This week is known as ‘carers week’. These are the people who dedicate their everyday lives to ensure the most vulnerable receive a decent, independent life.
Some of these people choose to work in an industry which is grossly underpaid and often unappreciated. Some of those people are adults looking after their aged or sick parents. Some of these people are children looking after their parents who cannot deal with day-to-day life without assistance. A difficult situation for all involved but one that cannot be helped.
And some of these people are Siblings, often children too. They are the most forgotten of all carers because they are not seen as carers at all. People assume they are sitting on the sidelines watching everything happen but that is not always the case. In fact, most often they are fully involved in all aspects of the required care.
As a Duchenne sibling I can tell you I did not hesitate in assisting my parents look after my brother. There was no assumption from my parents that I would nor did they necessarily ask for it. I just did it. I never flinched when my brother asked for help with even the most intrusive of tasks. It was just the way our life was and I am not the only sibling who has done this. SO many siblings will be doing the same thing I did, day in day out without a minute’s consideration for their own wellbeing.
Having to be become a carer at any stage in life is difficult. The emotional and mental strain it puts on everyone can feel overwhelming at times but I am asking today, this week that if you know of anyone who has a disabled sibling especially if they are a child, to give them a little bit of your attention. Ask how they are, what they reading and if they are enjoying school. The most mundane of questions that is asked to THEM instead of everyone around them will make their day.
Siblings of disabled people are young carers too. They are the unsung heroes of the caring world and are the backbone to any family unit so, this week of all weeks, I felt a little bit of appreciation should be put their way.