Should i care for my Mum full time?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Sue123, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. Sue123

    Sue123 Registered User

    Aug 30, 2014
    Its been a while since i last posted on here but i need help & advice about looking after my Mum.
    I work full time but care for her when i get home in the evenings & weekends when i can.
    Just wondering what financial help is available if i quit my job to be a full time carer?
    Carers allowance doesnt seem like much to live on & im not sure i would be able to survive on this without my wage.
    Mum is getting worse & i dont want to put her in a home. She currently has morning care but she is gradually getting worse & i feel i should do more.
    Any advice would be welcome as i feel i am out of my depth here.
  2. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    North East
    Financially speaking you will be much worse off I would imagine, plus you wouldn't have the "escape" of work that you may well need in the future. I would first of all see about increasing the carer visits. You have a morning visit to get her up and dressed i presume? how about a lunch time one to ensure she is given something to eat and drink and possibly another in the afternoon before you get back to ensure she has a drink?

    Worth a try xx
  3. sailorjon77

    sailorjon77 Registered User

    Jan 16, 2015
    care homes

    Hi Sue 123, I have just joined the society, so i am probably less experienced than you in all this. I can only tell you of my experience. If you look under the post by sailorjon77, you will see my own situation. I am retired, my wife is semiretired, so I do have time to look after Mum. However we have only had her in the home since november and the disruption has been quite considerable. We both are very outgoing people, and this has been the hardest hit. Personally I feel quite stir crazy! To get to the point though, it was my decision to have Mum with us as I felt such a responsibility. My wife went along with it ,but it is very hard on her.I think I may have made the wrong decision, but will have to stick with it for the near future.Think carefully about what you do. I was advised by the social services to consider a care home, but dismissed it. I am told that in the long run, most adapt to the care home life better than expected. Also ,if you give up your working life, the fall in income will be an added stress. If you fall ill yourself, you both suffer. Every case if different, so get good professional advice.
    I wish you best for the future, keep in touch, S/J
  4. sailorjon77

    sailorjon77 Registered User

    Jan 16, 2015

    Just read the post from Susy, whom I agree with, and it reminded me that we had carers going into Mums flat twice a day for meals ,washing and dressing etc. Some of them were good, some outstanding, but the times were erratic and I found myself going over there twice a day to check it. In the end, I, and my wife were doing a better job and Mum was less confused, hence moving her in with us. Either way though our lives from then on have been changed. S/J
  5. Sue123

    Sue123 Registered User

    Aug 30, 2014
    Thanks for the replies & advice. My Mum has meals on wheels as well so she gets something to eat whilst im at work.
    Im glad of the help from the carers but i sometimes feel they arent doing their job properly especially when i notice in the book that they havent given her a wash most days.
    I just feel so useless & think i could be doing more.
  6. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    East Kent
    Please take care and dont jump into full time caring without a lot of thought.
    If you give up work and havent paid in enough years of National Insurance contributions .think its 30 yrs but dont quote me, it will affect your state pension.
    I am a pensioner now, fortunately I had paid in enough years :) but If I didnt have my firms pension I would not be in such a good situation as I am now.

    I looked after mum virtually full time for her last few years , I have no regrets about doing so
    But boy was it tough .
    Their were times I went stir crazy, had to close all doors and had a good scream in the kitchen.

    I suggest you get as much help in before you even consider giving up work.

    It may seem to you that we are being rather negative about you giving up work , you see what we want is to ensure that if you do. That you go into it with your eyes wide open and have no regrets later on.
  7. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    I have given up work to look after my OH but I have enough savings to see me through for now. All I get is Carers Allowance but at least it gives me NI contributions so definitely apply for that. Depending on your savings you might qualify for other benefits but it might not get you a great living so definitely think long and hard. For me it was the right decision but it isn't for everyone so maybe try first to get more or better care or gradually reduce your hours to a level that suits everyone.
  8. Soobee

    Soobee Registered User

    Aug 22, 2009
    I don't think you should care for her full time if you would struggle financially. Looking purely in monetary terms, over 5 years of working part time or not working I have lost thousands of pounds and I think it's affected my long-term career prospects. Potential employers may well feel my record is patchy. I know that one of my employers took a dim view of part-timers.

    Looking at the social aspects, others have already advised you that you should not enter into this lightly and being a full time carer often affects both mental and physical health.

    If you get a good care home then you will find she thrives and gets better care and attention than at home. Care homes aren't all bad.
  9. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    One thing to bear in mind is that some people give up their jobs, assuming they'll be able to manage, only to find sooner or later - sometimes sooner since people with dementia can get worse quite quickly - that it all becomes comes too much, they are stressed out and exhausted. And the person goes into a care home anyway.
    But the carer may then find it very difficult to get back into the job market, especially if they are over a certain age, since there is so much prejudice against older people when it comes to recruitment.

    Just today there is a piece in the paper about mention of O levels in your CV damning you for job purposes. People who had no replies to many applications found that things improved once they re-named their O levels 'GCSEs'.
  10. opaline

    opaline Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    No, no and no!! Never! What happens if she dies and you're left with no job and probably not much of a life? I'm pretty sure if your mum was well she would insist that you didn't give up work especially if you enjoy your job. I'm in a similar situation as I work full-time and I'm main carer for my mum. I go to work to get peace, often working 6 days. Have spent 4 hours with her today and I'm ready to throttle her! She has carers come in at breakfast and lunchtime but she only gets a shower twice a week. As everyone says PLEASE think long and hard before you make a big mistake! x
  11. Ali1917

    Ali1917 Registered User

    Dec 31, 2014
    Hi Sue,
    I took early retirement at the beginning of Sept 2014 to help my mum care for my dad who has Alzheimer's, so I have a small pension and I get carer's allowance. I also have a small amount of savings. Having enough income for yourself is essential but I would say that having enough time for yourself is even more important. Caring full time has caused problems for me, even though it has only been for a few months and I was becoming resentful and making myself ill. With the help of others on this site I've taken a step back from full time care and I'm ensuring I'm doing something for myself now. There are no other carers involved with my parents at present, but I think I will look for bringing in outside help rather than going back to full time care. I think if you have to ask, you shouldn't give up work, even if you don't like your job, look round for something less demanding or part-time rather than give it up. Work keeps you in contact with others, gives you the opportunity for a social life and enables you to keep a perspective on the care your mum needs as well as that much needed income
  12. notsogooddtr

    notsogooddtr Registered User

    Jul 2, 2011
  13. Dustycat

    Dustycat Registered User

    Jul 14, 2014
    North East
    My advice. Don't. I gave up work to look after my parents 2 years ago. My Mum has since passed away and my Dad is now in care. I feel I lost 2 years of my life. The physical and emotional stress is enormous not to mention the effect on my marriage and other relationships. I only did 2 years but it felt like 20. Still struggling to reclaim my sanity. Good luck in whatever you choose but think carefully. Xx
  14. Sweet

    Sweet Registered User

    Jun 16, 2014
    I thought about giving up work at the beginning of mums illness, I felt so guilty leaving mum in her flat with occasional carers. She quickly deteriorated and is in CH now though.

    Looking back over the last 3 1/2 years I am really glad I DIDN'T give up work. I've managed the situation and found work somewhere where Ive had to focus on other things, which in the long run has been the best for both of us.

    Good luck in you decision, we all have different ways.
  15. mancmum

    mancmum Registered User

    Feb 6, 2012
    I gave up paid work to care for Dad

    I did this before I knew I could have asked to work flexibly. However, I think it has taken at least 2 years for him to settle in. I was able to do this because of huge support from my 3 kids (one slept on floor in front room for 5 months) and my husband.

    I thought I had enough pension years clocked up already ..and then they went and change the system and I found that at least four of my years were contracted out.

    My Dad would have been self funding and the trade off between this and my salary probably means overall that financially things will work out the same.

    He is happier and contented with us than he would ever have been in a care home.Although we are possibly about to try a week of respite. There have been huge pluses for my kids. No space for teenage trantrums in this house. You have to get on with it. A chance to explore more time with my father. Knowing that this is a family that cares for its members - priceless.
  16. elvismad

    elvismad Registered User

    Jan 8, 2012
    I am also on the brink of quitting my job. At 49 this is a difficult decision to make but the worry of mum being alone is too much. She has forgotten where her lunch club is due to the 2 week Xmas break and no one there wants to walk the short distance to pick her up. I am at breaking point. I spend half my time crying and the rest in a state of constant worry. I am sole carer and although I am close by I don't live with mum. I work full time 7 am to 5pm. I call in on mum most evenings and for a good part of the day Saturday and Sunday. I just can't find a way to make it all work. I look at mum and feel so guilty.
  17. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    I think the first thing to do should always be to ask for more help. Is there no transport bus that would collect her? If not, is there a sitting service that could walk her the short distance?

    Giving up your job entirely is a bold step and even if you do it you will need as much help as possible as no one can do this 24/7 on their own. My OH has day care and sitters without which I could not do this.

    Also, make sure you don't neglect your interests and social contact. I go to loads of carer forms and coffee clubs etc. If you don't look after yourself, you'll be no good caring for anyone.
  18. elvismad

    elvismad Registered User

    Jan 8, 2012
    The distance is literally a few hundred yards. All mum needs to do is turn right out of her block cross a small side street and she is might as well be a million miles. How do I find out about a sitter service? We are paying for a carer to take mum to SFTB once a week but that involves 4 hours care but mum does enjoy it. I can't bear to think of her sitting in alone all day.
  19. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    Elvismad, it's only a short distance to you, it must appear like a 100 miles to your mum. Get in touch with Alzheimer's society and find out what's available. Where I live there is Crossroads, the county family Carers, two villages have fully trained Carers available to help you and there is a transport service, How about a neighbour, maybe someone would walk mum to the lunch club.
    It seems such a vast step to give up your job at such a young age, there might be all kinds of knock on effects later ( pensions go instance). I still resent having to give up the bits of work I did, and I went on past retirement age
  20. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    I get sitting service through Age UK. I had to get additional help when OH didn't want to stay in waiting for the transport bus but often set off himself with no clue where to go as "you told me to meet you!" Social services agreed on a sitter every weekday morning between me leaving the house and the bus turning up - when he was still at the first day centre closer to home they even brought him there, after they just kept him company.

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