Carer Paul, who cares for his mother, talks about how he has struggled to prioritise his own health and wellbeing. He feels that taking a break helped him to realise how important it is to look after yourself.
“The [Carers’ Centre Staff Member] took the time to make sure I was included. Going on that day out revitalised me, re-energised me. Depression is a roller coaster and I’ve been down but I still have that day out to hold on to… As an organisation you’re enabling me to give more to my mother.”
Maggie’s husband Al was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The most difficult thing for her was the fact that he knew and recognised most other people… but not her. She discusses the impact on their relationship, her wellbeing and how she managed while she was caring for Al.
“One day we were sat having our dinner and he looked at me and said, you are my wife, aren’t you? And I laughed and said of course I am! I still didn’t grasp that he was really asking, that he really didn’t know me.”
Dee cares for her grandmother, who has dementia, as well as her son who suffered a brain injury following an accident. Here she talks about the differences in her caring roles and how she manages her family life — generally with a sense of humour.
“I think humour is the best way to cope with most things… you’ve got to laugh otherwise you might cry.”
September means back to school and we’re thinking about the young carers who maybe didn’t get so much of a break over the summer as their peers. Young carers can face a very challenging time at home with ill, disabled or frail relatives, struggling with sleep, managing homework, or keeping up with friends.
In this Carer Conversations session, two young people share their powerful stories. Bassie tells of the confidence he’s gained by getting involved with his local young carers service. And Immie shares her experience of being a young carer in school and the heartbreaking challenges she faced. Click the links below to listen.
“I couldn’t physically get her up from the floor. She had a concussion… And no one stopped to help.”
Last week we heard from Jayne about the challenges she faced caring for her mum, who has dementia. She said she felt like their roles had reversed and she had becoming the ‘nagging mother’, asking her mum to tidy up or cut her nails. Her friend Allie helped her by coming in and cleaning the house so her mum still felt like she had her independence.
Listen in to the second half of the conversation where Jayne talks about coping with emotional fallout.