My Mum had a massive stroke in June this year. She is unable to use her left side and is in a wheelchair. Mum came out of hospital in August and a week after she came home my Dad was rushed into hospital with a serious infection. I ended up giving up my job and moving in to care for Mum while Dad was in. He was in for over three weeks and is home now. I stay over three nights a week to give him a complete break as well as being there in the day. I try to have a break at the weekends but its just not happening. Had Mum on the phone this morning asking me to come over as Dad was exhausted and needed to go to bed. She didnt want him to go upstairs last night and he ended up on the sofa but didnt sleep at all well. I went over at 12 and was there till 7. I cooked a dinner for us all and Dad managed to get some sleep. We have carers in three times a day but Mum often seems ok when they are there being sweetness and light and saying she doesnt need anything but as soon as they go she wants us to do things for her. We have tried explaining to her the carers are to help us as much as her but she doesnt like them doing things. People have been noticing how exhausted I look and Dad looks terrible. I just dont know what to do.
I'm really sorry to hear of your mum's stroke and the concerns this has raised.
I wonder if you could speak to the carer's next time they visit, just to let them know that they do actually need to do things for your mum, and hopefully that will relieve you slightly. Do you think you could be honest with your mum as well about how much this is affecting you and that you would be really grateful for the carer's support whilst they were there?
I know you want to be there for your parents, but your own health is important too.
Tracey, you need to look after yourself first take it from someone who has pushed herself to hard in the past to support others.
tips I would give from my experience (that being dad had a major stroke, and my mum suffers badly from arthritis.) would be book a hour for yourself once a week to go for a brew catch up with friends or best still get yourself a reflexology appointment...doesn't take the pain away but gives you a hour for you!!!
I told my dad direct about why the stroke nurses were coming in, and mum and I then made a point of being out of the house. So maybe do the nurses a list of things that would ease pressure on you and your dad??
in terms of mum, I arranged for dad's friends to pop in again to allow mum free time to go for a brew or chat with friends.
You cant do this by yourself....as hard as it is your mum like my dad has changed I've learnt to be a bit more direct on occasions.
hope this helps xxxx
Thank you for your replies.xx
Hi, I am new to this, but what you have put is the same as what I am experiencing! I feel your pain, my husband seems to do very well if we get a visitor or appointment and as soon as he’s back with us (family) he’s such hard work again. It’s so frustrating, I’ve struggled with explaining this to people as they think he’s doing really well
Hi Ellen. Carers have a rough time. Stroke is a frightening thing and those of us who experience go through a range of emotions: fear, helplessness, hopelessness, anger and frustration. This is hard on the carer, as we appear resentful and ungrateful. Also, because we are not well, being told we look wonderful is no consolation. We miss what we cannot do and, to some extent, feel we have lost our role in life.
Has he ‘accepted’ the stroke? I feel that is essential. After that, how well we recover depends on our individuality. I was always a fighter, so, step by step, little by little, I fought to be the best I can be in the circumstance. After three years, I am still fighting.
As well as encouraging him all you can, do make sure you and your family have time to yourselves. I make sure my partner does. In the early days, I think I gave him a hard time, both by being ungrateful and sometimes by ‘playing helpless’ and demanding attention. Now that I can do more tensions have eased.
I wish you all the best!
Thankyou yes! I am struggling with it all, it’s like having a row every day ?