Thursday, 2 October 2014

UBC - Day 2 Tips for Carers - Organised

Ultimate Blog Challenge - Day 2

I don't think that anyone gets up and decides that they want to be a carer, and it was never anything that ever crossed my mind that one day I would be looking after my mother.  You grow with expectations that you will see your parents live to a ripe age in relatively good health, and in turn see your children and your children's children grow up, but when your parent gets ill you realise that it is not going to happen like that.  There was no manual, no preparation, no guidance only fear, loss and sadness.
Mum when we were kids

In the beginning I didn't want to ask for help thinking that I should know how to look after my mum, and thought that asking for help would be seen as a sign of weakness.  The very thought of admitting that there was even something wrong in my mind reflected on who I was as a person.
Mum spending time with me at my home when I was 25
I found that being organised in your feelings and emotions is a way to take some of the stress out of what is needed.  This revelation came quite by chance.  I began to separate the functional needs from the emotional ones and this made it easier to deal with what had to be done, and it allowed me time to deal with how I felt about the situation.


When I allowed myself to just think about what had to be done practically, like taking mum in her wheelchair to the doctors for a check up, all I allowed myself to do was walk through all the practicalities, and give myself enough time to get there.  I didn't think about how I felt about doing it, or how sad I felt about her having to use the wheelchair, all I focused on was that the wheelchair gave us flexibility and we were able to get where we needed quicker than if she had to walk, it also took some of the strain and stress off her as I then didn't become frustrated with thinking about whether we would be on time or not.


Mum and Robert at a family sports day

I know that at some point I am going to get emotional about the fact that mum cannot do what she used to.  If you are a carer you will have shed tears of frustration, loss, sorrow, or sobbed when tired and just wanted it all to stop.  I questioned how much longer I would have to care for her, and the lost of time that will not be refunded when I couldn't be with my son in the early days.  All these emotions need to be addressed and need to be heard and dealt with.  In later posts I will share some of the ways in which you can use creative activities. 

For today try and organise the tasks that you need to do and find a gentle way of dealing with the emotional issues that come up

                         Celebrating Life

You can also click on the 'Celebrating life' image to be taken to the rest of the posts

Yesterday was International Day of Older Persons, what did you managed to do to celebrate the life of an elderly person. You don't have to wait for one special day but can do a little something every day, hear their stories, pass these stories onto the young and continue to celebrate their contribution to your lives and your communities. 

Also check out Silver Sunday which is an annual day of fun and free activities for older people across the UK. Led by The Sir Simon Milton Foundation, it celebrates older people and their contribution to our communities while combating loneliness and isolation. Everyone can get involved, and you can organise your own event, spread the word, or simply attending an activity. Silver Sunday will take place on 5th October 2014!

Reflections and Image - Amanda Trought, Realityarts

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