Britain’s Best Breakfast in aid of Carers Trust. What is this I hear you cry? Well. We are all, sadly, in life, touched by illness, disease, misfortune, disability or addiction, be it directly or indirectly. There are many organisations out there to help people in need. But who helps the people that care for these individuals?
One of these is my Mum. Some carers call their person in need of care, Mum. It can be a sibling, parent, child, friend or partner. Some carers are children, forced to care and not be cared for, far to young, possibly of a parent suffering from physical or mental health problems or addiction. Others are husbands who have given up well paid jobs to care for a terminally ill wife or elderly wives caring for their beloved husband with dementia. The care can be physical, emotional and supervisory. Not just that, carers cook, clean, wash, tidy, iron, bathe, shop, care for younger siblings etc on top of caring for the person in need.
No one plans to become a carer. Do you know someone who cares for a family member or friend? 3 in 5 of us will become a carer within our lifetime. 3 in 5. That is a much higher statistic than I expected.
My Mum has always been a carer of sorts. As a Wife, Mother and District Nurse, she has cared for many a person in their time of need. However, my Mum is now my carer in a different way.
Physically – sometimes my mum has to help me dress, wash my hair and bathe me, dry me, prepare food for me and help me attend appointments. Thankfully my physical need has lessened from what I have required in the past but there are occasions every week that I need some physical care from my Mum. Emotionally, my Mum has it hard, She has to deal with my feelings of guilt that she is in this position, that she rarely has time to herself or time in her own home with my Dad. My upset and guilt when my health stands in the way of playing with my son. My Mum supports me when I feel anxious about my health, my future and some of the issues I face as a single Mum.
My Mum has had to condense her workload, her own business, into two days in order to care for me. Two long days are her break. My Sister helps me as well which gives my Mum the evening off and when my son visits his Father, I stay at home and she goes to her own home but she quite often repeats the household jobs that she has already carried out in my home.
She never stops. She looks a lot younger than she is (not that she’s really old, she just looks really young!)- no one can ever believe it but my Mum should be relaxing, following her own interests and being Nanna, not having to care for me and my son when I struggle.
The Carers Trust provide help to carers in the form of support, a listening ear, arranging meet ups where carers can meet each other and find someone else in the same situation as themselves, respite, advice to do with employment, mobility, benefits and much more.
The Britain’s Best breakfast initiative asks us to host a breakfast for our friends. Why breakfast? The carers trust would like the nation to wake up (get it?!) to the issue of caring. Current research confirms that “carers often work around the clock without a break. Many tell us they often don’t even have time for breakfast, missing out on an essential time of the day.”
Boil some eggs, make some porridge, grill a sausage or two or get out the Croissants and Jam. Whatever you fancy really, just don’t forget to invite lots of people and raise awareness. Your friends might even want to make a donation.
I’m planning on trying to replicate my favourite breakfast (with the help of my poor Mum) and hoping that my friends will be so impressed that they’ll be donating!
I am literally drooling.
They have some fabulous resources available to download – place mats, bunting, recipes, posters and more.
I do hope that you will join me and many others across the country for Britain’s Best Breakfast and help raise awareness of the unpaid carers all around us.