It all started five years ago when my wife had a stroke. She now has total paralysis in her left arm and partial paralysis in her left leg. We received great treatment in hospital and even better after care, however that is when it went downhill. Our local council said they could not help us and now I have to pay for my wife’s care.
It is difficult being my wife’s full-time carer as we can’t have the life we had before. We used to regularly go on holiday together but those days are gone. I am 80 and my wife is 77 but we haven’t been able to enjoy our retirement.
Facing mounting costs
My wife has lots of appointments and due to her condition we can’t use public transport so I have to drive her everywhere. It costs me a fortune in fuel. I enquired about a taxi once but that was even more expensive! So I keep driving my wife instead. The appointments really help with her health and I want to be able to help her. We also need to keep the heating on all the time because my wife is so cold so that is another cost. It all adds up. My wife’s health is deteriorating which means she currently needs two carers which means double the cost.
I have lost a considerable amount of money just to make my wife’s life bearable. It isn’t easy seeing someone you love in pain.
It is just unjust that at 80 years old I am being forced to be a carer because I can’t afford more care.
Needing a break
I dread the thought of my wife needing to go into a residential home. I had a look once when I needed to be away but it cost £800-1,500 a week. Luckily in this instance my children were able to help. I have two daughters, one is struggling financially and the other has a family to look after plus works seven days a week.
The only time I look forward to is my three hours of respite a week. It isn’t even a break as this is when I run errands and go and do the food shop. I love to read, it used to be my favourite hobby. So if I have time I will sit down and read.
I just want more of a break, but it means paying more.
I feel penalised for trying to create a better life for my wife and me because I saved money.
Have you been affected by any of these issues?
This blog represents one individual’s experience; personal circumstances differ – if you have been affected by any the issues in this blog and want some advice about your own situation please contact Independent Age’s Helpline on 0800 319 6789.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of Independent Age.