When our parents need more help in older age, the pressure can pull families apart.
Your support can help them find one another again.
‘My Dad was still there physically, but it felt like I’d lost him’ Maggie
Maggie’s dad had been her rock over the years, always there when she needed a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on. And whenever she doubted herself, he’d say: ‘You’ve got this Mags’
But Maggie didn’t feel like a daughter anymore, she’d become a carer
While Maggie’s dad, Pete, was waiting for a hip operation, she moved in to help him through a difficult time. But when Pete’s health deteriorated, the pressure grew on Maggie. She felt exhausted, overwhelmed and worried about how they would cope when her dad came home from hospital.
Maggie was dealing with some very difficult emotions
“I couldn’t help feeling resentful towards dad for taking over my life,” she explains. “Having those thoughts made me feel incredibly guilty too. Worst of all, I was feeling a great sense of loss. My dad was still here physically, but it felt like I’d lost him. It was like a bereavement.”
Pete hated what was happening too. He never wanted to be a burden on anyone, especially not his daughter. He felt embarrassed about having to call out to Maggie during the night to help him with bathroom visits. He was still devastated by the loss of his wife of 60 years, and now he’d lost his independence, his dignity and his relationship with his daughter.
In desperation, Maggie phoned the Help Team
Whether it’s a family member like Maggie, or an older person who’s struggling to cope at home on their own, it can be very difficult to find the support you need. Our Help Team is here to provide confidential advice and information to guide people through every aspect of later life.
Just talking to someone who understood and took the time to listen made an immediate difference to Maggie. She knew she wasn’t alone anymore.
Maggie hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep in months, but with our help she was able to arrange overnight caring support for her dad. We also put her in touch with our Out of Hospital Team , which arranges special support for older people following a stay in hospital.
Slowly but surely Maggie regained control, but she also regained something far more important – her relationship with her dad.
As she says:
“Now that we have the right support in place, I can enjoy spending time with my dad again. I’d completely lost him and you have brought him back to me.”
Beth, our Help Team Manager, says:
At some point, many of us will face the kind of situation Maggie found herself in. And when parents need more support in older age, the impact on families can be devastating. Our Help Team provides support, advice and information to help local families overcome the challenges of later life. But as a charity we can only continue to support people like Maggie and Pete with your help. Please donate today, whatever you can spare will help.
Your support has never been more important.
The pandemic has caused additional stress, isolation and anxiety for a lot of people, as well as putting care services under even more pressure. In fact, we are currently seeing a sharp increase in calls from people who are desperate for support, but don’t know where to start.
Every one of these calls deserves our time, understanding and expertise. But that’s something we can only continue to give with support from our local community.
Currently, we don’t have enough funding in place for next year, so I’m turning to local people like you for help. Whatever you can give today to support Age UK Gloucestershire will help us to continue providing vital services like the Help Team.
Thank you for your support.