Barry cares for his mother, who is 91 and has short term memory and heart problems. Barry’s sister had lived with their mother and cared for her, until she died late last year. His mother has a private cleaner who visits weekly but otherwise no services are in place and she finds living on her own difficult. Of course, she is also grieving for her daughter.
Barry has health problems including Diabetes and high blood pressure. He was feeling very stressed, as he works full-time and drives to his mother’s home everyday to cook her a meal and make sure she has taken her medication. He also helps with the shopping and taking her to appointments. He felt that he needed a holiday but couldn’t take one, due to his caring role. Barry also admitted that he had started to neglect his own diet, which is particularly dangerous due to his Diabetes.
Barry’s wife asked Carers' Resource for help and an Information Officer from Carers' Resource spent time with him talking through his situation. They explained the support services available to him and his mother, such as private home care and a meal delivery service. Barry explained that his mother is reluctant to accept help from anybody but him – although she has found dealing with her continence problems embarrassing and is unable to speak to him about it.
Carers' Resource agreed to make a referral for a volunteer befriender. The befriender now visits his mother every other week and they go out for lunch together. The befriender has helped his mother to accept outside help and she is now less dependent on Barry.
Carers' Resource were also able to offer additional help finding local private home care agencies, meal delivery services and community transport schemes. The back-up support has allowed Barry to take a holiday, look after his own health better and continue taking care of his mother in her own home.