"You have to look after yourself..."

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byrnedjp

Registered User
Mar 21, 2013
168
London
If i hear this again i swear ..............

its like saying to someone whos in Prison for life , "You should get out more"
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,012
Scotland
How do you do that when you are looking after someone else 24 hours a day! The people who say it do indeed mean well but it means nothing at all under our circumstances.
 

byrnedjp

Registered User
Mar 21, 2013
168
London
When a "Health Professional" says it to me thats when i get angry - they know full well what it takes to do this - its become a meaningless throwaway line to me.

Doctor/Nurse/Matron/Consultant/Specialist/Social Worker/Dementia Worker:

"You really need to look after yourself"

Me:

"ok , how?"
 

CollegeGirl

Registered User
Jan 19, 2011
9,525
North East England
I can see this from another perspective also, though. My dad puts my mam first every time, with no thought for himself. He tells me that he isn't important and my pleas for him to look after himself, too, by accepting more help, putting mam into the home more often for day care, etc, fall on deaf ears. But then he tells me how exhausted he is, how she's driving him crackers (his words) etc and I just don't know what to say or do. It's very frustrating and upsets me that he won't consider himself at all.

Perhaps that's what they mean.
 

Sootywren

Registered User
Jun 20, 2015
3
Ringwood, Hampshire
I guess what people mean is that you need to take your needs into account and not forget you have them. In effect they are giving you permission to not be selfless.

As a professional and carer it is easy to start putting others needs first. Forgetting that the one you care for is also affected when you do not take care of yourself. Sometimes we need for others to give permission. We also need to give ourselves permission to put ourselves first on occasion.
 

Lindy50

Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
5,239
Cotswolds
How do you do that when you are looking after someone else 24 hours a day! The people who say it do indeed mean well but it means nothing at all under our circumstances.
I agree. Today a nurse kindly asked me whether anyone was looking after me. Usually I would say something along the lines of 'I'm fine' but today I'm afraid it was 'No, no- one looks after me except my husband, and he's sitting with my mother to enable me to speak to you!' Not a good day....

I do think people mean well, but like others on here, I find 'looking after myself' really hard to do......xx
 

byrnedjp

Registered User
Mar 21, 2013
168
London
I genuinely think people mean well and i would probably say the same thing if i wasnt doing this - most people would.

But its impossible - you cant "look after yourself" if all your time is spent looking after someone else...

Somethings got to give and in a lot of cases its the carer

Ive given up looking in the mirror - it shows too much
 
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Linbrusco

Registered User
Mar 4, 2013
1,603
Auckland...... New Zealand
i've been hearing this for the past 11 yrs since my husbnad was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He's been in remission for a good while, but as he no longer works and I work part time we are together a great deal.
Every few months we have a break from each other for a long weekend.
He catches the bus, and travels to see a friend 2 hrs away and stays with him and his wife.
A few months back he went to Australia to visit his sister and brother for 10 days, and I took 3 weeks long service leave. It was fabulous :D

But I am also caring for Mum now with AD and more increasingly Dad who has cognitive impairment. They live in their own house behind us.
My only respite is my 3 days at work. Even this is making Mum anxious, as she is at the stage where I seem to be the only one who can put her at ease. She has to have my days at work, marked off on her calendar, and then the days I'm at home.

On 1 of my days off Mum goes to an Alzheimers group for 2 hrs. The other day off I take her grocery shopping. Or either day off may be taken up with hospital or doctors appts.
Dad although with Mum 24/7, gets 4 days a week respite 2-4 hrs at a time from Mum.... I get nothing. My sister won't consider respite care, and the last time she took Mum & Dad for the weekend it was a disaster. Mum is at the stage where familiar surroundings especially at night are best. She also fell getting into the bath.
I find this infinitely harder than caring for my husband.

The " take care of yourself" is a slap in the face at this point in time.
 

Lindy50

Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
5,239
Cotswolds
i've been hearing this for the past 11 yrs since my husbnad was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He's been in remission for a good while, but as he no longer works and I work part time we are together a great deal.
Every few months we have a break from each other for a long weekend.
He catches the bus, and travels to see a friend 2 hrs away and stays with him and his wife.
A few months back he went to Australia to visit his sister and brother for 10 days, and I took 3 weeks long service leave. It was fabulous :D

But I am also caring for Mum now with AD and more increasingly Dad who has cognitive impairment. They live in their own house behind us.
My only respite is my 3 days at work. Even this is making Mum anxious, as she is at the stage where I seem to be the only one who can put her at ease. She has to have my days at work, marked off on her calendar, and then the days I'm at home.

On 1 of my days off Mum goes to an Alzheimers group for 2 hrs. The other day off I take her grocery shopping. Or either day off may be taken up with hospital or doctors appts.
Dad although with Mum 24/7, gets 4 days a week respite 2-4 hrs at a time from Mum.... I get nothing. My sister won't consider respite care, and the last time she took Mum & Dad for the weekend it was a disaster. Mum is at the stage where familiar surroundings especially at night are best. She also fell getting into the bath.
I find this infinitely harder than caring for my husband.

The " take care of yourself" is a slap in the face at this point in time.
Linbrusco, I am sorry things are so difficult for you at the moment. You certainly have a lot on !! Might it be possible for you to access at least a bit of respite? It seems wrong that you are the only person not getting 'time off' at the moment xx
 

Lindy50

Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
5,239
Cotswolds
I can see like collegegirl from another side, my mum does all she can for my dad , forgetting herself, when asked if she is ok...yes fine , even when I know she isn't , push her and she is in tears not coping .
I know you are all fabulous carers and it takes so much of your time. but please if you can say no ..I'm not ok to someone , anyone , talk to someone ..please do , don't tell us you are fine , we can only push you so far, we don't want to force you any which way, talk to us ...
Opinion of a daughter xx
Funnily enough, Kerry, I have just got off the phone from my elder daughter who lives in London. She worries about her nan, but even more so, about me. She has just sobbed for about half an hour about the unfairness of it all, how she wants to help but can't, etc.

I told her that she is supporting me just by caring, and I mean that. I bet your mum appreciates your care, too :) xx
 

tryingmybest

Registered User
May 22, 2015
626
People just dont understand if they're not caring for a loved one at home 24/7. The only time I get to myself is 20 minutes on a Wednesday afternoon whilst the hairdresser washes and blow dries mums hair lol. My friends just don't understand why I cant go out anymore with them or even pop in for a quick chat and drink. I keep telling them my life is very different now but they just don't understand that I cant leave mum. Xx
 

cwmnyscoy lass

Registered User
Oct 6, 2014
1
Empty gestures

People who make such comments undoubtedly mean well but in reality it's just words.
'If there's anything we can do to help you only have to ask' is another empty gesture because of course most of us won't ask. Wouldn't it be nice if instead of telling you how tired you look and that you have to start thinking of yourself, someone offered to take your dependent off your hands for half a day, or dare I say, a whole day .......sheer luxury! How can I look after myself when I don't even know who that is anymore.
 

Lindy50

Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
5,239
Cotswolds
Hello cwmnscy lass and welcome to TP :)

I hope you find this forum helpful. Sometimes it helps just to write things down:) there are also lots of really knowledgeable people on here and you can ask anything you like....

Look forward to seeing you posting :)

Lindy xx
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,774
Salford
I took my wife for her 6 monthly memory assessment today (didn't go well) and got asked the usual question "do you want a carers assessment" I asked "is there any point" and her face said it all. Unless you turn up with a rope and a wobbly stool then nothing is going to happen. It make you laugh when you hear all the politicians speeches about all the things they're going to do, the reality is unless you really are at the limit nothing is available. Simply it would cost so much money that getting us to do it for free is much the preferred option.
K
 
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