First of all we need to look at what is meant by the word ‘carer’. A government website agrees “the word ‘carer’ means someone who looks after a friend, relative or neighbour who needs support because of their sickness, age or disability”. (Directgov 2006). A carer goes beyond what is expected from a relative, friend or neighbour; they are not paid like some professionals known as care workers, although they are vital to the government in providing care to some of the most vulnerable. The type of care given within the family environment saves the government billions a year which otherwise would be unaffordable. I am going to discuss throughout the assignment Anne Walker a stepdaughter caring for her stepfather Angus McPhail and touch upon the challenges both these people face in their daily life’s when giving and receiving care.
There are many difficulties involved in giving care. Being a carer can be physically and mentally demanding and in some cases carers need to be on call anytime day or night. Caring for a family member can be hard work and your role within the family setting can change. You are no longer seen as a daughter, son, wife or parent but as a carer. This can be a change in identity within the family home which can strain the quality of relationships that already existed prior to taking on the caring role. For example if we look at the case study of Ann Walker who has a full time caring role for her stepfather Angus McPhail. Anne is also a wife, she lacks time to spend with her husband as she needs to attend to her stepfather for all of his physical needs. Her husband also has a difficult relationship with Angus which has led to Anne at times having to physically remove herself from the house.
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