Connecting carers with support to help them cope with the responsibilities and challenges they face
A carer got in touch with the Dudley CVS Carer Co-ordinator after being referred by her GP practice nurse. Her husband was recently discharged from hospital and had numerous admissions in the past 12 months due to respiratory illness. She was finding caring for him stressful, she wasn’t sleeping and had low mood. She didn’t want paid carers as she could cope with providing the physical and medical support that her husband needed, but she was unaware of what other support was available.
Our Carer Co-ordinator spent time with the carer to learn more about what she would like to do. We suggested that respite during the day might be useful to start with as she had never left her husband alone or with others as he hadn’t wanted her to. We also discussed the importance of her having some time to think about what she wanted to do more long term as her husband’s illness was very progressive, and to get some sleep as she was starting to feel exhausted.
We discussed her seeking referral to Mary Stevens Hospice daycare to enable her to take a break and we also made a referral to Crossroads Care and Red Cross so that she could have a few hours to herself a couple of times per week. Finally, the Carer Co-ordinator learned about her hobbies and interests and suggested activities in the local area, including the carers walk and carers meetings.
After talking to her family about the situation with her family, the carer followed up the referral to daycare and other respite to enable her to have some time to herself. She later started dancing classes and art classes with a friend who was recently bereaved and attended Carers Amble and Carers Alliance meeting.
“After caring for my husband for approximately two years without help, I was really struggling to cope. Our GP practice nurse contacted Sharon and after her initial assessment organised a home sitting service with Crossroads Care and respite at Mary Stevens Hospice. This enabled me to have free time for myself which proved to be invaluable. Sharon was always there when I needed to talk and offered advice on both emotional and financial aspects, also links and support for myself, i.e. regular walks at our local nature reserve and various classes available. She invited me to attend carers meetings where I met other people who were in the same situation as myself, I was able to express my feelings without feeling guilty, something I wasn’t able to do previously.”