I travel a lot. Not fun travel like “oh I just popped to Marrakech for the weekend” travel, but travel for work as in “yes I’m in Darlington today then I’ve got to get to Taunton tomorrow” – that sort of travel. The travel has a purpose (I don’t just have the weirdest idea of ‘fun’ ever), the purpose is carers, the purpose is inclusion, the purpose is change, the purpose is the Triangle of Care. Most weeks of the year I travel around talking to professionals in mental health services to support them to include carers in their services more; the Triangle of Care programme works to ensure carers are included, informed and supported in their own right whilst being able to have the skills and knowledge to support the person they care for better. On my travels I find the majority of people get it: they get that it makes sense to give carers more knowledge about how mental health services work; they get it that it makes sense to get them support in their own right; they get that whole family working makes sense for all involved. Continue reading
Do you have a New Year’s Resolution? At Carers Trust we’ve been thinking about our plans for 2016 and although we will want to try out new ways of delivering our campaigns, at the heart of what we do will remain the same priority: supporting unpaid carers.
And as we scan ahead into 2016, we have plenty of new opportunities to do just that. Continue reading
Winter has taken a while to reach us this year but the cold weather has definitely arrived! Winter can be a difficult time for all carers, particularly those who are elderly or care for an older or physically disabled person. Some older people and those they care for can find moving around very difficult and for some people any movement without help is impossible. It is this group of people who are at the highest risk in winter – not just from the cold itself, which can be devastating, but from isolation, loneliness and depression. Continue reading
The festive season is upon us; a time when most people are rushing about visiting friends, being invited to family celebrations and attending social events. This is not the picture for everyone however. Many carers lose contact with their relatives, friends and colleagues as they give up more of their previous life to take on the important role of caring. Many carers will find themselves at home during the holiday season, not able to get out due to their caring role, financial situation or own poor health. Continue reading
Before George Osborne unveils his Spending Review Carers Trust has one simple question to put to the Chancellor: will you help ensure unpaid carers get the support they need?
We now have legislation in place that would, if properly funded, make a genuine difference to the lives of carers across England. None of these improvements will become a reality without investment, however. It’s like giving a child a new toy for Christmas but without the batteries that will make it work. Continue reading
Young adult carers are pretty fluent at talking about mental health. They refer to it in many ways when they talk about managing the different aspects of their life and supporting the person they care for. The language that they use is rich in emotions, concern and words such as stress, anxiety, depression, relief, isolation and connection. In discussions about campaigning and changing the support available for them and their families, my impression has been that the concept of mental health is a really important part of how they explain what needs to change. Continue reading
Alongside my colleagues in England and Wales, I’ve been attending party conferences in order to speak to politicians and policy makers about carers and how they can support them. I am writing this on a very crowded train home from Aberdeen, where the Scottish National Party have been meeting, and over the past couple of days I have been to some really interesting discussions on human rights, health and care, and the future of charities. Continue reading
The Care Act, which came into force this April, offers an opportunity to transform the support given to unpaid carers.
By making councils responsible for providing the services carers need to prevent their own health being hit by the impact of their caring role, the Act takes us away from focusing solely on giving carers support when they reach “crisis” to an approach which will protect their wellbeing.
Carers Trust has been concerned to ensure that this opportunity is not missed. Continue reading
For many unpaid carers, making regular trips to the local hospital is just a routine part of their week – like getting in the shopping or paying the bills. It’s what they have to do to make sure the person they care for is getting the treatment and support they need.
We don’t think anyone who provides such essential care should have to pay for doing so.
Yet, that’s the reality for millions of carers up and down the country who face having to pay to park every time they take their friend or family member to hospital. It’s leaving some carers having to fork out up to £500 a week. When you’re already feeling the emotional stress of having to make regular trips to hospital, worrying about whether you’re going to be to afford to park is the last thing you need. Continue reading
I talk about mental health very openly, I encourage others to do so too. I strongly believe that accessing help and being provided with a range of support for mental ill health has clear benefits for those struggling. No one should talk about getting help, support and medication for mental ill health as a negative, as a weakness. We’d never tell someone with cancer to pull their socks up and get over it.
The world is moving towards a better place for mental health (we’re not there yet) but I think we’re moving in the right direction. But, just like any journey we need the right vehicle, tools and supplies to get us to where we’re going safely. Continue reading