After 30 years of caring around the clock for his elderly mother David Lulham remains devoted to his “number one mum”, but there is one thing the 59-year-old finds hard – lack of sleep.
The ex-motor-mechanic who suffers from back problems, diabetes and cataracts has been living with his 92-year-old housebound mother for 36 years helping to care for her basic needs.
The 59-year-old said: “I sleep every now and then. I am up every hour-and-a-half or so to get my mum to the loo. She goes to the bathroom a lot. I get exhausted sometimes.
“Half the time in the day she is asleep, but as soon as I go to sleep she says ‘David’.
“I’m just used to it now though.”
Having remained unmarried, Mr Lulham, one of six siblings, is the sole carer of his mother who previously suffered a stroke and has rheumatic arthritis.
Every week he does the household shopping, washing and cleaning and prepares three meals a day while sitting with his mother in their Kingston maisonette in Willingham Way.
It has only just been in the last four years that he has even accepted any additional help to care for his mother.
He said: “I have just got used to having another carer come and wash her every day.
“Even when I go away for a few days to stay with family while someone else is here looking after mum, I wake up in the middle of the night as if I can hear her calling me – but she is not there.”
The committed carer, who spoke to the Surrey Comet as part of National Carers Week, said he believed having a break away from his duties to relax every few months was helpful.
However, he had found it upsetting when he once came home to find his mother in her sofa rather than upstairs in her bedroom for the night.
He said: “She is my number one. I used to go out more. Now when I go out I have to rush back quickly. I go out for two hours at the most.
“That’s my life and that’s how I’ve got to live it.
“She used to look after us when we were kids. Now it’s up to me to look after her.”
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