Paid a pit­tance for ex­haust­ing 24hr job

Daily Mirror - - NEWS -

JACQUI Dar­ling­ton is the full-time carer for son Joshua, who has a se­vere form of Down’s Syn­drome.

The 26-year-old needs help with ev­ery­thing from us­ing the bath­room to cook­ing and tak­ing his med­i­ca­tion, which he needs to stop anx­i­ety at­tacks.

Jacqui, 58, was a spe­cial­ist teach­ing as­sis­tant and then a nurs­ery nurse but had to give it up af­ter Joshua left school.

“We are do­ing a 24-hour job and what we get for it is a pit­tance,” she said.

“The min­i­mum wage is all we are ask­ing for. We are treated as cheap labour. If the mil­lions of car­ers were to sud­denly stop the na­tion would come to a stand­still.

“They know we won’t be­cause we love the peo­ple we’re look­ing af­ter.”

Jacqui is a sin­gle mum and also has son Ash­ley, 28. When she was forced to quit her job in 2012 the fam­ily had to down­size from their rented four-bed house to a two-bed coun­cil flat in Rut­land, East Mid­lands. Joshua has since also been di­ag­nosed with autism.

She said: “I strug­gled to main­tain a home, be a mum, a carer and have a ca­reer for just over six months be­fore ad­mit­ting this sit­u­a­tion wasn’t work­ing. I had be­come ill with stress.

“Re­luc­tantly I gave up work to be­come a full-time carer but with that, I had to give up our home as I couldn’t af­ford to keep it. You just have to live on ba­sic food and can’t have any lux­u­ries. It’s easy to be­come iso­lated. When Ash­ley

Fmoved out I was hav­ing no con­ver­sa­tion with any­one as Joshua doesn’t speak. “I be­came very low in mood and the doc­tor said ‘You just need to get out’. Joshua needs help show­er­ing, brush­ing his teeth and I need to make him take his med­i­ca­tion. “He man­ages about four hours’ sleep a night and only that with med­i­ca­tion. I’ve had four hours a night for 20 years. It’s ex­haust­ing. “Joshua is and al­ways will be my beau­ti­ful, hand­some son who I will con­tinue to love, cher­ish and adore… even though I never got a job de­scrip­tion. But then again, this is no or­di­nary job.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.