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Caring Across Generations: experiences
Here are three stories of people who had to find care for their parents while looking after children, the pressures this brings, and how they think health and social care could improve.
"My mother has severe dementia and my father is her primary carer. However, he himself has early stage dementia and is very physically frail. He cares for mum in their home with the help of carers and district nurses.
I live 80 miles from my parents, but I support my dad with his caring responsibilities and talk to him on the phone several times a day. I also help out with everyday things, including looking after their finances.
I’ve looked at CQC reports on care homes in my local area that might be suitable for mum. The reports are helpful, as they give a good indication as to the level of care offered.
Caring for my parents, especially from afar, can be extremely stressful. I constantly worry about them, but I’m also juggling caring for a 10 year old and working full time.
At first it was difficult to find someone to talk to and turn to for support. Fortunately, I’ve been able to find a Mumsnet forum for women who are also caring for their parents while juggling looking after children. The support has been invaluable, and it’s helped me get through some difficult times."
"My 94 year-old mother has been living with my family for over three years. I am her primary carer and she is completely dependent on me for her personal care. I also have three sons, and I find it difficult to manage caring for both my children and my mother. My husband, although supportive, is not involved in my mother's care. I have a couple of hours help a day, and occasional evenings, from a mix of private and agency carers.
I have also at times arranged respite care for my mother in a local care home. Unfortunately, I’ve found that when I’ve visited her in the home she’s needed the loo or has wanted to watch TV but needed someone to turn it on for her and there hasn’t been anyone there to help. I think that in order for care to improve, there needs to be a higher ratio of staff to residents."
"After the birth of my first child, I started to notice that mum was having difficulty with communicating. At first, I thought it might be the result of stress or depression as my mum had recently got divorced and quit her job. The GP did several tests and she was eventually diagnosed with early on-set dementia.
I was on maternity leave and able to check up on her, but it was difficult juggling a new born and taking care of mum. She would often call me several times a day, and sometimes in the middle of the night.
Mum wasn’t eligible for a social services assessment until after I went back to work. She was able to live independently for about six months, but she has deteriorated quite quickly and the decision was made to move her into a care home.
I visited several different care homes, but I found it difficult to find something that was suitable for mum. She was under 65 at the time, and many care homes cater to residents in their 80s and 90s.
We did find somewhere mum would like and overall we’ve been happy with the care. I’ve read the CQC report on the home, and I found it helpful. The regular staff are great – mum’s face lights up whenever she sees them."
- Last updated:
- 29 May 2017