Gransnet forums


In praise of carers!

(34 Posts)
kittylester Sat 26-Oct-19 12:08:10

Some of you will know (because I keep banging on about it!) that I help run courses for people who are caring for someone living with dementia.

I am always in awe of the Carers who attend as they are all intent on doing their best for the people they care for.

They are usually funny, kind, helpful and eager to find ways to help their loved one.

Today I am even more impressed as dh has had a dreadful cold which has really floored him and I cant cope!

He usually opens the curtains and empties the dishwasher while I have a shower, get dressed and make the bed. Then he goes to get the papers.

I've had to do it all yesterday and today! Add to that making him drinks and giving him medication and I feel really hard done to and with no time to myself.

So, hats off to all you gransnetters who are doing it all, every single day.

And, heaven help dh if he ever really does need care!

sodapop Sat 26-Oct-19 12:51:00

I agree whole heartedly kittylester so many people going above and beyond. My daughter works for Dementia UK and is amazed at how family members step into the breach. God bless them every one .

boodymum67 Sat 26-Oct-19 12:53:44

I`ve needed full care for almost 20 years! Hubby did it alone for 11 and we`ve had others coming for 8 years.

I depend on him and these ladies immensely.

Without them I`d be lost.
Carers are the backbone of this country.

Let`s hear it for these heroes! Poor hubby is flagging!

Dillyduck Sun 27-Oct-19 09:36:06

I would urge all carers to join the Carers UK forum, lots of support, hints and tips. I've been a carer for 40 years, as my son was brain damaged at birth. Also cared for, in various ways, all four parents.

crazyH Sun 27-Oct-19 09:39:59

For all carers flowers

ninathenana Sun 27-Oct-19 09:54:12

For those that care for their own loved ones and those that are employed to be carers.
Heroes every one.

EllieB52 Sun 27-Oct-19 10:22:05

I ran a care service for nearly 30 years and my staff were absolute gems. Lovely to hear that carers are appreciated.

teabagwoman Sun 27-Oct-19 10:29:34

Having employed carers and been one myself can I also say that caring demands much more skill than is generally acknowledged. Hats off to carers everywhere.

jaylucy Sun 27-Oct-19 10:41:45

Friends of mine that have cared for relatives with dementia have usually either said that it is part of the vows they made when they got married or one said "if I didn't, who would?" Not just dementia, but after a stroke, heart problems and so on.
The ones being cared for unfortunately only go into a care home when the carer is exhausted or falls ill themselves.
I have lost count of those that have sadly only lived a short time after caring for someone for a number of years as well.

cornergran Sun 27-Oct-19 10:48:03

Yes, unsung heroes who often hide the reality of their struggle from others.

dragonfly46 Sun 27-Oct-19 10:54:15

I cared for my parents for 5 years. They lived close by but I could never rest in the evening because I was constantly called on to pick them up off the floor, clean them up after accidents, put them back into bed in the middle of the night and one time had to take my dad to hospital in the middle of the night as his catheter had come out. When my dad asked me to find a home for them I was sad but it was such a relief and I could then again enjoy their company without the stress. My dad died aged 97 last year and my mum is going strong at 99 but has severe dementia.

I admire people who carry on uncomplaining especially young people who should have their own lives to lead.

Witchypoo Sun 27-Oct-19 10:57:49

When husband died i felt totally useless. All this time on my hands. What do i do now. Still struggling over a year later

Liz46 Sun 27-Oct-19 11:05:15

Witchypoo, I remember reading about an organisation (maybe Age UK?) who want visitors for housebound people. Would you feel able to do something like that?

kittylester Sun 27-Oct-19 11:18:21

witchypoo, the Alzheimers Society are always looking for volunteers especially for their Befriending and Side by Side service. Go on the website for branches near you.

Luckygirl Sun 27-Oct-19 11:50:25

boodymum67 - three cheers for your hubby!!

This thread is inducing a degree of guilt for me as I have just relinquished my caring role for my OH to a nursing home. Such a very hard decision and I am sad that I could not carry on, but I have my own health problems as well.

But the way I look at it, we took the right decision, and there is more than one way to care for a loved one. Finding the perfect place for them, visiting, supporting etc. all represent a different way of making sure that the person receives the best of care.

One big plus is that we can now have a better relationship. I make a point of never asking him about his bowels etc., but rather have normal friendly and happy conversations untainted by the need for me to insert a suppository! Others now take that responsibility and free me up to spend good times together.

I too take my hat off to those who soldier on with this challenging task at home; and to the good carers in homes who go out of their way to make the lives of those they care for special. I have been overwhelmed with the kindness of the carers in the home, not just to my OH but to me as well. They do a difficult task on a low wage, but still manage to smile, even when being asked to do the same things over and over again.

Lots of cheers and flowers for all who find themselves in a caring role - and remember to take time for yourself, even though that is hard to achieve.

Roses Sun 27-Oct-19 13:41:21

I cared for my husband for fourteen years, he had a public face and a private face,and it was very difficult at times dealing with the private face.
Everybody used to ask how he was and were full of concern for him.
On the odd occasions when someone asked how I was I knew that they had been in a similar situation and understood the mental and physical effects that being a carer can have .
Now I never forget to ask the carer how they are feeling and I can see that they appreciate it as I did.

Granny23 Sun 27-Oct-19 14:51:11

Not every carer is a sainted person who has willingly sacrificed their own life to become full time carer to their loved one. Many have the role of carer forced upon them simply because they are the only relative. friend or neighbour, who lives nearby or is available. The person needing care is not always a sweet old lady or doting grandpa, who is grateful for the care they receive. They may have always been cantankerous, domineering, aggressive or their illness may have caused them to become so. The main or sole Carer may have health issues of their own, other unavoidable commitments. Promises to share the care made by other relatives or agencies, have a habit of fizzling out very soon.

Kitty mentions the lovely carers who have attended her courses. This makes me very jealous, as during my 5 years of caring 24/7 for OH, I could so seldom attend courses or jollies for carers because no alternative care was on offer.

Rosina Sun 27-Oct-19 15:05:58

I feel a particular pang for the young people who care for parents or older siblings; sadly their lives are spent in a way that nobody would have chosen. Sometimes they seem to fall through the net and spend years without the normal life that a teenager - or even younger in some cases - should have.

kittylester Sun 27-Oct-19 15:54:58

The Carer's courses are run by the Alzheimer's Society and are for 6 weeks. They run alongside an activity group for the person living with dementia.

At least that is what currently happens in Leicestershire though obviously it depends o what is commissioned in your local area and the funding available.

kittylester Sun 27-Oct-19 15:59:51

g23, your point about people having caring forced on them reminds me of the woman on one of our courses who objected to the term 'your loved one' being used. She said that she should have left her husband 40 years ago and was now paying the price for not having the guts to do it. sad

We try not to use the term 'loved one' any more.

Oldandverygrey Sun 27-Oct-19 16:39:16

I am a carer for my husband and have been for a few years now. I take my marriage vows very seriously, till death us do part. That's not to say I don't have my off days because I do, but I consider it a privilege to care for him.

merlotgran Sun 27-Oct-19 16:50:26

I'm coming to terms with the realisation that I am now full time carer for DH who is suffering from heart failure - amongst many other ailments. This means we will eventually have to move as our very large garden and field are too much for me to manage.

Sadly our long term plans for support in the future had to be abandoned when our DD, who lived next door, died and the grandsons are quite rightly moving on with their lives so there is going to have to be a plan B.....If only I could work one out.

The caring bit is OK at the moment as DH doesn't need lifting and can shower himself so long as I am nearby. It's my anxiety over the future that's keeping me awake at night.

Thank goodness I am fit and healthy. Long may it last.

ALANaV Sun 27-Oct-19 17:04:16

I did so wish we had been able to have someone in to care for my late husband (Parkinsons, vascular dementia and the oesophageal cancer) people tend to think Parkinsons is just tremor and difficulty walking ,,,they tend not to know about the aggressive behaviour towards those who try to care. He refused totally any help at all except me, 24/7 and following several falls the docs said he was no longer safe at home so I had to find a care home for him which he hated …..and so did I. It cost me (he never saved a penny all his life !) nearly 4,000 Euros a month....I DID feel guilty but it was much better when I visited as we could spend time together playing his music and talking …….sadly he was also aggressive with the nursing staff but they said not to worry, they were used to it ! So, to all those still caring ...well done ...people do not realise how difficult it is unless or until they are in the same position. flowers

Brigidsdaughter Sun 27-Oct-19 18:28:11

As a carer for our late son for 18 years I have massive respect for carers of adults.

MawB Sun 27-Oct-19 18:50:18

Wishing you well Merlot - if you have decided to downsize it is the perfect opportunity to choose a “future proof” home, however hard they are to find.
Try not to worry about the future- I used to dismiss such thought as bridges we would cross when we came to them.
Well we came to them, and I think the outcome has been no better or worse than if we had worried ourselves sick. At least I hope Paw didn’t worry too much - I dissolved in tears though when I found he had done everything he could to protect my future. flowers