Keith

What would you like to say about yourself? What do you enjoy doing?

I’m 63, I was in the Navy for years and could tell a few stories.  I’m what you might call a tinkerer I love making things but nothing too big.  We’ve got 2 children and 3 grandchildren we love having them over.  I enjoy reading to Eleanor in the evenings and listening to the radio with her, I still watch Match of the Day avidly ‘cos I love football.  I go out on my bike every day if I can and I’m learning to cook Spanish food.

What made you realise you are a carer?

I was feeling really tired one day, Eleanor was having a bad day and was in a wheelchair, I was pushing her around the shops. I went to my doctor because I felt tired and a bit down, I spoke to him about the situation and he told me I was a carer. I should have realised when I think about it, because I’d had a conversation with a friend who was looking after his wife since she’d had a stroke and he was talking about being a carer too.

How long have you been caring?

3 years

Who do you support, your relationship?

Wife

Condition of person you care for:

Eleanor was diagnosed with MS

What does the person(s) you care for need help with:

We have care workers who help Eleanor get washed and dressed every morning, and help her downstairs, then I make her breakfast and do the washing up – then we’ll be ready for the day.  I’ll cook and clean and see if anything needs arranging.  Eleanor will do some card making or other sorts of crafting stuff if she feels up to it, we’ll listen to the radio.  I can leave her once she is comfortable but only for a short time as I worry when I’m not there, so I go out on my bike to the shops or just for a ride it keeps me sane. We don’t go out much as it’s hard to get her ready and pushing the wheelchair is so tiring, it’s really difficult to get into places sometimes and parking can be really difficult with the wheelchair. The care workers will come back to get her ready for bed, mostly its too early so I say leave it and I’ll do it.   I take care of her affairs – arrange and take her to any appointments.

A Special Quote

Eleanor got a blue badge and it was life changing, we had freedom, there was life beyond these four walls.

How Carers Oxfordshire helped?

My doctor recommended Carers Oxfordshire to me, a lovely lady made contact, we talked about my caring role and how they can help.  I felt listened to and she understood as she is a carer herself.  She helped us apply for a disabled badge and she even helped find a solution to our gardening problem and told us about beach wheelchairs which we’d never heard of before, this was amazing, we could plan a trip to the beach! She also arranged for a gentleman to visit who helped us look at our finances, what we are entitled to including some things we’d not heard of before.  Before I met Carers Oxfordshire I felt I was alone but now I know I always have someone to turn to. Thank you.