If you are a carer or have been caring for someone for a while. It is important to acknowledge that you have been through some pretty difficult times. Yes, of course there has been some good times, times where carers can celebrate what they have done for those they care for. There has also been times when the ‘cared for’ should be congratulated for moving forward with their recovery, however we must admit that there have been things in the past that require special attention.
Just as a note if you are new to my blog site, a carer is someone who is unpaid while caring for their relative, friend or someone very close to them. Carers are NOT care workers, they do not have clients and carers care out of love, desperation and especially through emotional attachment. Carers can be someone’s mother, son, friend, husband or even a neighbour. Importantly carers must care, there must be some form of sacrifice. It must also be noted that carers care for those suffering chronic physical or mental illness. Parents do not qualify as carers unless their child is under long term illness. It might seem harsh but parents are caring out of their expected duty, while not all carers want to be in such a difficult position.
Going back to this particular blog post, the aim of this post is to get carers to realize that they need to do one of the most common things carers perform. As the title suggests, carers should tell their story. Carers have to be acknowledged for the brave things they do. Telling your story as a carer can help raise the awareness of carers in many ways.
Others learn more about carers.
When a carer tells their story, you would be utterly surprised how many health professionals begin to have a glimpse of the carers world. Some aspects open up new issues carers must face and the health professional or social worker may think long and hard about an issue and try incorporate ideas into their role.
Highlights the carers plight.
All carers struggle in some form or another. Unfortunately it is a pity that some carers suffer more than others. If a carer does not let others know what is causing carers to suffer, then there is little or no chance in resolving carers issues.
Inspire other carers to tell their story.
Telling your story can be painful and risk further trauma. It is not so easy to say how caring for someone affected your emotions or to speak about how you might have failed or if you got any support. Worst of all, when speaking about someone’s conditions it seems all the difficult memories come flooding back. If you as a carer can put a brave face on and speak about your experiences, it can motivate other carers to tell their story.
A way of relating to others
Just as I write my blog post, I hope others can see my ideas. It is one way to relate to others and I can only hope some of what I write can provide some education. If a carer can tell their story, they are sharing something with the audience. A carer might not expect to get any emotional support or get any answers, but at least the carer is reaching out.
Gives a carer confidence
When I started out telling my story, I was so nervous. I was worried if I would mess up my lines or forget anything. The bigger the audience the more my nerves would be out of control. Obviously the more I told my story, the more my body language showed how confident I had become. Eventually I could tell my story without having to read it off notes. There are still times when people do not understand what I am getting at, but eventually the majority will relate and be inspired by my carer story. The same will happen to you, but it is always worth the time speaking about your experiences.
Telling your carer story is one of the many things a carer should try. There are of course many other things a carer can do and here is a small list below.
– Getting involved in a focus groups
– NHS involvement
– Helping in carer events
– Advocating for carers
– Being creative e.g. expressing experiences in art or roleplay.
– Spreading awareness of carers via social media
If more carers tell their story through events, support groups or training health professionals, things can slowly change for the better. There is still a long way to go since there is a lot of stigma and misunderstandings about the value of caring. Carers and those that care for the carers experience must never give up.
Carer must tell their story….