I would like to share my story with you as a Carer. I am a 57 year old lady, mother of a 21 year old Down’s Syndrome daughter.
I have been Lauren’s Primary Carer since she was born. Lauren is a bright, caring, lovable girl with a lot to offer and currently attends a term time residential college in Wales where she is studying catering and does lots of activities outside her daily sessions at college such as swimming, cooking, watching tv and has recently tried fishing!
All this is very positive and as a family, we have always encouraged her to have a go at new things. Sadly, Lauren has many health issues which impact on her daily life and also those around her. She has had open heart surgery, has an underactive thyroid, chronic constipation, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, hayfever, osteoporosis and can develop facial cellulites, which, if left unchecked, can be fatal.
As a Carer, even when Lauren is at college, my time is spent sorting out medications, hospital appointments, addressing college issues when Lauren frequently absconds, speaking to medical staff, reviewing prescriptions, bus passes, train passes, organising occasional respite and having long meetings with social care regarding Lauren’s future.
As well as this, Lauren’s medical conditions do have a terrible financial impact. Also I often have to attend late night emergency doctors and find pharmacies during the early hours. In the past, I have tried to go out to work as I am a sociable, outgoing person, but I have always had to give my jobs up as the whole impact of caring (Lauren’s hospital appointments, blood tests, holiday time, meetings) doesn’t allow me the time or flexibility. Last year my health suffered
greatly and I had to have an ambulance out due to a severe panic attack. The attacks continued but thanks to CASS, I received the Wellbeing Fund and now attend meditation classes to help my stress levels.
Thank you CASS also for the Carers Respite Breaks Fund, as I am able to enjoy special times with my husband who works very long hours to support our very special family.