The hidden impact of becoming a sudden carer is more revealing than expected

The journey that started with “The hidden cost of becoming a sudden carer is more than just emotional” and The hidden impact of becoming a sudden carer is more like a playground continues.

Yes, I have been revealed. Exposed. Thrown about and through a wringer. I have survived true.

I’m no longer mummy’s girl, I’m mummy’s carer. 

In six months much has happened. There was me thinking I was a strong person after loosing family members way too early and having to support others because of all that, but nothing prepares you for the maturity and strength you need to draw on when you become the adult in the mother/daughter relationship. They call us the “sandwich generation“. The ones who care for their mum while being a mum. I don’t wish to put myself down, or beef it up more than it is, as I’ve raised two strong girls of my own… but I do sense inside myself a new level of strength. Actually, I don’t care how wanky that sounds really, I need to say it. For all the rest of you out there. I get it. It’s hard but beautiful all at the same time.

There is a whole new dimension to our mother/daughter relationship that wasn’t there before. Truth.

It’s a curious, eye opening process when you become dependent on another. You can no longer manage outcomes. You lose part control. It got me thinking as we stood inside a cubicle together, looking at a door that we couldn’t open because mum’s wheelchair was in the way. We were both helpless.

For the first time in six months even I couldn’t help mum. Sure, I could have shouted and screamed and made a fuss about this completely ridiculous predicament. But she’d just been pulled through the wringer herself, being prodded and pushed around to have x-rays done. Stand here, bend there, when she can’t stand or bend (the nurse was lovely about it , in that she was obviously a lovely person naturally). Mum didn’t need further stress or anxiety from me.

What a predicament. Stuck. The room was less than two metres long. I was backed against a door I couldn’t open – as the lovely nurse had shut us in and it was a one way latch – and mums wheelchair was within inches of the door that opened inwards. I had to laugh. I took a selfie. We giggled at it. It was all we could do under the circumstances. Ten minutes later they rescued us. Looking quite confused that we couldn’t get out.

It got me thinking.

Why is aged care this hard? In this day and age. Why is care hard? Have we really always been that thoughtless that we can’t even think through a process of x-raying someone from a wheelchair?

I say, if our state has the oldest population, which we have recognised for generations because we even have pay out lines about it (ie the Geriatric State etc), why don’t we become “the” destination for retirees and older people? Best services, best treatments, best research.

Best care.

We have some of the best innovators, best thinkers, best entrepreneurs in Adelaide. What is stopping us? Let the youth of today free to craft a better lifestyle for their own future. Give them our oldies to work on. Let them create a better world. We are all living longer.

We will all need it.

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