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Something’s not right

Senior Contributor

New to being a Carer, I’m in over my head

My mum has dementia.  She was recently in hospital (for a seperate issue) but it was clear she wasn’t going to be able to go home alone.  My father died 2 years ago and she has lived alone since.  


While she was in hospital she started hallucinating and her health issue wasn’t improving.  I was told by the hospital that they wanted to put her into respite and then move her to the nursing home.  


At the time I was sure most of her problems were the result of some new drugs her pill popping dr put her on.  I told the hospital that I was moving in with her, which I did that day (around 5 or 6 weeks ago) and they let her come home.  She’s now off the drugs, the health issue is no longer an issue, no more hallucinations  - but her memory is pretty much toast.


We had a couple of small issues when she came out of hospital, she refused to eat for a while and I was pretty much force feeding her - that issue hasn’t entirely resolved but it is much better.  She has also been getting pressure sores on her feet, but now I know what I’m looking for we have got on top of them before they become a huge problem.


On top of all this, there has been massive problems in my marriage and a week ago I seperated from my husband after a problem arose with my sons relationship and impending breakup, long story short I was thrown under the bus by both my husband and son and have been cut off from my 4month old granddaughter.  I was also pretty much ditched by my councillor who I see for CSA, but originally started seeing 2 years ago for marriage counseling.


This afternoon my mum went for a walk around to my brothers house (small town, he only lives a couple of blocks away).  My brother rang after a little while to say mum got there but was pretty upset.  She said there was a woman living in her home and she was bossy and she needed to get away from her.  My brother explained it was me, but she said it wasn’t - it was someone else.  She then told them she wanted to die.


After they dropped her home I tried to talk to her but she got angry so I had to give up.  She flatly refuses to believe she went to my brothers, she thinks she went to a friends house.  She denies everything she told my brother, but she did say to me that she wanted to die.


The last week or so I have been feeling extremely trapped here.   After my brothers phone call I’m completely deflated.  I’ve been rejected by my husband, son, councillor and now my mother.  


I just want to get in the car and drive and drive.  I feel like I have no life now, this is all there is.  I’m not appreciated by my family, I’m completely on my own and there is no one left to talk to.


What do I do from here??  I’m 48 years old and I feel like my life is over and I’m completely in over my head.


Re: New to being a Carer, I’m in over my head

@Razzle  Hi Razzle sorry to hear that times are so tough for you atm.  I went through similar circumstances as to what you are currently going through a number of years ago now. I was totally manic and insane with undiagnosed schizoaffective disorder. My son2 was violent and menancing at home. My ex was having an affair with his now girlfriend. My daughter and son1 both had depression plus daughter was coming out as transgender. We were totally broke. Everything was on top of me. I had no house and was couch surfing at my mothers.


Now I look back and wonder how I survived it..... but I did and have become stronger because of it. You will survive this. It is a passing phase and you will be okay. A bit battle scarred but okay. 


You have us here to talk with whenever you want. It will be alright in the end I promise. peaxxx

Re: New to being a Carer, I’m in over my head

Thanks @greenpea   I still feel like I’m trapped.  My husband has been messaging me flat out today, he is missing me and finding it tough on his own, about as tough as I find it being with him I suppose.  


Mum has been more lucid today, but each day is different, just when I think things are getting better she’ll wake up terribly confused and the roller coaster starts all over again.


She was up 4 times last night, and every other night for the past week.  She had only been getting up twice for the last few weeks, so I’m really starting to feel fatigued.


I usually wake during the night when she gets up, she goes to the toilet and can’t find her way back to bed.  Once she’s back in bed she falls asleep straight away, but I’m wide awake and can’t get back to sleep for a while, and then the anxiety kicks in which makes it near impossible to sleep.


Somehow, I think things are only going to get worse before they get better.  

Re: New to being a Carer, I’m in over my head

hi @Razzle
sorry to hear how tough it for you atm. I also care for someone who is getting dementia-yet to be diagnosed officially. it is hard and frustrating and can be really upsetting too.
have you considered calling or applying online through my aged care about getting some assistance? they offer assessments and based on that assessment you can get packages as they call them which tells you what help your mum and yourself can get through them

Dementia Australia and Carers Australia are pretty good to talk to as well. I find it hard to talk on the phone so sometimes contact dementia aust as they have a webchat just as sane does.

Re: New to being a Carer, I’m in over my head

@outlander   Yes getting a diagnosis has been a bit of a battle, I’ve been trying to get it done for over 2 years.  When she was last in hospital her Dr finally told me she had vascular dementia.  


There is a very good dementia nurse at the hospital, and I have been going to monthly dementia seminars put on by this nurse in conjunction with Alzheimer’s Australia which has been helpful.  There is a seminar tomorrow I’m going to that is all about Carers.  


I started the process of My Aged Care and those packages around 18 months ago.  She was cleared for level 1 pretty quick and has just been cleared for level 2, just waiting on the paper work to come through so she has been getting some services already.


I think I just get overwhelmed with everything else that is going on.  Now that I’ve seperated from my husband I’m left to do it all on my own.  And now that I’ve lost my councillor and all the trust I had in him I feel like there is no one to vent to.  I actually miss my councillor the most, I’ve never really had anyone in my corner, but I did feel like he had my back - after the drama that went down a couple of weeks ago I don’t feel like he has any regard for me whatsoever.


It seems when I need help the most, it’s during the night or later in the day/evening when there’s no one available.  Dementia is a hard road to navigate and I’m feeling my way in the dark most of the time.

Re: New to being a Carer, I’m in over my head

it is pretty hard @Razzle but im glad there are aged care packages in place with further assessment happening as well. I think the higher level packages do allow some nurses/carers to come in for a few hours of a night as well or night instead of the day.

it is hard when we loose our supports esp they way you have. do you think you could get another psychologist just for you?

Re: New to being a Carer, I’m in over my head

@outlander   It took months and months to be able to tell my councillor my whole story.  During that time I was physically sick, the whole thing was a nightmare, I don’t think I can do it all again - I would be starting from scratch and I don’t think I’m strong enough to go there again.


I saw a councillor 13 years ago when I lost my son in a car accident.  I stopped going after only a few visits.  She used to write lots of notes, but when she said my sons name she always said the wrong name - like saying Carl instead of Kyle (not his real name but you get the gist). I would correct her, she’d apologise - then the very next time she’d say his name she’d say the wrong name again.  How can you possibly take that many notes and still get it wrong?


Before we got this particular marriage councillor we had a woman that was only for the interim until we got an actual marriage councillor - and she always got mixed up and would call me by my SIL’s name - the woman that put us into counciling in the first place.


I’m really starting to find it hard to trust councillor’s full stop at the moment.  Besides, I’m from a small rural town and there aren’t any local.  As it was, sometimes I had to travel 540kms round trip to see this last one and that’s now impossible with mum and the situation I find myself in.

Re: New to being a Carer, I’m in over my head

@Razzle I don't restart my story with new psychologists. I try to pick what is bothering me the most and go from there. You might decide that instead of going over your trauma you might want to work on coping with your new caring role, or your separation.

for me I find leaving the past behind rather then going over it works better for me.

Re: New to being a Carer, I’m in over my head

some psychologists offer Skype, perhaps that is an option @Razzle

I wonder if @Faith-and-Hope @Shaz51 @EOR could offer any advice here

Re: New to being a Carer, I’m in over my head

Thanks @outlander   It gives me something to think about, just working on some issues instead of all of them.  I think my biggest hurdle to overcome right now is trust, and trusting another councillor is a big ask for now 

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