Being a carer
Carers are amazing. They have a tough job, living their own lives, doing the best that they can (it’s what we all try to do) and then on top of that they have the responsibility of supporting another human being. The responsibility of trying to make their lives better and keeping them as safe and well as can be achieved.
They often do this will little or no thanks from the rest of the family and not always with thanks from the person that they care for. Depending on the level of insight that the cared for person has, they may want to take unreasonable risks and feel themselves restricted, for which they are angry and resentful. They may have side effects to their condition that mean that they self-harm or harm others. This can be incredibly distressing for carers to watch and be involved with or the target of. And they still do their caring role, even in the face of all that. I’ve met many carers who tell me a story along the lines that other family members come into the situation infrequently, tell them how they are doing everything wrong and then leave without helping out.
Everyone who has a loved one that isn’t well gets stressed about the situation and we all have different ways of dealing with that stress. Some people deal with the stress by avoidance, anger or blame and hence the family members come along and complain that things are not going well, what they are usually really concerned with is that things are not going well for their loved one, because they are ill. But it doesn’t make it any easier to be a carer on the end of a family member’s rage!
It is not surprising that carers find caring a tough role. If that person has only recently become unwell, they may be grieving for the loss of the person that they knew and grieving for the loss of their earlier life when they didn’t have a caring responsibility.
Carers should be acknowledged for the hard work that they do, in the UK each year they provide £11bn of unpaid care and 150,000 years of unpaid care each year!
Whenever I have talked to carers and told them that they are trying their best, so this is all they can do and therefore should be congratulated for their efforts, their faces blossom into a huge smile, they don’t hear it often enough!
I love supporting carers through the issues that they have caring for a loved one, they make a difference and I can make a difference to them with the issue/s that arise. I am on their side and they are not alone.
My message to all carers is: Well done, you’re doing a good job, you deserve to be acknowledged for your efforts.