News     09/06/2023

Carers Week: Adferiad employee Vicky talks about her role as a carer

Carers Week: Adferiad employee Vicky talks about her role as a carer

Being a carer can be challenging in many ways, not only financially but also physically and emotionally.

A carer is anyone who looks after a family member or friend who has a disability, mental or physical illness, addiction, or who needs extra help. Caring’s impact on all aspects of life from relationships and health to finances and work can be significant.

Caring without the right information and support can difficult and it’s vitally important that we recognise the contribution carers make to their families and local communities, workplaces and society, and that they receive the support they need.

Carers Week raises awareness of caring, highlighting the challenges unpaid carers face and recognising the contribution they make to families and communities. It also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.

We spoke to Adferiad employee Vicky, who also cares for her partner.

(Q1) Can you tell us about your role as a carer?

I am an unpaid carer for my partner who has mental health problems.

My days can be different with some good and some not so good, but this depends on how he is doing. My day can be making sure he is eating by preparing meals, giving the right medication and ensuring he has a plan for his day ahead. My role also extends to supporting him emotionally and learning new ways to help him with his mental health.

(Q2) What have you found to be the biggest challenges as a carer, especially combining your work and your unpaid caring role?

My main challenge has been having a voice in any appointments with GPs or mental health teams. Being his partner and his carer means I get a whole picture of him and his day, sometimes this may be different to how he may put this to a professional to how I would.

Being able to get back into work has made a positive change for myself and for our family. Its gives me structure and means there is more of a routine at home. Some struggles have been me working in the day, juggling childcare and my role as a carer for my partner whilst maintaining a stable home life has been a challenge.

My work has been amazing in giving me the support and flexibility I need to maintain all these different elements and has had a positive impact on my own mental health, which means I can give support to others in similar situations.

(Q3) What advice would you give to any carers who are struggling with their role and responsibilities?

My advice would be to talk to people about it. Find a local organisation who can support and guide you, find a local group you can attend to have some peer support or speak with friends and family.

(Q4) Unpaid carers need hope and support and they must be at the heart of the plans and decisions for the future, what changes would you like to see which could help carers more?

To build a support network in local communities and on ground level to identify those who are in a carers role but don’t identify as a ‘carer/unpaid carer’. This was a challenge I had at the beginning of any support I had, because I always thought I was just supporting my partner with his mental health.

I believe the language used needs to be changed to capture more people from all ages and family situations. The word ‘carer’ is very official and in my personal experience would never have identified as this and would not have approached groups or support aimed at this. If the wording changed, such as ‘support group for those supporting someone with mental health’ I would have jumped at this!

(Q5) How have services and support from Adferiad been able to help you and what difference have they made?

Adferiad were the changing point for me. They gave me the tools to take control for myself and change the direction of my life, with a listening ear and support that I needed. From that support it enabled me to think more clearly and put things into place I didn’t know how to before from my finances to mental wellbeing.

At Adferiad we strive to understand each person’s unique needs, circumstances, and preferences. Our focus is on providing tailored support and assistance that is specifically designed to meet their individual requirements. By adopting this approach, we aim to empower individuals and ensure that they have a voice and control over their own lives.

To find out more about the services we offer for carers, please visit: