Frank is 65 years old, Lily, Franks wife, is 62-years-old, they live in the South Tees area. Lily was recently diagnosed with Dementia. Frank has been caring for Lily for the last few years after noticing changes in her memory and cognition. Lily was diagnosed with Dementia in 2020. Due to a decline in Lily's cognition, Frank has had to provide 24-hour care for Lily. Frank was working full-time, and his job required frequent travel across the region, which he was finding increasingly difficult to manage alongside Lily's care needs. During the pandemic Frank, like many working carers, began working from home; this meant that Frank was physically available 24/7 for Lily but made the already challenging work-life balance overwhelming.
Recognising that without support Frank would be burnout he reached out for support and contacted Carers Together having being informed of their service via the Memory Clinic. Frank wanted to know what practical and emotional support was available to himself and Lily. Frank agreed to have a Carers Initial Assessment, he received a full benefits check from their Welfare Rights Team and discussed his employment options with the Working Carers Support Worker who provided him with information and advice. Frank was supported to apply for Attendance Allowance for Lily which subsequently led to him applying for Carers Allowance, as he was made redundant from work.
Frank was referred for counselling for support around managing the emotional impact of his caring role. Frank was also offered and participated in Dementia Awareness training and provided with resources. The team explained that further support such as a 'sitting service' was available through Adult Social Care, Frank agreed to a referral and was given a full Carers Assessment by the Local Authority.
Frank stated he “now feels that he has a better understanding of Lily’s diagnosis”. He is also finding the ongoing support from Carers Together helpful in managing his caring role and is accessing the online Dementia Carer support group.
Frank has completed a course of counselling which “has helped to maintain (his) emotional well-being”. Frank explained that the counselling and the 1-1 support walks were particularly useful, he states that he feels that his caring role is more manageable with the support he receives from Carers Together.
Frank's story is real however the image and names used in this article are not for the carers anonymity.
If you would like to find out more about how Carers Together can support you in your caring role visit https://carerstogether.co.uk/ or contact the team today: Phone: (01642) 488977
You can also see what other services are available locally: