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Husbands carer

(14 Posts)
Gwan1 Mon 01-Nov-21 14:35:20

Hello,I've been my husband's full time carer for 20 years.To be honest,I am worn out and dont remember who I even am anymore.Anyone else feel this way?

Grandmadinosaur Mon 01-Nov-21 16:56:16

That is a long time to be a career Gwan1 and I really feel for you.
I am sorry I don’t have any expertise in this area but it sounds like you need to be in contact either with your GP practice or social services.
Do you have any family members who could help out do you have have a break for a few hours a week?
Take care.

Grandmadinosaur Mon 01-Nov-21 16:56:43

* so * you can have a break

Georgesgran Mon 01-Nov-21 19:44:58

There’s a thread I was reading about Attendance Allowance - maybe you could claim that and pay someone to sit with him? Obviously it all depends on his needs. A friend with Alzheimer’s used her allowance to fund a carer two days a week.

JaneJudge Mon 01-Nov-21 20:22:41

have you been in touch with your local carers uk organisation?

Gwan1 Mon 01-Nov-21 22:24:04

Thank you all for replying. I have terrible feelings of guilt if I were to leave him with someone. I guess this something I need help with.He is very selfish, has a placen at a club on Friday morning but wont go.I really need to look in to help as getting older and things starting to get me really down.Thankyou for advice,

Luckygirl Mon 01-Nov-21 22:38:31

I looked after my OH and have to be very clear with you - you matter! - you really do. Your life is important too.

I made quite sure that I made proper arrangements so that I could still go to choir rehearsals, for instance. I knew that if my life vanished it would be gone forever - and that my care of him would start to carry resentments that would have helped neither of us. And he knew this too, when he was first ill and still mentally intact.

You must rethink this whole scenario, if necessary by being really firm. Organise an outing for yourself on a Friday morning and tell him that he either goes to the club or has to be there by himself. I know it sounds hard and is breaking the habits of half a lifetime, but it is necessary because YOU matter too.

Do you leave him at all? - for example to go shopping.

Talk to family; talk to social services; talk to care agencies (if you are able to afford to pay for care) - just make the arrangements and do it.

The big hurdle for you is getting your head round th3e idea that you are allowed to have some life of your own; that you exist in your own right; that you are entitled to take care of yourself.

I was lucky in that I had family around me who backed me up to the hilt on this.

It was not because I did not care; it was because I knew I would be no use whatsoever to him if I did not also look after myself. All the stock phrases such as "you can't pour from an empty jug" are quite simply true.

Please look after yourself - it is allowed and nothing to be guilty about.

GrannySomerset Mon 01-Nov-21 23:26:35

Luckygirl knows whereof she speaks and she is right. I am trying to arrange additional help with DH and am up against the shortage of carers. I have a really painful back at present and the constant demands on it means it isn’t getting any better, so help with getting him up in the morning would be a life saver, but at present neither of the two agencies which cover our rural area can offer me anyone.

I have only really been so full time for the past eighteen months and am exhausted and quite appreciate the feeling of not knowing who I am so cannot imagine how you have survived so long. We don’t have local family but do have good friends and neighbours but there is a limit to what they can be asked to do.

Hope you find a way through this. It is very hard.

MissAdventure Mon 01-Nov-21 23:57:00

Are you claiming carers allowance, because if you are, it would be enough to pay for some help.
If not with your husband, then at least with the cleaning or other things that would help you out.
If you found the right person, your husband may come round to the idea of having someone to sit with him while you have a break.

Age UK have a befriending service, so they also might be worth contacting, because you just can't carry on like this - it's too long to take sole responsibility for someone else's needs.

agnurse Tue 02-Nov-21 01:51:20

Here's the thing.

Caregiver role strain and caregiver burnout are very real. We are seeing massive issues with health care staff being burned out due to the pandemic - and they're allowed to LEAVE at the end of their shifts.

Leaving the care situation periodically isn't selfish. It's about taking time to nurture yourself so that you can continue to give good care.

Consider this: if you were in hospital, would you want your nurse to have worked for weeks straight with no day off and no breaks? What kind of care would you expect to receive?

It may also be beneficial for your husband to be around someone new. It can help keep him from becoming isolated.

If you don't take time to care for yourself, your physical and mental health can suffer. If you become seriously ill, who would care for your husband?

Luckygirl Tue 02-Nov-21 08:46:21

Another thing to remember is that there is more than one way to care for someone: you can do it yourself, share it with others, or hand it over to others. In any of these scenarios you are still making sure that your OH has the care he needs - you do not have to do it all yourself. Arranging for others to do it is another way of discharging your perceived "responsibilities."

Shelflife Mon 08-Nov-21 09:02:46

Gwan , I was a Carer for my Mum , we moved her into our house. It is exhausting!! and I didn't do it for 20 years ! Please look after yourself , you must ' shout' for help as loud and as often as possible..If you appear to be coping you will be left to do it. Speak to your doctor and tell him/ her what impact this is having on your physical and mental health. If you can find a befriending service please take advantage of that . This may be someone to sit with your DH while you have a few hours to just be you. Or it may be someone to befriend you, an opportunity to off load ! Reading between the lines of your post I sense you are now reaching a a critical stage. Please don't feel guilty for feeling this way , you are important and getting older , you matter too!!!! I am thinking about you sending you big ' hugs' and 💐.

Hetty58 Mon 08-Nov-21 09:10:48

'dont remember who I even am' yes, I remember that feeling, after just a couple of years. We lose our own identity as the caring just consumes all our waking hours.

Gwan1, you are still in there, somewhere, and it's vital that you find, and grab, all available sources of help.

You need (at least) one day a week to be yourself and do your own thing - even just resting and reading a book. It's not selfish, it's necessary to allow you to cope.

Caleo Mon 08-Nov-21 10:00:18

Gwani, the best you can do for your husband is look after yourself, and your emotional health. If you are going to his rock, you need to be firm about your own needs.