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Discussion in 'Dementia-related news and campaigns' started by nitram, Nov 21, 2019.
I'm 47 and female and though I didn't really think of myself as a carer until recently it was pointed out to me I have been caring for mum in some increasing capacity for over a year. Mum has been having memory problems for the last couple of years and gradually I have took on more, visited more, increased daily phone calls, kept track of hospital appointments, done eye drops each time had her cataracts done, done tablets when she had them, took all things need and visited whenever ill, kept track of and paid bills, and all her paperwork, remind her of other appointments and events, arranged any repairs to her home, with help of hubby done any minor repairs/diy, dealt with rent increases and benefits, take her shopping and check what needs and tell her what to buy and where to find it in shop, told her what day it is and what to eat and how long to cook things for, when to wash her hair, and do household jobs and often help her with them if she actually did them or let me and lots of other little things though I never thought as that as me being a carer. Even when mum was calling a dozen times a day and when I was visiting for most of every day and making mums meals, took mum to stay with us a couple of times after late night early morning panic calls, I still didn't think I was a carer. But after another paniced early moning call I've now been staying at mums for 5 weeks and as we also finally got mum to gps and memory clinic I've been called mums carer by many of them and told thats what I've been for mum for over a year.
Anyway point of my ramble was to say that I fitted the age in that report.
Oddly enough I actually became a full time carer after C went into hospital for 5 weeks the day after my 46th birthday. Regardless of who wins the election it is good to see carers getting some media coverage.
I was 46 when I first started caring for my dad and aunt who were caring for my mum. I didn’t really think of it as caring but now that I look back I was taking my aunt shopping and to hairdressers and doctor’s appointments, cleaning and shopping for dad, cooking meals, visiting mum in carehome so dad could have a break, labelling clothes, gardening...does that count as caring?
My brother and sister say not.
Edited to add - my daughters both had their first experience of caring in their teens and it continued on and off into their mid twenties.
Well of course your brother and sister are right, because I’m sure that they both do their fair share of helping you out, so obviously know exactly what is involved in being a carer! Oooh my nose is getting longer, I wonder why that is! x
I can’t imagine
Well I am way past that age but it does begin without the carer realising. Perhaps it takes a special kind of person, after all others seem to go about there usual way of life totally oblivious to the needs of the person in need of a bit of help. Yes that is how it starts with the recognition that a loved one or even a friend or neighbour 'needs a bit of help with something'
Dad was okay, he managed but I thought that he could do with a bit help, he was on his own so we started with lunching once a week and popping in for a coffee more often, then a film night and fish and chips, then lunching twice a week and so on. Dad used to enjoy these things and looked forward to them and so did I because I felt I was doing something for my old dad even though he was perfectly okay on his own and he was although I really could have done without all the lunches.
Not everyone recognises this need of a bit of help or just a bit of company so it is generally just one person that gets slowly overloaded with it and before you know it you have become the carer.
I was 43 when I started caring for my mum whrn she got dementia, then soon after my dad got glaucoma and had to give up driving so I was me who had to take them shopping, appointments, etc, etc. I didn't think of it as caring, just helping mum & dad out. Could have had years of carers allowance
I was 45 when mum had her crisis, looking back, mum was much older at 65 when she had to care for my gran, this is partly because my gran was 20 when my mum was born, so gran was 85, mum was 38 when I was born so 83 when crisis happened.
Once both kids were at high school I had expected to take on more hours (not full time) which would have enabled me to take on a higher level role.
Brother helped a bit initially but this faltered very quickly, he was due to clear mum's house (he lived 2 hours from it, I live over 3) but this soon failed so as well as having mum living here, I was doing 7 hour round trips to clear her house, when kids were 8 and 12 this had a big impact on them as well. If he had helped I would have had a far better quality of life in the initial years (had various issues with kids at the same time so very stretched for a while)
I certainly wouldn't consider OH to be a carer either, however I have no intention of helping with MIL, and as she is now 92 she is likely to need help before OH is 57 (average age for men in report). I think OH gets host mode from her as it is and doesn't want to look or see any further.
I was a carer for both parents at 44 and now full time live in carer for mum aged 47.
Im a carer age 43 female
My dad 72
Have been hes carer for 6 yrs although hes got progressively worse at first was just cleaning/post /letter writing/then was shopping cleaning laundry meals etc now its full blown 2/4 hour live in care ☹️