“Carers Should Be Celebrated,” Charlie’s Column

by Charlie Ridgewell
Published: Last Updated on

Given the current circumstances, suffering from a chronic illness is tough, and sometimes the only thing I look forward to is seeing one of my carers.

Seeing a carer can turn a bad day into a brilliant one: it can improve my mental health, my general mood, and also stop me from feeling too lonely or isolated. Needless to say, I am by no means the only person up and down the country for whom this is this case.

People need help. Carers meet, and even surpass, this demand.

Caring is often perceived as no more than fetching cups of tea and doing the laundry. Yet this perception is wrong: it is so much more.

I can only speak with certainty from my own experience, but my carers are far more than their title. For a start, they are friendships that I have now had for almost a decade. One way in particular by which they lift my mood is by talking about my many, miscellaneous hobbies and interests—be it football, Formula 1, or films and games. These are interests that we share, and just talking about them for 30 minutes can make my entire week.

My carers have played a key role in my mental health.

For 21 years, I’ve had to have somebody with me all the time—that is, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I could have a seizure in the time it takes you to read this sentence. My head could start to feel awful. I could become depressed due to isolation. It is my carer’s job to take care of me, and they are always prepared for every eventuality.

If there is one thing that should be taken away from all this, it’s to appreciate carers more. While some are losing patients to illness, others are dragging them out of depression and isolation.

The work they do is priceless and I, for one, wouldn’t be here today without their intervention. They don’t ask for recognition, but they deserve it.

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