A Work 'wwyd'?

(11 Posts)
Akrotiri1 Thu 13-Feb-20 13:12:52

I have cared for a lady with dementia for the last 4 yrs, and have recently also started to care for her husband, who is frail but otherwise in reasonable health. I am made to feel part of the family and the job has many benefits, and they are a lovely couple to be with.

However I am struggling with the increased hours, coupled with a mil who has been recently bereaved and is becoming increasingly reliant on some help too.The family have tried to find someone to job share, but with no success, hence me taking on the extra hours. I work part time, but over 5 days a week, which is not ideal as initially took the job on 3 days. I have only taken 1 day sick in the last 4 yrs as there is no one else to cover, and agency care is getting harder to come by in our area.

My other concern is that my current job has no long term security, as they continue to age the pair of them are a ticking time bomb, and have been told if anything happens to either of them, the other will have to go into a home.

Another care job has come up locally, with the same hours, but with 3 full days, which would far more suit my lifestyle and being on hand for mil. It involves care for a younger lady, so no long term worries, and there are other carers on hand so would be part of a small team. I have an interview next week.

The issue I have is a moral one - the elderly couple I look after have become extremely reliant on me, and the wife having dementia does not cope well with other people looking after her. I am concerned if Ieave it may fast track her into a home. Also I feel I letting the family down...….and the husband has become a real friend and often tells me he doesn't know how he would cope without my help.

Who's needs do I put first? My own but would feel terrible letting them down, or staying in the job until it no longer exists, but possibly resenting feeling 'trapped'?!

So wwyd?

OP’s posts: |
Toria70 Thu 13-Feb-20 13:17:56

They're not your family. Or your responsibility. You are paid to look after them, no more, no less.

Hand in your notice, give them a decent notice period and contact social services to say that a vulnerable couple are going to be left without care in place. Do everything you can to help them find this.

My attitude may seem uncaring, but I used to work in domicialliary care, and it very nearly broke me. My 16 hours part time became closer to 36 with a couple that preferred to have me over other carers, and I got way too personally involved which crossed the professional line. You have to prioritise your own life and your own needs.

FadedRed Thu 13-Feb-20 13:22:20

What Tori’s says^^
They are not your family and you work for them. They have been very fortunate that you have been able to go above and beyond what you originally signed up for.
Please do not feel that you cannot move on, especially when you need to for your own wellbeing.

FadedRed Thu 13-Feb-20 13:23:02


Peakypolly Thu 13-Feb-20 13:26:49

I agree with other posters. You have done a great job, above and beyond your responsibilities. You need to feel proud of the support you have been to the elderly couple.
Now is the time to move on for your and your own family’s sake.

jillandhersprite Thu 13-Feb-20 13:31:32

You must for your own mental health move on. You are in danger of losing the professional line and becoming a de facto part of the family.
Good luck with the new job and hopefully you get it. In case you don't though you do need to talk with the family about how the 5 days really isn't working for you and give them a gentle heads up that you are not happy.

CheeseCakeSunflowers Thu 13-Feb-20 13:31:40

Sad as it is, I agree that you put yourself first. Elderly people are often resistant to change, there have been many posts on here where elderly parents expect their adult children to provide their care rejecting outside help. I think this couple now see you in a similar way but you are not their daughter and you need to put your own family first.

bigbluebus Thu 13-Feb-20 14:00:11

It's a tough one but I note that you think there will be 'No long term issues' in caring for a younger lady. No guarantees in that I'm afraid. My DD's carers were out of a job when my DD died unexpectedly aged 22. I bumped into one of DD's carers a few years later and she had just lost her job again in similar circumstances.

Akrotiri1 Thu 13-Feb-20 14:00:13

Gosh thanks for all the helpful replies!

And of course you are right...……..I just wish I had more confidence in the care providers in my area.

OP’s posts: |
cstaff Thu 13-Feb-20 14:03:34

You need to look after yourself which in all honesty they have not done for you i.e. getting a second person to help when your hours increased. I understand that it is more personal in this kind of job but you need to look after yourself also. If these hours don't suit then they don't suit you.

If the other job comes good, just hand in your notice and they will just have to do something about it, which they failed to do because they could rely on you.

Akrotiri1 Thu 13-Feb-20 14:03:40

bigbluebus - so sorry to hear that.

OP’s posts: |

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