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.

Blog post re-share: GO FUND ME — Summer starts to SHINE

I have known Imani via her blog, Summer starts to SHINE and I have bought a motivational drawing with quote, that I picked that she personally drawn herself.

Regardless of Imani’s troubles, Imani has always tried to spread that positive ray of shine through her blog, support her local charity in raising money for them, in between sharing her difficulties.
Her business which she does when she can, due to her mental health varying each day, was started through people liking them. We loved her unique drawing that spread joy, positivity and rays of sunshine.

A friend of Imani’s, has set up a Go Fund Me page, as shared in the post below, where you can read more about it.
There is no pressure to donate, but any amount donated will help towards private counseling that specialises in counseling that Imani needs, due to the NHS letting her down by not providing the care she needs at this time, after a crisis and what Imani would normally receive.

Imani’s husband is off work and has become her full-time carer, making sure she is safe and as we know, this adds to extra pressure for him and them financially.

Readers will know I am not able to give myself as  I struggle financially this year, but also, I have become a carer myself, due to mum trying to take her own life. So I know all to well the struggles going on. I hope Imani is happy me re-blogging this post as my way of helping in some way, at this difficult time.

Long time no hear blogger friends.A kind friend has recently set up a Go Fund Me page. Why? Because of Northumberland Tyne and Wear’s NHS trust’s shock decision to suddenly discharge me from being under the care of community mental health services only days after a very near suicide attempt 😦 I haven’t been blogging […]

via GO FUND ME — Summer starts to SHINE

A distraction for mum

When I went to see mum yesterday and mum was filling me what happened day before, I as getting ready to go up to the mental health unit to see what they were playing at. But before I did, I asked a nurse, to make sure my mum wasn’t confused by it all.
It turned out she had been told that originally, but since, not long back yesterday when I was chatting a different discussion was given. So I had gone from highly stressed person getting ready to fight, because mum had no care plan in place and going to be sent home, which was total opposite to what a manager on the mental health unit told me, to stress reducing because there was now going to be some care plan in place on Sunday. But Sunday still being unknown, until it happens.

When mum is discharged from ward where she was looked after for her chest infection from flu she had, they will send her back to the mental health ward she originally came from. But this does not mean there is a bed there, or at any other mental health unit. She could be sent home still. But a care plan would be in place for that, as this was mentioned in discussion when someone came to see her yesterday, about maybe two visits a week at her home to see that she is ok.
If it turns out there is no bed there, but a bed is available at one of the other mental health units, mum has said she is not going, because of knowing how I would only be able to get once a week at one and not at all at the other.
But if there is a bed where she was before, she would stay there.
So this is the unknown and me and mum discussed options if she ends up going home. Especially if she is discharged before I get there, on Sunday and that is that day, mum is to stop at mine. We would then go back to hers the following morning, where I would have day with her, before going to work.

I observed how this was playing on my mum’s mind after I found I was repeating myself a fourth time and my throat feeling tired and sore, so I distracted mum onto something else. Mum admitted it was going round in her head as I suggested something else to chat about.
Mum has a notebook for her poems she writes out in rough, before copying neat into another book. I already had written my address earlier at the back of the book, just in case she was making her way back to mine in a taxi on Sunday, before I got there.
I got the notebook out again and wrote her a plan of action that she would be doing later when home, in preparation for moving out prior.
This plan of action was basically just a to do list, of what we talked about before. But I put it in writing, so she could focus on that, but also so that if she forgot, she could see it there, then let that play on her mind.
This list has three things at this point. Two which mum is doing and the third is what I am doing in May, but only what mum needs to plan for and just know about, which is me painting her bedroom walls. Her bedroom walls will need re-painting from observation and not something that can be left, because the council would likely say something. So by getting the walls in that room painted, mum won’t face any issues.
Just by writing that action plan in the back of her book, helped her to re-focus and think about something else, than let her mind wander on someone we can’t control.

I took mum’s mobile phone in yesterday, because of not knowing where mum would be originally, so she could contact me and keep me updated. Making sure I knew what was happening. It helps for mum to keep in touch with other family members too.

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.

Today was a hard day

I woke up this morning finding I was having a job getting out of bed. I felt so tired and this has lasted all day. I also noticed how I had twinges of pain in my left side, so I guess I slept funny. It was like I pulled myself. I felt this tiredness affected my mood too, as I was feeling low.

I had a cry mid morning, before having lunch.

After lunch, I posted some letters off I typed up earlier; two for mum and two of my own. Once they were dealt with, it was on my way to see my mum.
I passed on information what I had done in regards to her affairs. Told her about mine and about the weekend. Mum talked a little. I could see she wasn’t having possibly a good day herself, mentally. I then realised I forgot to bring mum’s things when she asked for something particular. I couldn’t do anything about that, as I told my mum. Other than remember tomorrow.
I left a little earlier than normal to compensate for my tiredness, so there was less of a rush to work. I could feel the tears flowing as I left the building, but I only allowed a few years to flow and not exactly how I was feeling at the time.

I hope tomorrow is an easier day and I am not feeling so tired. Continue reading “Today was a hard day”