Unwilling caregiving

an elderly having her hand held Not everyone wants to be a carer

I’m lucky to still have a young mum, however it’s at the back of my mind that one day she may need to be cared  for.

I know she doesn’t want to be a burden to her daughters and I feel the same for my sons. We chose to have our children and don’t chose them as our carers.

Many people may feel obliged to care for their parents and find themselves in the position of unwilling caregiving. This in turn can lead to short tempered exchanges and less tolerance of the elderly person. Many people struggle to care for a parent and the role reversal of childhood.

I have been a carer  for a family member, now care for other people’s family and will care for a family member again.

When I cared for my mother in law, our sons were very young. This was fine for a few years but growing boys have growing needs and I felt under increasing pressure and developed “carer burnout” to the point I couldn’t cope and finally  plucked up the courage to ask for help.

I felt I was handing over my baby to someone else when weekend carers were introduced to provide me a welcome break and after some initial resistance she soon grew to like them. In turn I was more relaxed and refreshed and better able to cope.

The main point of this article is to recognise it doesn’t all have to be you and at times it is better to share the care responsibilities. I now work closely with my clients family members and it feels like team work. I care so they don’t have to shoulder the full burden.

Caron

Award-winning blogger and care columnist for Devon Life magazine, Caron also campaigns for recognition of the needs elderly people and their carers. Designer and creator of the award-winning Dementia Assistance Cards which are free to all, and helping thousands of people globally Caron is passionate and committed to making a difference

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