Carers Week: Coping with caring through photography

As Carers Week continues, we meet Fiona, a professional photographer from Salford who cares for her husband who has dementia. Using her photography to help her cope with her caring responsibilities, Fiona has been building a series of pictures that represent the range of emotions carers often feel.

Fiona is a member of a carers group at Age UK Salford and will continue working on the project, entitled Caregiving, over time. Below, she gives Enable readers a preview of the work.

I don’t like the term “carer”. I’m John’s wife and caring for him is something I do. It’s not who I am. 

However, I often feel that the care-giving role takes over everything, and its not clear who “I” am anymore. This photographic project is about the emotions associated with this role, and about reasserting my identity. Making the images has been a helpful way to work through some of these emotions, and express them to others. 

Caring is exhausting. It’s relentless 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

There are no holidays, no sick leave. The logistics of organising respite care are so complex. Then, even if someone else is looking after him, you still worry. 

Knowing what is best, and where to turn for help is confusing – and I’m not the person with the cognitive decline.

The routines and support that you can put in place are so fragile – the slightest change means they break down. 

So many tasks fall to me. As well as care, all the routines of running a home and all the driving around. Trying to juggle all this means that being John’s wife often gets buried under it all. 

We had some great times together. It’s so difficult to hold onto the memories of the past, and build the memories of the future together when one person can’t remember. 

Visit the dedicated Carers Week website to find out more about the campaign and how to get involved (, or speak to Carers UK about accessing resources and support (, 0808 808 7777).

All images © : Fiona Robinson/Photos With Fiona

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