• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Your tips: what would you say to someone who's struggling to be the 'perfect carer'?

mickeyplum

Registered User
Feb 22, 2018
169
0
Just as there is no such thing as a perfect parent, there's no such thing as a perfect carer.
It's important to take a few minutes every now and then to look in the mirror and give yourself a pat on the back, be proud of how you're trying to do your best even though times are tough, forgive yourself for any times you've been impatient, and remind yourself just how special carers are.
 

Birdseed

Registered User
Nov 28, 2019
24
0
Hucknall Notts
You are a Carer because you care. But don't let it continue to the point where your own health suffers. Many Carers feel guilty if they have to get help, or even move their loved one into a care home. I cared for my husband and was determined to continue. But when he lost mobility and even with Carers arranged I couldn't lift him if I was on my own, nor were they allowed to. Way back, we both agreed a care home was to be avoided, but actually he is happier, safer, and isn't aware that he's in the home. Try to be detached and practical when these stages are reached. I will always miss him at home, but I only realised how difficult it had been when he had moved to the home.
 

BLONDY

Registered User
Oct 29, 2011
82
0
2000 MILES AWAY
All you need is patience and love. When the person you care so much about is cruel or unkind just remember that it is not them talking it’s Mr Dementia the altered brain. You know in your heart the person would never say things that would hurt you so much. So put the smile on your face humour them and find a distraction. Just be kind.
 

Whatmalike

Registered User
Aug 20, 2018
24
0
There is no such thing as the perfrct carer as each day is different .
We found that asking what do you want for lunch is difficult to comprehend.
Better " We are having a nice boied egg today with toast" That way they don't feel obliged to try to make a conversation, which is sometimes difficult for them.
 

daddykins

Registered User
Jul 14, 2012
149
0
Portland, Dorset
I agree that there is no such thing as a 'perfect carer'.
I have cared for my wife of 57 years for the last 10 or so, firstly with heart problems, pacemaker, then diagnosed with vascular dementia, then major surgery which resulted in a stoma and recently diagnosed with arthritis in both hips and lower spine.
Fortunately both the heart problems and stoma are stable as far as they can be, but the arthritis is seriously impinging on mobility which has put an added burden on my day.
So how do I cope with all of this, I moan to any and every body, surprisingly it helps.
My stock answer to the question " how are you" is 'well I woke up this morning, so that's a plus, but it may and will go down hill from there'.
There are the other 'little' problems that have arisen during the pandemic, PPE. I need gloves when changing the stoma pouch and from day one they were rarer than hens teeth, to the extent that some I tried to order from my normal supplier, back in April 2020, and told it would be November before delivery. So I moaned and scrounged a lot and finally someone in the local council took note, not just from me I hasten to add, who now supply PPE to unpaid carers, and will continue to do so until March next year, which is a godsend and one less problem to worry about.
I cannot wait for 'proper' respite care to become available again, we were offered 'isolated' care, remain in room, no mixing or outside exercise, which would have been disastrous for her .
So rant over, there is not such person as a perfect carer, its a myth.
So carers just grit their teeth, force a smile and carry on, waiting for that golden moment when they can escape for an hour or so and do something for themselves without feeling guilty.
 

HarrietD

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 29, 2014
6,705
0
London
Thank you everyone for your honesty and insights - your comments really show that the so-called 'perfect' carer doesn't exist. As many of you have said, doing what you can is more than good enough. Thanks again everyone.
 

mickeyplum

Registered User
Feb 22, 2018
169
0
As I’m new I hope I am able to reply here? I would not have called myself my husband’s carer but as his vascular dementia develops [at this point he is still able to do a lot for himself….but nowhere near what he could do 6-8 months ago] I realise I am doing a lot more for him.
Small tasks like reminding him what day it is or even what time it is and I do most of the cooking now [he used to do most of it] and I do most of the shopping, all of the banking/ordering and managing the house. We still share the gardening.. it Gives us a lot of joy.
for me the greatest challenge is not to panic when something goes wrong and not to lose my patience with him..so a long way from a perfect partner/carer.. I know it will continue to deteriorate as time passes… this is my greatest fear because I never want him to be anywhere but at home..
as yet I haven’t asked for any support and I do have wonderful friends who are very thoughtful towards us. I just miss having a day to myself and a bit of freedom. My husband will say I’m fine on my own but I don’t want to leave him for more than a very short amount of time. We don’t have any family living nearby so it is hard.
I think trying to be a perfect carer is impossible….I don’t have all the answers, however little by little we are both adjusting to all the changes….there is a huge sadness because I have lost [or am losing] the person I have known since I was 19..I will be 68 soon and I think he is frightened by what is in front of him. A horrible disease!!!
 

mickeyplum

Registered User
Feb 22, 2018
169
0
EllieS I'm further down the line than you ( 7 years). I am 87 and carer for my husband 93, and we've been together for nearly 70 years. I have found a lot of support and good advice on Talking Point though every case is different. I sift out the advice which can make things easier for me.
You sound like you are doing a very good job but as you say things will get harder as time goes on. Try not to panic - easier said than done, I know.
I found it important to give lots of reassurance especially in the early stages when he was worried about his memory. If he couldn't remember something I would just say that I also forget things and not to worry it's not important and our brains get older like everything else. I may be wrong but I think it causes more stress talking about old times when they struggle to recall.
My husband is at a different stage now where I just live in his reality and agree with whatever he says. I do things for him that I never dreamt I would be doing but I always try to keep in mind that he's a poor soul he is and deserves the best I can give him. Some days I cry and struggle with my feelings but I try to pick myself and give myself a pat on the back and know how lucky he is to have married me. My best wishes to you
 

Catastrophe

Registered User
Feb 15, 2019
72
0
Spent today thinking about this one. Obviously there can never be the perfect carer, nothing life is perfect. Here are some of my thoughts that I wish I had known 4 years ago.

Step back, don't get pulled into their world and delusions.
Be realistic. You can't solve their issues or delusions. You can just do what you can.
Feel free to say no. They maybe ill, but you are still entitled to do things your way. Stay firm, they won't like it, but it's for their benefit in the end
Accept you will get sworn at, shouted at, and emotionally blackmailed. As dementia grows so can the emotional manipulation.
Put yourself first so you can stay resiliant, and not resentful.
Deal with the here and now, because the tomorrows will not be what you expect so why worry.
If you need to do something do it now, tomorrow the **** might hit the fan and I mean that quite literally.
And the hardest one of all, ditch the guilt. You don't need it, it does no good and whatever you decide to do it will still be there. So wave it goodbye.