Simon cares for his wife Sarah, who has Huntington's disease, 24 hours a day. Both Sarah's mother and sister died of Huntington's Disease, so they know what to expect. Simon's mother was also diagnosed with breast cancer, so he took on a second caring role even though he has type 1 diabetes and has had his left foot amputated.
Simon was feeling overwhelmed, overloaded and started to feel fearful and anxious about what the future held. He was in a very dark place, feeling that life was not worth living.
An n-compass Carers Support and Information Officer recognised Simon's struggles and referred him to the Care for Carers project. The project saw the need for counselling in the referral and matched Simon with a male counsellor.
The counsellor met with Simon regularly and encouraged him to share his experiences and talk about his feelings relating to his own health and that of his wife's. Simon appreciated the non-judgmental environment and used the time to speak openly about his deepest thoughts and feelings. Together they worked on re-framing Simon's feelings, situation, and viewpoints, helping Simon move from a negative to a positive mindset.
As a result of the counselling, Simon could re-evaluate his situation and focus on making the most of the time left with his wife. Simon can now plan for his future and is not lost in the worries of his current situation.
Simons said, "Since we have been talking, I now know I can deal with things which previously I would have broken down over. Rather than feeling overwhelmed or dwelling on the past, I'm now looking forward to the future."
"I would not be feeling the way I feel now, which is good, if I hadn't had counselling."