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Sue's story

"The problem was we didn’t have a clue where to start."

Sue lives in Gloucestershire and is a carer for her parents-in-law who live in Bath and North East Somerset. She kindly spoke to us about her caring role and the challenges she faced.

 My mother-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the first few months of 2020. During lockdown my parents-in–law were, like many others, very isolated. Once restrictions were lifted, we returned to seeing them regularly and I immediately noticed their living situation had deteriorated.

My father-in-law is completely deaf, and communication was very difficult. My husband and I were both very worried we could be facing some huge problems when it comes to their care.

This concern really came to the fore after one particular visit. That day my mother-in-law was talking a lot but not making much sense, she was also very confused at times about who I was. My husband and I realised we needed to put a strategy in place.

"The problem was we didn’t have a clue where to start."

Recognising that you have caring responsibilities can be overwhelming. It often feels like you're stepping into a world unknown, but we are here to support you. The Carers' Centre can provide you with the guidance you need to ensure that you have a robust care plan in place for your loved one, whilst ensuring your mental health and wellbeing remain a priority too.

My mother-in-law had multiple issues and it was difficult to try and work out the type of care she required, and how we managed that with my father-in-law’s hearing loss. It was very scary and not living close to them made it feel even worse.

A friend, who is a carer for a family member, told me she received support from their local carers charity and suggested I find the same in Bath and North East Somerset. I was feeling extremely upset about the whole situation when I first emailed The Carers’ Centre. Shortly after the Support Team called me back and the help they provided was fantastic.

They understood the complexity of my situation and guided me through the process of putting a care plan in place. The Support Team also sent me a lot of very useful material to read, which has now been read by the whole family. It has given us the knowledge about not just what is going on, but how we can manage them living independently and the care options open to them.

For example, I would have never thought about emailing my mother-in-law’s GP to explain how their circumstances have changed. A step like that was crucial, I wanted their GP to have that information on record and therefore have a better understanding of their situation.

With more of the care for elderly relatives now falling onto families, many people are confused about where to start, what they can do or where they can turn. The Carers’ Centre has been a godsend in providing that vital information to us. With their help we’re not worrying as much, we now have a toolkit of resources and a place to turn should we ever need any further guidance or support.’

Need to talk?

We're here to listen. We understand the extra pressures and challenges you may be facing as you help your partner, family member or friend. Get in touch to speak to our supportive team. Call us on 0800 0388 885 or email us at (Mon - Fri, 9am - 1pm). 


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Need to talk? Call our Freephone Support Line on 0800 0388 885 (Mon-Fri, 9am – 1pm)