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Care & carers

Carers are wonderful people

(42 Posts)
supernana Thu 05-May-11 18:12:33

I have been working as a cleaner to an elderly bed-ridden lady of 104. She has not enjoyed good health for a very long time. The wonderful people who have truly cared for her, like me, are grandmothers. Each individual has brought sensitivity and tenderness into her final days. I am so proud of my caring friends and the difference they have made to a very special lady.

GrandmaLyn Fri 06-May-11 00:56:28

Thank you for being so caring. You and others like you are what we hope for in our old age. However, this is not the norm. I work in the NHS and have had direct, bad experiences with people looking after my father in lawand other relatives in their own homes. Frequently "carers" do not care. They are paid a minimum wage and have no respect for elderly people. As a pensioner and baby boomer I think the time is right for us to begin protesting as we did in our youth. We have seen so many changes and welcomed them that we should consider ourselves trail blazers. Treatment of elderly folks is awful. They've worked all their lives, paid taxes and National Insurance since 1948 and are treated as second class citizens. Things must be changed and we, as the increasing "grey vote" ,can do something about it. We're all ageing and we deserve better. Consecutive governments, instead of saving our contributions, have used them as income and are now telling us that we have spent our children's inheritance. We've paid for our future care and are now being denied it. In 2015 all pensioners will be paid the same but we who are in receipt of state pensions already won't receive the increase.

grannyactivist Fri 06-May-11 01:15:46

Well done Supernana. I visit a local nursing home once a month with a small group of Christian friends and the staff there are also an amazingly caring group of people. Some are young and English, others are from all over the globe; but all are dedicated and sensitive to the needs of the residents and when it's my time I'd be happy to book in.

mamarclaire Fri 06-May-11 11:37:19

We need more supernanas! I agree with GrandmaLyn though we need to stand up and be counted. We cannot ignore the fact so many older people are being neglected. The fact that many are discharged from hospital malnourished is an absolute disgrace. 30 years ago when my grandmother was in hospital following a stroke we had to take it in turns being there to feed her otherwise she wouldn't have got anything - can't believe we didn't complain at the time but we didn't and of course if people don't complain then it gets accepted as the norm angry

GrandmaLyn Fri 06-May-11 23:07:36

There are very many supernanas out there, thank goodness. However, when we see or receive poor treatment we must complain vociferously. Things are not changed by reasonable people. I wrote to the Chief Executive of an NHS Trust regarding the unacceptable treatment of an elderly aunt, to no avail. Contacting her MP brought things to a rapid, satisfactory conclusion. Complacency doesn't work

daddydaycare51 Sat 07-May-11 01:56:09

Hi I'm a dad of 11 children ages range from 29 all the way down to 8 and a grandad of 10. I have been a single dad now for 7 and a half years. I have the 4 youngest children ages 8 , 9 , 11 and 13 still living at home I am also a full time carer for my 11yr old son who suffers fro a condition known as EPIDERMOLYSIS BULLOSA.
Carers are the unknown workers that the government forgets about angry, carers save the government millions and millions of pounds every year.

supernana Sat 07-May-11 13:28:43

We applaud you, are a true gentleman...

supernana Sat 07-May-11 16:58:54

At the moment I'm fit-ish and totally with-it [mind-wise]...three score years and ten and happy and busy as a lark. If and when I should ever reach a very "bad place", I would like to be helped to slip away in a peaceful and dignified manner - and not have my nearest and dearest punished for my decision. What do others think?

Grumpyoldwoman Mon 09-May-11 09:49:47

Is anyone else (like me) a full time carer for their would be good to share ideas and suport.

smiley Tue 10-May-11 09:12:50

Totally agree, I am carer for my husband (suffering terminal cancer). He has aleady made arrangements to spend his last days at home with the family around him. I hope I willl be able to do the same when my time comes. He is amazing living life to the full despite his illness, I will be happy if I can match his courage.

supernana Tue 10-May-11 13:21:13

smiley...your husband certainly was lucky to have found himself a marvellous wife...

bikergran Tue 10-May-11 15:51:11

your husband sounds like an inspiration...and trying to enjoy his days..I hope you manage to keep smiling as you both sound like you enjoy life....take care [smile]

Catkins Tue 10-May-11 21:04:55

I was my husband's full time carer for 12 years until last October when I sadly lost him.If I can be of any help or support to you Grumpyoldwoman or Smiley or anyone else,please ask
I know what you are going through,it is not an easy life being a carer and it is comforting if you have someone to turn to if the need arises.
You are doing a magnificent job Daddydaycare,unfortunately governments do not care about carers.
I was receiving a carers allowance until I started my state pension,they took my allowance away from is disgusting the way carers are treated.I could go on all night on this issue but I do not want to send you all to sleep.

bikergran Tue 10-May-11 21:24:27

Hi Catkins

You must have and had many experiences over your time looking after your husband both mentaly and physicaly, im sure you will be of help to many,I look after my husband as a wife/partner does, my husband is not bed ridden now, although was 2 yrs ago when we thought he would never recover, but he is now up and about all be it slowly, he still has some of his sense of humour lol. good days /bad days (more bad than good) but we still laugh when we can, he cant walk about too much these days, but is doing ok but will never get better he is 76 im 55. But we are off to Bury Market tomorow for plants..just charging up the scooter battery ready for the jaunt.Hope you are finding comfort from some where.take care Sue [smile]

nannyeileen Tue 10-May-11 21:47:58

I am a carer for my Mother who is 95 in September. She is registered blind, asthmatic and now arthritic, but she is a wonderful person and never gives in to her conditions. I have been with my mother for all my life other than 4 years when I was married, part of my maritial life was spent living with my parents, I am now nearing 70, so it is a very long time.
I am still her little girl and she still tells me what to do, at times it does get under my skin because I have no privacy, she even comes to the toilet to me to see where I am!!! I feel very guilty about feeling like this as she has been wonderful over all the years I have been there, but this mother and little girl syndrom has always existed, she is a very strong minded woman, a Matriarch in fact,

I moved house with her to be by my sister for help and support, but then I found that she was telling me what to do and telling me how to behave with mom.

I quickly went downhill very fast, wound up going to relate, but things really got worse and there was an eruption, which involved my family.
I am now on antidepresants, but because of the mega blow up, my sister has now backed off and things are now getting better with my family.

I cannot go anywhere without my mother except one night for skittles (a more recent activity), but she does not like being alone (and really who can blame her).

My Grandchildren are my saving grace, I am trying to move closer to them as they live quite a way away, I have them school hols, as daughter works.

I have started a topic, The wonder of being a Grandmum (Nanny)

The same applied to me re; carers allowance.


Grumpyoldwoman Tue 10-May-11 23:36:07

Thank you Catkins,
I am so sorry for your
I have only just seen your post as my hubby took a turn for the worse last night and I had to call out a Doc thro' NHS 24. An hour later a nurse came out and put him onto an oxygen cocentrator.
Long story but he has Type 2 respiratory failure with only 35% lung capacity and sats for the last 2 weeks of 82-83%. We are waiting for a BIpap machine to be set up at home ...we always seem to be waiting for something...tests, CT & MRI scans etc etc. His condition is due to muscle problems not lung disease but he cannot do anything without getting very breathless and has very poor balance. I sometimes find it so hard to do everything as well as look after him and the girls are so busy with their families. I still like to help them out too....but sometimes feel soooo exhausted !!
DH gets Mobility (which we use for a car ..he has had to give up driving) + £19 a week allowance but I can't get a carers allowance because of my pension but we are OK.
It makes you realise why you vowed ''For better for worse, in sickness and in health''

Catkins Wed 11-May-11 22:54:18

Thankyou Bikergran,good to hear your husband is up and about,you must find life a little easier now he is not bedridden and being able to get out.
My husband suffered a severe stroke 12 years ago which left him wheelchair bound with severe speech and communication difficulties,I had to become a mind reader but I muddled through getting to know his little ways and what he wanted.
I must admit there were times when I was really down,I felt there was no life for me,all work,no play.I got in touch with Social Services and got a social worker who was a great help,she organised a sitting service for me,only a couple of hours two days a week and a few weeks of respite each year.At first my husband did not want to go into a home to stay for a week but I made him realise that if he did not go to give me a break,he could end up in there permanently as I would not be well enough to care for him.
I soon realised the importance of having some time to myself,it does help mentally and physically.
Also thankyou grumpyoldwoman,I am sure that is the wrong user name for you!!!!!!
I hope your husband is much better today,I can quite understand why you are exhausted,try to get half an hour to yourself and chill out if you can,sometimes that is easier said than done.
My husband had respiratory failure last year due to muscle problems and because of his disabilities he was confined to hospital for 15 weeks but he also had heart failure which unfortunately meant he was fighting a losing battle.
I used to try to help my girls out when I could but they realised the situation I was in and understood why I could not do all I wanted to, for them as I am sure your girls realise the same.
I am pleased Nannyeileen you have sorted your family out,you stand firm and don't be pushed around by others.It is a good thing you have your grand children,they can be the light of our lives,mine were.
I hope I am not boring you all with my chit chat,I am so pleased I found Gransnet,I feel at home here.

nannyeileen Thu 12-May-11 18:09:02

Thank you Catkins for your kind understanding and good wishes. It is only when you have experienced the difficulties yourself that it is understood. I need to be by my grandchildren because I don't know how I will cope when something happens to my mum. I won't know what to do without her telling me (LOL), seriously though I really don't know how I will handle it, we have been together so long.


meandmine Thu 12-May-11 20:09:15

I have been a carer for my son most of his life, he is now 35. He is blind, has a severe learning disability, challenging behaviour and suffers from depression.
My families life has been a complete hell, not because of our sons disabilities, but because we have had to constantly fight for every service he needs. Now with the local authority cutbacks social work services are trying to claw back money by cutting his care package.
The ongoing stress of having to live like this has had a terrible effect on our physical and mental health. My son now has his own home and has made tremendous progress over the last year, because of the wonderful support service he has, with challenging behaviour reducing, a better quality of life and he has been so happy which has made us happy too.
Now because of the cutbacks all this is going to change and we know all the progress made will be lost because of staff cuts.
I am so tired of fighting and don't want to live like this anymore, I wish I were dead so that I could have some peace. Carers are wonderful, they give up so much for others, sbut I feel so weary and cannot see that things will improve, I feel it's not worth going on anymore. Please don't tell me to get advice about my son's rights, I've tried that and Human rights are not automatic for the disabled, just another thing to fight for.

Angelwispa Thu 12-May-11 21:46:01

meandmine my heart goes out to you and to others who are also going through similar circumstances and may be feeling the same as you. Carers are wonderful courageous and selfless people who give their time because they care and love. Your son and family are very, very lucky to have you and would miss you dearly if you were not around anymore. I'm not going to tell you to get advice about your son's rights, but you very clearly need some help for yourself, please speak to someone you trust about how you feel, maybe you have an understanding healthcare professional you can speak to or a counsellor that you can talk to. Is there a group of other carers that you can get together with for support. Life can be very tough, challenging etc. but you are clearly a very strong person to have got through the last 35 odd years in the way that you have, and I applaud you for your strength and courage. I'm sure that there are others here on Gransnet that can empathise with what you are going through and that they would be willing to be a listening ear.

Catkins Thu 12-May-11 22:08:53

Hello Meandmine,I am so sorry to hear your son's circumstances are changing for the worse because of the cutbacks,please do not despair,try to keep going for the sake of your son,he needs you to fight in his corner,
It is only a suggestion but Age UK is an organisation that may be able to help or advise you,they offer their services to anyone over 50 which would be you and as you have duty of care for your son because of his disabilities,it may be worth a try.Each county has their own group responsible for that area,you may be able to find their local phone number in your directory or try their local charity shop.
There is an on line site.
I have a friend who is in the same situation as you,her disabled daughter's welfare is suffering because of the cutbacks,she has been pestering our local MP,she has turned to Age Uk for advice.
I do hope your problem will be resolved to give you back your peace of mind.Stay strong,we are all here for you.

GtGran Fri 13-May-11 08:11:18

I am one of the grandparents who over 20 years has had to take on grandchildren. This we do and dont begrudge the love and care we give but we deserve abetter deal with financia support. I now have my grown foster childs teenage child living with me and getting a decent supportive financialpackage is soul destroying. In reply to emails stressing the difficulty I get emails telling `me I am doing a good job. I do not want patronising comments I want as other grandparents in my position do enough money to buy him shoes without it becoming a catastrophe.
If my grandson had gone into the care system it would have cost the borough thousands and done him no good. If throw the towel in he will go to a hostel and receive £40/50 per week and drift about.
Also of course I will still be morally responsible for clearing up any financial or emotional messes he gets himself in.
A damaged teenager needs support and structure not a hostel room.And if one more person tells me to put him the army I will scream.
A comparative look at the costs of family care and the care system is long long overdue

meandmine Fri 13-May-11 09:11:04

I know everyone means well but I have tried so hard to get help and advice in order to get the best care for my son who is extremely vulnerable. My son was put on Care Programme Approach in 2008 because his Learning Disability Specialist was very concerned about the care he was recieving at that time, No one seems able to step in and just say to social work services, this mans care and support is really good now, it's what he needs and is working, keep it going. Instead they will cut staffing and his service will eventually collapse.
I feel so desperate, and so tired of all the worry and stress I lie in bed at night and think I can't face another day.

vanessalottie Sun 15-May-11 17:44:35

Hi all, New to this but here goes. I am a single parent with 5 grown up children and an 11 yr old with Special needs, 10 grandkids!! As with others on here it's always a struggle to get support and help with my dd but i am a lucky as my grown kids help, to be honest without their support i would be worn out, people just see a nice little girl (which of course she is) that seems to have no problems outwardly but the reality is on day and night basis it's really draining, what's a full nights sleep as i can't remember!!!

bikergran Fri 20-May-11 20:27:12

" meandmine " [smile] I hope you will continue to pop onto gransnet and have a chat, even chatting to people we don't know can help ease the burden a little, just to expres how you feel and air your thoughts, im sure there are many good listeners on here, take care Sue [smile]