Rani cares for her husband who has depression and he is very much dependent on her. She finds it hard, especially since she suffers from ill health herself.
Rani (62) lives in the Midlands together with her husband Rafeeq. About three years ago Rani started noticing changes in her husband’s behaviour. He became very restless, started talking to himself and he often woke her up in the middle of the night, shouting. He also developed a short temper, which Rani found difficult to live with. About two years ago, he was diagnosed with depression and his doctor signed him off sick.
When Rafeeq was diagnosed, Rani was told he needed someone to look after him. Given her own health issues, Rani struggles with everything that needs to be done and with the added responsibilities for looking after her husband.
Both Rani and Rafeeq have physical health problems. When Rafeeq is ill (he suffers from gastric problems), Rani needs to come with him for his medical appointments, and this can be very hard when she is unwell herself. But, as she says, in a crisis, ‘Allah orders me to be well’.
Rani says Rafeeq is very dependent on her, and she can’t really go anywhere without him. His behaviour, often thinking someone is following him, is hard to live with, and Rani says it is difficult to get enough sleep, which has negative effects on her own health.
Rani struggles to get through all that needs to be done in the home. Rafeeq is not able to help in the house or even with carrying shopping. She says the most helpful thing for them would be if they could receive more home help.
Rani and Rafeeq get support from a local carers organisation. Rani goes to their centre for fortnightly meetings, and each week someone comes to spent time with Rafeeq for a few hours, often taking him for walks. They also had some family therapy in the past, but it didn’t help much, Rani says.
Rafeeq used to be strong, working full time and praying five times a day. Back then they had much better lives, but now life is full of tension and Rani finds it hard to cope. Rani and Rafeeq also find their neighbourhood threatening, and say the local youths are causing them grief.
Despite her difficult situation Rani says many people are worse off than themselves. She says she puts her trust in Allah.