POSY Akande has spent over 30 years caring for two generations of her own family and now cares for her husband.
After putting others first for so long she says it’s important that carers look after themselves as well as those in their care.
The former social worker from Roath cared for both parents who suffered from chronic conditions until they died in1982.
It was only after they passed that she realised the impact their care had placed on her, leaving her unwell and anaemic.
She said: “Within a relatively short period everything returned to normal, it was only then I realised the effect and that it certainly had affected my health.
“You are on a treadmill and you have to juggle. I was juggling school children, elderly parents and part time work, you don’t have time for things like the dentist or doctor for you. I only knew I was anaemic because I couldn’t give blood anymore.”
After her mum and dad passed away she then provided care for her sister who had physical and learning difficulties, travelling every weekend to Shropshire during her sister’s final year in 2001.
Shortly after that her husband James developed memory problems needing her to help with many aspects of his life.
Posy says support from groups like the Cardiff branch of Carers UK, where she’s a member, and singing therapy group Forget Me Not’s are an excellent source of help and support for those providing care.
Posy said: “Many people aren’t aware of the support that is out there. People aren’t sure where to go because first and foremost they are spouses, sons & daughters, or grandchildren, that who don’t think of themselves as carers. But we do know that if you have a significant caring role your health will be affected so we would be anxious for people to think about their situation and look for support."