What a Carer Does

    The simple answer to this is anything and everything. Withdrawal is not only painful, it is also demanding, and dictates much of the sufferer’s life and therefore the carer’s. The carer’s job is both physical and psychological and consists essentially of filling in the gaps in the sufferer’s life and supporting them during recovery. Doing the whole lot oneself is clearly demanding, and if the jobs can be shared, so much the easier.

Physical Jobs

    Many of the things a sufferer used to do are now denied them by the illness to some extent and the carer has to make up for this. If, for instance, the sufferer’s symptoms are poor co-ordination and concentration, the impact of these two is very far-reaching.  Many daily activities become affected or curtailed such as:

  • driving – too dangerous
  • eating out – becomes very messy
  • cooking – both dangerous and messy
  • dressing – too complicated
  • reading and writing – again too complicated

    So the carer has to be prepared to provide some or all of these activities including:

  • laundry and organising clothing
  • dealing with correspondance and bills
  • shopping
  • dealing with tradesmen
  • helping with personal hygiene

    In short, anything the sufferer needs to survive the recovery path as comfortably as possible.

Psychological Jobs

    While recovering the sufferer will need continual reassurance and support through their many anxious times. They will also need protection because they are very vulnerable and easily frightened. This means that the carer will often have to act as a buffer between the sufferer and their friends and acquaintances, trying to explain to them what is happening to the sufferer so that they won’t misunderstand the latter’s behaviour. Our experience is that real friends remain concerned and supportive.

    The next section deals with these points in more detail.