Experience of a Parent Carer
My name is Virginia. I have been a carer for my 24 year old son since he got ill at 5 weeks old. Life has been extremely stressful and tiring. I suffer anxiety, depression and ME.
Before lockdown, I attended some wellbeing events put on by Action for Family Carers. I must say these were extremely welcome to me and very useful. I learnt strategies to manage my stress and felt cared about, like I actually mattered.
When zoom sessions were offered during the lockdown I was so grateful as I live alone and have been very stressed and lonely too. My son's condition is such that he has little empathy for me and is extremely demanding, as is managing his household finances. It can be very overwhelming and exhausting.
Seeing Kellie and Anna and the other therapists has been a godsend. I have done some relaxation and also learned more strategies on living well ...looking after myself and keeping mentally well.
It is my mental health that has suffered most and just knowing I can join a meeting or speak with someone in the team is a lifesaver. I can honestly say this is the best help I have ever been offered. AfFC work so hard and I am so very grateful for all they've offered, without this I think I would have got more depressed and suffered worse.
Breathing techniques have been particularly beneficial and I hope they can continue to offer sessions to inform and keep us carers as well as possible.