Jennifer describes how being her husband’s carer took its toll
By Carlie Tucker
When a loved one needs specialised care and support, you may feel like you’re letting them down if you’re not able to provide them with the help they need. This is how Jennifer felt when her husband, Geoff, was diagnosed with dementia, even though she was exhausted and her own health was being affected.
As Geoff’s health began to decline, Jennifer was adamant that she could take care of him. Even if it meant sacrificing her own quality of life.
“I was caring for him full time, but I wasn’t going to give up,” she says. “He was my husband and my life.”
But the constant worry began to take a toll on Jennifer: “I could see myself really going down – I’ve lost weight, with the stress my hair was coming out. It was taking its toll.”
Geoff had a couple of falls at home, and it was becoming increasingly difficult for Jennifer to help him up. “I was having to stay up at night because I was worried he might fall again at any stage. I was getting very tired.”
Not only was Jennifer juggling the demands of caring for her husband, but she was also trying her best to handle all of the details and affairs that came on quickly after his diagnosis. Arranging Enduring Power of Attorney and refreshing their wills – there was an overwhelming number of decisions to be made and paperwork to fill out.
Exhausted and time-poor, Jennifer finally had to admit she wasn’t coping, although it took some convincing by her daughter that she – and Geoff – needed help.
“It was hard to start thinking about care,” she says. “I didn’t want to give up and I loved him, so of course I would care for him.”
Jennifer managed to get some respite for herself – and Geoff now has the support he needs, which means Jennifer is better able to look after herself.
As one of Queensland’s largest aged care providers, Blue Care can share the expert advice you need to make the best decisions for you or your loved one. One call takes care of it all: 1300 258 322.
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