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Anne de Gruchy

Anne de Gruchy

Writer and long-distance carer

I came to writing late, at nearly 40, during a gap between jobs – a period when I also studied theology. I hate having time on my hands so I thought: I’ll write that book I’ve always talked about – and I did! Since then I’ve written two novels, a humorous theological book, short stories and poetry.

Now in my 50s, I find myself juggling time between home and my father’s house in Dorset. Caring for him and managing his care package and finances has added a new dimension to my life. Unable to juggle this with mainstream employment, I find myself with the opportunity to develop my writing and artwork alongside a caring role. My experience is that every difficult decision can also be a blessing if we are open to it…

Anne de Gruchy

Following the ‘Cumulative Caring Crises’ that I posted about recently (blog post here: https://idea.nottingham.ac.uk/blogs/posts/cumulative-caring-crises-and-residential-ripples) we have now a

Anne de Gruchy

The situation with my lovely dad is becoming untenable. ‘Becoming’ is probably rather too tame a word for it – things have changed rapidly over the last nine months and I feel like we are dealing with a runaway steam train (dad would love that analogy) about to hit the buffers.

Anne de Gruchy

This is a tale of woe! For want of a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (POA) our family find ourselves with a Catch 22 dilemma in getting services for my dad. We are going in circles, believe me, we are going in circles! Please read, and take note, all you carers out there…

Anne de Gruchy

I am the person who fights unwinnable battles and batters her head against walls that will never come down. I get stressed, but cling onto the wreckage for so long that I am holding onto a single piece of driftwood by the time I either sink or accept rescue.

Anne de Gruchy

Today, yet again, I woke up in a bed away from home. To be precise, I woke up at my father’s house. This has become familiar after many years of visiting for long periods to support him with his increasing health needs. But today was different. Today I was alone in the house.

Anne de Gruchy

I’ve been thinking about my lovely dad, about him sitting there at home with his little dog, and worrying that he might be lonely.

Anne de Gruchy

For many years now I have been caught up in a cycle of stress and meltdowns trying to juggle life and work and my dad’s needs. This has been aggravated by the fact that my dad lives 200 miles away, and you will be familiar by now with my rants about the woes of long-distance caring.

Anne de Gruchy

...Or how dementia and a distance of two hundred miles turns boiler breakdowns into a multi-faceted guessing game and a delicate delegation operation!

Anne de Gruchy

Tonight, as I often do, I woke in the early hours with lots of interesting thoughts buzzing around my brain – things that intrigued me about humanity, and ideas I wanted to explore through my writing.

Anne de Gruchy

Here, as promised, is another set of ‘Tentative Tips’. As I said previously, please do take them for what they are – ideas shared in the hope they might prove useful to others as they have proved useful to me and to carers I have talked to.

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