Carers Week 2019
Carer Marie is pictured with husband Green

To mark Carers Week, one carer talks about her role

Havering Council has been meeting carers across the borough as part of national Carers Week.  

We caught up with Marie Joseph, one of the many people caring for a loved-one in Havering, to learn more about her life and experiences as a carer.

Marie cares for her 90-year-old husband, Green, who since suffering a stroke nearly 20 years ago has developed vascular dementia.

But although Marie, who lives in Collier Row, had been caring for him for numerous years, it wasn’t until the Care Act was introduced in 2015 that she identified herself as a carer.
The Care Act 2014 went much further than previous legislation in fully recognising the invaluable and critical role of carers in supporting vulnerable residents, ensuring that councils do as much as they can to support them.  
“It is becoming progressively demanding. You name it, I do it all. The only thing I don’t do at the moment is feed him and do his personal care. He can shave and wash himself, but I supervise him,” she said.

Marie (75), receives four hours of respite care each week during which her husband of 45 years, goes to a day care centre.

“There have been times when I have been exhausted so I just collapse and fall asleep when he goes, which is sheer luxury. I don’t get to do that on a day-to-day basis. I usually have something to do, such as catching up with DIY, rather than doing something for me.”

She says that every six weeks or so she catches up with a friend, if they can, but her respite time is never wasted. 

Like other carers, Marie also has access to support at Havering Carers’ Hub which provides one-to-one support, peer support and activities for carers.

Councillor Jason Frost, Havering’s Cabinet member for Health and Adult Care Services, said:

“Being a carer is one of the most demanding roles there is and with many people in the borough caring for their family and friends, the Council wants to ensure that they know help and support is available to them.

“Havering Carers’ Hub offers a range of support such as advice, social activities, emotional and peer support, as well as signposting to other support services.”

For further information, contact

Email: Telephone: 01708 961 111 or visit the hub at Community Reach House, 32-34 The High Street, Romford, Essex, RM1 1HR.

Published: 12 June 2019