I've read so many posts on here that contain the word "guilty", and there's currently 2 threads with this word in the title. There is only so much that a carer can do, especially if they don't have a large loving, willing and available support network of friends and family. In so many cases, it's the spouse, and just the spouse (or partner). Many of us on here are pensioners, without the energy of our 20s, 30s or 40s. Those that aren't, may well have dependant children to care for as well. People write that they feel guilty because they're tired of answering the same question, tired of cleaning up after their spouse, tired of the grind of night and day, tired of the lack of sleep, tired of their own work-horse "retirement", which bears no resemblance to the happy, carefree time they envisaged. I know we made our vows decades ago, for better or worse, in sickness and in health etc. But where did Alzheimer's figure in all this? Man Flu hadn't been invented in the 1960s, but when I vowed to love John "in sickness and in health", the "sickness" bit suggested that I might, occasionally, lay a cool hand on his fevered brow, gently smile and that he would grasp my hand, and look tenderly into my eyes, whispering "what would I do without you, my love"? There was never any suggestion that I would find myself living with a stranger, who would be violent, doubly incontinent, either volatile or completely silent, blame everything on me, reduce me to tears, ask "is it Thursday" every 20 seconds, and deprive me of sleep. That they would forget who I was, set fire to the kitchen, wander off, have to accompany me to the loo, because I couldn't leave him for a second, and have a glazed, bewildered look in their eyes, when I tried to make conversation. Yes, I too used to feel "guilty", but looking back, I reckon I was a saint! And so are all of you. So, just for one day, please try not to feel guilty, you lovely carers. AN ODE TO CARERS It's a hell of a load that you carry It's a hell of a road that you walk When that person you hungered to marry Is a stranger, unable to talk Or they shout or berate you - for nothing Or a blank look is filling their eyes Oh where is the person you loved for so long Cos this one you can't recognise Every day there's a battle to conquer Though you're weary and worn to the bone You struggle and weep, and long for some sleep But instead, you must trudge on alone So just for a day - don't feel guilty As you feed, clean, or help them get dressed I hope you'll agree, cos here on TP Dear Carers - YOU'RE SIMPLY THE BEST!!!!!!