To give you an idea of the different ways we can help carers, we'll be publishing just some of our carers' stories on this page. We'll be adding more stories over the next few weeks, so please come back soon!
"I am the mum of a delightful 20 year old young man with moderate learning and physical difficulties. Don’t get me wrong – he has been a nightmare at times. I could write a book about all the trials and tribulations I have had raising him so far and I am sure many others feel the same way. But now at last I have a reasonably well adjusted young man who loves going to college three days a week and participates in some sports with the help of his Support Workers. Cooking his own food and getting him in the shower is still a major battle but hey - no one is asking for perfection. My problem is, what next? My daughter, two years his younger, is off around the world, making friends and trying to decide on her future. We are best friends, forged through adversity so I know we will always be close when she leaves home. My son has to go somewhere somehow at some point. But how? My social worker is very supportive but I feel the next stage is a problem to be solved rather than a glimpse into an exciting new future. I hate the thought of sending him to live in a house with 2 or 3 strangers. He desperately wants to socialise but finds it hard to make friends and keep them. What if he gets picked on? Left out? Cannot cope but is too embarrassed to tell me? I feel the need to control the process, to make sure it all goes smoothly, but I also know it is time for me to let go. This is just the latest in a long line of challenges but I feel more nervous about this one than most of the others. Have you had a similar experience and come out of the other end smiling? If so, please let me know how it’s done!"
Help with practical problems and a social life
A carer from Hinckley was referred to us through Leicestershire County Council's First Contact scheme. She looks after a husband with diabetes and advanced association complications including depression and sight loss. We carried out a home visit to see if the carer could benefit from our Telephone Befriending service and found out she was at a really low point, both mentally and physically, and was having problems with her house, garden, finances and the lack of a social life.
We introduced the carer to our Hinckley Carers Support Group and arranged for her to have a telephone befriender. We also made a referral on her behalf to the sight loss charity, Vista, and a re-referral to an organisation who could help with her garden. Plus, we chased up the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) regarding her husband's Personal Independence Payment (PIP) application.
A few weeks later we buddied the carer and her husband with another couple of a similar age, in very similar circumstances, through our Buddying Scheme.
Three month's on, the carer's confidence has increased and she's passed her driving test. Her husband has visual aids in place from Vista and his PIP application is being processed. Their garden has been cleared through a scheme ran by the Probation Service. The carer loves our Carers' Support Group and her telephone befriender and her and her husband have met their buddies socially and all get on really well.