How long have you been a carer?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by CeliaThePoet, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. CeliaThePoet

    CeliaThePoet Registered User

    Dec 7, 2013
    Buffalo, NY, USA
    How long have you had responsibility for the person you care for (whether in a care home or not)? How old is the person now? If that is the past for you, how long was it?

    I have been the sole caregiver for my mother for 7 years, first when she was living independently but needing increasing help, then for the last 2.5 years while she has been in assisted living. She's now 86, nearly 87.
  2. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    I have been caring for my mother for 10 years now. 7 with my oldest sister, and the last 3 on my own (through no fault of my sisters)

    My mum has been very needy since my dad died 20 years ago, but the dementia symptoms started 10 years ago. She is 82 and has been in full time care for just over a year.

    I work full time and have 2 children and a husband who also need me. I always come last and I now feel totally worn out with all of this.
  3. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    West Midlands
    10 years I have broken my heart, had the rug pulled from under my feet, been a self finder, been a part of a rollercoaster when twice was thought to be at end of life and recovered, disappearing friends, family..... and when CHC meeting happened, I could not think. I had no knowledge of anything, and so the merry go round goes on

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  4. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    #4 Izzy, Jan 22, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
    My husband was diagnosed 14 years ago. He is 85, I am 64. My mother lived with us for over 5 years. She had vascular dementia. She died in 2011.

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  5. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Dad's 81 now
    mum died in 2006 after dad had been her carer for 2 years after a stroke
    dad visited me a lot and I came to him in school holidays - it slowly dawned on me that things weren't quite as they should be
    I moved near to him in 2009 so spent much more time with him - I was working
    I helped a lot with finances and finding ways to keep him clean and tidy and well fed over the years - I didn't realise I was becoming a carer
    he was diagnosed mid 2012
    nov 2013 I gave up work to spend daytime with him
    he went into his care home in april last year
  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I cared for my mother from 1993 until 2002, nine years. Then i cared for my husband from 2005 until 2014,another nine years.
  7. ellejay

    ellejay Registered User

    Jan 28, 2011
    My mum's been in a CH for almost 5 years. For 6 yrs or so before that I gradually took on more & more responsibility for her banking, bill paying, appointments etc. until she was no longer able to live alone.

    She is 94, I am 68.

    Lin x
  8. AnneED

    AnneED Registered User

    Feb 19, 2012
    East Yorkshire UK
    Very gradually, initially as needed about 7 years ago, when mum was 75 and still very independent, and shared with my sister and others - friends and relatives - to now, when mum has moderate Alzheimers with variable needs, and I am the one who takes responsibility - I gave up work to manage distance care more easily a few months ago; mum is still at home alone but with carers. A few elderly friends offer a bit of support but some people have disappeared, or can't manage to help much for various reasons.
  9. nannylondon

    nannylondon Registered User

    Apr 7, 2014
    I have been a carer for nearly 10 years my OH was 62 when he got official diagnosis but had symptoms for a few years before that I looked after him at home until last May been through some very bad times and now he is in the late stages he is unable to walk talk or recognise any family I have found this very difficult to deal with but there are lots of us in the same position
  10. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    It was maybe 13 years with my mother, but she was in a CH for the last 8.

    I can't even remember how long it was with FIL, but it was at least 5. We had him living with us for at least a year, before it all became too much and he went into a CH.

    All told, we had maybe 18 years with dementia. But at least there was a break of a couple of years between the two...
  11. Aisling

    Aisling Registered User

    Dec 5, 2015
    I am caring full time for my husband for the past 5 plus years. It is heart breaking. Friends and family have disappeared and the excuse is that people don't know what to do! Would this excuse be accepted by people with other illnesses?

    Aisling ( Ireland)
  12. exhausted 2015

    exhausted 2015 Registered User

    Jul 5, 2015
    stoke on trent
    I've been caring for my dad for nearly eight years with no holiday... Forgotten what the sea looks like ... I suppose I could get to the coast now because he is in hospital ...but don't want to be too far away xx
  13. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    As far as caring for my Mum with AD, actively... for 3.5yrs
    Dad with cognitive impairment... his medication only for past 2 yrs.

    My husbnad diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2004 - 12 yrs
    My DH had 2 brain resections, chemo & radiation and has long lasting Neuro deficits, so has not worked since 2006.
    He is more independant than Mum, so I don't actively care for him.

    It can however be a juggle , when all 3 of them have some kind of Doctor or hospital appointment within the same week.
  14. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    I was the sole carer for my husband for 7 years at home and have been his eyes, ears and protector for the three and a half years years he has been in his nursing home. He was diagnosed at 62, though symptoms were there for 2 years before diagnosis and he is now 73.
  15. Ann Mac

    Ann Mac Registered User

    Oct 17, 2013
    Mils diagnosis of dementia was about 6 or 7 years ago, however, OH and I had been supporting her for several years before that, through various health issues including depression - which we are now sure was more likely the start of the dementia and that takes it back to 10 or 11 years ago. She's lived with us now since September 2013, and will be 75 in March.
  16. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Mum has had Alzheimers for 4 years now that I know of (probably longer) and has been in a CH for 2 years.
    I am also a carer to my OH and have been for 20 years now.
  17. Reallife

    Reallife Registered User

    Jun 12, 2015
    I've been a carer for 5 years. My Dad has alzheimers and still lives at home with my Mum. We have carers coming in 4 times a day and I spend a lot of time there. I go at least once a day and most days I go twice. A lot of my time seems to be spent providing emotional support and helping Mum understand his condition. Luckily Dad is not violent or aggressive , in fact most days he is easier than my Mum.
  18. angecmc

    angecmc Registered User

    Dec 25, 2012
    Getting on for 10 years now, Mum has Lewy bodies dementia, been in her care home for just under 3 years now, but I am still also carer for my Dad who doesn't have dementia, but has numberous other health problems( some sadly made up by him for more attention) Mum is 79 this year and Dad is 83. Xx

  19. Selinacroft

    Selinacroft Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    So difficult to pinpoint really as live with Dad so a gradual increase in responsibilities and taking things over in the last 10-15 years but as a proper carer probably since 2009 although I was still working full time as well until 2013. It's probably just the last 2 years that I have felt more of a carer than a daughter. :( Dad is 89
  20. Ballykeith

    Ballykeith Registered User

    Aug 26, 2013
    My mum lost the ability to direct her own life two and a half years ago and I've been her sole carer since then; I'm with her for around 9-10 hours a day. Prior to that things had been going slowly downhill for a long time - as they do - and I'd given more support as and when. I liken dementia to seeing some water appearing on the floor. At first it's just an irritation and you work around it and get by. As time passes the water slowly rises and it becomes a struggle to keep everything functioning. A while on and the water is up to your ankles, knees, waist ... there may perhaps be a sudden inundation; whether slowly or rapidly, you are overwhelmed by the disease as life is taken over by it.

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