Hear from other Carers
Our Place presents a selection of movingly honest case-studies from our members who felt compelled to share their stories with you.
If you’d like to share your experience of caring with us and the wider Our Place community then why not visit the Health blog section and post an item on there.
I have always considered myself a naturally friendly, caring type of person. That is until recently. My life used to work like clockwork; I am a single parent, have a career, study for a degree and live with my mum. And it’s my relationship with my mum that has recently turned our lives upside down.
We are no strangers to living together, having been under the same roof for the last decade, but she has always been my mum – strong, independent, sociable, mobile and ultimately the shoulder I use to cry on.
However, over the last couple of years mum’s health has been steadily declining. She has diabetes and her hips and knees are starting to give way, so subsequently the help she provided in terms of cooking, cleaning and shopping has all but vanished. It turns out that I now have another person to care for and I’m finding it frustrating.
Coming to terms with the fact that my 66 year old mum is likely to get worse and require more care on a daily basis, is proving hard to accept. My temper is on a very short fuse and I snap at the smallest, most reasonable of requests. My energy levels are at an all-time low and I seem to have lost the ability to have a laugh. Subsequently, I feel terrible, selfish and uncaring.
I know this isn’t me, but it has become me. I don’t know where to turn for help; my eight year old daughter is fabulous but she is just a kid and also needs my love, support and care.
This time of adjustment is hard for all of us, but ultimately I know our love for each other will pull us through. The one big lesson for me, is the greater respect I have for carers who have been doing this for years, unselfishly and without complaint.
The last few weeks have been a living hell. I’ve not only felt unwell, unable to sum up the energy to get out of bed, but my loving daughter turned her back on me. We have always been a tight knit unit, sharing the domestic duties but in my hour of need Lisa simply couldn’t cope and went into denial.
Her behaviour was so out of character that I’m sure the shock made me feel worse and hindered my recovery. I felt such a burden and was afraid to ask the smallest of requests. As a result, both of us became ratty, uncommunicative and the house, usually a hive of vibrant laughter and chat, was depressing and silent.
From Lisa’s perspective I totally understand that she is sandwiched between being a single parent, looking after her young daughter and caring for me. Not only that, she has a job, is doing a degree and charity work. The sharp decline in my health has been the last straw and of course, you take your frustrations on your loved ones.
We are lucky to be so close and have been able to talk frankly about how we feel and ultimately come through the last few weeks smiling. But I think both of us are shocked by our reactions and it does still question how we will cope going forward should my health, once again, decline.
If you are a carer looking for support and advice then Our Place recommends Carers UK or call the advice line on 0808 808 7777.