Carers week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring and highlight the challenges unpaid carers face throughout the U.K, whilst recognising the huge contribution they make towards families and communities across the country.
Our colleague, Lynn, tell us what it means to be a hidden carer and how she balances her work life whilst caring for her husband.
The term ‘hidden carers’ refers to those carers who do not self-identify as carers or who are not recognised as carers by professionals and/or the community.
“I began caring for my husband in February 2018 after he was diagnosed with psychosis and developed depression.
It was a difficult and traumatic experience for both of us, and sometimes it felt hard to come to terms with the sudden shift in our lives. It affected my own health as well as his, and completely changed our relationship.
At the time, we were both working from home in our own IT business, which we were very passionate about. However, after my husband’s diagnosis it was evident that we would not be able to continue pursuing this. As a result, I began working for Pryers in September 2018.
I am likely to be a carer for the rest of my life, but it is not always easy. As my husband is well enough to work part time, I do not get paid or receive any benefits for the care I provide. Although some people may not understand the work that goes into caring for a loved one, it takes over your whole life. I spend every minute of the day thinking and worrying about my husband, helping him plan his schedule and checking in with him; encouraging him to keep active and do work around the house.
I have found that working at Pryers helps me and my husband. It is good for him to have some independence, and it is good for me to have a break from my caring duties. But it is also very hard juggling both responsibilities. I do not receive help from anyone else, and my friends and family struggle to understand what is going on.
I wanted to speak out to let other people know they are not alone, and because talking helps me come to terms with my life as a hidden carer.”
If you care for a loved one and don’t know what support is available to you, you may find it beneficial to look through the list of Carers Week sponsors and the different services they offer.
Additionally, if you are caring for someone due to the consequences of medical negligence, you may be eligible for compensation. If you would like to discuss your situation, please contact our friendly team for a confidential no-obligation chat.