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Care & carers

Caring for everybody?!

(37 Posts)
TillyWhiz Thu 11-Oct-18 09:49:06

Do other carers find that despite being aware of what you have to do, people will suggest you do something for them? I've had a right week of it, even from a so-called Carers' Cafe! How do you deal with it? My problem is that I am always so taken by surprise by the suggestion.

Bridgeit Thu 11-Oct-18 10:08:09

Yes, I understand what you are saying, it is because helpful people are just that, which makes it much easier for others to ask for more & more knowing that they are unlikely to have their request refused.
You are obviously a nice helpful person, but you need to have a phrase ready in your head to handle these situations.
Mine is ‘ I am really sorry but on this occasion I won’t be able to help’
It gets easier to do & they will become more respectful of you & your time. Best wishes , dont forget you & your time is as equal and as important as anyone else’s.

Welshwife Thu 11-Oct-18 10:25:25

Does nobody offer to help you instead?
I am not in your position but I think that is very uncaring of people knowing what you do to ask for more. As Bridgeit says get a reply ready for these times.

Jalima1108 Thu 11-Oct-18 10:34:10

Tillywhiz don't they say 'If you want something done, ask a busy person'.

As Bridgeit says, you will have to learn to say 'no' in a polite but firm manner and with a smile

TillyWhiz Thu 11-Oct-18 11:21:51

Bridgeit Thank you, that is a lovely phrase to use, just what I need I think. After such a week, I put a Post-it note by the phone with a big NO on it but that seems too unkind!
Welshwife I'm lucky in that there are several Carers' Cafes round here so I will try to join another one further away. It's such a shame but the local one is now full of noncarers or past carers who have needs of their own and are not interested in offering me any support.
Jalima1108 You're right, be prepared for attack instead of surprised!

Bridgeit Thu 11-Oct-18 15:20:29

👍You are welcome TillyWhiz and you can do it just think of us Gransnetters on your shoulder 😁💐

fourormore Thu 11-Oct-18 16:14:29

Good luck Tillywhiz- I've been along the same road.
The more you do, the more, certain people, demand of you. As a carer you have more than enough to cope with but I was asked once - "Who cares for you?"
Sadly I had no answer at that time but it is so very hard to say 'No' isn't it?
Once you have refused a few times it does get easier - that is until the feelings of guilt set in!
Just feel the support of us all!

Lazigirl Thu 11-Oct-18 18:33:12

I think a Carer's first duty is to care for themselves, and guilt should not come into it, self preservation is important. I felt the same Tilly but I once I started to say no it got easier after a bit, and the sky didn't fall in! Feel less stressed now. Good luck.

TillyWhiz Thu 11-Oct-18 21:21:32

fourormore, lazigirl You are right, the guilt is there, mainly because I am so aware of the problems these people have. But then I must remember I have one too! Thank you for your support.

Sielha Tue 30-Oct-18 23:09:33

I suspect that you’re regarded as being a strong person and therefore able to handle anything. As so many on here have said, you need to take care of yourself properly, emotionally, physically, mentally, if so much is being demanded of you. You are important too.

gillybob Wed 31-Oct-18 07:19:48

TillyWhiz My late mum had a saying “they only flog the willing horse” which I never used to understand . But I do now. The more I do the more I am expected to do and I have never learned to say the “no” word .

EllanVannin Wed 31-Oct-18 07:43:58

I've been one of those " willing horses " for most of my life and have been involved in all manner of situations but last year,my 77th, I really had to call it a day after having attended to my next door neighbour whose husband had dementia. I'd been called upon at all hours of the night and day for nearly 5 years until a mini-stroke told me that enough was enough. The couple are now in nursing homes and this last few months of respite for me has been bliss--------only trouble is,I'm well enough now to again handle anything which comes my way instead keeping my head down. Refusing is alien to me which is probably down to the nursing career that I had.

Humbertbear Wed 31-Oct-18 08:23:44

The HT of my girls’ school gave an annual assembly talk on the saying ‘ if you want something done ask a busy person’. We all have to learn to say ‘no’ and look after ourselves.

MawBroon Wed 31-Oct-18 09:05:30

TillyWhiz you need to practise the following lip movement
Purse your lips as if to whistle or blow a kiss, put your tongue against the roof of your mouth to make a “n” sound and then carefully articulate an “o”
Got it?
“N” - “o”
If you need thinking time, say you will need to check your diary/calendar/ horoscope (just joking) but seriously, “Love to but...totally committed for the foreseeable future”

TillyWhiz Wed 31-Oct-18 09:31:48

MawBroom Ooh you did make me laugh! So I'm very pleased I've already used the 'I'm very sorry but...' already and I can see another pending.

Luckygirl Wed 31-Oct-18 09:37:47

I am always coaching one of my DDs with a sentence to say whenever asked to do something else. "Ah - that's an interesting idea - I will give it some thought and let you know." Repeat after me..........."

Dockersgirl1955 Wed 31-Oct-18 09:42:53

I was very much like you even if it meant going out of my way but I found it extremely hard to say no so I never did and suffered for it. I was with a friend one day and she said to me if anyone asks for help to take a step back and say to yourself how is this going to benefit me. Will I feel better for doing this ? Or will I be left feeling used and abused. She taught me how to say no it gets easier however it took a long time before I said no without guilty feelings but it truly works. Try it

Sandigold Wed 31-Oct-18 09:52:04

I hope you do follow the polite refusal route. It is definitely necessary to have a clear boundary. Perhaps just say no to everything for at least a week....unless you really want to do it. By then you will have got quite used to it! Another way of saying it is with a preface... I'd love to do that but I'm not available etc.

Barmeyoldbat Wed 31-Oct-18 09:55:43

Good luck Tillywhiz, just go for it.

Coconut Wed 31-Oct-18 09:55:53

I can only relate this to my elderly, infirm Mum who I take out to lunch every Friday. I always am given an increasing list of things to do, which I don’t mind to a degree, however ... she knows my timescales for returning home to pick up GS from school, and has a habit of dumping a last minute lengthy chore on me. I was late for him once and was so angry with myself for allowing her manipulation, that now I just do exactly as Mawbroon suggests ! My sister lives in Spain half the year and rarely gets asked to do anything when she is home, evidently she is busy ! Which I’m clearly not 😖

Deepem Wed 31-Oct-18 10:05:42

Don't feel guilty about not agreeing to help. I often quote the airline advice 'make sure you put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. It's not selfish to put your wellbeing first, it's essential so you can continue your role as a carer without burning out. ❤

luluaugust Wed 31-Oct-18 10:08:07

Oh Coconut you have bought it all back to me. TillyWhizz you sound as if you have more than enough to do, be kind to yourself and practice say NO, in a nice way of course.

Saggi Wed 31-Oct-18 10:34:50

Ive only recently learnt to say “no” to my daughter (re; childcare)...I also have an invalid husband to look after ....she was a little taken aback when I explained I needed some time to ‘do my own thing’ as I have a life as well as her! I’m sure she hadn’t given it a moments thought before. We’re ok and sorted with each other now and she had a greater respect for me I do I for myself! Say “no”

Squiffy Wed 31-Oct-18 10:38:39

TillyWhizz You can do it - say 'no' that is! Yesterday, I amazed myself by actually managing it! After spending most of my life bowing to the will - and whims - of others, I've finally had enough!

The situation wasn't a 'caring' one, but still necessitated a definite 'No'!

I was expecting a service engineer to call at mid-day, but the company rang at 9.00am to see if he could come at 9.30am instead. I was on the verge of saying, 'Yes, that's fine', when the penny finally dropped. It was OK to say, 'No, sorry, that's not convenient.' I agreed to his coming at 10.00am, as I was quite happy with that time.

A small step, but one that I'm not used to taking! wink

MawBroon Wed 31-Oct-18 10:50:24

“Let me get back to you” is another way of playing for time but for once honesty is not necessarily the best policy (“I’d rather stick needles under my fingernails than join your committee”, “I have a sports allergy so can’t help with the cricket teas” , “be responsible for the school play costumes? I’d rather be watching Strictly” and “Do I look as if I have MUG tattooed on my forehead?”)
No, deep breath, and look at calendar/not free that week/month/century/ other obligations, sigh. You could lie in your teeth and invite whoever to ask another time year by which time you can have filled your diary with important engagements such as coffee or lunch or shopping or watching Bergerac!
If it is family and you truly feel bad, I was always taught that a good way to say No is to offer something else for another date.