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I hate being a carer

spandit

Registered User
Feb 11, 2020
133
I'm fed up of my father saying "you wouldn't make a very good nurse" when I'm a bit short with him. I snapped this morning and told him he wasn't a very good father. I then threw his shirt at him and told him to struggle on his own. I went back into the room a minute or so later and got him dressed. Today has been difficult because his normal carer was ill and the day off I was planning and looking forward to didn't happen. Added to that I have some difficult personal stuff going on and I have nobody to talk to about it.

I'm not a very compassionate person, I admit it. I'd never have chosen to pursue a career in caring and I'm not trained for it. I don't ever get to shut the door and leave the premises to go on with my life.

Not expecting any solutions, just having a bit of a rant, really, but hopefully someone else will see how I'm feeling and feel the same way so know they're not alone. Unless I'm the only one who feels like this!
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,894
South coast
No, I dont think you are the only one. We are none of us saints and we all have bad days and lose our tempers or shout at our PWD. Its particularly bad when you get a tiny bit of respite and plan what you are going to do, only for it to be snatched away from under our nose. I know its not the carers fault she was ill, and you know it too, but it still rankles.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
2,002
@spandit, sorry to hear things are tough. You are far from being the only one. I could never have had my mother live with me, as she knew exactly which buttons to press to wind me up. We had plenty of set-tos like you are having with your dad and I only called over to see her for a couple of hours twice a week. I dread to think what would have happened if we'd lived with each other.
Do you have a plan B for if it all gets too much? Maybe phone or email the support line and chat through your options., 0333 150 3456 or dementia.connect@alzheimers.org.uk
I hope you manage to get your promised day off sometime soon.
 

spandit

Registered User
Feb 11, 2020
133
Fortunately, we had a carer booked in for tonight so I don't have to deal with him. I'm fed up of being made to feel like the bad guy for trying to get him to drink more or do some exercise. I'll be OK, had some good news about his house sale today and the personal issue should taper off in a few weeks (I hope so anyway). Thanks, peeps
 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
7,206
Bristol
You are certainly not alone @spandit. I spoke to a counsellor today as recently things have got on top of me and he reminded me we are all human and are allowed to have bad days however much we do care about my partner in my case, and your father in your case. All the best and be kind to yourself.
 

Woo2

Registered User
Apr 30, 2019
2,949
South East
Gosh no you aren’t alone at all ! It’s very hard, there are very few natural carers IMO , we are thrust in to it , with no training , no pay , almost blindfold with no help or support and are expected to do it day in day out , I too get frustrated when my precious couple of hours break gets sidelined . Hope the personal issue gets easier soon . Take care .
 

Dimpsy

Registered User
Sep 2, 2019
1,586
Rant away and get it off your chest.
You're not a saint, none of us are, but you're not a devil either, we're just worn out.
 

Bikerbeth

Registered User
Feb 11, 2019
1,706
Bedford
No you are not alone and although I never cared for my Mum full time I can appreciate how you would have felt having your ‘me time’ taken away.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
398
I am not a natural carer either, I have not got a lot of patience. I decided to set a boundary, I would visit each week for 24-36 hours and carers would cover the rest. It seems to work even though the extra milage means my insurance has gone up!
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
1,220
Southampton
ive done it as well. when i came home after a hospital appt, i didnt feel great and hes like forgot to put washing in the drier and ive dropped this on the floor. i just thought back on the treadmill again like ive never been away or just sat down and hes asks whats on tele. the remote was sent in his direction and told to sort it out himself. we all have limits.
 

Hazara8

Registered User
Apr 6, 2015
547
I'm fed up of my father saying "you wouldn't make a very good nurse" when I'm a bit short with him. I snapped this morning and told him he wasn't a very good father. I then threw his shirt at him and told him to struggle on his own. I went back into the room a minute or so later and got him dressed. Today has been difficult because his normal carer was ill and the day off I was planning and looking forward to didn't happen. Added to that I have some difficult personal stuff going on and I have nobody to talk to about it.

I'm not a very compassionate person, I admit it. I'd never have chosen to pursue a career in caring and I'm not trained for it. I don't ever get to shut the door and leave the premises to go on with my life.

Not expecting any solutions, just having a bit of a rant, really, but hopefully someone else will see how I'm feeling and feel the same way so know they're not alone. Unless I'm the only one who feels like this!
I remember clearly during a very difficult period when mother's Alzheimer's was challenging on all levels - physical and psychological - that my sister very kindly came from her home in France to assist me in mother's care. On one occasion when we were preparing to dress my mother she presented with a stubborn and abrasive attitude which my sister found eminently frustrating in the light of her having forfeited time, expense and what was a settled life style in rural France, post the loss of her partner. All of that came to a head on that morning and she snapped at mother and stormed out of the bedroom. My mother was oblivious to it all. I remember her gazing somewhat bewildered at myself, not uttering a word. I knew that deep down inside my mother's brain existed the "genuine " mother. The one who adored her daughter, who would look forward to the daily telephone call to France , who never failed to praise my sister for her innate generosity. Yet all of that was absent now , just an irate ninety year old who seemed hell bent on being awkward, ungrateful and aggressive. My sister was not a Carer. She had been a professional nurse. She had trained at Great Ormond Street and had witnessed the extremes of disease, deformity and abject sickness in innocents, many of whom died in her hands. She had nursed on psychiatric wards and later lectured and even at the height of her career appeared at the Old Bailey in defence of a nurse. In short, she was equipped with resources to deal with matters far beyond the mundane. She told me on the day she returned home to southern France, that the two weeks during her stay with me and tending to my mother had been " a real learning curve " and she confessed to feeling inadequate at one point, as the situation was simply so challenging that she snapped.
We, as Carers and especially as partners or siblings being so very close to the one we love, are still vulnerable and subject to fatigue and frustration and moments in which our ' capacity' dictates . We react just as we would in normality with all that implies. We can give and take , tit for tat, knowing that cognition allows for equal response and resolution. This goes on all the time, often on very subtle terms. But dementia is a completely different animal. It poses conflict, bitterness, aggressive behaviour in the guise of the person we know so very well and it seems so very intentional and convincing - just as with my mother with her daughter. Yet we know that the actuality is not so. We know that dementia claims a brain and acts out its own agenda within the body of the one we know and love. This is a fact not a theory. What we do not know, is how it must feel to live with any one of the many dementias. What strange and confusing world confronts a Dementia mind? What emotions, what images, what anxieties. What promotes the tears in an old lady shuffling down the corridor in the Care Home and her sobbing as she takes hold of your hand and gazes longingly into your eyes, saying nothing. Just a poignant and powerful expression of a plea so evident in those aged, tired and bewildered eyes.
Yes, we are allowed a rant or at least some respite if we are not to go under ourselves. This is the reality of dementia care. It is perhaps one of the most demanding of life's challenges and we do not undergo training for any of it. The training is in the relationship with dementia as it lives within the one we care for and that is, alas, the only authentic learning process because you live it in actual fact. And even with all of that, you count your blessings because you are at worst, the Carer, at best, are not the one who is living with dementia.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,980
Essex
Same here. I remember dad and I cooking a curry and when it was ready he decided he didn't feel like eating and yet he was diabetic. I was not only worried but I felt all my effort had gone to waste. He did eventually eat but it was an uphill struggle.

MaNaAk
 

RosettaT

Registered User
Sep 9, 2018
514
Mid Lincs
You shouldn't feel bad for not a natural carer, it's no different IMHO to not being able to plan the piano. I maybe I would like to but I don't have the knowledge nor the training, if I had then I may have made a very good pianist.
It's the same with caring. It's a role many just fall into because of circumstance. Don't be hard on yourself.
 

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
489
@Hazara8 thank-you for your delightful description of our role. I took some heart from your sisters plight, there is probably little in the way of training that can prepare the carer for this role. In my mums case the dementia is likened to a creeping vine, slowly but surely tying her brain up in knots but occasionally letting go it’s grip for a return to reality.
Every day can be different and thoughts flood my brain about what care she might need. Changing and developing backwards and forwards down that very long slippery slope. I try and hang on to her, pull her back up, succeeding some days, failing others. That’s what care means to me.
I am not exhausted anymore, I am not jealous of my friends with days out and holidays as we have never really come out of lockdown so the negativity is gone, I think it was a self generated negativity which wore me down and now I am happy in my own setting. It’s probably a very restricted way of life but so is everything at the moment.
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
2,134
I didn't shout at dad but I was fed up and often rolled my eyes. I doubt that any of us planned on taking on dementia as an unpaid full time, possibly 24/7 job. I didn't and I didn't like it.

Considering the stress it brings I am surprised that we cope for more than a week.

It affects everything and keeping a happy face on all the time can be impossible.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
749
I went on a dementia training course.
The trainer said ‘ I’m going to give you a statement and I want you to then spend three minutes thinking about it.
( I bet she just wanted to check her text messages)
Anyway, this was the statement:
Ultimately ,
people don’t remember what you said,
people don’t remember what you did,
they remember how you made them feel.

This made a big impression on me at the time because my communication with mum was me saying, do this, don’t do that, you haven’t done this, etc etc. All negative.
Most of the time I sounded like a disgruntled headteacher!
So I decided to change things.
Now I let mum do exactly what she wants unless it is dangerous.
I make tea, she drinks an inch, I remove it without comment.
She leaves the delicious home cooked dinner and an hour later is in the biscuit tin. No comment from me.
There is no way she does enough exercise, but she still gets around when she needs to.
She spills her tea on the carpet, I clean it up, preferably when she isn’t looking.
And so many more examples.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not holding this up as a superior method of care (it very obviously isn’t!) but just wondering if it might be something to try if you fancied a change.
P.s you are not doing it right if you don’t have to silently chant, bite your tongue, bite your tongue every now and then!
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,894
South coast
Ive started borrowing weassells parrot - the one that no-one else can see or hear and it sits on your shoulder and says all the things youd like to say, but dont dare 🦜

Alternatively, I go into another room and chuck cushions around
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
749
Ive started borrowing weassells parrot - the one that no-one else can see or hear and it sits on your shoulder and says all the things youd like to say, but dont dare 🦜

Alternatively, I go into another room and chuck cushions around
Thank you @canary, I didn't even dare mention the parrot, in case I sounded even weirder!