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A Day In The Life Of A Stay-At-Home Carer.

Caring At Home

By Carol TownendPublished 2 years ago 7 min read
A Day In The Life Of A Stay-At-Home Carer.
Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

When I tell people that I am a carer, they ask me

"Where do you work?."

This is a problem because I am not a care assistant in employment. I am a carer who cares for someone at home

Caring at home is different to caring at work.

I do not have colleagues or a boss supporting me. I am a carer who has to do most things by myself and support myself.

It can be exhausting when you are caring at home, no matter the reason why you become a carer. I do not have the support of family or friends in person, as most of them live quite away from me. I do most of the caring by myself.

When people find out that you are a carer at home, they think that it is easy. The majority of those who ask about my role think that I just clean, care then do what I want.

Caring at home is harder than people think it is. You don't have the luxury of taking breaks during the day as you do in a caring job. You have to work harder to find time for yourself, and you have nobody but yourself to share the load with.

The only times I really get a break is when I am reading, writing, bathing or out with J.

I decided to write about my day, to give an idea about what my life is like as a carer.

Getting up in the morning

I wake up early in the morning while my husband is sleeping. J sleeps longer in the morning, so I dress and freshen up, have coffee and head to the kitchen to clean and prepare for my husbands day. Once I have done this if my husband is still sleeping, I will squeeze in some reading and writing.

Once J is awake; I proceed to help him get up himself. I support him in walking down the stairs, dressing and bathing because he is often in a lot of pain and unbalanced. I will then proceed to make him a coffee and talk about his night. I remind him to do certain things such as getting his medications and other things he has to/or has set out to do that day because he sometimes forgets. When I know he is safe and happy, I will head to the kitchen, clean up and perform any other tasks that need doing.

In the afternoon

J sometimes forgets he needs to eat and drink, so I make an effort to remind him. I prepare lunch unless he wants to do it by himself, at which point I make sure that he has his kitchen chair to sit on as standing can put him in a lot of pain which can cause him to fall. He likes to cook, but he can be unsteady on his feet by the cooker, so I help him by putting food in the oven, on the stove and getting it out for him. We often share the washing up, though I do have to help him with this, as it can tire him out and cause pain.

I also have to ensure that I have a heater prepared in the kitchen when it is very cold, as cold can cause him severe pain and breathlessness. There is no radiator in our kitchen, which means we have to use a portable heater.

By the middle of the afternoon, J's mood can drop. He can often become depressed and frustrated. This is understandable because J worked in nursing for over thirty years, and he used to be a lot stronger.

When you have worked all of your life caring for others suddenly to find yourself being cared for, it can bring out feelings of shame and guilt.

If the weather is good, we will go out and talk because this helps him to feel better. However, the weather can be bad sometimes, to a point where it would be unsafe to out and we end up talking inside.

Going out can also be hard for me as I have a skin condition that can be painful when affected by the weather, therefore, when we do go out, we don't stay out for too long.

He often feels bad about being outside because he uses a walking stick, and there are times I have to steady him as he can still trip and fall.

We talk about his feelings, sometimes this can make him feel better, others it can cause him to snap. I don't snap back, even though it makes me want to cry because I cannot take his pain away. I realize talking can help, but when the pain he is in occurs all day and night, it can leave me feeling powerless.

I work through these feelings by talking and writing.

When this happens, once the conversation has ended, he will be really tired and go back to sleep.

I work and clean while J sleeps, though once he is awake, I have to repeat the support of helping him get up and get downstairs again.

I have to be flexible with my work, as I do not get a lot of time to spend with it during the day. I haven't got time for a set routine like many others, I have to do my work randomly during the day, and I often do most of my reading in bed in the morning before getting up, or in between writing when I have a spare hour.

At night-time

We have tea around 7 p.m. After tea, J will get a bath. I have to observe him in the bathroom to ensure that he doesn't fall whilst in the bath, and while getting out of the bath. My bathroom is tiny, and J uses a step and rails to support him into the bath.

I have to move the step as soon as he gets in the bath, in order to reach him if he falls.

J is much taller than me, so if he needs an extra hand getting in the bath, I will allow him to use my shoulders for support. If I'm dealing with a fall, I will steady him by holding his waist. If he is in the bath, I sit him back up, by pushing him up, and when getting out, I will put my arms around his waist for support.

These methods enable him to regain his balance, whilst helping me to take the weight and not slip. If I allow myself to slip, that would be a further risk to him.

At bedtime, I make sure that I take everything he needs upstairs so that he doesn't have to come down at night.

J doesn't sleep well, even with medication. The pain can keep him up all night. I use a Cannabis Sativa Cream because this helps to soothe him and relieve the pain. It doesn't take it away completely, but it helps him to relax and reduce it, Cannabis oils and creams are known to have a soothing effect on pain. J is able to have some pain free time for a couple of hours after I use this cream.

I don't sleep until J sleeps because I know he might fall if he needs to get up. We both read and write, so we try to occupy ourselves with that and talk about what we have read and written.

This helps to take his mind off the pain for a while, we also watch silly things together as having a giggle can be helpful.

Chronic pain can sometimes keep J up all night, and in return, that means I am awake all night too. Early mornings seem to be J's most pain-free times, and that is when we both sleep better. This isn't always good for either of us, so we try to get extra sleep in the afternoon or by settling with an early night if that is possible.


Besides the above, I also do the shopping which I do online. If that isn't possible I will ask my council for help.

The above is just a small list of things I do as a carer.

I also have to maintain my own health on top of these things, and I am sure to talk with my GP or Carers U.K. when I need to.

My day can be really busy, and stressful at times. I deal with many unpredictable moods from J and I never know how much pain he is going to be in from one day to the next.

There are some days when I can be awake with J all day and all night.

At-Home-Carers count too. We deal with stress and exhaustion on a daily basis, and though Care-Assistants get paid to do a job, I don't get paid to do mine and I never expect it.

All I ask is that we are recognized and counted as carers as we do not get enough recognition for what we do, yet many of us care alone with little support and we do not have colleagues, and in some cases, no family or friends to rely on.

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About the Creator

Carol Townend

Fiction, Horror, Sex, Love, Mental Health, Children's fiction and more. You'll find many stories in my profile. I don't believe in sticking with one Niche! I write, but I also read a lot too.

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