Perhaps the most overlooked people in the world of disabilities are not the people living with ds abilities but those living with them – the husband or wife who take cares of their loved one.
They are the family carers who devote so much of their lives doing all sorts of things which can include dressing them, feeding them, washing them and even assisting with toileting needs. And a that, and more, adds up to great deal of hard work.
As I have multiple sclerosis, my loving wife Lisa is also my carer. She fastens buttons, puts on my socks, helps me to shower, makes sure I can eat the food on my plate with my one good hand, does all the housework without assistance and takes care of the garden. What’s more she pushes me around in a wheelchair.
Lisa is reluctant to be labelled as a carer, however, saying that she looks after me out of love as my wife. I am sure many husband and wife carers feel exactly the same way.
Each caring situation is unique and carers have many different needs. They may need information about entitlements, services and individual and group support and social opportunities. In the UK, every family carer can also undergo a Carers Assessment which could open up many opportunities for them including time out from caring, sitting services and physical help with their caring role.
By joining a carers’ support group, they can socialize with their peers and get help with their entitlements to benefits and services, breaks, education or employment.
And they can get help to access grants and benevolent funds so that they can buy items which will benefit them in their caring role.
Really important, though, carers can join a carers’ support group where they can have a chat and get a chance to meet new friends.