I want to be Jenny, not Jenny the carer.

I want to be Jenny, not Jenny the carer.

My life revolves around the people I care for.

Jenny’s Story

Jenny’s Story

Jenny from Cirencester cares for four people. Her husband has a complex range of conditions including Parkinson’s, dementia, liver and heart disease. He’s also deaf and registered blind.

Jenny’s mum has severe heart failure and dementia and her stepdad has Alzheimer’s disease. Jenny’s daughter has motor neurone disease. Although she has doesn’t live at home, she spends most days with her mum.

I survive by being organised

“My life revolves around the people I care for,” says Jenny, 61, who also battles constant pain from fibromyalgia. “It’s not how I imagined my future, but there’s no point in ‘what ifs’, I just get on with it.” At the start of each week, Jenny creates a rota of each person’s medical appointments, medications, and care needs. “I survive by being organised,” she says. “My day starts at 5am and I’m on call all night.”

I’ve been chair of Carers of Adults Gloucestershire (COAG) for a few years and I chair the Alliance as well. It’s great because I learn things that I didn’t know. For example someone coming in and giving me an overview of how direct payments work.

It’s not how I imagined my future, but there’s no point in ‘what ifs’, I just get on with it.

I used to come along to the carers meetings as a member

I used the helpline quite a lot. If I’ve got a question I give them a call.

I’ve been involved with Carers Gloucestershire for over ten years. I used to come along to the carers meetings as a member.

Carers Gloucestershire needs to be here. Without it, so many more carers would struggle. The organisation brings carers together, answers our questions and makes us feel less alone. It’s a place to come for information, support and friendship. It’s a place for us to be ourselves.

I can get carers to come in at the morning and at night to look after my husband. They do the things I can’t do. I’d need an accountant to do the finances, I’d have to have someone on call 24/7 for my husband and parents. I’d need a personal assistant to sort out all their hospital appointments and order all the medications. I’d need a driver to take them to appointments. I’m a counsellor.

 

The hardest things about being a carer is keeping going. Day after day. When you’re that tired, you don’t know how you’ll keep going.

I’m a daughter, wife, mother and grandmother.

What would make my life easier? Time to myself, but that’s not going to happen. Time is so precious to carers. I want time to be with my husband – not as his carer, but as his wife. We don’t have time to be just the two of us. Even when we go away, I’m 99 per cent carer, 1 per cent wife.

I’m a daughter, wife, mother and grandmother. But those roles are overshadowed by my role as a carer. I want time to sit down with my dearly beloved and eat a meal, like it used to be. Instead of watching him like a hawk in case he chokes on something.

The hardest things about being a carer is keeping going. Day after day. When you’re that tired, you don’t know how you’ll keep going.

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Carers Gloucestershire needs to be here. Without it, so many more carers would struggle. The organisation brings carers together, answers our questions and makes us feel less alone.

Like to help us support more carers like Jenny? Please visit our fundraising pages for ideas. 

Or if you are a carer who would like support, please visit our support pages.