This week, the UK is celebrating the unpaid carers who spend their spare time looking after their friends and family. With a lack of support and increasing pressure placed on those in the caring community, Carers Week has been organised to celebrate those giving their time for their loved ones while giving them the chance to get a well-earned break while meeting those in similar positions.  

As this year’s chosen charity is the Worcestershire Association of Carers, we thought it the ideal time to share personal stories from those caring locally. Here’s Ali’s story:

Two months before my husband and I were due to be married, he was diagnosed with Spinal Spondylosis. When the doctor gave him his diagnosis, he said that there was no cure and that the effects of it would get progressively worse. It was in that moment that I knew my relationship to him would change; I went from being his fiancé (and soon to be wife) to being his carer.   

I knew my relationship to him would change; I went from being his fiancé (and soon to be wife) to being his carer.

As time carried on, I saw my caring role as a sort of balancing act, having to juggle it alongside with working and taking care of the children. I was a teaching outside of the county at the time and was on the path of becoming either a headship or deputy headship. However as the demand of my caring role increased, I had to put my career on hold, quit my job and look for a teaching role closer to home.  

My husband became quite reliant on me, which did take a toll on my personal health. I would spend much of my time looking after my husband and would often forget to look after myself. A few years ago I fell ill with pneumonia and had to put my husband into a care home for a month so that I could take the necessary time needed to get better. After my pneumonia, I also suffered from cardiac arrest. Fortunately both my daughter and husband were there at the time to administer CPR, which ended up saving my life. I now have both a pace maker and a defibrillator fitter for me; however, should this ever go off, I will be unable to drive my husband to his appointments, which will make things even more difficult on us.  

Despite how hard it can be and my frustrations with being a carer, there are still a good bit of positive aspects that I can take away from it.

Unfortunately, there are times in my caring role where I do get extremely frustrated with my husband causing me to cry often. Realising my frustration with him, I decided to reach out for help. I called Worcestershire Association of Carers for information and help. To better look after myself, I set time aside to attend a Heart Start group which has helped me greatly since my cardiac arrest.  

Despite how hard it can be and my frustrations with being a carer, there are still a good bit of positive aspects that I can take away from it. My husband and I are still able to laugh and enjoy one another’s company. In fact, we have recently booked a much needed holiday together in Spain, which we are both looking for to.  

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