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Care & carers

Family health concerns

(8 Posts)
Elizabeth1 Mon 14-May-18 07:04:12

Why over the past few years has it been my responsibility to support various family members with their ever decreasing health problems?

There doesn’t seem to be a clear insight into my future plans without having to give up time and energy to my 3 sister in laws who have developed degenerating diseases.

It’s really sad to see these once active females in a substantial health decline.

Think I’m feeling sorry for myself any advice would be most welcome.

OldMeg Mon 14-May-18 07:48:23

Stand back Elizabeth. While I admire your selflessness I don’t think you have to be the first port of call.

Do these women not have husbands and children?

Make it clear what you can do to help and also where your boundaries are. Or you will be the next one with health issues.

Humbertbear Mon 14-May-18 07:57:13

Some of us find ourselves forced into the position of carers. I draw boundaries where I can but I have a very elderly mother, a husband with chronic health issues and an alcoholic sister (now in recovery) plus three grand children. I think many of our generation are in the same boat. One way in which I cope is by not taking on / supporting anyone else and by making time for myself. In particular I make sure I get some travel every year. But sometimes, to be honest, I just park my car in a side road and scream. Elizabeth1, you need to decide how much you can take on and draw some boundaries. Be kind to yourself.

M0nica Mon 14-May-18 08:43:54

I can offer no solutions, just sympathy. I went through a period in my life where I was the 'turn to' person for several childless couples in my own and DH's family. It was tiring, exhausting, mentally and physically.

I managed it because I had a supportive DH and children who cared for me and I had good reason to be very fond of all the people whose care I took on, so that supporting them was a way of repaying them for past kindnesses.

At the worst time, what kept me going was I that found a route to my elderly relatives home, that was entirely along country roads in high summer. The quiet beautiful 20 mile journey quietened my mind at the start and finish of each round trip.

Teetime Mon 14-May-18 08:50:41

Elizabeth1 the best thing you can do to support these ladies is to see that they have all their entitlements benefits etc and to encourage them to arrange their own carers through the appropriate channels. Its too easy to want to help and find yourself trapped and then as another poster said ill yourself. You are not Florence Nightingale reborn. smile

Panache Mon 14-May-18 09:01:43

Perhaps Elizabeth you have been the one that reacts and supports these others the most, and then,sadly,all too often these people soon realise which "port" they can turn too when another storm arises.
You may have made yourself far too available and need to accept only so much, and then happily get on with living your own life.

I have always been that one all family and friends turn to to off load and so I fully understand.

Yes you have strong shoulders and a big heart perhaps.........but when everyone comes a calling,needful and searching for answers and yet more support, you will find it draining of your own resources.

I know I did..........but could not stop .......feeling I would let down too many people.

I think, in your instance you now need to make some boundaries and clear guidelines as to how far your own resources can stretch out to help these unwell and needy folk.
Look around.I feel sure the others equally able and qualified to offer various modes of help.
Do not allow all this to build up within you because...............please believe me, as one whom will end up empty,quite void inside after all has been systematically drained over time.

Get this sorted for your own good.

Good Luck.

Jane10 Mon 14-May-18 09:12:00

Elizabeth1, having met you at various GN events which you have organised (superbly), it seems to me that you are one of those people that others naturally turn to in time of trouble. Your kindness and capability shine through.
Could you perhaps show the others in your family that you need some support yourself? With the practical side of caring for all these others as well as the emotional side. You're not superwoman you're you and can't be expected to just carry on increasing the load on yourself. Good luck.

Elizabeth1 Tue 15-May-18 14:25:50

Thank you kind folks you’ve only reinforced my own involvement and the need to distance myself appropriately before I get drawn into a void where it’ll be me next. You are surely a huge support in recognising where things could lead to if I’m not careful. Thank you all once again.