Tag Archives: carers rights day

Carers Rights Day 2018

smallerBefore you read this blog considered this, if you are an unpaid carer think of all the outcomes that you have experienced so far. Think of all the hardships that you and the person you care for has gone through.

Carers rights day

Every year organisations that deal with unpaid carers and support those using the health services come together and try to raise awareness of unpaid carers. CarersUK promote the awareness day and theme this year is “caring for the future”.

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Just so you know I will introduce the few terms in this blog. When I talk about an unpaid carer, I am not talking about a care worker. Care workers are paid to provide care to numerous clients. Unpaid carers provide care to those close to them.

Blood pressure measuring

Carer aiding her mother

Someone can become an unpaid carer for many different reasons. Unfortunately one of the reasons might not be out of choice. Considering the difficult role of unpaid carers, not many would want to rush into such a role. This is because there is a fear of the future, unpaid carers begin to wonder the following.

  • How their loved one will be supported.
  • How the carer themselves will be supported.
  • What happens if things go wrong.
  • Taking the unfortunate step to complain.
  • Wondering what would happen if they cannot care anymore.
  • Wondering what would happen if they loved one dies or moves on.
  • Wondering how they are going to cope if benefits are cut.

These are all serious issues and oh no laughing matter. If you have been an unpaid carer for as long as I have which is properly 20 years +. Think of the outcomes.

  • Has the lives of unpaid carers continued to improve over the past several decades?
  • Has services across the country decreased putting pressure on other services and unpaid carers?
  • Has funding increased for Carers Centres?
  • Has austerity improved the lives of families and carers across the country?
  • Has the number of carers increased across the country?

The statistics

Every year around 2 million people will take the unfortunate step to become a carer. Some carers will have to give up work to continue caring for a loved one, while other carers do not want to risk getting support from the benefit system. Like myself 3 million carers juggle work with a caring responsibility. Do not believe government’s being that all carers do not work. Plus caring is in a job itself, a very difficult job considering the outcomes I have mentioned earlier on.

Family

Group of people together holding hands

Do not get me wrong being a carer can be a rewarding job, but remember look at the outcomes. My aim is not to put you off in being a carer, but to remind you of your rights. I aim to remind you of your carer rights.

If you are an unpaid carer like myself. It is your right to speak up and tell it as it is. You as a carer should not feel ashamed if you have felt hard done by. Think of the outcomes if you feel that your loved ones life is ebbing away before your eyes. What is the risk? What is the cause? Who is to blame?

Never before has it been so important that carers are aware of their rights. It is so unfortunate that the care act 2014 can still seem so complex.

Carers rights.

Just as a note this is not an exhaustive list, but what is mentioned here are a set of important factors in the carers role. If you are an unpaid carer please consider what I have mentioned below.

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  • As a carer it is your right to get help with benefits and also get support to sustain your income.
  • As a carer it is your right to get support for therapy and counselling.
  • It is your right to get a carer’s assessment especially if you ask for a carer’s assessment.
  • As a carer you have the right to be fearful for the future, you have the right to ask for information.
  • If you are a mental health carer, the information you may ask for might give better outcomes for the person you are caring for.
  • As a carer you have the right to access advocacy, so in order to steer the ever-increasing maze of the health and social care system.
  • As a carer you have the right two access courses to aid in caring and learning about confidentiality in the Caring role.
  • As a carer you have to write to be supported with advanced directives, deputyships and power of attorney.

Final word

There are many reasons why carers across the country have a hard time. The thing is, carers can appreciate the awareness days, carers can appreciate strategies and policies set by carers organisations. Carers can appreciate the hard work the NHS does on behalf of their loved ones. Yet, if carers want real change, carers will have to lead from the front. Carers will have to implement a culture change. We must hear the carers voices. It is not just about organisation speaking on behalf of carers, carers must be given the power to speak for themselves and implement change.

Comforting friend. Woman consoling her sad friend.

Carer supporting loved one in Mental Health distress

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Carers rights day 2016

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Welcome to another blog post by Matthew Mckenzie, a carer over in the south of London. Around late November 2016, I did a video to help promote “Carers Rights day”.  I have also been meaning to write up about the video in my blogsite, but never had gotten around to it. I must admit that I have been rather busy, mainly raising awareness of carers.

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Carers Rights Day 2015

Hello again and welcome to another blog post from Mental Health Carer Matthew Mckenzie. As of this blog post, today is Carers Rights day 2015. The theme for carers rights day 2015 is “Looking after someone”.

However what is Carers Rights day all about?

Basically a carer is someone who is looking after someone and I mean not a professional paid carer, but those who are unpaid and are not always receiving the support that can be so desperately needed.

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Carers Rights Day 2014

matthew mckenzieWelcome to a caring mind blogsite. A site dedicated to a carer’s perspective on mental health awareness and sometimes other health topics and events. On this post I want to talk about carers rights. You see Carer’s Rights Day is on the 28th of November and I am writing this post just before the day.

 

However, what is a carer? and why is it important that carers need to be aware of their rights?

Well basically a carer is someone who looks after either a close relative, friend or neighbour who are not able to take care of themselves. The caree (the one receiving care) can either be suffering from a physical or mental health problem. Now I am a carer of someone suffering mental ill health, so as a carer I am passionate about what carers have to go through.

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Carers unfortunately do not have it easy, if you are caring for someone who is chronically ill, then as a carer you will spend more time caring than looking after your own needs. Another difficult situation is carers have to SACRIFICE so much to able to carry out their role. Carers find it hard to work normal hours, carers have to spend a lot of time and energy in their roles, plus carers sometimes have to navigate the difficult maze of confidentiality.

The problems I have pointed out above only make a small percent of what carers have to tackle. So if there are even more difficulties in a caring role, what could make the difference? What could make a caring role more easier to bear?

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The answer is carers having their needs supported, plus also having their rights protected. As of this writing we have two acts over in the UK, these are “The Children and Families Act” and “The Care Act”. The Children and Families Act 2014 introduces a system of support which extends from birth to 25, while the Care Act deals with adult social care for anyone over the age of 18. These Acts, which hopefully will become bills will help support carers in their role.

I expect Carers Rights Day to focus on these acts and help explain what rights carers are meant to be given. There are around 6 to 6.5 million carers in the UK and carers save the NHS £87 billion every year!! However looking at carers these days, you would not think anyone would notice how much value carers add to the community. The problem is that carers help save money, but if carers were buying into something then carers would be protected.

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Now we have two new acts which looks to protect carers, but this is not the end of the story, how does Carers Rights Day help in carer awareness? Well if you are a carer, you may have already known how difficult it is to get support in order to make your role easier, or make your life easier. Carer’s Rights Day makes it known that carers have a right to information that supports their role, it is also important to help raise awareness of carers rights.

Carers also have the right to have financial support and also be aware of where to get that financial support. This is because carers just do not have the time to work if they are so busy caring, which is something so many people do not understand. Carers are financially poor not because they do not work, but they just do not always have the time.

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A national carers organisation called CarersUK has released a report which examines how financial pressures affect health, wealth, and well-being of carers. It is worth reading off their site.

Carers also struggle to find information, sometimes its difficult for carers to find the right person to get such information, but What can be worse is if that the carer finally finds that person who may end up withholding information for other reasons. Carer’s Rights day should also focus on how carers can get access to information within the right context to carry out their role.

Time and time again carers can be driven back into a role that is unsafe, unhealthy and unnerving for many carers not only across the UK, but across the world. Carers need to take a step forward and be counted for their efforts. Not everyone has the time and patience to look after someone. Carers should be valued for their skill-set in keeping the family together and keeping the community together. For far too long carers have been denied access to so much support.

Carers Rights Day should also be a celebration for carers across the UK. I for one am going to spend part of the day visiting Carers Lewisham and I am also keen to see what the other carer’s centers are up to on the day.

What amazes me as a carer is wondering what would the situation be for carers if there was no Carers Rights day? How bad would it have to be for carers to continually care for someone with little support, before that carer suffers from bad health themselves?

We can all make that difference on Carers Rights Day. As a carer I urge other carers to blog about their experience of Carers Rights day, I also hope many people attend carers awareness events and pick up information about Carers Rights Day.

Thank you for reading.