Carers week 2021
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the role that carers play and the challenges that unpaid carers face. It recognises the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.
It also helps people who don't think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support. This year the week runs from the 7th-13th June and we wanted to support the campaign by sharing a story of a carer in Nottingham.
We spoke to Sally Lord, an ICT Training Officer at Nottingham City Homes, who cared for her mother. She gave us an insight into what it is like to be a carer and gives some great advice for anyone finding themselves in this situation.
“My mum was a very capable woman - she was a teacher, and loved travelling – so much so that felt that I had to make an appointment to get to see her!
"Sadly, in later life she developed Acute Axel Neuropathy. This condition led to falls. Mum had a lifeline from Nottingham On Call (NOC). This gave me peace of mind and allowed mum to remain independent in her own home. The NOC team were always kind and friendly to mum and I am very grateful to them.
"After one particular fall, Mum was taken to hospital. After that she made the decision to go into a care home.
"Have you heard of continuing healthcare? I certainly hadn’t. Anyone with long-term complex health needs can apply for free social care, arranged and funded by the NHS. Eligibility depends on need, which is assessed by a team of healthcare professionals. I want people to know about this because it was hard to find out about when I first became a carer for mum.
"I started to do my own research and discovered the Care to be Different website which was really helpful.
"I was able to arrange the appropriate meetings and assessments that my mother needed.
"The assessment resulted in Mum receiving funded nursing care, covering the nursing element of her overall care. Whilst I was pleased with the result, the whole process left me feeling stressed and emotional.
"Sadly Mum died in August 2018. I did not realise how stressed I was until mum passed away. It was hard juggling work and supporting mum before, and after she went into the care home. I want others in my situation to feel supported and to be able to help their family.
"I joined the DECF (Disabled Employees and Carers Forum) at NCH (Nottingham City Homes) who offered help and support to me when I needed it. I am pleased to now be able to support others who are going through what I have been through.
"I hope by sharing my experience, that other carers will know that they are not alone and there is support out there for them and their loved ones.”
Sally’s experience is one of many and being a carer can often leave you feeling lonely and helpless. If you are in this situation you can seek support through www.gov.uk , www.caretobedifferent.co.uk and can learn more about Carers Week at www.carersweek.org.