-Thousands of people, actually.
Do you care for someone with a drink problem? You do? Right. Bet you don’t feel like a ‘real’ carer though, do you? You know the carers we mean; they are the ones you see on NHS Carers Direct posters helping an elderly person, a disabled child, someone with cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, or Special Needs.
Those smiling, compassionate, gentle souls, who play a critical role in society, personify everything we think of when we hear the word ‘carer’, don’t they?
But what about people who care for alcoholics?
Aren’t they just as heroic as the aforementioned ‘legitimate carers’ found in every British town and city?
Well, apparently not. At least not according to nationwide surveys carried out in 2012 where a cross section of people was asked if they considered alcoholism to be an illness?
The answer was invariably No, with a typical stance being: Keeping an eye on a drinker is simply not the same as caring for someone with, say, cancer, heart disease, kidney problems, or mental illness. Not in my book. Those are real illnesses. People who drink choose to do so. But no one chooses cancer, do they?
It’s perhaps not surprising then that people who spend a large part of their week caring for an alcoholic feel unrecognised, invisible even. And if the person they care for is a relative, the chances are that most in society will take them even less seriously when, in response to the casual question: So, what do you do?, the carer replies with something like: I don’t have a job. I can’t work or go to College I have to stay at home and care for my Dad, most days. He’s unwell. He drinks too much.
Replies like that usually fall on deaf ears those of other people and of the State meaning that carers of alcoholics can rarely receive Benefits (Carer’s Allowance, or the Carer’s component of Disability Allowance or Attendance Allowance) to help them make ends meet while being unable to go to work.
But what if a problem drinker’s carer is too ashamed to speak out?
It happens all the time. Carers of alcoholics often feel stigmatised. The stigma stops them from asking for help: The teenage girl who, while her mates are out on the town having a great time, is stuck indoors caring for her alcoholic single parent mother, but who tells her friends: I’ve got to stay in for a while. I can’t come out. It’s complicated. I don’t want to talk about it. Or the parent of an alcoholic son who has to give up work (or perhaps reduce their hours to part-time) to look after him, but is too ashamed to tell their boss, their workmates, friends or even members of their wider family that one of their children’s alcohol consumption grows by the week.
The solution to removing the stigma?
Remove the problem. How? By utilising the experience and expertise of professional Consultants and qualified Addiction Therapists at a Rehab Clinic. There, people struggling with addictions are given the best chance to regain life by following a course of treatment in a confidential and safe environment.
If you care for an alcoholic and want to learn more about Addiction Rehab Treatment Programmes so that you too can start to get your life back on track! simply click here or call 0845 680 4902 today. (All information disclosed will be kept confidential)