What Might Some of the Difficulties and Rewards of Being a Carer for a Family Member?

What might some of the difficulties and rewards of being a carer for a family member?

At some stage in our lives most of us will be involved in some form of care, but what does being a carer mean?   Being a carer means looking after a relative, friend or neighbour who needs support due to age, an illness or disability.   There are 6.5 million people in the UK who are caring for someone right now (Carers UK) and their work saved £57 billion a year in costs   (Carers UK, 2006).   But for many carers, there was simply no choice.   The case study of Ann Walker from K101 Activity one is an example of this.   Ann cares for her stepfather Angus McPhall, who has Parkinsons disease.   Based on this research and other resources from K101 Activity one, I am going to look at some of the difficulties and rewards of being a carer.
Let’s look at some of the difficulties first.   Ann had become a carer when her mum had died.   She made a promise to her mum that she would look after her stepfather and as she was already living in Angus’s home, she felt obligated to become his carer and that it was her   duty.   We see from Cavayes’ research that Ann felt she had ‘no choice’ and was ill-prepared for her role.   She did not realise the full extent of what his care entailed.   Consequently she had to give up her job, which she enjoyed.   This meant there was only one wage coming in/the household was reduced to one income and Ann felt isolated and lost contact with friends.   This has often been referred to as ‘caring syndrome’.
The time and demands of caring for a family member can lead to strain on other relationships within the family.   Ann had to take on several responsibilities which include washing, dressing and toilet duties.   Angus was also very demanding which meant Ann was so busy she had little time left to attend to her duties as a wife and mother. She was not aware of any of the important issues going on in her family.   Bob felt neglected and Zoe’s school work was suffering.   You...