Carers queue up for discounts

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Price tagCarers queued up for discounts in shops, restaurants and local services when the hugely successful Carers’ Passport was launched in North Hertfordshire on 30 May. This is the latest area to benefit from the popular Carers’ Passport Discount Card which offers unpaid carers savings when they show their photo ID card in shops and when using local services.

As carers queued up to have their passport issued they spoke movingly of their experiences.

North Herts Passport Launch 2Elaine Hughes, 66, and her husband John, 61, from Baldock, look after their son Oliver, 25, who has schizophrenia.

She said: “Oliver became mentally ill during his GCSEs. Apart from one spell in hospital Oliver has always lived at home. I wouldn’t  have it any other way. The passport is for me. I don’t get Carers Allowance and like most people money is tight so this will make a difference. I’ll  be looking after Oliver for the rest of my life unlike, say, if you’re looking after an elderly relative.”

Joan Germany, 79, said Carers in Hertfordshire's course on caring had helped her after her husband Ron, 84, was  diagnosed with dementia. The couple live in Royston.

Joan said: “Ron was diagnosed three and a half years ago. I saw the signs  earlier but I didn’t want to recognise it. I think I’m coping North Herts Passport Launch 3really well despite the fact I get up four or five times a night to look after him. I always get back to sleep but I don’t want to get up in the morning! I realised early on you have a choice  - either you look after your loved one at home or you put them in a home. I made that choice.”

Carole Aldridge, 71, from Letchworth, also looks after her husband, Macdonald, 77. Macdonald had a stroke just over a year ago, leaving him paralysed down his right side and in a wheelchair.

North Herts Passport launch 4As Carole explained, this has had a devastating impact on their life: “We’ve been married 51 years. Just a week after celebrating our Golden Wedding Anniversary last year, Macdonald had a stroke. It came completely out of the blue. Macdonald was always so active. We used to go ballroom dancing and had a great social life. Now we have no social life and I only get out twice a week.”

Carole said the Make a Difference service had paid for a laptop, enabling her to have a break from caring.

She added: “I didn’t want to take up anything that meant being out of the house. I won’t leave him so the laptop gives me a break of sorts. It is so hard but he would do the same for me if it was the other way around.”   

There are now 191 discounts/concessions in the Carers’ Passport Offers Booklet with 52 offers for North Hertfordshire alone. For more information, click here.



Last modified on Wednesday, 04 June 2014 15:10