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Care & carers


(5 Posts)
BizzieB Tue 05-May-20 11:06:39

I have a neighbour who I have 'supported' for 2 years though I recently bailed out. My dilemma is: my neighbour, who is 85 is very dependent. She isn't physically infirm. She is able to walk - when she choses which is rarely, she can cook, but doesn't anymore, she can care for her home, but doesn't. And this is probably the crux of the matter: she can, but resists/refuses to do anything to help herself. S. said, right from the beginning that she wanted to be cared for 24/7 and she pretty much has that.

Unfortunately, as lovely as they can be, shortage of time means that the carers do everything for S because it's quicker & easier, and that has contributed to my issue because I think such care, well-meaning as it is, creates dependency. One or two of the carers actually said that 'the more you do for S., the more she wants you to do.

S. had a couple of falls, one requiring hospitalisation though no injuries were ever found. I think her mind 'splits off' so that she can actually 'believe' that she has an injury when she doesn't. I think this is probably a psychiatric condition.

Her main issue is anxiety/depression controlled with medication. It took a few months but eventually the meds stabilised her mood. Unfortunately, although she has received psychiatric management she seems never to have been taught how to self-manage her anxiety, though it may be that she is, as with many things, resistive to doing anything that might help her.

I am 76 and have fibromyalgia & dysthymia & anxiety, and having suffered these since childhood, recognise how intrusive such conditions can be. I often sleep poorly and constantly being 'on call' as it were, made that worse. I suppose the up and the all of it is that I resent supporting someone who can do most things for herself, and that makes me feel enormously guilty because I think I should have continued to support her. In truth, this lady is only happy when surrounded by people. She went to a Day Centre 3 times a week and loved it.

And now I feel selfish for blogging this.

rachaelc Thu 14-May-20 18:01:13

@BizzieB! Don't feel guilty, we are all allowed to feel how we feel, especially right now! That does sound tough. You are right that it might be better if she did try to do more things herself. Maybe she is missing the day centre? Sounds like you are doing a great job supporting her.

Oopsadaisy3 Thu 14-May-20 18:50:02

Bizzyb I honestly think that you’ve done your bit, you aren’t well either and it’s time to look after yourself.
It sounds as though your neighbour has had so much help that she really hasn’t had to try to do things on her own .
Time for you to take care and have a break.Please don’t feel guilty.

sodapop Thu 14-May-20 20:17:46

I agree, time to look after yourself now Bizzieb you have helped your neighbour for a long time. S needs to understand your health issues now. Don't feel guilty at all.

wildswan16 Thu 14-May-20 20:24:37

I think you have supported this lady wonderfully well, and it hasn't been an easy relationship by the sound of it.

Your first responsibility is to yourself. That is not being selfish or uncaring - it is the right thing to do.

If your neighbour approaches you with any request then firmly say you are unable to help any more as you are not well enough. Keep repeating the same sentence as often as necessary as there is no need to elaborate.