People in park

"I often feel stressed, lonely, undervalued, overwhelmed and exhausted"

I am an unpaid carer.  I care for my husband who is disabled and has multiple health conditions. I’m also mum to 3 grown up children and watch my 19-month old granddaughter 3 days a week. My mum is elderly and lives alone so I keep an eye on her too. Like most carers I often feel invisible…in fact I once went to the Dr and said ‘Dr I feel invisible’ but he just said ‘sorry I can’t see you right now!’. Seriously though, people don’t understand that caring can be a full-time job and nurses sometimes ask my husband does he have anyone with him at appointments, even though I’m sitting right beside him. Most people don’t realise that carers like myself save our economy £132 billion a year and should be recognised and treated with respect as we are equal partners in care to health care professionals.

I often feel stressed, lonely, undervalued, overwhelmed and exhausted and my physical health has suffered due to my caring role. However, I have had support and learned to cope by attending Renfrewshire Carers Centre. I have been on courses to learn reiki, mindfulness and meditation and tai chi, to name a few and also learnt practical skills such as moving and handling. I’ve learnt what works best for me and more about who I am. I love the drumming group and like to paint, write poetry, being outside and know that keeping a sense of humour is essential. I also volunteer as chairperson at the Carers Centre, a charity where carers can get support and have their voices heard. The centre is a lifeline for carers in Renfrewshire where families are dealing with illness, poverty and crisis situations. I feel passionate about spreading the word that the centre exists so that carers can get help before they reach crisis point so please mention it to anyone you come across who may need help.

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