Shona and Gregor “About me, the carer”
Shona: I have gone to other carers groups, that tend to focus on specific, conditions for example see, my son doesn’t have a diagnosis, and although he is on the autistic, for me it’s just a tiny bit of his problems and his needs so, I often find, in the past, when he was younger, when I have gone to other groups, I couldn’t relate, or people couldn’t relate to me because a lot of it was about their child’s behaviour and for me, it was about how much I care for him, how much medical care I have to give, how demanding that is for me, and how dependent he is on me, so how that impacts me and my life in that, I don’t have a life, I don’t have a social life, I can’t go out in the evenings, I’ve had to give up work so, what I’m saying is, I need a group that’s about me, the carer, where although I’ve gone to other carer groups but it’s been about their children, does that make sense?
Claire: That does make sense to me and I think that’s actually common for parents of our age when our children are still children, and I think what strikes me about the older carers group is that, that comes along when you are, in many ways, past all of that bit, when it really is about the longer term care and also, how you’re going to keep yourself well, as a carer, because I have to be honest and say I’m not a great one for joining groups. I really enjoy talking to parents one to one, but being with a crowd of parents has not always worked for me, because sometimes it gets focused on certain other things.
Shona: Yes, and they’re not that relevant for me, or I think actually that wouldn’t phase me, or I could take that in my stride more, I could deal with that so maybe it is the fact that I’m not very good in groups, I don’t know, but I’ve found previous groups that I’ve gone to, they just didn’t work for me and I kept going more because I thought well, it was good to socialise, because obviously, there is an element of isolation being a carer, so I thought ‘I’ll go, you know? I think one of the best things I did, although it was a carers support group, it was actually a crafting group, it goes on for a period of time, then it stops and starts, that I have kept going, because obviously, I love crafting, and actually it’s one of the only carers groups that I’ve gone to that we don’t tend to talk about caring that much, we talk about very general things.
Claire: Yes, you’re doing something you enjoy and you’re just being together and getting companionship.
Shona: So that’s probably the only carers group that I’ve ever stayed with, because I’ve just found that I couldn’t relate to it, I couldn’t relate to some of the people, or their circumstances