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

13 comments :

  1. This is such a devastating disease, I commend you for being so brave and sharing it with us. I can only imagine how hard it must be for you to keep some sense of your own life and yet be there for your mom now that she needs you the most.

    I hope things work out for you and on your worst day remember that love needs no memory and she can feel that never-ending love flowing from you. She will take it with her forever and your changer her world for the better with it.

    Best of luck.
    From Diary of a Writer in Progress.

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  2. God bless you, Amanda. I remember photos you posted of your mother dancing and singing, when she was younger.

    Today marks a one year anniversary since my mother died. Hug your mother, whisper in her hair that you love her.

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  3. Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm a carer for my husband who is 74 years old and some times I think I can't do this. He has had an early onset of dementia, not diagnosed as alzheimers. It is always hard to see an able bodied person return to somewhat of a child and you have to make all of the decisions for them. I'm sometimes feeling bad because I have to tell him he just had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and that maybe he should eat an apple of an orange. Will remember you and your mom in my prayers and pray for Bob and me.
    Love never ceases. Carol

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  4. Gina, it is those very times when we feel like it is enough that we have to reach down and remember the times they made you smile, and that this is the last thing on earth they would wish for their child.

    Susan, Sorry to hear of your loss, it is so true that even in this time to say how much we love one another.

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  5. Carol, thank you for sharing your experience with your husband and his dementia. We can sit with the guilt expecially when we know they are not saying what they say on purpose. Love is the thing that keeps us going!

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  6. Hi Amanda .. it is a tremendous strain and I do none of the nursing caring aspects .. I just feel drained - so I admire you for working out - you need the balance.

    Does your mother/is she able to come out with you on walks etc ..?

    Balance of life is essential - I'm delighted you've got your art and can continue to be creative with it .. with thoughts - Hilary

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  7. This is a beautiful and honest post.

    I stumbled here through the A to Z Challenge, but, today of all days, I think I was meant to read your blog. Thank you for writing this.

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  8. Thank you for sharing. I helped my husband care for his mother when she had cancer. It was a very brief time, but I could relate to some of what you wrote. My thoughts go out to you and your mother.

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  9. Hilary, mum is still mobile which is a blessing, though with limited vision, but she enjoys getting out and about, art definitely helps and acts as a release...

    Cristin, lovely for you to take the time, I do hope that sharing can help others:) Blessings!

    Janna, we underestimate how much caring can take its toll on our own health, I hope you are both able to spend time nurturing your own health.

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  10. My mom is my grandmother's carer. It's difficult for her to say the least. I'm constantly worrying over my mom's health. I don't want her to neglect herself in taking care of grandma. I also worry if the illness is going to strike her too. I'll pray God gives strength to you both.

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  11. Amanda,
    It is good to visit your blog again. It's been a long time.

    I am glad you have art as an outlet to help you escape for a bit. I'm also glad you realize the importance of caring for yourself. I read your "F" for Fear and I can see how easy it would be to worry about your future health.

    Stay strong in Christ.

    The Write Soil
    1st Writes

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  12. Brianna, thank you for your prayers, you should definitely see where there can be a more structured support network for your mum.

    Dawn great to have you here again It is so important for us all to have some sort of outlet. Hope your well.

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  13. Caregiving is so special, and I recognize the strain it puts on you when you have to take care of your parents especially. My mom's going through this now with my grandmother. Mom is sometimes so emotionally drained, bt she uses art as her output, just like you do. She says that her crafts- jewelry and crocheting- are her therapy through it all. I think it's an amazing honor to take care of your parents and not put them in a home if possible, so they can feel loved and remain in familiar places. God bless your mom. God bless you and strengthen you for what you do.

    Chontali Kirk
    chontalikirk.blogspot.com

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