You’ll find this blog helpful if you already, or are about to, look after an elder relative or friend.
Even if you just ‘pop in’ from time to time.
Still with me? Then let’s do introductions…
Maud is… the name my oldest friends gave me about 20 years ago. Their kids know me as Maud too. (I also go by the name of Grandma Bonkers, but that’s another story). I am a ‘primary’ carer who has always worked full time. Or rather I have always worked full time and ‘slipped’ (what is the right term?) into a caring role as we often do. Like many other carers, I am also an enthusiastic wife, mum, step mum, step grandma, daughter, aunt and sister. I live in west Buckinghamshire.
Mum is… in fact my mother-in-law Marj. Marj was born, raised and married in Stoke on Trent. She worked in ‘the Potteries’. With her husband Jack, they raised a son and a daughter. In her spare time she painted with oils and loved walking her dog, Sally, an indulged retriever cross.
About seven years ago, after being widowed twelve years before, Marj started to need support more and more frequently. Neighbours would find her ‘turned turtle’ on the pavement. Emergency trips up the M6 for family members were just not going to cut it any more.
So Marj sold her house and joined my husband, now teenage son and I in our home. Six months later Marj moved out of our spare room and into her own studio flat which we built onto the side of our house.
Marj was diagnosed with mixed vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease five years ago. Over the years Marj has needed more and more support, so I have recruited care workers to support us. Nowadays, Marj has help from care workers three times a day.
Our intention in writing this blog is to share what we have learned over the years. Working full time, I (Maud) couldn’t easily find the information, perspective and help that could have prepared us for and helped us with this new responsibility. In fact I was often bewildered and frustrated.
I hope to make things a heck of a lot easier for you. I’ll share the essentials and the things not to worry about, the cheats and the pathways to support. I particularly want to share the good times, as too often in the news caring, carers and the cared for are not presented positively.
And finally, I’m still learning, so I’d also love to hear from you too. Please share your tips here for me and for others.
If you are caring for a partner, considering bringing a parent or other senior into your home or if your ‘remote’ caring responsibilities are increasing and you want to know what might come next, I hope you will find this blog helpful, love
PS All views are our own unless otherwise stated. We’re not paid for anything we write.