I am my husband's prime carer and I now have a week of respite, a time to lick wounds, sleep, and take stock.
Caring encompasses parents with children with birth defects, life threatening illness, like leukaemia, handicapped, physically or mentally. Then there are teenagers who have had horrific accidents, often with motor-bikes. Move on to strokes and heart attacks affecting those still of working age and the devil of old age, dementia/Alzheimer. And, always, as we see here on Moodscope, the long-term effects of recurrent depression. We all have common problems:
1. Finance. News today was of crisis in the UK National Health financing. It is, of course, the 15th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack ever, the twin towers. How many people are still physically or psychologically suffering from it? Carers need help – cost in time and money – often, one's 'right', but no resources, no help. Currently the Paralympics focus on what CAN be done, but so much input, sacrifices by the 'carers' and huge cost of specialist equipment and transport. Carers in all categories above will have their own potential reduced, earnings and pensions. Ditto sufferers from all those categories.
2. Your own 'space'. I hate the expression, but we all need it. A brisk walk – half hour lying down with a book – even browsing in shops instead of a hurried 'raid'.
3. Spiritual – this translates to the French 'esprit', not necessarily religious. My husband now finds comfort in church, so it will be top priority. It may be singing in a choir, support groups, yoga, meditation, therapy – they all need that rare commodity – free time.
4. Motivation – my big challenge at the moment. For all the above categories it does not matter how good the carer is, or medical and nursing facilities, if the 'sufferer' will not make their own effort, there is no point in nagging them until you are in a frazzle.
Anybody out there got a 'recipe'?
A Moodscope member.