‘Fiona’ was recently referred to the Carer Support Service by the Care & Community Co-ordinator at her GP surgery.
A full-time working professional in her 60s, Fiona suddenly found herself in a caring role towards both of her elderly parents, following her father’s unexpected mental collapse. Fiona found that both of her parents, who had supported one another and remained independent up until this point, became dependent upon her to help them emerge from the crisis in which they found themselves in.
In order to meet their needs, Fiona reduced her commitments at work. Fiona was feeling very upset and confused, not knowing what to do or who to turn to for help. Fiona now has a named Carer Advisor, ‘Lynda’, who has worked with Fiona to help her understand the options that are available to herself and her parents. Lynda has supported Fiona in getting a ‘Carer’s Assessment’ which will examine what ongoing support is available to her: she has supported her in getting the right advice about benefits for her and housing options for her parents. Lynda has also signposted Fiona to a counselling service for herself and a ‘befriending’ service for her mother. In addition to this practical help, Lynda has been able to offer empathetic and emotional support to Fiona at a difficult time. Lynda says about Fiona “She is on the radar now, when the time is right, we will encourage her to meet other carers for mutual support – and she knows that we exist if she needs help and support.”