Information & advice Carer stories Life of a Voluntary Carer The following is the personal view of a Carer who was inspired to take time out to express her view of the regular demands, sacrifices and challenges that the Carer faces every day, throughout the year. Why do we do it? Because we love and care about the person we are caring for. Do we have a life? No - Our life revolves around our caring role. We do not have a starting time or finishing time. We do not have the luxury of someone else taking over, you may get a little help from family or friends - not always. Health and Safety: Non-existent for Voluntary Carers. Respite: Availability either not suitable or viable. People cared for either not happy or agreeable to this. "Physically exhausted" - If people cared for are in agreement with respite, you are never free - emotionally. Financial: We either have to reduce our hours or leave employment completely. Financially you are always struggling and tragically when your caring role ends, not only do they lose someone they love, but also a way of life. In the case of a son/daughter it can be a lifetime caring role. It will be a 24/7 caring role, these Carers seldom get a night's undisturbed sleep. Some 24/7 Caring Roles: Learning/Physical Disabilities: Autism/Mental Health/Brain Injured/Result of Accident/ Stroke etc. Life threatening medical conditions to name but a few. Occasionally more than one of the above /all of the above. If Carers were being paid for the hours they work, they would be earning £1318.80 per week at the National Living Wage. Above lists the monetary value at the level of care they give. "A Carer's value is priceless."