Jack and Margaret

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

Jack – I’m 86 now and my wife, Margaret is 84.  We’ve lived in the same house for 52 years.  I like being in my shed I make things from wood – I made a kitchen roll holder last week.  I used to work for the post office, retired a few years ago now.  If I could I’d have a super power it would be invisibility, I’d love to get into places without being seen – would be good to know what goes on behind closed doors – do you know what I mean!  

Margaret – I worked in a local shoe shop for 40 years, part time and enjoyed every day of it.   I enjoy  knitting it’s relaxing, toys, jumpers all sorts of things. 

What made you realise you are a carer?

Not sure really! Our son was diagnosed with a severe learning disability when he was 5.  They told us then that we would look after him all his life.

How long have you been caring?

50 Years I suppose.

Who you support, your relationship?

Our son Nigel, he’s our only child.

Condition of person you care for:

Learning Disability

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

We have to arrange things for him to do, he goes to a day centre 5 days a week.  We organise his appointments, if he needs to go somewhere we take him and we make sure that he is OK every day.  He has no understanding of being an adult, his age of ability is probably around about 10 so he can’t be independent ever.  We don’t have to feed him or dress him he can do those things himself and he can go to the toilet alone but sleeping has always been something that is not great so we get up sometimes at night to help him settle down.

A special Quote

I worry about what will happen when we’re gone who will take care of him and what that will be like for him, we don’t have lots of money or any family he can go to it is a big worry.

How Carers Oxfordshire help?

I spoke to someone on the phone and they offered to come and speak to us and do a carer’s assessment so that they could see what might help.  The assessment was really useful, it felt really like they wanted to know about us and we felt so much better just after talking to them.  I decided to join a carers group and another group who talk about carers issues and Carers Oxfordshire asked me to become a carers champion, talking to people like commissioners in health and social care to raise awareness of carers. They knew about a support service especially for carers of people with a learning disability and passed them my details, they have been really helpful too, they helped us to make a plan for Nigel’s future.  We feel so much better now.