I AM a carer looking after my husband 24 hours, seven days a week. He is paralysed from the waist down, due to a tumour within the spine.

I worked until I was 61. I am now 68. I am up every morning at 7 am.

It takes me at least two hours to get my husband out of bed, starting with medication, hoisting out of bed, commode, then showering and dressing. With luck I have my breakfast by about 9.30 am.

There is daily clothes washing, shopping, cooking, cleaning, finances, hospital appointments, ordering medical supplies. The list is endless. With luck I am in bed by 11.30pm.

Do not forget, I am on call all night as well. Holidays or days out are but a dream. I do not have family to help. Is this slavery? No, it is called caring.

There are thousands of carers in this area, just like me, who will be supporting Carers Week from June 13 to 19.

There are also many carers, throughout this area who look after another person, without realising that they are acting as a carer.

That’s why the theme of this year’s Carers Week is The True Face of Carers. It calls for greater recognition of the vital contribution a diverse – and sometimes unexpected – range of carers make to communities like ours. Between us we save the country an incredible £119billion every year.

Caring is something we do out of love, friendship or compassion – often through necessity as life takes unexpected turns – but rarely through conscious choice. Many people often don’t even realise they are carers until they’ve been carrying out the responsibility for months, if not years.

Please make known to your readers who are carers, or know someone who is a carer that doesn’t get enough recognition or support, help is available. There are carers’ centres and other groups out there who can offer professional information, advice and emotional support.

For more information about Carers Week and how local groups are working together to help improve the quality of life of our carers visit carersweek.org

MRS S VERRALL, Carbery Avenue, Bournemouth