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Caring for carers

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Caring for carers

Caring for Carers

Don't expect carers to ask for help
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Will and Amy Perringwood met in Dublin on Valentine's Day 2012 and their love quickly blossomed.

But only a year later Will sustained a brain injury and Amy was no longer just his girlfriend, but his carer too.

The couple took the big step of moving in together and Amy found herself coping with a whole new world of responsibilities.

"I was only 22 so it was the first time I was coming across sorting out all the bills by myself, banking, and budgeting," she said.

"I had to sort out all of Will's benefits, that was the most stressful thing because none of us had done that before. I got a few things wrong and Will missed out on three months' worth of pay."

Not only was the paperwork challenging, Amy also found dealing with Will's brain injury frustrating.

She said: "You're still only human. A few times I would have to take a step back and say 'I'm not angry at Will, I'm angry at Will's brain injury.'

If it wasn't for the support she had from her parents, in-laws and friends, Amy says she wouldn't have been able to cope.

"I wouldn't have been able to do it without them. Even just having someone on the end of the phone is a life line for you."

Amy's friends supported her without question, and she is encouraging friends of other carers to do the same.

She said: "Don't expect carers to ask for help. People who are caring people don't necessarily care for themselves very well.

"Go around and make them tea. You're the guest but you'll make them feel you're looking after them.

It doesn't have to be overboard, just little things.

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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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