Tiredness can kill!

imageAs I have said before we are appreciative of the fact we get some respite from our care duties. Ideally a minimum of one night in seven would probably sustain what we do and I realise that many do not get any. I think one night off a week where carers can rest and have a break is actually a very modest ask when taken in comparison to what we contribute. We did have to fight and push for our current allocation however and it is an ongoing struggle. Carers require to be very proactive and determined to achieve a respite package. It is also not easy to let a loved one go but we have came to realise we must. Next year’s Carer’s Bill will provide much wider access to Carer’s assessments and I would urge carers to think about the type of support that could improve and sustain the vital and valuable job that you do. You owe it to your loved one as much as to yourself and family.
My problem this week has been that the two nights we received for this month did not give me enough time to carry out the tasks I had to do for work, my autism work and the needs of my family. Like many however despite knowing I could not achieve everything I ploughed on regardless. Andy was picked up at just after 1 pm for the long drive to the respite unit. He returned at 11.30 two days later. I had already decided I would forgo the most important aspect of respite for a carer – to have a rest- and am already regretting this now.
Of the 46 1/2 hours we had I spent about 20 hours decorating Andy and David’s bedrooms. This had been desperately needed and is impossible while Andy is at home.
1 1/2 hours were spent attending a council meeting chiefly to advocate for Autism rights. 3 hours on Christmas shopping, 4 hours on work for my job. Add in a few hours over the period looking after David and Helen and some reading associated with my autism studies. This never left enough hours to really have a decent sleep either night let alone a rest or some “me time.”
Everyone is busy at this time of year and the pressures are many I would readily acknowledge but the point I wanted to make was that everyone is surely entitled to have some downtime and or to pursue some leisure. Unpaid carers are no different in that respect and I hope this issue will be more recognised by local authorities.
Next time I’m going with the rest above all else. I can’t afford not to!

2 thoughts on “Tiredness can kill!

  1. The thing is, if you don’t look after yourself, you will not be able to look after anyone or anything else. It is not being selfish or precious, it is being practical and sensible. No one can run on empty ☺

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