Many older people (1 in 6 of over 65 yr olds) provide care for a spouse, relative or friend; many more have provided care in the past and carry pain from the experience. Where an older person is caring for an adult child with physical or mental illness or an addiction, they are likely to have great concerns about the future when they are no longer able to provide support and care to their child. Where a spouse is caring for their partner, especially for someone in the later stages of dementia, they may feel their needs are unrecognised and feel completely abandoned.
Carers told us that they could usually access information about support services but had no place to reflect on the spiritual dimension of their caring role. Our half-day Saturday ‘Quiet Time for Carers’ sessions offer older carers a chance to share their experiences with others, to reflect and pray together about their role and the challenges they face, and to enjoy a short respite, with refreshments, where their needs are the focus.
Your parish can really help both the carer and those they care for. Mike and Mo have given their permission to share their story of how their parish has provided a pillar of support which you can read Case study 2