Martina Devlin: Harsh lessons learned from looking after our mother
MY mother has needed fulltime care for five years, following a massive stroke which left her paralysed down one side, confined to a wheelchair and intellectually impaired.
We are a large family and manage to look after her in the family home, but a pair of carers arrives every morning to wash, dress her and get her up for a few hours. This lightens the load considerably.
Since my mother lives in the North, she is entitled to this assistance for free, courtesy of Britain's National Health Service. Quality of care is very good overall, although the system can be patchy at weekends and sometimes standards drop.