This Learning Disability Week 2023, carer Lexie would like others like her who have a lifelong caring responsibility, to reach out for support.
Lexie, who has been registered with Carers Support since May 2018, is a carer for her daughter, 30, who lives with Autism and a learning disability. Lexie manages all her daughters emotional, practical, physical, and financial needs.
Lexie had arranged for her daughter to live nearby in supported living, but this has not work out as planned. It has been difficult to try and help her daughter to live independently as possible, but her daughter is mainly at home with the family.
Despite the daily struggles, Lexie maintains her sense of humour and positive approach and is always willing to share her experiences as carer and offer support to others in similar situations. This Learning Disability Week, Lexie would like to encourage carers to make themselves known as an unpaid family or friend carers.
Lexie has also found peer support makes a positive difference for her, as she explains “we all need support, but when it comes from someone who is in a similar situation it is really valuable, and I have always left the Carer Group feeling happier than before. We just understand that we are all facing something different and sometimes difficult struggles because Autism has many different levels. There is a shared understanding that we accept each other and if we can help, we try to. Most importantly, we support each other with respect, honesty and everything remains confidential”
“The peer group makes us all feel like we are recognised and supported the way we need to be right now, yet we also know that Carers Support is working so hard to get things changed for all carers no matter who they look after. We don’t have the time, energy, or networks to do that as well as deal with our everyday caring, it’s just too much to think about.”
We know that caring is both rewarding and tough, and it can be hard to know who and when to reach out for support. But carers like Lexie, understand the importance of registering for support for her caring role.
“As a carer of someone with Autism & learning difficulties, you have a job forever, and always need to be one step ahead of the world. You are hypervigilant, always watching everyone and everything. You never know what is going to trigger a meltdown, a panic or aggression/p>
Before I connected with Carers Support, I was like a lost sheep, I was depressed thinking about ‘How many more years am I going to have to do this?’. If you need support, reach out, I feel I know I can say anything – you just open your mouth and speak your truth, knowing that your safe, treated with respect, not judged and you just know that whoever you’re speaking to understands and you will be given help. Having a lifelong caring responsibility, you can feel so many different things, but I also feel incredibly proud of the challenges my daughter faces and overcomes on a day-to-day basis – no matter how small it may seem – we celebrate each challenge that she overcomes”.
For more information about local Carer Walks and Carer Group meetings, please visit Carers Support.