Standing outside Jane’s flat, I couldn’t help but notice that hers was the only front door in the leafy street with all its paint peeling off.
I wasn’t surprised. I was about to interview her about life as a round-the-clock carer – a punishing existence that can’t leave much time or energy for DIY jobs, or anything else for that matter.
But, on top of that, Jane is 83.
While being a carer at any age can be incredibly tough, older carers face their own particular challenges. This is why Carers Week is this year is marking a day especially for them, this Friday, 12 June.
Jane, who lived a glamorous life of an actress and model when she was younger, has been her daughter Arabella’s prime carer for the last 20 years. Arabella is now in her mid-40s and has a genetic myopathy which means she struggles to walk and is often in intense pain.
Jane has to do everything for her daughter and constantly frets over finding someone she can trust to eventually take over. She told me, “I think the worst thing about being a carer to someone you love is that fear – what will happen to her when I go? It’s a huge worry.”
If you are a carer or have a friend or relative that is currently caring for someone then read our advice page, five ways to make your life as a carer easier.
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