Caring with Confidence: a carer’s story
When carer Louise Hughes, right, attended one of our Caring with Confidence courses earlier this year she had no idea of the positive and lasting impact it would have. Louise cares for her mother with dementia and is also nursing her husband who is convalescing after a shoulder operation which left him immobile on one side. Louise attended our six-week programme in January and February in Borehamwood. The sessions included maximising your income as a carer to looking after your own health and well-being.
After attending the course Louise wrote in to tell us how enjoyable and useful she had found the sessions and the list of actions she has now put in place as a direct result of her newfound knowledge. Louise is happy for us to share her action plan to help other carers looking after a loved one with dementia.
- Recruited new carers to look after my mother’s personal care – new agency had first monthly review with me last week and all progressing well with a huge improvement on the previous service as the carer comes at a regular time each day and I can rely on mum being up washed and dressed by 10:30 every day. Management communication is very professional and the carer is considerate, discreet and friendly.
- Message in a bottle for my mother
- Life book in place for my mother – giving a lot of pleasure filling out as we reminisce over mum’s childhood days in Hastings and her time in Berlin after the war working with the Control Commission.
- Photos of outings to remind my mother of the trips we have made – including a trip to a watercress field.
- Applied for Carer’s Credit to help with my future state pension – application has been successful. Marvellous.
- Applied for Council Tax rebate for my mother – application form completed and awaiting doctor’s certification.
- Importance of “my time”. Tap class weekly and considering/investigating a weekly bike run with the over-forties – still tapping.
- Remap visited today to measure up for installation of a bath stool for my husband – bath stool made up and installed and very smart. Hadn’t appreciated that they were a charity so nothing to pay.
- HAD helping to source a rising wheelchair seat for my husband – not required as he has been given the OK to use both crutches again – hurrah.
- Trying out a few stress relieving exercises.
- Keeping in touch with one of the delegates – had a lovely meeting at Costa Coffee last week with my new friend only to discover we had so much in common with a love of classic cars as well as cake and coffee.
- Trying out a local Dementia Café on Thursday afternoon – wasn’t appropriate for mum but made a good contact with a dementia support worker who made a house visit and has given me some good ideas to follow up.
PS I failed to mention the most successful idea from the course which has come to fruition this week. An idea from my new friend Linda who was the delegate sitting next to me on the course: Project Cat. I presented Sadie to my mother. Mum was delighted with this early birthday present and is totally besotted. Sadie has lifted mum’s spirits in a way that I haven’t seen in a very long time and didn’t imagine would happen in my wildest dreams.
With the support of Dawn the homesharer to look after the cat this has been a successful project for all three of them. Sadie came from the cat protection and is loving her new home. Well done Carers in Herts.
Thank you Louise for sharing your action plan with us.
What do other carers think of our courses?
More than 400 carers have already attended the sessions at venues across the county and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, as eloquently demonstrated by the comments below.
“I am pleased that I was able to attend the carers’ sessions. I have met a lot of lovely different friends; everyone has got different problems, you learn a lot and it gives you time to relax. Yes I would recommend it.”
“The Caring with Confidence course enabled me to meet other carers with similar issues and I realised that I was not alone. I was able to gain valuable information about being a carer and how to look after yourself. The sharing of problems was also a great help because fellow carers fully understand and appreciate what you are going through. Thanks for a great course.”