Carers are not volunteers.
I came across this in a Carers UK report and I suddenly exclaimed “YES!” the way you do when you read something that absolutely nails it. I underlined it three times I was so delighted with it. I also startled the poor woman who was sitting next to me in the library at the time, who suddenly remembered an urgent appointment elsewhere.
It might seem a curious sentence to some people. After all, couldn’t you choose to bring in paid carers to do the job instead or help the person find in a residential home to live in? Read More
I’m not one for fancy hats or, even worse, fascinators. Surely the only fascinating thing about a fascinator is why you’d want to stick one on your head at such an awkward angle in the first place? I like a woolly hat in the winter, though: one pulled down over my ears when there’s a pesky little wind blowing in off the North Sea.
But as a carer, I’m getting used to wearing a lot of hats. Read More
Most carers want the best for their loved one; that goes without saying. But wanting the best for the person you care for, and knowing how to provide it, isn’t necessarily the same thing. Read More
I’ve just read an interesting article in my Dad’s The Pensioner magazine. The article addresses what I believe is a key element of delivering successful social care. But it might not be an aspect that immediately springs to mind. Read More
It’s now more than four years since I moved back to Dad’s house to help look after him.
Wow. Time sure flies. If you’d told me at the beginning that I would still be a carer more than four years down the line, I would probably have dived under the duvet and refused to come out. Read More
When people think of what it takes to be a family carer, it’s usually personal qualities that spring to mind, such as patience, empathy or kindness.
But there’s another less obvious skill that’s equally necessary. Read More
It’s amazing how quickly a day can go pear-shaped, as what I’d hope to achieve evaporates in the face of unplanned events. It can happen to anyone, of course. The baby that keeps you up all night teething. The train that gets inexplicably cancelled. The colleague that calls in sick. The coffee cup that spills all over your white shirt just before you go into an important meeting (yes, that was me). We aren’t as in control of life as we’d like to think.
But disrupted plans and frustrated expectations seem to happen to me more as a carer than they ever did before. Read More
The first time my we left my father at a care home for a week of respite, I went home and cried.
Damn that respite guilt. Read More