Adult Carer Stories

Many people do not see themselves as carers because they are simply doing what they can for a relative or friend who cannot manage without them, because of their disability or illness. Here some carers share their experiences, the rewards and the challenges they face.

Anne’s story

Anne explains how this year she has relinquished the role of “fixer” for her son who has a drug and alcohol addiction

“As Lewis’ mum, I thought it was my role and duty to do this, after all it must somehow be my fault. Where have I gone wrong? "

Jane’s story

Jane shares her experience of navigating the system to get respite. She has cared for four members of her family.

"I have always looked after my family - my mum, dad, brother and husband, plus me! Over the years their needs have developed and as they have aged, they have become more dependent and in need of more full-time care.

I was happy to stop work and spend my days caring for the family. It’s what I do, It has been a joy and privilege for me to look after them".

Jane on bench

Dave’s story

Dave cares for his wife Sarah, who has physical disabilities. He took up 3-D printing during lockdown and is a keen angler.

"I got very despondent during lockdown – at one point, I couldn’t even look after myself, let alone Sarah. I couldn’t go fishing or to the Men in Sheds workshop where I volunteered. A neighbour lent me his home 3D printer and I’ve really got into it. In fact, I’ve ended up buying my own. An NHS carers grant helped me buy some supplies."

Dave with his 3D printer

Chris’ story

Chris’s husband Nick has lived with Huntington’s disease for more than 25 years. He moved into a local nursing home in 2020.

"It’s always been just the two of us. We decided not to have children when we got married because Huntington’s is a genetic condition. Nick saw his mother and brother pass away from the same cruel disease"

Chris and Jenny

Eve’s story

Eve has learning disabilities and she cares for her husband Pete, who has several diagnoses. She talks about the impact of caring on her condition.

" I do all the household jobs, finance, his medications and appointments. I have to fix or get his walker repaired – and of course, I listen to his worries and concerns.

Despite all this, he also helps me. For example, he reminds me about my meds. He also comes out with some gems – and he still makes me laugh, he cracks me up! "

Eve

A rollercoaster story

Living with second-hand depression and the roller coaster ride that is being a full-time unpaid carer.

"I feel exhausted most of the time, undervalued by the government and unappreciated by my wife, but I know that is the depression talking. I feel like I need a rest from the incessant gloom and despair, or I fear I will fall into the same deep well."

Eileen’s story

Eileen is a former carer for her mother who had Alzheimer’s. She talks about the need for employers to be flexible and embrace carers.

"Everybody has someone they love and they might need support in looking after that person.."

Eileen

Paula’s story

I care for m20-year-old son Harry, who has severe epilepsy. A few years agoI caught the sewing bug.

“I used the carers grant to attend more classes to improve my skills and combat loneliness. I have now made more than 20 quilts, including gifts, commissions and for charities. The feeling of achievement is so positive for my mental well-being"

Paula and her quilts

Ortrud’s story

Ortrud explains how, despite being reluctant at first, counselling has helped her. 

“I first tried counselling 6 years ago but it did not help. I was reluctant to try again but I am caring for my husband who has MS. It is very important to create a stress free home as it can make MS worse. However, my past was causing me a lot of pain and I was struggling to cope."

Ortrud