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Dealing With The Emotions Involved With Caring

By: Judith Cameron - Updated: 18 Apr 2020 | comments*Discuss
Carer Caring Arduous Carers Employment

Caring is an arduous task that few people recognise unless they personally become involved. Four out of five carers have to give up their paid employment to look after their loved one and lose not only their income, but also the social contact and status that a job outside the home bestows. Even when you love someone dearly, the daily routine and repetitive nature of caring can be exhausting and offer little reward. As a result, it is only natural that from time to time, you may feel resentful towards the person who has caused your lifestyle to change so dramatically.

You are not Alone

No matter how badly you feel about appearing selfish, rest assured that your reaction is the same as every other carer - even if they don't admit it. Tiredness and despondency are other common complaints. Don't suffer alone because your health may deteriorate - as a carer you are more than twice as likely as others to suffer from poor health and depression. See your doctor or social worker for help and ask for details of local carer support groups. Alternatively contact organisations such as Carers UK (www.carersuk.org) for details of meetings in your area. It is good to meet up with others in similar positions for support and advice on coping mechanisms.

Share the Care

Although you care deeply for your loved one who may have told you that they do not want anyone else to look after them, you need to garner the help of others. There may be friends or relatives who live nearby who could drop in on a regular basis to sit with or read to your loved one. This will give you the chance to have a break to do something for yourself and also offers your loved one more variety of company. It also offers other people the chance to make a contribution to the quality of life of a loved one. After all, you aren't the only person who cares for your mother, father, spouse or friend.

If, as is often the case, your loved one says they would rather be alone than rely on someone other than you, be imaginative with explanations. If necessary, discuss the problem with your doctor who may be willing to encourage your loved one to accept a change of carer. Alternatively, say how much your friend/neighbour/relation wants to have the opportunity to spend a little time with your loved one. Once the routine has been established, even if it is only for a couple of hours a week, you will recognise the benefit to yourself and the person you care for.

Quality of Life

You may feel wretched worrying about your own quality of life when you know that the life of your loved one is worse; when perhaps the only future they can look forward to is death. You may have mixed emotions about not wanting them to die and at the same time being aware that their life offers little pleasure. This again is a perfectly natural reaction and common among carers.

You have to remember that you can only do your best and make sure that you get what support is available from social services and the health professionals.

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The Forgotten Carers Of course I fully respect and appreciate the extremely hard work that our wonderful NHS do, not only during the Covid-19 outbreak, but at all times. They definitely deserve pay rises and a cash injection, and so do home care workers, carers working in the community, Care Home staff and a special thanks too to the volunteers who are taking food, etc to vulnerable & low wage people & families, sometimes on a daily basis. I just wish that occasionally, someone would acknowledge full time family carers, like myself, who live with loved ones, providing all forms of care - (which is even more so now that all the support services have been closed down for the foreseeable future) - I personally do it all with no help whatsoever, from anybody, or any authority or group. It’s a hard, thankless task, but I do it out of love. If I didn’t, my Mum would be “yet another drain on the public purse”, having to have 2 x specialist trained dementia care support workers coming in to her home, four times a day, ideally with one staying with her overnight. Or, Mum would be in a dementia trained Nursing Care Home, paid for by the local authority, as we don’t own any property to sell, or have any savings to fund the cost ourselves. It would just be nice if someone just said: “Well done”, or even acknowledged how many hundreds of thousands of pounds that I alone save the local authority & government, each and every year, by doing this ‘job’ - meaning they don’t have to fund 2 x specialist trained dementia care support workers for Mum, on a daily (and nightly) basis. Prior to the outbreak of Covid-19 Coronavirus, I was already very socially isolated and depressed. However, nobody cares about the family carers, living with and caring for family members 24/7, day in, day out. That’s been made perfectly obvious. I know that I speak for hundreds, if not thousands of family carers, in the same situation as me, so why don’t the local authorities and government do something about it? Weekly Carers Allowance is an absolute pittance. We should be paid the minimum hourly wage, at the very least. Everyday, I personally am doing the job of two fully trained Dementia Care Support Workers, PLUS the job of a fully trained Physical Health Care Support Workers. I have to be available, not only during daytime hours, but also throughout the night too, because I need to help prevent falls, or sort out the results of them if they do happen. I also have to try and prevent accidental overdosing of medication and insulin taking (when it’s already been taken), as the results of that happening are Paramedics blue-lighting it to Mum, spending almost 3 hours trying to get her blood glucose levels back up, as she borders on a diabetic coma and is even more confused and frightened than she already is by the dementia. I also have to try and ensure that Mum doesn’t hit her head on the wall, a door, etc when she gets up on average eight times every nigh
Purpletiger - 18-Apr-20 @ 10:49 PM
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