While you are caring for a person in your own home gradually, as the disease progresses, their needs completely take over your life.
I found that I saw less and less of my friends. We stopped going out during the evening. You actually become rather isolated. During this time it is important to retain the contact with others as much as possible. I tried to have coffee with friends whenever I could. Of course the effects of the earthquakes has also made this difficult.
My family had all gone so I only saw them briefly when they came over to see Mum. My son and grandchildren are in the North Island and I always made time for them whenever I could. I live in our home town but doubt that my siblings will ever return now our parents have gone as they have made their lives in Australia and there is now nothing for them here.
Since George has been in care it has been a real time of transition. For over five years my sleep has been very broken. My sleep patterns have not yet returned. I don't worry about it and several times have gone back to sleep and not woken up until after 9 a.m., very unlike me. I haven't had a lie in since I don't know when.
I am now 'camping' in my munted home while the flat where I live is being repaired. I now live on my own for the first time ever. It is a funny feeling. I am pleased I have my cat, Fluffy Bum, who sleeps on my bed at night which is rather nice.
I am having to make sure I eat proper meals! I must admit though it is just things I feel like.
It is lovely to not have the mess everywhere.
I am organising a group for people who have been carers and have recently put the person into care. We are meeting monthly at a cafe. It is good for people who are similar stages to get together like this as these people understand what you are going through.