Carer praises ‘amazing support’ after giving up work to care for husband
A MIDWIFE who had to give up work to care for her severely ill husband has spoken about the impact of being a carer as part of National Carers Week.
Janet Lund, from Tytherington, became a full-time carer for her husband Michael, 59, four years ago.
The couple originally thought Michael was suffering from a middleear infection but it did not clear up.
In 2001, doctors diagnosed him with multiple sclerosis (MS), a neurological condition which affects his brain and spinal cord.
Janet said: “It was a shock, but then things sort of fell into place that had been happening and it made sense.
“He was still able to do things for himself initially, but it was getting to the point where I was making myself ill trying to juggle everything.”
The 52-year-old cares for Michael in every aspect, washing and dressing him, cutting up his food and making him drinks, as he is no longer able to do it for himself.
The Tytherington Drive resident also cares for her elderly in-laws, so finds the help she receives from Cheshire and Warrington Carers Trust and the MS Society invaluable.
She said: “The support we get is amazing, they really are just there for both of us. It’s a massive, massive help.”
NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which plans and buys healthcare for more than 200,000 people, helps to fund services provided by Cheshire and Warrington Carers’ Trust, along with Cheshire East Council and NHS South Cheshire CCG.
The organisation has enabled Janet to receive a carer’s budget, which she uses to pay for spa and relaxation treatments, providing much-needed respite.
Dr Paul Bowen, chairman of NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG and GP with McIlvride Medical Practice in Poynton, said: “The work of unpaid carers like Janet is absolutely vital in supporting the NHS and she deserves to be recognised.
“There are around 21,000 unpaid carers in eastern Cheshire whose unsung work transforms the lives of those they look after while reducing demand for hard-pressed health and social care services.
“I hope Carers Week will help highlight the contribution people like Janet make to families and communities throughout the UK.”
Find out more about Carers Week at carersweek.org.
●● Janet Lund with her husband Michael