Two residents have shared their experiences of what it’s like to be a carer for their loved one, ahead of Carers Week.
David Quigley has been the primary carer for his wife Alicia for the past 23 years after she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – but still considers situation to be a fortunate one.
He said: “Compared with a lot of people with MS she’s very lucky. We don’t view ourselves as unlucky anymore because the fact is there are some people a lot younger who are fully wheelchair bound and she isn’t.”
That doesn’t mean it isn’t tough for David, who has been married to Alicia for 46 years.
“What do I do? The washing, cleaning, ironing, DIY, painting, decorating, plumbing, I’m the appointment maker, the financier.”
Thankfully, there is help at hand for David, a former British Gas Engineer.
Until the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Alicia she used to visit the MS Therapy Centre, Trafford Park. Twice a week, Alicia - a former research histologist at Manchester Medical School – received hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This is a complementary therapy where you are placed in a pressurised chamber and breathe oxygen through a mask.
There’s also care and emotional support at the centre for those who are living with the condition, while Davis had also received help from Trafford Carers Centre.
Kalim Rana has looked after his wife Shaista ever since they were married. But in the last few years, things took a turn for the worse when she suffered a massive stroke which left her paralysed down one side.
The result of that is that she is unable to walk or talk and needs 24/7 care, most of which is done by her husband with the help of four care worker visits a day.
Kalim said: “The doctors gave her months to live but it is two and half years now and I am giving her very good care within the best of my ability and she’s good.
“She’s looking better but obviously she can’t talk and she cannot walk.”
Kalim now spends most of his time at home, making sure Shaista is looked after. He does receive some respite care from Trafford Council, as well as support from Trafford Carers Centre.
He said: “They are very kind and very caring. I have had a free massage and funding for sports activities.
But almost everything he does is for his beloved Shaista.
“I do miss my wife. My companion,” he said. “I want to stay healthy. We have spent good times together and now is the time for me to make sacrifices.”
Cllr Jane Slater, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Equalities, said: “It’s important we pay tribute during Carers Week to all the carers in Trafford for all that they do.
“But it is more important to ensure they receive the support they need throughout the year so that they can continue to look after the people they love.”
For information about available support, including how to apply for a free carer’s assessment, visit www.trafford.gov.uk/residents/adults-and-older-people/Adults-and-older-people.aspx
Posted on Friday 4th June 2021