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Caring for Jasmine

by Patricia CarersDirect on 27 March 2011


It’s been a while since I’ve blogged for the Carers Direct team, but I’m only too happy to do so now, as I’ve got something very exciting to write about!

Last year we embarked on a mission to find a caring family. We wanted to try to show what life is really like for carers. We thought we could do this by giving a family a video camera and asking them to record their daily lives – their highs and lows, their struggles and triumphs. We knew this would only reflect one family's experience, but it would show a small sample of things carers do day-in and day-out.

It was easier said than done, and we searched across the country for a family to undertake this task. We realised that we were asking a lot of a family already under pressure from their caring roles. We knew it would be a very special family that would agree to get involved.

Thankfully, with the help of a local branch of the National Autistic Society, we met Marie and Alan and their two daughters, Jasmine and Paris (now aged 16 and 14). Jasmine has autism, scoliosis, dyslexia and dyspraxia.  As a family, they work together to make life as comfortable as possible for her. They’ve been through a lot of hard times in trying to get Jasmine the support she has needed, but they have also learnt a lot along the way, and as mum Marie says, they can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

That’s why they decided to put their lives on film – they’ve been there, they’ve done that, and they have learnt valuable lessons that they wanted to share with others. They also thought it would be ‘therapeutic’ for them as a family, to talk about their feelings and experiences.

They had the camera for about six weeks (with some additional filming support from us) and they were able to capture their thoughts on everyday life, from the things they do for and with Jasmine each day, to them all going out as a family, and the steps they take to make sure everyone has a good time.

From this we’ve made seven episodes under the title ‘Caring for Jasmine’. Each film covers a different topic, such as diagnosis, relationships and going places. They are going to be released one by one on our NHS Choices YouTube channel leading up to World Autism Awareness Day, Saturday 2 April 2011. If you can’t wait to watch each episode, they’ll also be available at our Real stories hub.

Jasmine herself asked not to be filmed, but she is as much as part of this series of films as the rest of her family. We had a great time working with a wonderful family, and hope everyone enjoys the films as much as we enjoyed making them.

If you'd like to leave a comment, please feel free to do so below, or on the Carers community forum. We also have more than 7,000 friends on our Facebook page now - you can post your thoughts and comments there as well.

Take care, 





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