Need opinions! Supporting my now disabled brother with care routines.

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Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#1
Hi guys!
This year hasn’t exactly been the greatest for my family.. my parents relationship isn’t the best at the moment to put it lightly. My older brother (19) was involved in a serious car accident in Feb and now has an acquired brain injury as a result. He is unable to walk, struggles with independently feeding himself and is very very slowly regaining some of the skills in which he previously had eg walking, talking, communicating etc.
My brother currently requires a high level of support with his basic care (feeding, changing pads (adult nappies), showering, drinking etc)

My mum has had to give up work and now acts as my brothers caregiver, my dad works long hours and often works night shifts.. I’ve never really offered to help with any of his personal care needs as I’ve never been asked to step in and didn’t want to seem as if I’m trying to take over from my mum but I know my mum is exhausted and could really do with someone taking over from her for a few hours or helping.

Is it appropriate for me to be helping with the previously listed care needs? If you have a sibling with disabilities/injuries do you help out? I would really value the opinions from people on here particularly those with disabled siblings/young carers.
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Switzerland29
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#2
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I think if you are willing then yes it is appropriate for you to help out with your brothers care needs. I imagine your brother and mother would appreciate it, I doubt your mother would ever view it as you taking over... maybe you could talk to her about it?
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Anonymous #2
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My mum had multiple sclerosis and I was a young carer up until I was 13 and she had some of the same problems like not being able to walk/eat etc.
I’d say you should do what you can to help out and give your mum a break for a bit, if you’re on the younger side like I was I wouldn’t stress out tonight much about the really nasty jobs like having to take him to the toilet and stuff, just try and do things like feeding him his dinner every now and then or getting him ready in the morning for example it was always my job to put on my mums socks and shoes and make and help her drink her tea in the morning. Just try and do simple things like this etc.
Literally every little thing helps and it would be nice for your mum to have a little bit of stress relieved.
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Anonymous #2
#4
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#4
As somebody who was a young carer up until I was 13 for a mother with multiple sclerosis I can definitely relate. My mum had a lot of the same problems as your brother as she was paralysed.
I’d say you should definitely try to help out your mum, even if it’s just little things like feeding him his dinner/ snacks or helping get him ready in the morning.
I reckon your mum would massively appreciate it and it would probably relieve a lot of her stress if you were to chip in with some of the daily duties.
If you’re on the younger side I wouldn’t stress out too much about the gritty stuff like having to change his nappy etc but just help out where you can.
Good luck to you and your family ))
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TheFarmerLad
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Firstly I'm very sorry to hear of this and I hope matters within your family are on the mend. Tragic news indeed.

Secondly, one of my best pals has a disabled sibling, and from what I know his parents take charge of the majority of her care (she has down syndrome). He helps out whenever possible of course but for the most part he's unavailable due to studying medicine at uni. His parents went through a tough ordeal especially when his sister was younger (often times she had to be run to the hospital), not to mention bringing up him and his other sister through school, but they stuck with it, particularly his mother who learnt the whole of sign language, and she also quit her job in doing so.

Whilst this may not have totally answered your question as such, I hope at least it provides your family some inspiration during these tough times. I truly wish you all the best, and by all means PM me if you want to chat more about it
(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi guys!
This year hasn’t exactly been the greatest for my family.. my parents relationship isn’t the best at the moment to put it lightly. My older brother (19) was involved in a serious car accident in Feb and now has an acquired brain injury as a result. He is unable to walk, struggles with independently feeding himself and is very very slowly regaining some of the skills in which he previously had eg walking, talking, communicating etc.
My brother currently requires a high level of support with his basic care (feeding, changing pads (adult nappies), showering, drinking etc)

My mum has had to give up work and now acts as my brothers caregiver, my dad works long hours and often works night shifts.. I’ve never really offered to help with any of his personal care needs as I’ve never been asked to step in and didn’t want to seem as if I’m trying to take over from my mum but I know my mum is exhausted and could really do with someone taking over from her for a few hours or helping.

Is it appropriate for me to be helping with the previously listed care needs? If you have a sibling with disabilities/injuries do you help out? I would really value the opinions from people on here particularly those with disabled siblings/young carers.
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doodle_333
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#6
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It's totally ok for you to help out. Your brother may be uncomfortable with you doing personal care stuff if you're his little sister. But there's no reason not to take some of the strain in terms of feeding, socialising etc. I imagine your mum doesn't want to make things harder for you when it's already a terrible thing to be going through as a family but shed probably appreciate the help.
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Little Popcorns
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#7
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Yes as long as you’re not struggling to cope and you have support yourself.
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SlightlySummer
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I hope it works well for you and you family x
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Anonymous #1
#9
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#9
Thank you so much for your reply! I’m 16 (17 in December) so not exactly young but I have found everyday since his accident very difficult. I think it’s a lot harder because I feel like the brother I had is gone, we were really close but now I’m not even sure if he remembers me before his accident or what he can understand..

It’s nice to know what others are in and have been in similar situations and I think your amazing for what you did for your mum at such a young age.
I have spoken to my mum and she’s happy for me to help out as long as long as it doesn’t start making me stressed out etc, I think she’s just desperate for me to enjoy my summer before I start college in September.
I’m going to start to step in to do little things and build it up when I can and have the time to do so!
(Original post by Switzerland29)
I think if you are willing then yes it is appropriate for you to help out with your brothers care needs. I imagine your brother and mother would appreciate it, I doubt your mother would ever view it as you taking over... maybe you could talk to her about it?
(Original post by Anonymous)
My mum had multiple sclerosis and I was a young carer up until I was 13 and she had some of the same problems like not being able to walk/eat etc.
I’d say you should do what you can to help out and give your mum a break for a bit, if you’re on the younger side like I was I wouldn’t stress out tonight much about the really nasty jobs like having to take him to the toilet and stuff, just try and do things like feeding him his dinner every now and then or getting him ready in the morning for example it was always my job to put on my mums socks and shoes and make and help her drink her tea in the morning. Just try and do simple things like this etc.
Literally every little thing helps and it would be nice for your mum to have a little bit of stress relieved.
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Anonymous #1
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Thanks for this, I think it’ll be awkward for me to change pads etc as it’s not like I’ve grown up with him being disabled and I’m really not too sure on how much he understands. I’ve spoken to my mum and i am going to start to do little things to help out. She just wants me to enjoy my summer as I’ve just finished school but I’m hoping I can help to take some of the pressure of my mum for the next few months.

I would like to help with his socialisation too which isn’t exactly helping my mum out with his care needs but I think he’d benefit as unfortunately he hasn’t had any of his old friends come to visit or stay round after his accident which is upsetting but understandable. Any ideas of what I could do with him?

Thanks so much for your reply.
(Original post by doodle_333)
It's totally ok for you to help out. Your brother may be uncomfortable with you doing personal care stuff if you're his little sister. But there's no reason not to take some of the strain in terms of feeding, socialising etc. I imagine your mum doesn't want to make things harder for you when it's already a terrible thing to be going through as a family but shed probably appreciate the help.
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doodle_333
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#11
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Yeah if he has any awareness he may well still have the understanding that you're his little sister. It's also not uncommon for guys to get erections during personal care which would be very weird for you.

Socialization is a huge part of care and if he's happy that will be a stress of your mum too! So don't feel like it's not valuable. Does your brother have any communication? Eg could he move a hand to indicate a choice? The main thing is just chatting to him so he's not left alone. If he can speak ask what he wants eg a walk, a movie, read a book. If he can't you can do things like holding two books and look where his eyes go or touch his right hand and say book then his left and say film then hold his hands and ask him to squeeze or move his selection. Then do the same with film options etc. It takes time but it will make a difference to him to have that choice if you can find a way.
(Original post by Anonymous)
Thanks for this, I think it’ll be awkward for me to change pads etc as it’s not like I’ve grown up with him being disabled and I’m really not too sure on how much he understands. I’ve spoken to my mum and i am going to start to do little things to help out. She just wants me to enjoy my summer as I’ve just finished school but I’m hoping I can help to take some of the pressure of my mum for the next few months.

I would like to help with his socialisation too which isn’t exactly helping my mum out with his care needs but I think he’d benefit as unfortunately he hasn’t had any of his old friends come to visit or stay round after his accident which is upsetting but understandable. Any ideas of what I could do with him?

Thanks so much for your reply.
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