Hi my name is Kayleigh and I'm a Young Adult Carer from Carmarthenshire. I’m a carer for my mum who suffers from many health problems.
I also have disabilities myself, epilepsy and dyspraxia being some of them, so being a carer with additional needs does come with it’s challenges, but once you get the skills to help yourself your caring role becomes that little better.
I’ve been caring for my mum since I was around 8 years old maybe a bit younger. I’ve had different caring roles over the years - as I’ve gotten older my role has become more prominent. I do a lot more around the house especially if my mum has to go into hospital - I have to get hospital bags ready, make sure her medications are ready and in her bags and work out what else she may need while she's in and to see how long she is going to be in hospital. Over the years of being a carer I’ve developed many skills like the following:
- Being able to communicate with siblings schools to let them know if
my mum is in hospital.
- Being able to communicate to healthcare professionals to understand
- Being able to manage stressful situations.
I’ve been very lucky in my caring role to have a supportive family that help with some things like taking my mum to appointments because I can’t drive.
With the future I feel like I’ve made the decision to be a full time carer for my mum. I made this decision because of my additional needs and my caring role it made the most sense for me to put my time and energy in making sure everything is going smoothly at home. One thing I made sure I did after school was go into a traineeship instead of college so I still had a qualification in something.
I feel like doing a traineeship is an amazing option for carers with additional needs because they take in your needs and your caring role and give you plenty of opportunities and support.
My advice to young carers would be to make sure you get “me time” so you're not on carer mode all the time. It's okay to have a break now and again wherever you can find it even if it’s for 5 minutes because if you’re exhausted you're not going to be able to care to the best of your ability which can make you feel a bit down.
Some more advice I have is to talk to someone you trust like a family member, someone at school, support worker or a friend because it’ll make you feel so much better and feels like a weight has been lifted because it can sometimes feel like we have the weight of the world on our shoulders. Just know there are people around to listen and to help you and the person you care for. To all carers - don’t be scared to accept help because we all need help sometimes.