I helped care for nana during her final few months
Ally is 18-25 years old, enjoys reading, going to the gym and spending time with loved ones.
This is her story, in her own words.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or where you’re from, most carers forget to look after themselves.
To make matters worse, they are often overlooked, feel over-stretched and is something that needs to change.
This is the first in a series of interviews "I'm more than a carer" exploring the real thoughts and feelings of family carers in their own words.
Has being a carer changed anything you used to do in your social life?
Took time away from doing things I enjoyed.
Who do you care for and how long have you been a carer?
I cared for my nana before she passed away, I helped care for her during her final few months.
How did you become a carer?
After my nana was diagnosed with cancer, I was the only one with any care experience and since she was a stubborn woman, she didn't want strangers taking care of her. So I took the responsibility of becoming her carer.
At the time, I was a night carer in a residential home.
Has being a carer changed what you decided to do for a career?
I was already in a caring role when I started to help care for my nana. I still wanted to stay within a caring role but no longer in a residential setting.
Is your employer aware of your caring role and responsibilities?
My employer at the time wasn't accommodating of my responsibilities or my emotional well being as caring for my nana who I was very close to took a toll on my mental health.
Do you feel supported at work by your employer?
At the time, I did not feel supported because they gave me disciplinaries and then fired me for needing some time off to help care for my nana.
Have you thought about leaving work in the last 6 months? Why?
I did, they weren't very supportive of my situation.
What have you personally struggled with being a carer?
The biggest downfall of caring for a loved one on end of life treatment, is the emotional trauma it can cause having to watch them suffer and deteriorate.
How have you found answers to questions you've had?
Friends and family were also helped to take care of her which relieved some of the stress, but as a close family it was an emotional time for us all.
As I was the only one with any caring experience, I did a lot of the work to take care of her.
Do you find it easy to find answers to your questions?
Any questions I had were answered whilst caring for her. I learned as I went along with help from the CHCP’s that also came in.
Do you feel supported by those around you and can you let us know how they have/can support you as a carer?
Family and friends were very supportive and offered help whenever they could.
What advice would you have given yourself before becoming a carer?
Be more prepared for the emotional and mental toll it can take on your well being and take better care of yourself whilst caring.
Thank you for reading the first edition.
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