I’m not one for fancy hats or, even worse, fascinators. Surely the only fascinating thing about a fascinator is why you’d want to stick one on your head at such an awkward angle in the first place? I like a woolly hat in the winter, though: one pulled down over my ears when there’s a pesky little wind blowing in off the North Sea.
But as a carer, I’m getting used to wearing a lot of hats. Read More
Most carers want the best for their loved one; that goes without saying. But wanting the best for the person you care for, and knowing how to provide it, isn’t necessarily the same thing. Read More
I’ve just read an interesting article in my Dad’s The Pensioner magazine. The article addresses what I believe is a key element of delivering successful social care. But it might not be an aspect that immediately springs to mind. Read More
It’s now more than four years since I moved back to Dad’s house to help look after him.
Wow. Time sure flies. If you’d told me at the beginning that I would still be a carer more than four years down the line, I would probably have dived under the duvet and refused to come out. Read More
When people think of what it takes to be a family carer, it’s usually personal qualities that spring to mind, such as patience, empathy or kindness.
But there’s another less obvious skill that’s equally necessary. Read More
It’s amazing how quickly a day can go pear-shaped, as what I’d hope to achieve evaporates in the face of unplanned events. It can happen to anyone, of course. The baby that keeps you up all night teething. The train that gets inexplicably cancelled. The colleague that calls in sick. The coffee cup that spills all over your white shirt just before you go into an important meeting (yes, that was me). We aren’t as in control of life as we’d like to think.
But disrupted plans and frustrated expectations seem to happen to me more as a carer than they ever did before. Read More
The first time my we left my father at a care home for a week of respite, I went home and cried.
Damn that respite guilt. Read More
At the latest meeting of our local Carers’ Support Group we were joined by a new member who is caring for someone with dementia. As we talked, it became clear that they were struggling. Some of their friends and neighbours had “disappeared” since the dementia diagnosis was made and didn’t visit or keep in touch anymore. The person admitted that they felt lonely.
Fortunately, I have great support and loneliness is not an issue for me. Nevertheless, the person’s comments struck a chord. Read More
We’re lucky. Really lucky. We have a wonderful local carer (take a bow Lorna!) who comes in every weekday morning to get Dad breakfasted, washed, dressed and up and about. Dad enjoys her company and it’s time out for me. Winners all round.
Lorna is paid through the Self-Directed Support Scheme (SDS). Under SDS our family is given money by our local Health and Social Care Partnership to employ our own carer. The carer is chosen by us and works the hours that we want (within our designated budget).
It’s designed to be flexible, responsive to the individual’s needs and to put the individual and their family in control. In principle, it’s a sound idea – but there’s one major flaw. Read More
I really don’t want to count up just how much money it’s cost me to be a full-time carer. If you add the money I’ve taken out of my cash savings to potential lost earnings in the last four years, you are easily talking around £45,000 - £50,000 and frankly, that’s being conservative. Read More