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Maya's story

Maya cares for her mum, Sara, who’s recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She juggles a busy job with her caring responsibilities. She reached out to get some support to help her manage her time.

Maya’s dad died when she was very young. As an only child, Maya and her mum became each other’s worlds. Their home was always full of music and good food. Sara started teaching Maya piano at just four years old, playing duets every night after dinner. It became a comforting routine for them both, ending a busy day on a peaceful note.

Years later, Alzheimer’s ripped through their lives and their shared comforts. Sara’s health rapidly declined to the point where Maya decided to move back home to help.

Becoming a carer

I didn’t realise I was a carer to begin with. I would spend most of the night helping mum and then be exhausted by the morning when I logged on to work. My manager could see I was having a tough time. He recommended getting in touch with the Charity for Civil Servants

Many carers don’t identify as a carer and miss out on a range of support available to them. For Maya, this supportive conversation with her manager kickstarted her journey with us.

Support for carers

I made the call and immediately felt this overwhelming sense of relief. I felt like the person on the other end of the phone genuinely wanted to hear my story and help me and mum. That meant everything to me.

Our specialist dementia support service in partnership with Dementia UK aims to meet the needs of carers within the Civil Service. We connected Maya with an Admiral Nurse who she could talk to about her situation. Together they found a way forwards.

Maya also used our Carers Passport and Statement Digital Tool which helped her to reflect on how her caring responsibilities impacted her working life. Maya used this to help her communicate about her needs as a carer with her line manager. It was a starting point to be able to complete the Civil Service Carer’s Passport form with confidence.

Able to face the challenge

As Maya faces a new challenge each day, she knows we’re there for her throughout her caring journey and beyond.

Some days, it’s fine. Some days are just really, really hard. Mum doesn’t always remember me but sometimes she surprises everyone. Last night she just walked over to the piano and started playing a song we used to play perfectly together. I sat on the seat next to her and played with her. It was a few moments of pure happiness. We hold onto moments like that. You’re helping me make the most of those moments. I’ll be forever grateful

Some elements of this story have been anonymised or changed to protect the person’s identity. 

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