We’ve been married now for thirty five years, Val contracted Poliomyelitis at about two years old. This has left her with mobility problems. Some years ago I went to see the nurse at our doctors and we discussed about being a carer for Val. I’d never looked upon myself as a carer. She mentioned how important it is to keep me fit and well and what would happen to Val if anything happened to me. She had a very valid point that never entered my head. (Over recent years I’ve broken some bones and been in and out of hospital but we’ve coped) Anyway the yellow card was sent and I was invited to attend a welcoming session at Carers Leeds and at that time they were asking for volunteers.

So I became a envelope filler (It looks good on a CV) putting newsletters into envelopes. Most of my fellow fillers were or had been carers and there stories about caring made me wonder if I was really a carer.

Everybody’s circumstances are different and I could see in a few years down the line as Val’s mobility would only get worse as time rolled on that my caring roll would change. (And it’s beginning to do now).

My elderly mother started having mini strokes that eventually left her living in one room downstairs. My mother needed professional carers who came in every day. So my role changed to caring for my wife and mother until my mother passed away at home where she wanted to be.

We always said that when anything happened to my mother we would move from our house and get Val onto one level, so we moved into a bungalow that needed a lot of modernisation. Strange how life works out because there is no way now that Val could cope with going up and down stairs.