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Support is key for those caring for loved ones

Esmond Saqui returned from Spain to care for his elderly mum when she was diagnosed with advanced dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease and could no longer care for herself.


His mum Melita, 90, was living in an almshouse until two years ago, but when her condition began to gradually grow worse, Esmond decided it was time to return to the UK after 28 years away.

“I was ringing her from Spain to help her take her medication and flying back every two months to see her, but in the end I decided I needed to come home. She could no longer take care of herself and was burning pans and forgetting things, so I decided that I needed to come home to take care of her,” said Esmond, 64.

He rented a bungalow in Great Cheverell, near Devizes, Wiltshire and moved his mum in with him and is now her full-time carer. He cooks, cleans and helps her in and out of the bath.

Life-changing move

The thought of becoming a carer or retiring had never crossed Esmond’s mind. He had worked in the food and wine industry and was enjoying the role.

He initially found the care system difficult to navigate, having lived out of the country for such a long time.

“I was really out of touch with how to get some help. Sometimes you don’t know what exists until you find it, so finding help took some time,” he said.

He also said it can be a little isolating where they live. Because they haven’t lived there very long, they haven’t established the sense of community they would have done had there been living there for many years.

“I sometimes get mum to do a little ironing, which is more for exercise, but she is quite fragile. I bought Mum a wheelchair so we can get out sometimes, weather permitting .The garden we have is very nice to sit outside as well.”

“The saddest thing is to have a conversation as she doesn’t remember things. Occasionally I show her old photos and talk to her about them. She does enjoy and appreciate food, so that is one thing that we can share in,” said Esmond.

Finding support

Esmond now receives help from a Carers Trust supported charity, Carer Support Wiltshire, along with a number of other charities, which provides funds for him to purchase respite care. This comes from an elderly neighbour, who although she is 80, knows his mum well and is able to sit with her, should he need to go out.

He said: “The main person who could help change the situation is your GP, as they are the person being cared for is most in contact with. They could have information available for carers in their surgeries or have a mailing list to help people make their contact with others.”

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Home » Carers » Support is key for those caring for loved ones
Your Later Life 2020

Dealing with bereavement and grief as a carer

Helen Walker (pictured)

Chief Executive, Carers UK

Everyone feels and reacts differently to becoming bereaved. There is no right or wrong way to deal with how you feel about this. 


COVID-19 has meant that some carers are having to face the loss of the person they looked after, maybe under very difficult circumstances.

Grieving will feel very different  right now, as carers are not able to reach out to others in the ways they usually would, and support services are not all operating as normal.

In the immediate aftermath of losing someone, there are usually many practical matters to deal with, from registering the death to organising the funeral. It can feel like your emotions are on hold.

It may help to break these tasks down, listing them in order of priority and ticking them off once completed.

Carers will experience a whole range of emotions, especially if this signifies the end of their caring role.

Consider a memorial service

The way funerals are taking place at the moment may not be the way you would want to say goodbye to someone.

You might want to start planning a memorial service or gathering for those unable to attend. That way, you know that everyone who wants to say goodbye can, and you have a chance to celebrate their life as you normally would have done.

Understandably, you might feel too upset to face these tasks. If you feel able to, tell the people around you what you need from them and how they can help.

There are professionals who can support you.

Expect unexpected emotions

Everyone feels and reacts differently to becoming bereaved. There is no right or wrong way to deal with how you feel about this. 

As well as the emotional pain of losing someone they love, carers will experience a whole range of emotions, especially if this signifies the end of their caring role.

Your feelings could range from relief at having more time to yourself, to guilt at feeling that way, to a desire to make some big changes, to feeling exhausted, alone and unable to do much at all.

Feeling free to acknowledge these complex emotions can be an important part of coming to terms with your loss.

Sometimes it can help to share your feelings with a close family member or friend or you could turn to a bereavement charity such as Cruse Bereavement Care or Sue Ryder’s Online Bereavement Support.

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