Tag Archives: caring

Being part of something

106542Hey there! Welcome to another new blog from unpaid carer Matthew Mckenzie. I have just come back from the Carers UK Conference 2019. As a carer I was inspired on how the event went and felt part of something. I felt part something very big and felt I should write up a couple of my thoughts on this post.

I had shared a panel session at the Carers UK conference and due to limited time, I could not manage to say all what I would have liked, however I felt I got the main messages out there to the audience. I wish this particular blog post carries on my message to other unpaid carers who stumble across this blog post.

This message is to you…fellow carer.

You have been providing care and support for something close, be that you are a new carer, veteran or former unpaid carer. We all share the same aspects. We wish no harm to come to those we support and love. We do what society asks of us and more, we also wish others can learn from what we do and hope they understand the meaning of care and support in the community. We as carers seek to protect our families, friends and loved ones. It is what makes us who we are.

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Take away our ability to care and who is there to pick up the pieces? The fear is if carers are unable to carry out their role, the price paid hits the ‘cared for’, it then trickles down to the hard working health professional struggling with ever increasing demand for health services. Social care providers then feel the strain as more need ever dwindling social support. We as a community cannot afford to leave carers isolated and I want to make sure unpaid carers get this message.

As a carer I wear the badge of going though the hard times, wondering if the people I support will make it through a crisis. I have been awake at nights wondering if I have done enough or if I am doing too much. As a carer I have been through periods of anxiety, stress, depression and even anger as I query why at times I have been failed each time another crisis arises.

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As carers we must make our voices heard, but it must be together. We all have our own abilities and ways of being noticed. Together through the support of leaders, movers and shapers, us carers can be part of something exciting. It will not be easy, it never is. We as carers can sometimes feel impatient and want that change now, but it might seem out of reach, but we have got to try.

We as unpaid carers must not give up, because from what I have mentioned before, who will pay that price? Will it be you? Will it be the person you care for? Its far too much of a price to pay. So many is depending on us, you might not even think of this, but we must set an example of why caring for those we love is so important. You may not think caring means much, but being there for those we love sets an example to the community, it means we want to protect each other, it means unity, faith and strength to see things through.

Caring sets examples to those who shape the health and social services. It means we want the NHS and social services to support ourselves, our loved ones and families. Caring sets examples to those who are new to the caring journey as they themselves look for us to be peer supporters.

Caring is more and beyond and should be praised as being part of the community. Each time a carer decides to walk away because of a system that cannot or will not identify and support them, ends up failing the community. The price paid will be high.

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As a carer I ask you to have faith and be part of something, be part of something. It will be scary at first and you might feel out of place, you might not understand the language of campaigning, making your voice heard or feeling you might fail. You as a carer might feel you might not belong and wish to just be silent and carrying on coping. I say NO to this, no more being silent and coping. Channel what energy you have left, channel that anger away into something constructive! Do not disappear into silence, be noticed. Be proud that you are doing something cherished by society, wear that badge proudly because love and caring are eternal long after humanity has moved on.

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Be proud that you are trying to cope, but be part of something bigger and be part of the caring movement.

Bless every one of you carers and just be noticed, it is your right and your destiny.

Thanks for stopping by

Being There

Being there

Being there because we care
Being there because we dare
Being there to help to with the journey
Being there because of the fear

Being there to because it takes time
Being there to hope your fine
Being there to catch mental illness early
Being there to stand in the firing line

Being there to try to advocate
Being there hoping its not too late
Being there due to all the worry
Being there to avoid the fate

Being there to help to help take the blows
Being there during the highs and the lows
Being there because no one else wants to
Being there because who else..I suppose

Being there because I care
Being there because I dare
Being there to help to share the journey
Being there because of we fear

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Speaking up as an unpaid carer

Big problems - daughter comforts senior motherAs you may or may not already know, this website is dedicated to unpaid carers and raising mental health awareness. An unpaid carer is someone looking after a relative or someone close who has physical or mental health needs. An unpaid carer is not a care worker, carer workers are paid to provide support and can do most tasks out of choice, while unpaid carers do their role almost out of desperation.

This particular blog is about giving unpaid carers some inspiration to get their voices out there. Why is this? Because if carers do not speak up then it is hard for mental health commissioners or health services to work with carer needs.

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Being a carer can be daunting as very few suddenly expect to provide care at a specific time, although most feel that there will come a time when they have to support aging parents, unwell partners or even a friend. When caring for someone with health needs, there can be some relief that the ‘cared for’ has some idea what support they require. This can be be tricky if the ‘cared for’ has mental health needs and due to mental capacity issues refuses care or support.

It is vital carers raise their voices regarding such issues, especially if they live with the ‘cared for’. Many carers just cope from day to day thinking there is no need for support for themselves, but if the carer falls unwell then who will provide support for the ‘cared for’?

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If you are a carer, do not feel worried, frightened or scared to speak up about your caring experiences or caring journey.

So where can carers speak in regards to their caring journey?

There are several places and one of them usually can be at a focus group, especially if its run by a mental health service. The service may want to hear what carers think about a particular service provision, so it is vitally important carers take the time to provide opinions.

Other places could be about a mental health service carers strategy, or a mental health awareness event setting. Carers can also speak up about their caring role at a carers support group, which is vital if a carer needs to let off stream or get something off their chest. Sometimes a carer issue cannot be solved overnight, but most carers do with to be heard or listened to.

Other places where carers can speak is at carer forums, I chair many in south London and look forward to hearing carers ideas and suggestions. Carers need not complain, shout or always play the blame game. The focus is on how we can all work together although I am aware of the frustration with services and feeling that carers are not being listened to or not being taken seriously.

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If you are caring for someone with physical or mental health needs, please check out any important health events in your area. You have given so much to your family, friend or the community, it is time to be heard.

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Why we care – in the family

 

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Welcome back to my first blog post for July, I want to focus this post on why people care in the family or why I think people care due to my own perspective. This blog post will focus on caring in the family. Now I have been a carer for my close relatives for over 16 years and I think I have picked up a few words of wisdom along the way.

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Telling our carers story

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If you are a carer or have been caring for someone for a while. It is important to acknowledge that you have been through some pretty difficult times. Yes, of course there has been some good times, times where carers can celebrate what they have done for those they care for. ┬áThere has also been times when the ‘cared for’ should be congratulated for moving forward with their recovery, however we must admit that there have been things in the past that require special attention.

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50 ways to cope as a carer

Matthew Mckenzie (2)Welcome to another blog post from a carer in South London. It has been a while since I have last posted anything, but this is due to spending my attention making videos on my video channel. I have also been quite busy editing my newspaper, which is always worth a read.

Anyway, I thought to post ways to cope as a carer. Basically a carer is someone looking after a loved one, or someone close. An important fact is carers are unpaid and often have to struggle to get recognition. A carer is not a care worker, they are unpaid and not emotionally attached to who they work for.

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The carers story

smallerWelcome to another carer blog post. My blog site works to raise the awareness of mental health carers, that being unpaid carers/caregivers looking after or supporting someone suffering mental distress. The website also tries to raise awareness of mental health, charities and their events.

So this time i want to focus how important it is to take time to listen to carers stories. Listening to how a person became a carer can allow us to relate on a certain level regarding their caring journey. Obviously there is no way a person can relate 100% to any carer, only at a certain level as in sympathizing or recognizing a carer when you see someone in a stressful caring situation.

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