Being a carer…

Being a carer is not easy…

It’s emotionally draining.

It’s physically draining.

But regardless, it can be rewarding.

 

Those that have been, or are caregivers to family members, or friends, will understand the above. As for my situation, while mum is in a mental health care place, I am dealing with her personal affairs, checking on her home, supporting her, while dealing with my own affairs and concerns.

It is just me. I am all mum has. I am her only daughter.

I am broken at times and bounce back. But I wonder how long I will last in this current situation, until me and mum are living together.

I am still trying to get an additional job to ease my financial situation.

I could list further worries, but this is more concerning my mum and that part is private to her.

Are you an unpaid carer?

Just wondering, especially if you live in the UK, are you an unpaid carer? Please do share your experiences.

I have been a carer on and off to some degree since my teens. All this has been unpaid, as a carer. I have just automatically done it. Neither of us have asked for help.
But since my mum took that overdose just three weeks ago, yesterday, I have
upped the care I give and as you know, the plan is to get mum to live with me in a council flat. So the council list I am on, has been updated accordingly and I had a form to fill in regarding my my mum’s needs, as you know. So after the council have dealt with the form accordingly, means the banding will get changed accordingly. Hopefully for the better.

I have looked into being paid as a carer, through advice of family members. But I am entitled to nothing, because mum’s DLA is low mobility. Mum needs to be on medium to high care on DLA to get this. No way will I expect mum to go through the hell’s of PIP, just for me to get carer allowance. So as I have said to my family that advised me to apply for carers allowance, I can’t get it, stating the reasons why, but nevertheless, I will manage. We will manage.
I know just by me and mum living together, I won’t struggle as I do now. If anytime social workers, or whoever responsible in mum’s care says for mum to apply for PIP, I will say mum is fine what she has. Mum is better being on DLA on little she has then lose it altogether because of the shambling with PIP where a person will just say mum is fine and then she lose what she had. I have not forgotten the stress of it and how it made me feel, when I applied. (I was on DLA for life originally, but had to apply for PIP, because I was in the criteria affected in the change of DLA to PIP.) I won’t put my mum through that. My mum would not cope with that process and, the effects it would cause from that don’t affect social workers and decision makers at the end of the day. They get to go home and play happy families. But it affects my mum and me, because I would get the brunt of seeing my mum’s aggitation and whatever else, as well as how my mum will be feeling and the unknowns of what is whirling around in her head. My priority is keeping mum safe and knowing she is well, while being independent as possible.

Share your views as an unpaid carer.

It amazes me how exhausting it can be

As I mentioned in the comments of this post, Hopefully all is fine, my mum has lost her bed on the mental health unit today, because she will be in hospital for a further five days.
Tests have shown mum has flu and because she was on a mental health ward prior, like any ward, it’s about not spreading it, so mum is on the hospital ward accordingly as she gets over this.
It’s antibiotics and oxygen through the nose still and when she is discharged, it will be back to the mental health team to find her a bed in a mental health unit.
As I said in the comments on the above post, she’s been laughing and joking still and I have been laughing and joking back.

I have also had a day of fatigue again. Not as bad as before. Felt worse first thing and crappy, which then eased off. But still tired. I said to mum I wouldn’t be there tomorrow. Instead, I am staying at home until I go to work, leaving the home slightly earlier, so I can pick up my prescription from the chemist on the way.
I have warned my mum also that if I am not there Friday, then not to panic, as I will have chosen to stay at home again. But regardless how I am Saturday, I will see her. I can’t believe how this is knocking me out. 

I am hoping with mum discharged, that it doesn’t affect the form I filled for why mum needs to live with me. I guess this is still all valid, because of the short time being there.
I hope also there is no set back with my mum’s mental health. But going by today,  it doesn’t seem the case.

Mum was worried about my tiredness. I reassured it would be much easier when we are both in the same place. But I also told her how the effect on me when discovering she had overdosed, did not hit me till later, because prior to that, I was just on autopilot sorting out her affairs, as well as my own. So I have only just getting my head around that.

I dread to think what could have happened, if I did not choose to check on mum that day. Had I not, then I would have been waiting for mum to arrive at mine, for lunch, which would have been another two days later. But I try not to think about it, because mum is here and I did luckily go.

Thank you to you all, that have left me supportive comments over posts, since all this happened.

Hopefully all is fine

Today, when I went to see mum, I found she wasn’t there at the mental health unit. Instead, mum was sent to A&E. Mum had a fall in the early hours, but she was ok from that. They sent my mum instead because of her being chesty and having a temperature. Not because of her fall. They said they sent me an email early in the morning. (This email never arrived until the evening.) So after looking for mum on A&E to see if she was still there, or on a ward, I found her to be on an emergency assessment unit.
Mum will be there for a day, or two, to be observed, while on oxygen and antibiotics. The nurse thinks this could be linked to her overdose and the time she was unconscious. If all is fine in this day or two, them mum will be back in the mental health unit.

Mum was happy and joking and I was joking back. Me and mum were certainly both on form today, compared to yesterday. (See Today was a hard day) I am hoping all will be fine and that this is just a precaution.

You are not a burden

Depending on your circumstances, you may feel a burden to others. This could be because of a mental health, or physical health issue.

But you are not a burden.

My mum doesn’t want to be a burden. She had expressed this to me and staff members. But hopefully, by listening to me and the staff members on the ward where she is, that my mum realises that she won’t be.

From what mum told me recently, a staff member that had spoken to her, to put a long conversation short, she said, “… Mum was there for me and now it was time for me to be there for her…”

I said to mum, “By being with me, I won’t worry as much as I would have, if you were still living on your own.
I need you close to know you are ok. To support you when required, while you continue to be as independent as possible.
I want you to feel safe.”

I have had a couple say that it’s a big then by getting my mum to live with me. I am in no way offended by that comment. But when I was told by A&E staff that my mum was very unwell and to be prepared I could lose her, this decision of me and mum to live together was not a hard decision to make. In fact I did not need to think about it.

If my mum one day has to go back to her bungalow, before the time comes to us living together, I will be feeling very uneasy. I will be scared that my mum could do it again.
Mum has promised she won’t take an overdose again, because she knows how much it has hurt me. My mum can see how much it has hurt me. But the mental health team, like me, as they talk to her, need to know that when it gets difficult again, that she doesn’t try it again. There will be more talking by the different mental health team members in some way, while her medication is adjusted. The mental health team can see my mum will be better with me, then on her own. Mum has admitted that going back to her bungalow, she is not thrilled on, even though one point my mum wasn’t thrilled about staying in, after admitting her overdose.

When a family member wants to help some way, or for you to live with them for what ever reason. You are not a burden.

You may be reading this and in a position yourself where a family member has asked you to live with them and you are thinking you don’t want to be a burden to them. I would like to say that you would not be a burden, because you will be a much-loved family member. To them, you gave them support. You were there in their time of difficulties. You gave them joy and so all they want is to support you and help you in what ever way.

You are not a burden.

 

Related posts:

Getting the gear to run

You know through following my posts, that I have been getting the basic gear in preparation to run. Until I run, I have upped my pace in my walking.

My running belt I ordered, I boobed on. It wasn’t quite big enough to hold what I wanted; phone in its case, my keys and inhaler. Thankfully, it didn’t cost much. But for the price, it looked good quality. It will come in handy for someone’s Christmas box next year, or it will go in a charity bag this year.
I have now ordered a Spiebelt. The large one. From watching the original be filled, this should work for me and I read somewhere last night, how someone was using one to hold the same things.

I also bought a Garmin Forerunner 30 watch for accurate distance I walk, or run. The watch alone will be enough for what I want it for, but trying it out to make sure it was ok and tracking me, I did upload to my Garmin account. I’m hesitant about uploading regular, because I was worried what internet data it would take up, with my internet being only a certain amount. Maybe someone reading this, who this uses their fitness watch everyday and uploading their content can tell me if it is known to gobble data, or not. Until then, I may just use my Garmin account every couple of months or more. I make notes that I want to keep in a journal.
The watch I have it set so it automatically stops when I do. From trying it outside for the first time walking to work, it seems to accurately track me. But when I tried it just for fun inside while working, (which at this point you are not using GPRS, because you are indoors,) I found that if my walking was at a certain slow pace, it did not monitor my walking at times. The timer was still on stop, even though I was walking. But anyway, my watch isn’t for work, it’s when I am outside to walk at a pace then at that point I was observing at work and for running.

So, using details from my watch, walking from home to work yesterday, it took me 27 minutes 14 seconds at the distance of 1.54 miles.
Coming back home on my same route, it took me 24 minutes and 56 seconds at distance of 1.55 miles.

The distance slightly varying, depending where I stood to start and end my watch from, on each occasion.

Do you run some miles, whether beginner, or been doing it for some years?

Do you use a fitness watch to monitor your walks/runs?

Have you ever done 5k?

Since the post, “the urge to run.”

Since the post, “The urge to run” I have decided to get some running gear. (You would have already known this, if you were following the comments in that post.)
I started with my trainers, thinking this would be the expensive part, but I came out of the shop smiling. It turned out not to be expensive. The trainer’s were in a sale and I thought the price I was looking at, was the sale price. But when I got to the till, further amount was knocked off! Only paid £25 for these Fila Threshold running shoes in the end. 🙂 I see they are not available online now, as I write this.
I bought these half a size bigger than I would normally wear, to allow room for my feet to spread when running. This is something I have learnt about, when it comes to running shoes.
Some recommend half a size up from your usual shoes and some say a size up. I wasn’t going a size bigger than my current shoes, as years ago, by accident when I done this, it caused problems. But I will try half a size up. Although years ago, I never had problems running in trainers that were same size as my other shoes.

Prior to buying these shoes, there was some excitement in town, as I blogged about in this post here: “An exciting time in my local town”.
After lunch, I went and bought my jogging bottoms from a local supermarket. I also bought a zipped jacket that wicks away sweat and I allowed myself one t-shirt that did the same thing. If I stick at this, I will allow myself another sports top later down the line, but until then, I will make do with some of my t-shirts.
I ordered my sports bra online and a running belt to hold my keys, small change maybe and mobile phone. I am waiting for these to arrive as I write this. Once they come, there is nothing to stop me from starting.

I do need to buy a sports cap and I will sort this out maybe this weekend, by going back to the sports shop. I will need to wear the cap especially in summer, as so I don’t get sunstroke.

In the meantime, as you know I like walking and there were times last month I really put a spurt on, to get the frustration out of my system of stress caused, which I felt the benefit from.  I have this past week, kept that pace going to work and coming back home from there and I have a personal best (PB) in that, as of yesterday. It now takes me 24 minutes to work, when it used to take me 30 minutes. I am happy with that. That walk, when I googled it, is 1.6 miles.