bed think , I could bring her home it be OK , but deep down I know its not its just that I don’t want to face the day when mum ask me to take her home & the distress she going to feel . So all experience to share on hear of how to handle it emotional are more them welcome

    My daughters have gone quite on me about it. well I told then the truth in how I was feeling . but they acting normal happy smiling, I think they just want to see me happy coping with life.
  8. AJay

    AJay Registered User

    Aug 21, 2007
    Hi all

    I took the decision to put Dad into full time care because I just wasn't coping with him. It's the best decision I took because I knew that he was out of danger and was being well looked after. I also got much of my life back. I went through absolute agonies when making the decision and it was one of the toughest periods of my life but I hardened my heart and carried on with it.

    Sadly Dad passed away before he'd been in care for very long, but the change in him in that short time was remarkable. He was much easier to be with, started to eat again and put on weight, was clean and had clean clothes on all the time, and seemed much more relaxed and happy. When he got agitated about going home, I just kept telling him that the doctors said he needed more looking after than me or my partner could give him, I never mentioned that it was permanent, and left it at that. I suppose it was easier because he's been in and out of hospital over the previous 6 months and was quite frail.

    I wish I'd done it sooner, I never really got the chance to enjoy the 'new' Dad and he never really got the chance to enjoy the new stress free me. Push those guilt monsters to one side and be assured that it's the right decision. Even though Dad has gone and I'm running a whole gauntlet of emotions just now, I still don't regret the choice I made.

    AJay xxx
  9. maria29al

    maria29al Registered User

    Mar 15, 2006
    Hi All,

    My Mum went in to full time care last September. I still have feelings of guilt about it but I know it is best for her. She was becoming a danger to herself...roaming the village at all hours and ending up in one shop or another - and then I would collect her and take her home and try to calm her down. She lived alone then as Dad passed away a year before.

    I thought about having her live with me, but unless I had given up work it was not feasible. Plus I also have my family to consider.

    Now I see her and she is happy (in the main) and well dressed. Now when she comes to my house we talk (well...sort of talk! :D) and she is relaxed. Her hair is always nice and her nails are painted - which she loves!

    It will never feel totally "right" that she lives there but that is just something I have to come to terms with. She is Safe and Happy - that is what matters now.

  10. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006

    You must stop looking at the guilt monster

    You too have a life and so do your daughters ..........you deserve peace and freedom now

    You have given your ALL and it will have taken a far bigger toll on your health than you realise
    Your Mother will settle and if you leave it long enough between visits she wont be asking to come home

    Do something positive and redecorate /totally change your Mothers room at home into something new and good for your daughters

    Focus on the future not on the past its the only way forward i promise you
  11. SharonLyons

    SharonLyons Registered User

    Dec 10, 2006
    Ilford, Essex
    Thank you all for your input into this thread. I am also now in the process of having my mum go into a NH and I am dreading it on the one hand (because of the guilt and, of course, her reaction to it) but at the same time I can't wait! I will get my life back, my partner will get his partner back and my sons will get their mum back. My friends will get their friend back. And of course, my mum will get her daughter back! I know it will be hard but it will be the best for everyone.
    Sharon x
  12. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Kim, I don't have to think long and hard about being a full-time carer for my mother.

    I couldn't do it. End of. (For whatever emotional or other reasons - hers or mine - I don't care to share fully here). I hold my hands up - it would not be an option.

    If it were my husband? What choice would I have?

    I'm not sure what your point is ..... or how it helps those who have no option other than rescinding vows and battling their consciences when their hearts are already breaking?

    :confused: Karen
  13. KIM62

    KIM62 Registered User

    Apr 12, 2008
    Hello Karen

    It sounds like you have made your decision to become a full time carer, I truly wish you well and strength. And, remember there is help out there from the right departments if you ever need it. I suppose the point I was trying to make is, that for those who have been full time carers, and now feeling the strain as the 'illness' kicks in, should not feel guilty if the time has come to place their loved one infull time care.

    Believe you me we felt guilty, even though we had periods of my sister in law being in respite. But, the pressure of being there just as carers, and nothing else, made us afraid of resentment towards my sister in law and we did not want to ever feel that. She became more and more reliant on us, the situation was becoming stressful, strained and intense.
    I agree about caring for a partner, and in my situation, I not only had to assist with dealing with my sister in laws life, I also had to make sure my husband (who has suffered two mild strokes) kept as stress free as possible.

    I have nearly 30 years experience in full time 'Caring', both professional and personal, and I hold my hands up too, this kind of caring is a lot more overpowering on the carer.
  14. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006

    please reread Karens post

    She says SHE COULD NOT become a full time carer for her Mother
  15. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    We tried to keep my Mum in her own home for as long as possible and we fitted a stair lift and a walk-in bath for her, but in the end she became very unsteady on her feet and kept falling, so she wasn't safe any more.

    Mum asked to go into a care home and she was very happy there. When she fell yet again and broke her hip, she received immediate attention and was taken straight to hospital. At home she could have waited all night before somebody found her in the morning.

    The care home couldn't cope with her afterwards and she had to go into a nursing home, but she was well looked after and eventually settled, even though she had wanted to go back to the care home. After eighteen months, Mum had an unexpected heart attack while the care assistants were attending to her.

    She was taken straight to hospital, so people were looking after her all the time. Unfortunately she died before we could get there, but it was a comfort to know that the carers she knew were with her and she did not have to suffer by herself.

    It became a great strain towards the end when we were supporting Mum at home, assisted by a carer and a home help. When I visited Mum in the residential homes, I could just talk to her and spend quality time with her, rather than worrying about her medication or her domestic problems.

    I was very impressed by the professionalism of the staff in both homes and we felt we could trust them. Mum was self funding, but we were able to let her house and she received pensions, attendance allowance and registered nursing care allowance, so the fees could be paid without using too much of her savings each month.

    Although there are bad homes around, I think there are also some very good ones too and it is worth looking into what is available in your area if the person you are looking after seems to be needing 24/7 care. It is a huge step to take, but may be for the best in the end.

    Mum died last May and we have decided to sell her house now, although we have been very lucky with both our tenants. My daughter is getting married in July and we are now looking forward to the future and possibly a new generation in the family, in the years to come.

    It has been very hard coming to terms with losing Mum, but as time goes by I find that I am remembering more and more the happier times we had together.

  16. I'sdaughter

    I'sdaughter Registered User

    Apr 19, 2008
    Keeping safe

    May have to go down the route of NH, mum won't like it & likes to live on her own, thankfully mums agreed to careworkers, wanders, fibs about eating, washing, clean clothes, 'behaves inappropiatly' & gets so distressed at many changes phone calls letters visitors & now started to pass out often & must be so confused & distressed waiting in a & e on her own (till someone kindly phones me)but its so hard now & I can't cope with another traumatic trip explaining again mums difficulties & not to send her home in an ambulance/taxi when she starts to appear 'normal' and the same existence, Am I so wrong in wanting to keep mum safe?
  17. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    I dont know if you have been given a proper diagnosis for your Mother but it very much sounds to me like she has Vascular Dementia as a result of Mini Strokes which i suspect are her falls/blackouts

    Certainly sounds exactly like my Mother

    They really are not safe living alone
  18. I'sdaughter

    I'sdaughter Registered User

    Apr 19, 2008
    keeping safe

    thanks H - mum 'diagnosed' ALZ july 06 - maybe now someone will listen. mums waiting for a bed on cardio ward, nd am visiting tomorrow. glad i'm not alone.
  19. KIM62

    KIM62 Registered User

    Apr 12, 2008
    Your right Helena, I need some new specs.

    Apologies to Karen for misreading your Post.

    Todays my birthday, tomorrows my sister in laws, so we are off to see her with a couple of boxes of wine and friends, a double celebration. She does not want to celebrate her birthday:(, but happy to celebrate mine :D. These are moments we enjoy now that the pressure is off our shoulders. Next week she wants me to take her to buy some new ' bloomers ' :eek: No problem, ay oh life does have moments like these....make the best of them.
  20. KIM62

    KIM62 Registered User

    Apr 12, 2008
    I's daughter, On here Your never alone.

    I wish you strength to cope.

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