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Elderly couple hand in hand

Carer story – Erika

We work with a plethora of carers, in all circumstances. Each case is so individual, which is why the time is taken to listen to the carer to really understand how we can help.

*Erika is 57 yrs. Old. Caring for her husband, Michael, who is 64 yrs. old and has respiratory condition COPD & reduced immune system. Michael was seriously ill over Christmas and new year and now has oxygen to aid breathing and his mobility is reduced.

Caring with devotion

Erika describes caring for her husband with such love, respect, and devotion. Her husband was the main care giver when their children where young. He took on all the usual responsibilities around looking after the boys. Erika went to work, never having to worry about childcare, doctors, dentist, school sports days, housework or maintenance as Michael had it covered. Michael was the heart of the family and looked after everyone.

Change in role

Michael went from being the person looking after everyone to being the cared for. Michael found this transition quite difficult to deal with. He would sometimes put himself in danger by trying to do things he could no longer do. Raising his anxiety, which has a knock-on effect with his COPD and associated complications. A vicious cycle which can be very frightening for everyone.

How carers support helped

As part of the support plan created for Erika, an application for equipment via the carer equipment service was made. Erika was able to purchase a “walkie, talkie” system for Michael. “Everybody benefits from such a little thing! for Michael it has meant he feels more confident being left alone. The range on the receivers is great, I can potter in the garden, my son can be working on a project in the garage.” There are 3 receivers so Michael has one on his walker, one by his bed and one next to his chair, should he need someone he presses the button and as there is a different sound for alarm, the family know where he is and can get to him quickly. It enables the younger members of the family to continue to do their thing but react if needed. Erika has felt able to go out with friends and feels less anxious around leaving Michael.

No longer feeling like dealing with things alone

Support offered by CSWS has been “brilliant, everyone has been a great help to me, I don’t feel like I am dealing with things on my own.” Contingency planning had not even been considered as “nothing was going to happen to me, was it!” One of the wellbeing workers asked me a question that made me see that looking ahead and making plans was important, especially around who was going to look after the dog. A Key safe was also provided that gave Erika peace of mind, as emergency services could gain entry to the home if she was out and there was an emergency.

By contacting carers support, Erika reduced her feelings of isolation. Was able to carve out time for herself, with reduced anxiety. All of this contributed to improved health and wellbeing.

Are they outcomes you would like to achieve in your caring role? If so, give us a call, so we can get started on your support plan.

*Carer name has been changed