My campaign is built on life stories, this has brought me in to contact with many amazing people ,here is one of them Mary Stewart, with great respect for allowing me to share
I am not sure how much of my story you would like to hear, as it is rather a long story, from when I first suspected Mum had Alzheimers to when I had the job of being her fulltime carer (a job I never applied for, was interviewed for or even needed a reference for). After all, its my Mum I am talking about and I wanted to look after her. Was I prepared for the journey I was about to embark on, in a word NO. Every single day was different, her needs were changing almost daily, thats when I really started to cherish the happier days with her. I loved to hear her laugh and that was something she did not do as much as she used to. I was her carer for 5yrs, her needs had changed quite dramatically in that time, she had sleepless nights, sometimes I would just go in to bed beside her and hold her, sometimes she'd sleep but when she didnt I would just lay there holding her as she was content, at least that way I could get some rest too. Some days she was very aggresive; it was difficult to distract her at these times to redirect her to somewhere happier. It was a full time unpaid job, I have no regrets about caring for her, shes my Mum, love her so much. One day, I gave in and agreed she should be in full time residential care, deep down I knew there was every possibility that day would come. For over a year people in authority had wanted me to allow for her to be in residential care. The hardest day for me was taking her to her new 'home', I felt like I was giving her way, like a mother forced to give her child up for adoption. The pain inside was hurting, the guilt I felt was so so bad. Her new home was newly built, she had a nice room and everything in it was shiny and new, it was lovely. But, I just kept thinking I promised my Dad I would look after her just weeks before he died. I felt I had let my Mum down...................I went home on that Friday afternoon and cried and cried and cried, I cried for days. I was at home alone wondering where do I go from here, didnt know where to start. Being a full time carer at home changes the person you really are, as you are so wrapped up in the role as a carer, there is no time to be yourself. Being a carer had an impact on my health and certainly my confidence..................................
.three years on from placing Mum in her new 'home' I am still learning to be me again and am at last 'finding my feet'.
Tommy - lets just say this the condensed version of My Story - I have a much longer full story of my time as a carer - one day I will sort it all into order as its all a bit of a muddle at the moment.