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Carers Week: Debbie's story

This year’s theme of #CarersWeek is to make care visible and valued.

Following the impact of COVID-19 and the pandemic, carers across the UK have seen a shift in support available to them. This year is more important than ever, as we need to raise awareness of the amazing work carers do that we may not even know about.

Here at PCP, Debbie Fox, our Frail and Elderly Link Worker, is a proud carer to her son who has autism. Debbie, said: “Being a parent is challenging at the best of times, let alone when you are parenting a child with additional needs. No one prepares you for how utterly exhausting it can be.

“Thing is we just get on with it we don’t even consider ourselves as carers, after all.. we are the parents.

“It’s only when people talk about their family life or the kids at school etc that it hits home how very different it is for us.

“Even the simplest of things that people take for granted - going to the supermarket, running errands, a family day out, all need to be planned with military precision and every single eventuality planned for. We can never be spontaneous as a family really.

“The main difference when you live with additional needs is that you spend most of your life trying to get support, it feels like an everchanging, constant uphill battle. You fight getting support for your child and often neglect yourself, but we need support too! It is so hard to build friendship and have social connections and it can feel really isolating when people don’t share your experiences and understand.

“In the early days we joined local support groups and social groups for Autism parents and we have made many lifelong friends. You need to find people that just get it and you can all share, help and support each other.

“Looking after your mental health is crucial, you can’t pour from an empty jug!”

We’d like to thank Debbie for sharing her story and giving us the opportunity to gain awareness on life as a carer.

If you are a carer or know someone who is a carer who would benefit from finding likeminded support groups, visit Carers UK.

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