Monday, 2 April 2012

C is for Carer

There is nothing that really prepares you to be a carer.  I obviously learnt to take care of my son, but another adult is a whole different ball game.  I never saw my grandparents being cared for and by the time my father got ill I had moved home so was never directly involved in his care.  When he got really ill  dad became bed ridden I do wonder what I thought about my mothers experience and why I wasn’t around to help out more, she didn’t have any of the support that I now have she did it on her own for over 5 years. 

Now as mums main carer, my time is spent sorting out every aspect of her life, making sure that she maintains a level of independence and making sure she has balanced meals, medication, appointments, bills and everything in between.  It can be all consuming at times as mum needs 24 hour care and my life fits around her needs.  Sometimes you think you've got it all together and the next all it takes is one small thing that you would probably shake off and it totally devastates you, and you wonder when it will all end.

One thing that has been important is maintaining my own identity in all of this, which can be hard when you’ve not had any sleep, mum has been wandering from room to room, tired but thinking its morning and everyone should be up.  Being a carer really makes you think of your own life and how fragile it can be, not wanting to be dependant on others and maintaining your own health.  I have found that my involvement in art has been the one key activity that allow a means for expression, and gives me the space I need to unwind and in turn get up and face another day.  Art is very theraputic and I encourage mum to express her creativity whenever possible, and this in turn helps her mood and overall well-being.
Here is mum at an art session at her local day centre

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