Nigel and his dog
Nigel with his dog Billy

Nigel’s story: How carers are coping during coronavirus pandemic

A husband caring for his disabled wife says how life has changed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sixty-year-old Nigel Milner retired in 2019 to care for his wife Norma, 65, who suffered a stroke in March 2013 which left her paralysed down her left-hand side and wheelchair bound.

And ever since the Government lockdown came into place and the most vulnerable people in society were instructed to shield, life has been very different for the couple.

Nigel said: “Caring for Norma was hard enough due to the severity of her disabilities, but then came the coronavirus pandemic which made things even tougher for us. Prior to Covid-19 my wife enjoyed visiting Buckingham day services. She loves it there and can’t wait to go back. The activities and people are what she misses as it gives her a real sense of release from the monotony of being at home.”

Following his retirement Nigel was diagnosed with depression. To help manage his condition he took up walking and a number of DIY projects.

He said: “I’m not alone in caring for Norma. Hull City Council have provided me with a great team of carers who come to help on a daily basis and their support is invaluable.

“Just a couple of weeks ago a lady from the council called me to ask how I was. We had a good chat and I told her about how I’d been feeling down. She listened and recommend that once life is back to some normality, I should consider joining the Men in Sheds project.

“That was really lovely of her to call me. As a carer, it made me feel valued. Like I actually matter too.”

As part of this year’s Carers Week, the vital work carers have been doing across the country is vital now, more than ever.

Councillor Gwen Lunn, Portfolio Holder for adult services at Hull City Council, said: “Carers are carrying out an incredibly valuable role to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents and Carers Week is an opportunity for us to appreciate this work they do, especially during these unprecedented times.

“It’s important to care for carers too.”

To find out more about Carers Week, visit their website.

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