Muriel’s story

Getting a break from being a Carer is uplifting

Muriel  is 74 and lives in Ashford. Since she retired, she has been a full-time Carer for her husband who has Parkinson’s with dementia. Muriel has received a Carer’s Needs Assessment from Carers’ Support and pre-Covid used to attend some of our support groups and social activities.

“I have to do everything for my husband and keep an eye on him all the time. As his dementia has got worse and particularly when he is tired, he can be very destructive, ripping things up and pulling wires out. Because of his Parkinson’s I need to be with him when he’s walking about in case he falls. I shave and wash him, put him to bed and make sure he has his medication. For safety, we need to have all our doors locked.

Getting a break is something I need but don’t get enough of. I do have a Carer come in to shower him most mornings and get some help with cleaning as I suffer from arthritis. Going out with him is very difficult because he uses a wheelchair, so we need to find somewhere accessible. If I leave him alone in the car for any amount of time it’s not really safe. One afternoon a week a care worker sits with him so I can get out on my own. I’d like to go for long walks then but there’s not enough time and often I end up just doing the shopping. I’d really like more holidays but in the past when he has stayed in a care home it hasn’t worked out so I’m reluctant to do this. He refuses to go to any day care centres.

The last 2 years have been particularly challenging because he’s getting worse and because of Covid I couldn’t see my family who live abroad. I’m pretty worn out and don’t get enough sleep. I’m on the go all day and hardly get a chance to sit down. My garden has been very therapeutic for me during this time and has helped my mental health.

Carers’ Support East Kent is very supportive and caring. When I go to the support groups and social activities, it’s lovely to get out of my house and do something different to the usual 24/7. I miss meeting and chatting with other Carers and hope sessions will be able to start again soon.”

Muriel spoke to us as part of our Time for Me Fund Appeal