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Topic: CARER FOR RELATIVE

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Mathias
    Mathias avatar
    4 posts
    17 September 2018
    My "Not Real Name" is Mathias. I am a 67 yr old male who is caring for my 94 year old Uncle. He has only returned recently from 3 weeks in respite care following rehab from a shingles infection on the right side of his temple and face. I have had him assessed and approved by ACAS for funding of a medium care package. I was told that funding will take 6-12 months to come through. In the interim I have approval for some services such as Meals on Wheels, Cleaning, and Showering 3 times weekly. I have also managed to set up direct debit payment for his bills which takes the worry off his shoulders. All of these services do help but I am wondering if there are any other people in a similar position that can offer me some advice regarding in-home-care to help free up some time for myself. I would appreciate any advice that can help me to to do this.
  2. PamelaR
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    PamelaR avatar
    218 posts
    17 September 2018 in reply to Mathias

    Hi Mathias and warm welcome to Beyond Blue forums

    You are wonderful Mathias. Looking after your 94 year old uncle I imagine is very time consuming. It does sound like you're on the right track - having set up medium care package with ACAS. I'm surprised that ACAS haven't been able to help you with what you can do until your package gets started.

    It's good to see you are trying to find more time for yourself too. Very important for self care by carers. Who do you have that you can talk to about your caring role? For example a close family member or trusted friend?

    Not sure where you live in Australia, so it may be a little more difficult if you're not in a major city. My brother used to have someone come and take him out, or come around for a 'social visit'. This service was provided by the organisation that did the cleaning. Perhaps you could talk with them.

    Another avenue to explore maybe your local council if you haven't already done this? I know some have varying services for the community. Though I think you may need to take him to a day service rather than having them visit.

    Also, if you haven't already tried them, have a look at the Australian Government Carer Gateway. It gives you a whole lot of options for respite care. For example, respite that is:

    • home-based
    • centre-based
    • community access
    • overnight
    • weekend
    • residential

    This maybe what you've already been through with the ACAS team. However, it may well be worth your while to have a look at this webpage - www.carergateway.gov.au/who-can-get-respite

    Keep reaching out if and when you want to Mathias. You are not alone.

    Kind regards

    PamelaR

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Elizabeth CP
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Elizabeth CP avatar
    108 posts
    17 September 2018 in reply to PamelaR

    There are Commonwealth Carer respite centres throughout Australia. Each one covers a set area of the country. You can google this on the computer to find the one for your area.

    These are set up specifically for carers particularly when needing advice or respite. I have found them very helpful both for myself and in the past for clients when I was working. The initial phone call will give you chance to discuss what your situation is & then work out what help can be provided to help you. Even if they can't help directly they will link you with people who can.

  4. Mathias
    Mathias avatar
    4 posts
    20 October 2018 in reply to PamelaR

    Hi Pamela R, and thanks for Welcoming me.

    In regard to your help with ACAS I have now managed to set up showering and meals on wheels for my 94 year old uncle. It was a bit of a mine field to begin with but the ACAS consultant made it easier by explaining that, as my uncle now has all the codes available, I could go ahead and use whatever our council could provide which has eased my mind a lot. My uncle has been in and out of hospital the last 6 weeks a few problems, but after some rehab and respite care, has now recovered and is back home and in good health. This has given me some time to do some of the things I like to do such as going to the gym regularly, reading, playing music, having coffee/food with friends, and of course, not being so stressed. Having the knowledge of options available is very reassuring. I am now getting on with life as it is and trying to be very positive.

    Thank you Pamela R for your support.

    Kind regards. Mathias.

  5. PamelaR
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    PamelaR avatar
    218 posts
    20 October 2018 in reply to Mathias

    Hi Mathias

    So good to hear things are looking positive for you and your uncle. Being able to have time for yourself is so important. Great that you're getting to the gym, playing music, having coffee etc. BTW - what music do you play as a matter of interest?

    Kind regards

    PamelaR

  6. Mathias
    Mathias avatar
    4 posts
    28 October 2018 in reply to PamelaR

    Hi PamelaR,

    As I am a senior citizen my taste is music is eclectic. I play guitar so I am usually playing my favourite songs from the blues, swamp rock (CCR, Tony Joe White (RIP) , Rock, Beatles. Don't listen to much new music these days as I find it is very shallow. I am quite partial to Vance Joy, John Mayer, Bonnie Rait. I enjoy artists who write and perform songs from the heart. I am not a religious person, but within my own spirit, I try to find some kind of inner peace by being positive about life and appreciate what I already have in life such as the intrinsic love of nature and the life force that surrounds us. Yes, I have bad days and good days, but I find that by using affirmations each day, the good days are more prolific.

    Thank you so much for your support and kind words.

    Kind regards..Mathias.

  7. PamelaR
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    PamelaR avatar
    218 posts
    28 October 2018 in reply to Mathias

    Hi Mathias

    You're welcome. I'm pleased to hear the use of affirmations each day helps make the good days more prolific. Wonderful to hear.

    Playing the guitar must be so relaxing and refreshing. Love the Beatles, CCR. My taste in music is also eclectic. More so around classicaly these days - love to listen to Mozart, Vivaldi, Bach, to name but a few. But I'm also a folkie from way back with much interest in songs written about social significance.

    Inner peace is truly a must isn't it? I find it colours my life and helps me to live life more fully and to have a more positive outlook on life. Much more likely to let things go and not to get on a bandwagon about all the 'wrong things in life'. Especially those things I cannot change.

    Thank you again for coming back to us and sharing more of your story.

    Kind regards

    PamelaR

  8. Mathias
    Mathias avatar
    4 posts
    22 November 2019
    I am now a 69 year old male who is a full-time carer for my 95 year old uncle who has been through a lot of medical issues over the last few years. He is now on a Level two package which took a long time to come through, but because his condition deteriorated over time he was reassessed for a higher level package and was approved. We will still have to wait more time that to come through. In the meantime I have had to deal with enormous stress and thoughts of feeling worthless and being trapped. I went to a psychologist for several weeks, but nothing seems to help. Even though my uncle is now able to live with me at home and gets services for his showers and meals, I still have days where the black dog visits (my interpretation) of depression. I do not want to go on anti-depressants because I fear that I will lose my mind and not be able to cope. I signed up to a gym about a year ago and have been training four times a week and have a healthy diet. All this seems to help in some ways with my stress levels, but emotionally I don't have an answer from the up and down cycles I go through. I love my uncle very much, but the thought of going through the rest of my life struggling to stay alive alone is getting too much to bear. Because I am my uncle's carer I cannot live my life the way I once did. My soul partner of 25 years passed away in 2014 and my life has never been the same. It feels like I am dying a slow death. I am lost in my thoughts and feel worthless. I cannot seem to find a way to end the emotional pain I feel every day.
  9. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    191 posts
    22 November 2019 in reply to Mathias
    Hi Mathias,
    Thank you for reaching out. It’s good to hear that you are trying different means of support for yourself. The situation that you are describing sounds like it is exhausting and you are aware of how it is affecting you.
    Have you approached Carers Australia VIC? (https://www.carersvictoria.org.au/). They not only provide counselling (outreach as well) but also have support groups. They could be of help for you. Also, on days where you feel overwhelmed by the negative thoughts please do not hesitate to phone any of the below services:
    Lifeline 13 11 14
    Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
    beyondblue Support Service 1300 22 4636
    Griefline 1300 845 745
     
    Take care
    Beyond Blue
     

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