So now I am a sandwich carer. It is a new term to me but means as well as caring for my two sons with autism, I support my mother in law who has dementia.
Her illness has been sudden,. She lies on the sofa. This time last year she was out and about engaging with the world. I feel as if I am on the shore watching her swim off to uncharted territory. I wish I had a rope to bring her back. The nan who gave me so much support when the boys were younger. Instead she asks, “How do I know you Sandra?.” I answer with a tear in my eye.
She cared for her elderly parents and husband. She deserves a rest but dementia is cruel. She only has a son so I try my best to help. To be honest I feel squished like a sandwich filling. I have my boys to care for. It is awful to see someone you care for become so dependent. A good friend said to me that they thought autism was difficult until they encountered dementia and now I understand.
The next year will be a challenge. I have a few battles to fight but my mother in law (even though she is not) wiĺl be given all the help I have the strength to give. I know my boundaries but this situation is impacting on me already. I wish I could do more.
The historian Barbara Hepworth described caring S being carried out by mostly exhausted women and she is right but we do what we do because we are kind and with love but how long can we go on?
Much love to you all and will post more positive blogs in 2017. Take care and lots of love to my fellow carers.