Physical activity for health and wellbeing in the caring role
Physical activity for health and wellbeing in the caring role

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Physical activity for health and wellbeing in the caring role

3.1 Introducing our case studies

In Activity 2 you will meet three carers – all with differing roles. You will revisit these case studies throughout the remaining sections of Session 1 to help you to understand and apply the content.

Activity 2

Timing: Allow approximately 30 minutes.

Please be aware that in this activity – in Video 2 – there is reference made to suicide. You might like to check in with yourself about whether you feel comfortable viewing this material at the moment, or whether you would prefer to come back to this section another time. It is still possible to work through the questions of the activity by watching only Video 1.

Watch the two videos below where you meet Jaiden, a young carer, and two adult carers, who care for their spouse and their child respectively.

As you watch the clips, consider the demographics of each carer, their caring role and the potential impact that this role might have on them.

Video 1 A day in the life of Jaiden, a young carer
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
Download this video clip.Video player: Video 2
Skip transcript: Video 2 Carers’ stories

Transcript: Video 2 Carers’ stories


Before he was ill, our life was wonderful as long as we were together. Michael has cancer, he has acquired brain injuries, ended up on life support for a month, and it wasn't the same again, he'd gone, I'd lost my husband. I can't emphasise too much just how difficult it was to take that change, I'm just expected to carry on and look after him.
My daughters are the most important things to me. Simone is eight, she has special needs, we're constantly at different hospitals and her day to day activities have to be supported no matter what. Emotionally it's crazy, I had to learn ways of dealing with all the emotional strain. Socially, you're completely isolated, and then physically you're just exhausted.
It's not a career we choose, I've had to learn so much. I'm the financier, I'm the nurse, I'm the secretary, I'm absolutely everything all rolled into one. It's totally, totally exhausting, and I'm not afraid to say I've been suicidal.
Before the children, as a project manager, in the office at 7:00, crazy pressure. This is harder, I thought I could have my career and look after Simi, but it became clear she was going to need more support. Giving up that salary, you have to be so creative to try and make ends meet.
To know that I can phone up Carers Trust and say, please can you help me, it's not so frightening. The sit-in service is something that gives me a bit of me time and I don't even have to worry. Earlier on this year I had to have major surgery. Carers cook the dinners, they've done the shopping, I wouldn't have coped at all without the support.
The Carers Trust send information to help me as a carer, societies, funding, specialist advice. Having that to hand makes a tremendous difference. Carers Trust recently had a well-being appointment and that was so helpful. As Carers, you take your own health for granted but because the Carers Trust understand, they're looking out for you, prolonging your ability to look after the people that you love.
It's not all doom and gloom. I've made Michael's life as good as I possibly can, because I've had an awful lot of support out there. So you know it’s sort of onwards and upwards and sort of looking forward to the future, and I'm very grateful to them.
End transcript: Video 2 Carers’ stories
Video 2 Carers’ stories
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


In the first video you meet Jaiden, a 13 year old, who provides care for his mum. His role includes household chores, getting the groceries, and feeding the cat. You hear that Jaiden provides care for his mum day and night and finds it overwhelming to balance this with school. He is able to take breaks from his caring role through the support of a charity, Honeypot, which you can read more about in the Further Reading section at the end of the course.

In the second video you meet two carers, the first who cares for her husband, the second who cares for her daughter. Both roles differ in terms of the care required but both women have had to change their lives in order to provide the care required. The carers talk of the significant challenges they have faced but both have successfully accessed support from Carers Trust (please see the Further Reading section at the end of the course for more detail on this organisation).

You will refer back to these case studies as you move through the two sessions.

You will now examine the demands of the caring role and the potential impact on health and wellbeing.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371