Who’s a Carer?

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Carer has become a job title, it’s a professional role played by someone who specifically comes into your life and house to care for you in a physical way.  Carer forgets the original verb; it’s about caring, someone who cares about you and for you.  This is what being a carer truly means.

We probably don’t think to count ourselves as carers for spouses or children or parents.  It’s what we do naturally in response to a need because we care.  They may be ill or they may not be.  But we still cook meals, wash clothes and support them through trials, homework and sickness.

Sometimes though those precious ones in our lives do become ill and because we care, we take on even more.  We may be doing all the housework, we may be the ones who become the sole breadwinner, we may be doing more than hand holding, temperature taking and sick bowl providing.  It can be exhausting but we never stop to question why or what we’re doing.  We’d probably be a little bit confused by some bureaucrat trying to label us as ‘carers’.  Um, no I’m his wife.  Yes I have to make sure medicines are taken, forms are filled, appointments are kept, nutrition and diet are carefully maintained, health is carefully assessed and monitored – the list goes on.  But carers, not us!

However it can become an isolating quagmire caring for someone, even though we love them so, so much.  It’s so physically, mentally and emotionally draining.  And we probably don’t even realise how much we’re giving.  We don’t work set hours, we don’t have breaks.  We definitely don’t have the choice of going home at the end of a shift.  It’s never-ending.  Sometimes we can take on too much, we’re human too and we can only do so much.

It’s so important to get help, although ‘help’ can be a vague definition and is sadly too often lacking.  Sometimes though it’s us who have to step forward, surrender and humbly ask for it.  Beg for it.

The beginning of this week was a little intense and as you know, I haven’t been brilliantly well either.  Yet again I found myself at breaking point.  (I’ve seen a lot of breaking points over the years and I know them well, what I don’t quite fathom is how I make it past each time).  Then something magical happened.  Someone, a relative, took me out to dinner, a fast food dinner but all the same.  I was out of the house, I stopped being the person who cared, who supported, who helped and had a few hours of being me.  We chatted and ate.  I didn’t stop loving or caring but I did really appreciate being to able to leave it all behind for a couple of hours.  It was a break.  A blessed break.

I realised something else just now.  The bitter reality of being in a situation where that person who you love so much is ill.  I miss them.  Terribly.  You see, just now, they reappeared.  I hadn’t realised how little I see of them nowadays and how long it’s been.  The joy of meeting up with an old, dear friend.  The bitterness of realising just how much they’re affected by this illness and how much it has changed our lives and relationship.

But I will go on loving and caring.  Even during those moments when I don’t know how I’m going to go on.

Take a moment to reflect on all those wonderful individuals who, often behind closed doors, care every hour of every day for the ones they love, no questions asked.  You’re probably one of them too.

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15 thoughts on “Who’s a Carer?

  1. Anonymous

    Thank you for any other informative blog. Where else may just I am getting that kind of info written in such a perfect way?

  2. I have a friend who has been a ‘carer’ for her parents and sick husband for the last few years. Both her parents died within the last year, her mother after a long drawn out battle with cancer. What she has endured and how she handled it was truly inspiring. I hope to rise to her standard, and to yours, when I’m needed.

  3. My parents are getting to that point where they’ll have to let their independence go. Unfortunately, they’re stubborn fools who won’t let anyone help. It’s frustrating for me to watch them get frustrated with themselves. I’m afraid that when it comes down to the wire, they still won’t let me help. I’m also terrified I won’t have the strength to help them. The people who sacrificed all their lives for me may not get the same selfless care in return, and it’s a weight that grips my heart like a vice.

    Anyway, I’m here. It’s not much I suppose, but I’m still here, and I still find your words, your posts, your writing stunning and eternal.

    • Thank you for such beautiful words, I treasure the compliments of someone whose writing I hold in high regard. As to the first part, sometimes we just have to find balance and contentment in just doing our best, that has to be enough. But it is so frustrating when people either won’t help themselves or accept the help that they so desperately need. I wish you and your parents well. :)

  4. studia w internecie

    You could certainly see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

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  6. Kayla Namonkre

    Let people know where the bathrooms are, if where they can buy drinks at the venue, and if there are any other important issues eg parking they should be aware of.

  7. Kimberly Miller from esavfude

    my mobile is other requirements easy going / flexible energetic experience being sole carer for under 3s english as first language, or very strong english skills.

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