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Carers Stories

Anyone can be a carer.

Our youngest carer is just 6 years old, and our oldest is 98 years old.

Do these stories sound familiar to you and your situation? 

You can register with us and we can help.

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Young Adult Sam's Story

I started caring for both of my parents between the ages of four and five. My mum has fibromyalgia and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and my dad had multiple herniated discs in his back which led to him using a wheelchair for several years. It was through the Young Carers Project at Carers Link Lancashire that, aged 11, I was identified as a Young Carer by Carole Moulton. The project supported me by offering personalised and individual support based on an initial age-appropriate assessment of my needs. It also offered me fun respite activities and opportunities that I would normally not have been able to do due to my caring role. No one really understands what it means to be a carer; people just think it’s ‘helping out’ but it is much more than that, you have extra worries, responsibilities, and often feel isolated in addition to missing out on a social life.


When I felt like things were getting too much and that I needed some individual support I knew that I could contact the office, within 24-48 hours there would be a one-to-one planned with my development worker. Just having a listening ear whilst I let off steam was enough to make me feel heard, validated and able to continue in my caring role.  As I transitioned into a young adult, I continued to receive support from Carers Link Lancashire through the Young Adult Carers Project, this helped to further build my confidence in so many ways. I was supported with an adult carers assessment which took into account of my hopes and wishes for the future, and in collaboration with my Assessment and Support Officer we created a support plan to reflect that. I also participated in various respite activities which enabled me to help me have some time away from caring and allowed for some time for myself and my friends.

Lyn and Heather’s Story

Lyn and Heather are long term same sex partners with Lyn being the birth mother to 4 wonderful children, two girls and two boys. Their eldest daughter is 20 and has ASD, their eldest son is 15 with no additional needs, their youngest daughter is 13 and has cerebral palsy and their youngest son has complex needs including autism, cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Lyn has supported and cared for all her children from birth whilst also balancing her own medical challenges which include overcoming a stroke and battling fibromyalgia and arthritis. Heather is a step mum to all the children and has been part of their lives for many years. As well as providing support at home, she works part time for Carers Link Lancashire. Together they juggle daily medications, personal cares, mental wellbeing and endless hospital appointments. They continually fight for the medical and educational support their children need. As one battle is won another presents itself. Life is never quiet!

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Before talking to Carers Link Lancashire we didn’t recognise ourselves as “carers”. Yes life was a little harder than most peoples, our kids a little more challenging, but this is what fate gave us so this was just our job as parents. After talking to Carers Link our eyes were opened, we started to recognise our role as carers, and were given information on the support that is available. There is a community of parent carers like ourselves out there, and even talking to others in the same boat, with the same challenges can sometimes help. Our eldest son also joined Young Carers. He has benefited massively from joining groups and activities, taking time away from our complex family unit to just be himself and have some fun. We are a happy loving family unit but we have faced challenges due to our sexuality. We have been asked to “prove” parental responsibility, made to jump through hoops to get both mums acknowledged and accepted as equal when dealing with professionals across healthcare and education. But things do slowly seem to be getting better out there for same sex couples, there are more places that accept any family without prejudice.

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Les' Story 

I had a well-paid job as a Manufacturing Manager which involved travelling to Malaysia. I was about to travel out there again, when Linda had her stroke. It came as a complete shock to us, it was just a normal Friday night, she was on the phone to a friend and within minutes my daughter shouted to me mum’s having a stroke. This was in January 2015. When Linda was allowed home it was clear that life was changed forever, I had to give up my job to look after her as a full time carer.

When I first registered, I had a Carers Assessment which was an opportunity to talk about my caring role and the support that is available. It included planning for an emergency and setting up a Carers Peace of Mind Plan just in case something unexpectedly happened to me, and I was unable to care for Linda. Being a part of the service has helped take away some of the ‘What if’ and replaced it with some reassurance if an emergency did occur. I get a Carers budget and find this payment once a year fantastic as I use it for the football. It means I can plan things with my friend and we are planning a weekend away for when I get it later on this year. I don’t know how I’d manage without being busy.

We plan our days around Linda, due to her medication she sleeps around 14 hours a day, so we do everything between the hours of 12pm – 7pm. We go out every day and make the most of the time we have. Our relationship has changed and evolved into something different. To some degree you’re trying to be a husband and a Carer and that’s sometimes difficult. It effects everything. I feel I manage that quite well, but for some people, I think it must just totally change the way they interact with their loved ones.

It’s been a gradual thing but it’s always been there and my family have always tried to encourage me to take a break but it is a difficult one, you do feel guilty. I do need to start taking more breaks, as at the moment my only respite is the football on a Saturday for 4 hours which is the only time I switch off from my caring role completely. In the last seven years, I’ve had three nights away to go to the football as it is a lot of preparation so sometimes you think is it worth it. I’m trying to do things that are going to benefit myself now.

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