A Day in the Life of a Carer

So much to write about but as it’s late, just a quickie (well late for me).

This is just a snapshot of my day – Ma was only up to the toilet twice during the night.  She can be up and down more times than a brides nighty sometimes.  So we are up at 10.30 and again at 1am.  I get up at 5am and get the breakfast stuff out and cat food ready for my return.  Ma needs the toilet again so we change her incontinence pants and I put her in her dressing gown for the coming day and she goes back to bed.  I place Ma’s Care Alert around her neck and go to the gym at 5.30am for a workout.  I’m home around 6.30 and get her breakfast, making sure I’ve got her teeth back in…  insert her eye drops, and give her her medications… get myself ready and I’m out the door around 7.00.

I start work at 7.30 and grab myself breakfast.  I spent 40 minutes on the phone to the government’s aged care line trying to access in-house respite.  This is after being told there are no vacancies for any type of assistance in the area I live in.  They are actually helpful and promise to ring all providers in my area and call me back.  They can’t believe there’s nothing available.

I try and ring her every hour and closer to home-time will ring at half hour intervals as that’s when she starts to ‘lose the plot’.  I  also vent on my poor work colleagues who have probably learnt more about aged care than they ever wanted to.  They are legends and very supportive.

Ma usually drops a few clangers into the conversation… today she had somebody dying of cancer in her bed so spent an hour in the kitchen until I got home. Her hallucinations seemed worse than usual and she was quite confused.  I’m not sure whether she is brewing a UTI after a BBM (Bad Bowel Moment) last week or it’s just the delirium or maybe something else.

My sister is on holidays so dropped in to check on her and provided her with food and drink. I get to the shops for a half hour at lunch.

I’m home around 3.30pm and manage to calm her down off her hallucination high.  She feels unwell so it’s a spit and polish instead of a shower.  I dress her ulcers on her leg as the community nurse hasn’t turned up and I can’t get any sense out of the hospital where she comes from.  I get Ma into bed and then spend another 40 minutes on the phone to the aged care provider and finally get a promise of some in-home respite care.  I cook her creamed rice for dinner which she has with peaches. I sort her medications and get as much ready as I can for the next day.  I’m working at home tomorrow so it won’t be as frenzied in the morning.

It’s now time for me, but all I want to do now is go to bed.  I usually read a few pages before my eyes start closing and am asleep by 9pm.  I like to try and get a few hours sleep in before we are up again during the night.

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