A REDDITCH man gave up his college studies to care for his mum who suffers from the early onset of dementia.
This week is Carers Week and Ashley Little offered to share his story to underline the effort the town’s often unsung carers do day in, day out.
The 22-year-old has been caring for his mum for three years and he’s one of more than 400 young carers in the county supported by Worcestershire Young Carers, a service delivered by independent charity YSS.
Ashley, who lives with his Dad John and older sister Angela, decided to become his mum Tracy’s full-time registered carer ‘out of necessity and because he love(s) her’.
“Dad and my sister help out when they are not at work, but she needs someone to be there all the time,” said Ashley.
“The semantic dementia can make her aggressive, paranoid or depressed, and she needs help with things like getting dressed and remembering to take her medicine.”
Early-onset dementia affects at least 42,000 people in the UK – more than five per cent of all those with dementia.
Worcestershire Young Carers provides support to young carers aged seven to 17 and young adult carers like Ashley aged 17 to 25.
Ashley is currently studying both German and Japanese and a typical day involves getting his mum up and making her breakfast.
Tracy’s illness requires daily treatment and tablets and Ashley is responsible for making sure she takes the correct dosage at the right time.
He said: “I feel happy that I can help but also quite trapped and isolated. It’s hard to have time for friends or hobbies.”
Despite these challenges he remains positive and is grateful for the support provided by YSS.
“Being supported by Worcestershire Young Carers has been brilliant.
“The service gives really valuable support and opportunities to young carers and provides them with the skills and support needed to help them cope with their difficult situations.”
More on Worcestershire Young Carers can be found online.