A grateful carer
Neil tells us about caring for his wife, Gillian, who has arthritis.
My wife Gillian and I have been married for 54 years and we have one 33 year old daughter and have both had busy lives.
Gill was a teacher for many years both at home in East Sussex and abroad, and I had a career in the Royal Air Force and then in a branch of civil aviation. For many years Gill supported me in my work which took me all over Europe and she looked after our daughter.
Then she started suffering from arthritis. At first it was a nuisance that meant she was not as mobile as hitherto, and then it developed so that she is now in a wheelchair and totally dependent on me for everything around the house. In some senses our roles have been reversed and whereas I relied on her at one time, she now relies on me.
At the age of 75 this has been something of a shock; but also a revelation and a challenge: I have learned how to cook, do the washing, shopping and housekeeping while also indulging in our shared love of gardening.
Every day brings something new and the past 18 months of pandemic restrictions have brought their own challenges.
I sometimes wonder if there is something I am missing from external support but the restrictions of the pandemic make this difficult to access.
Nonetheless, we live fulfilled lives.
If you are looking after someone who couldn’t manage without your help, and would like support or to connect with other carers, please contact us.