Carers Week: It is vital to receive support - Sabiha's story
Sabiha Ukaye's world turned upside down after becoming her mother's carer.
She quit her job in recruitment so she could help and look after her mother. She assisted with every little task that is taken for granted just to live on a day to day basis. This ranged from personal care right through to dealing with all legal and financial affairs.
Despite the huge impact this had on Sabiha’s life, a single mum to daughter Sadie, aged eight, she declares, “I would do it all again as I love my mum more than words can describe. I’m not sure how I survived on so little sleep and energy between caring for my mother and daughter; what I needed didn’t even register on my list of priorities.”
Following Razia Qureshi’s diagnosis of Myeloma, a type of cancer of the bone marrow nine years ago, coupled with her struggles to communicate in the English language, Sabiha did not hesitate to put her mother’s care needs first.
Razia’s health deteriorated and she later suffered from lung fibrosis and bronchiectasis too and Sabiha constantly battled healthcare professionals to provide her mother with the best standard of care and medical attention.
As a carer Sabiha, who lives in Hampton, felt very alone and isolated.
She says: “I lost all sense of self. I kept away from company as I thought my situation was too overwhelming for others. It’s the loneliest I have ever been.”
When Sabiha was at her lowest point she had Googled ‘support for carers’ and found the contact details for Carers Trust Peterborough.
On the day she called, she spoke to customer relations team manager Paul Rhodes, and for the first time could unburden herself to someone who understood how she felt.
Carers Trust Peterborough provided Sabiha with funding through a Carers Assessment, Family Carers Prescription and the Take Time Out grant from Carers Trust National to pay towards a trip to Kenya to visit her brother after her mother died, and £100 was provided to her daughter Sadie through the Young Carers service.
Sabiha says it is vital for carers to be supported. “Having been through this myself I can safely say that it is a life saving necessity.”
Sadly, Razia died in February 2016, aged 66.
Paul said: “I knew right from the start that Sabiha had the strength to help herself and that all she needed was some encouragement and emotional support as and when she needed it.
“She has come through this time with her daughter and should be really proud of her inner determination and understand that she can cope with anything now. ”