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Looking after ourselves

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Did you always want to be a carer?

Im wondering did everyone always to be a carer?
Ive been doing this for years but for me its always come naturally and was almost expected of me so never got to explore my options through my teenage years

How did you get into caring?

Re: Did you always want to be a carer?

Hi @outlander

I became a carer by defult when my wife became unwell so not by choice. There was also a time while not officially a carer that I felt responsible for looking out for my mum after dad died. Even as a child though I always felt the need/ responsibility to fix things and make people happy. 

Interestingly,  at the start of my current degree I did a personality type survey and the career advisor told me I should be doing councilling not marketing. 

Re: Did you always want to be a carer?

yeah all through my childhood ive seemed to have been a carer as i was a carer for my nan or at least tried to help where i can like making her sandwhiches for lunch @Determined

Re: Did you always want to be a carer?

Re: Did you always want to be a carer?

@Shaz51, @outlander, my sister and I both had a bit of a carer's role with our Mum. Nowadays we'd probably be directed to "Young Carers" programs, but they didn't exist 30+ years ago. By the time I finished high school, I really needed to get away from home and the associated responsibilities that were really a bit much for a child/teenager.

I was genuinely keen on being a mum myself, but I guess I feel cheated now, in that the expected process of the kids growing up and becoming independant, leaving us to enjoy their company but live our own lives... hasn't happened. Our two young adult sons are pretty much OK; Younger Daughter is still in her teens but we can see that she's becoming noticeably more independant; but with our Older Daughter, it's like caring for Mum all over again, but on a much more intense level.

In the past I've enjoyed helping others, and we've either volunteered for ongoing programs, or simply pitched in informally when we saw the chance. We've had to drop out of the formal volunteering, and do less of the informal too, because we're too burnt out. "Caring" at our current level is crushing, and not a situation I'd wish on anyone. Certainly not a situation I'd choose, but in the abscence of a better MH system, too much falls back on family who love the MI person too much to leave them to crash and burn.


So yes, I'm a bit of a natural "carer", but no, I had other hopes and plans for my life. Smiley Sad My psychologist once suggested that I should study psychology, but doing that as a career would break me.


Feeling a little odd about this post... usually I try to look for positives, but I'm afraid the negative side is the more honest one in this case.

Re: Did you always want to be a carer?

@Shaz51   I’d never really thought about being a carer, it just happened.  


To be totally honest, with mums medical history I’d have thought she’d pass away long before she’d need care.  After my dad unexpectedly died 2 years ago it was pretty clear that mum was going to need a lot of help.  Along with the dementia and sciatic problems she is now insulin dependent and there is no way she can cope with the insulin regime on her own.  


Its a lot of work - the dementia is the hardest past, especially when she has moments of not recognising me.  I naively thought when I moved in a few months back that it would be pretty cruisy, but it is a full time job, and now because of the insulin I’m pretty much tied to her 24x7.


This isn’t what I thought my life was going to look like, but I know my mum won’t live forever and I do appreciate what time I have left with her, be it months or more likely years.



Re: Did you always want to be a carer?

Same here @Razzle  Heart

@Smc Heart

Never real saw myself as a carer either

Mr shaz says I am not his carer but I am still his wife 

Caring for mum is getting more xx 

Re: Did you always want to be a carer?

@Smc   It is hard to find the positives.  In my case dementia is involved.  I have had to switch rolls, I’m now my mother’s mother.  I feel trapped a LOT, I feel like my life has stopped, or at least on stand still.


My brothers offer support, but they still continue on with their plans, go on holidays or weekends away.   Not much has changed in their lives, whereas my life has been totally flipped on it’s head.  Even before I seperated from my husband, he still went to sport on the weekends, then back to the pub for a few drinks afterward.  If he wanted to do something, he did it, not much changed for him either.  


Im looking after mum every waking hour, and I hear her get up at night to go to the toilet and have to listen out to make sure she has found her way back to bed again, so it’s broken sleep every night.  There are so many times that I feel overwhelmed and that I am in way over my head.  


Dementia is a cruel desease, and it’s really hard when I get to bed at night to find the positives.



Re: Did you always want to be a carer?

@Razzle, my parents are both still alive, but in aged care. My sister and I both live about 5 hours drive away from them, and moving back to care for them wasn't an option for either of us.
Dad has memory loss/short term memory problems, but we suspect that may be due to some "mini strokes" he's had rather than dementia, because we haven't seen the kind of decline or other changes that are common with dementia.

I've had to take on most of the financial management for Mum and Dad, and clearing their house while having a MI daughter back here has proven to be a slow process. Four years later, we've done some of it.... It all has to be done in short visits that are partially occupied with visiting them, the rest of the time doing as much sort out as we can.

Yep, they won't be around much longer. We well and truly know how hard the "life on hold" thing is, but I hope it is worth it for you in the long run. Heart

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