BLOG#3 Reaching out to support family carers

Anyone who is or who has cared for someone with dementia knows it can be the most challenging but (at the same time) the most rewarding job you are ever likely to hold.

Reaching out to support family carers

 

Anyone who is or who has cared for someone with dementia knows it can be the most challenging but (at the same time) the most rewarding job you are ever likely to hold.  For those who have children as well, a parent with dementia can transform you into a “sandwich carer” – this means that you are simultaneously caring for your elderly parent and your child at the same time.

Following my divorce, I brought up my two daughters alone.  They were just 3 and 5 at the time of separation, so looking after them as well as suddenly having to work full-time in order to pay all the bills, made those years extremely difficult.  I was always stressed, worrying about how I could manage everything by myself, and spending hours dealing with bills, bank statements and organising what little finances I had to somehow magically cover everything.  However, I look back now and wish I could have them all to myself again, despite the challenges I faced! 

When my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the last few years of her life, I felt that same stress and had that ‘lightbulb’ moment one day when I realised that our roles had actually switched, and I was now the ‘parent’ and she was growing more needy in a child-like way. I suppose I always knew that day was coming but it still takes you by surprise.

Does this sound in any way familiar to you?  Then I am here to “hold the hand of those that hold the hand of others”.  Having been a family unpaid carer of someone with dementia, I understand how tiring the role is, how you always end up putting your own needs way down the priority list, and how there are never enough hours in your day to do everything you need to do.  The list of “to-do’s” is seemingly infinite and you just keep plodding on like George Orwell’s Boxer in “Animal Farm”, thinking you just have to try harder.....

As your Dementia Care Adviser, I can provide a listening ear and a supportive shoulder.  I can talk through things with you, offer advice or information according to your circumstances.  Whether it’s helping to claim allowances that will cover the cost of a few weekly Homecare visits or making you aware of local dementia-friendly activities for your person with dementia to attend with one of our lovely Care Assistants – I can work with you to enable you to step back and take a well-earned break.  You can email or call me on 01256 762324 and I will call you back at a time that works for you. 

Talking about your carer role and sharing your experiences with someone who understands what you are dealing with, reduces stress and feelings of isolation. To quote A.A. Milne, “It’s so much more friendly with two”.

Tamsin Hudson

Dementia Care Adviser

How to find the right care for you or your relative

1. Find your local office

Bluebird Care delivers care from locally based offices, find yours to start your care journey today.

2. Get in touch with us

Fill in our call back form or give us a call to find out how we can help you.

3. Assessment

We’ll come out to you to find out what you or your loved one needs to help stay independent at home.

4. Care team chosen & care starts

You'll be cared for by our specially trained team to support you to remain at home for as long as possible.

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