I just don't know what to do

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by aquarius58, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. aquarius58

    aquarius58 Registered User

    Apr 28, 2015
    I'm a very strong and independent person. I am close to my family and friends. What's become evident to me is how much people depend on me.

    My friends and family all depend on me.

    My Mum, who is unable to do anything for herself and is mainly cared for by my Dad, is going into a respite nursing home. I'll be taking my Dad (86) away for a while. The bottom line is he is exhausted and so am I.

    Apart from all of that my adult children make demands of me. I like to help and I like being busy. But I've told them that I'm struggling to cope. They tell me I'm not and just carry on as normal.

    My sister asks for help. She does help with Mum and Dad too to be fair. But she makes demands of me.

    So do my friends. A friend contacted me to ask me whether I would like to go for a walk in Derbyshire one day. I said yes that would be nice. The next time she texted she'd booked two nights away for us to go walking for three days. I was so shocked. I had to decline and say that she said one day. She's not texted me since.

    Quite honestly I'm at the stage where I'm just crying almost all of the time. I can just about keep it together when I'm with people. But on my own I cry.

    All of these people know that we're struggling with Mum.

    I feel like I have no-one to turn to.
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    Welcome to TP. There is always someone here to talk to

    You are going to have to learn the two letter word that is so hard to use! NO!

    If you carry on you will be physically & mentally ill.
  3. aquarius58

    aquarius58 Registered User

    Apr 28, 2015
    I have started to say no to people but the shock for me is that I don't hear from friends again. So clearly they're not friends. But my family just say that I can cope and I should keep going or I'll just get old.

    I'm sitting here at the moment thinking that my only solution is to move away to where no-one knows me. Obviously I'll still help Mum & Dad :).
  4. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    Your family need a shake!

    Are you linked into your local carers centre? They can be very supportive.

    I also think visiting your GP would be a good idea.
  5. aquarius58

    aquarius58 Registered User

    Apr 28, 2015
    No I have never heard of local carers centre. I'll have a google and see what I can find out. Thank you for that.

    I'm going away for a few days with my Dad. I'll see how we feel when we get back. And visit my GP then.
  6. aquarius58

    aquarius58 Registered User

    Apr 28, 2015
    I've just googled the local carers centre. I don't think it's appropriate for my situation. I live along way from my parents and so travel over to help them.

    Also my Mum has CHC at home and so there are carers going in. But even they struggle to cope with Mum. The care company struggle to get carers to visit and sometimes no-one turns up.

    Mum is very dependent and aggressive/violent.
  7. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    I live in a different health authority to my Dad but I still get support.
  8. aquarius58

    aquarius58 Registered User

    Apr 28, 2015
    Ohhh OK thank you. I'll contact them then :).
  9. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    Remember it's not a weakness to accept help. It's how we stay strong.
  10. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    East Kent
    #10 lin1, Apr 30, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
    Hello, Welcome from me.
    I agree with Cat27. It is not going to be easy for you to learn to say No but you need to start now.
    Unfortunately you have had some fair weather friends, you really can do without that sort m

    I'm guessing that your family and friends has always seen that you cope and cope well , sadly just telling them your struggling may not be enough , you may have to let them see it for themselves.

    This may sound awful to you but you need to start doing something very important !
    put yourself first.
    Also start asking them for help.
  11. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    North East Lincs
  12. aquarius58

    aquarius58 Registered User

    Apr 28, 2015
    Thank you everyone.
  13. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    Please keep posting
  14. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    Fife Scotland
    Hi aquarious, welcome to TP, yes I feel like you sometimes, not only does mother have dementia, but my husband has parkinsons and this is also developing into dementia.

    I know sometimes I just feel like running away, shut the door and put the keys thro' the letterbox. But then I do love both of them. You will as cat says make yourself ill, I did last year was signed off for a month.......take time to be here , we can help, sometimes just hiding behind a name helps. ((huggs))
  15. aquarius58

    aquarius58 Registered User

    Apr 28, 2015
  16. uselessdaughter

    uselessdaughter Registered User

    Jun 8, 2009
    West Country
    Hi, I really feel for you. I have a very dear friend who is always the first to offer help to family and friends but she has also found that she cannot cope with it any longer as it is making her ill.

    I am sorry about the situation with friends but I am not sure what to suggest about that apart from what you have already started to do. Perhaps you could explain that you have a lot on your plate at the moment with your parents and that as soon as that situation settles things can return to normal with them. If they are true friends they will understand, accept and ask if there is anything they can do help YOU.

    Grown up children are a different matter. I never had children but I see my friends running themselves ragged helping out their families in a way I would never in a million years expected my parents to do. Once I was married my problems where for me and my husband to work out. Our parents would have been willing to help but our problems where not for them to solve. Young adults these days just don't seem able to stand on their own two feet.

    Anyway - off of my soapbox. You say that you cry a lot but manage to hold it together when with other people. I suggest that you cry in front of your adult children. Really bring it home to them that you cannot be all things to all people because it is making you ill. Saying that if you slow down you'll get old is a cop out to be frank. They are younger than you but expect you to help out because they are not coping with whatever. Until things resolve themselves with your Mum I suggest you tell them that you have to take a back seat with them. After all they are adults, not children. Tell them you love them and that you will help where you feel able but that, just at the moment, you need to ease off for a while because you need to recharge your batteries.

    Sorry if I have caused any offense, I do not intend to do so but as I said before I see what this sort of thing is doing to some of my friends.

    I sincerely hope you have a relaxing break with your dear Dad and you both return refreshed and determined to take on the things you feel able to take on and no more.

  17. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    Carers come in all shapes and forms, these organisations help all. All you need is one good friend to open up to. Be honest with friends and the one who really cares will be there for you and start saying no to your family.
  18. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    Aquarius - would it help you to work out which of these people you actually want to help? And in an order of priority?
    For example, if you're fed up helping your sister, then say no to her, very calmly and explaining that you are currently at breaking point and currently unable to take more on. (The currently may help them to see that perhaps this is not you withdrawing from them completely and taking it a personal insult.)
    You may find that you can only devote so many hours of your time to others a day. So first come, first served. You may find it easier to put aside x hours of each day for yourself, which will also restrict the helping out you can do.
    But you surely need to find a device to help others, which you seem to wish to do, without them taking over your life and exhausting you.
  19. cerridwen

    cerridwen Registered User

    Dec 29, 2012
    I agree with all the previous posts on here. Yes, you definitely have to lighten the load by saying NO a lot more.
    Regarding friends, well I am afraid some friends are just fair weather. I found that out when my Mum died last year and I was left struggling to care for Dad. One friend, whom I had supported for years, listening to her troubles and problems on the phone endlessly, virtually dropped me when I needed her most. So I don't see her anymore. we text occasionally and that's it. On the positive side, some friends and acquaintances have really surprised me with their kindness and generosity.
    Just remember that you are important. Make time for you, tell your kids no. Get the support you need from the professionals. We are here for you:)
  20. Mays Mum

    Mays Mum Registered User

    Apr 11, 2011
    Oh yes, PLEASE do look after yourself - by the time I had organised both my parents' funerals (Dad died 2 weeks after my Mum's) - I weighed less than 7 stone and the relationship with my non-helpful siblings had broken down completely.
    Be a bit selfish - make one day a week that is TOTALLY 'yours'. Contact the Care Group in both your own area and your parents' - they may be able to help in ways you never considered. Sometimes just 'comparing notes' and talking to people who know exactly what you are going through is really helpful.
    Just remember, you'll be no use to anyone if you're totally knackered and at the end of your tether! I used to stop en-route home from my parents, walk my dogs and cry and cry - the only way I could cope.
    I was kept sane by (in no particular order): a wonderful husband, two lovely Labradors, copious amounts of red wine and one very special carer.

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