Q&A with Carers UK Chairman on Friday 3 Nov

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
bowlingbun wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:32 am
I am a pensioner carer, don't receive any CA any more because I'm on a pension.
My son has severe learning difficulties, government cuts to funding led to a cut in my son's funded care hours. He can only live safely in his flat if I care for him without any pay whatsoever alternate weekends. I have my own health issues. Either my son with a mental age is left alone in his flat for 19 hours each weekend, or I have him home with me to keep him safe. I'm being forced to care although my consultant has said I should never care for anyone ever again!
Carers are being severely affected by LA funding cuts. What is CUK doing to help pensioner carers?
I imagine you will have already asked for a new Carer Assessment given changes in your own circumstances but you might want to contact our Advice Line about making the case for a new Carer Assessment to get more help
If I left a 3 year old child alone in the house for 19 hours out of 24, I'd be arrested for neglect and the child would be taken into care. So how can social services think it's OK to do this for someone with the same mental age, but a 38 year old body? Please feel free to use this as an example.
Chris From The Gulag wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:02 am
If David suffers the same fate as others ... very quiet session ... some rhetorical " thoughts " to hold in reserve :

Fast forward to 2022 ... 5 years ... economy on the brink ... more inclination for charities to merge operations , keeping separate identities ... sharing admin / tech facilities ... Carers Radio borrowed by others ( Move towards a real Social Care internet channel with guests galore providing help and guidance / the odd politician or two ) ... closer liaison as " We are now all in this together " ... formation of special units to deal with the challenges of 2022 ... legislation to sort out " Charities " into categories ( Many private enterprise organisations who number one priority is a return on capital are today also registered as charities ... wolves in sheep's clothing ) ... a one stop austerity centre in larger towns / cities ... use of skilled volunteers amongst each organisations ranks as opposed to " Outside " paid management ... re-engaging with the grass roots to prevent meltdown ... new style business plans to reflect change in donating to charities ( Impact of the Trussells model )

Just a few ... I hope that members of Carers UK respect David's efforts later on this morning ... it won't be easy given whats going on at street level in CarerLand ... in some parts , the hatches have already been battened down before the winter / UC rollout / letting agents ( No benefit tenants ) / record levels of council tax arrears / petty crime levels increasing / influx of cheap street drugs / food bank record level of supplies / closure of shops ahead of the quarter's rent / charity shop closures with the food banks moving in on their traditional supplies ... some like a mini department store.
Thanks, Chris, for giving me plenty of topics to choose from! We are currently working to implement our Vision 2021. This is Carers UK's work programme for 2016-2021. It was developed jointly with members, staff colleagues and the board of trustees. We keep this under regular review and that includes of course considering the external environment: state of the economy, likely Government plans & spending etc.
bowlingbun wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:50 am
If I left a 3 year old child alone in the house for 19 hours out of 24, I'd be arrested for neglect and the child would be taken into care. So how can social services think it's OK to do this for someone with the same mental age, but a 38 year old body? Please feel free to use this as an example.
Thank you. With your permission, we would like to use your example. You make a very powerful argument
Thanks David.

Perspectives ... from inside and outside street level in CarerLand ... difference btween reality and imagination ?

Start off from the same point ... one degree in a different direction ... after a mile ... one would need binoculars to see the other ?

Life is very different between carers in CarerLand ... financially secure inside a family unit to lone carers needing a food bank for the basic essentials of life.

Sheffield ? Good example ... a one size fits all policy ... ???

Wrap together in one package ?
I have refused to sign any of the last three carers assessments as they were factually inaccurate. Needs Assessments likewise.
The LGO is about to investigate. My son was granted Legal Aid in March, the LA has been slow to respond to his correspondence. It has taken months for a new MCA to be done, due to repeated staff changes and the old one being effectively "lost".
I insisted on having an advocate for both me and my son.
Repeated formal complaints about financial and physical abuse not acted upon.
Important meeting due on 15th November.
We were very pleased to welcome a lot of Carers UK members to the AGM and annual members' conference in London last month. It was striking how many were attending for the first time. There has been a lot of positive feedback. One thing we launched on the day was a new "We Care" project to encourage carers to post our stories that can go on an interactive map. Our goal is to make it easier to find fellow carers in similar situations / same geographic areas and also to build further sense of community.
The diversity of carers ?

A problem on par with the identification thereof.

A case of carers fitting into an organisation or an orgainisation fitting into carers ?

A conundrum that's kept me occupied for close on 13 years !

The only thing that fits is mutual assistance ... grass roots ... then extended.

Closest I've learned of ?

Worksop ... miners strike / civil war ... locals had no option as the whole area was under siege ... from it's own Powers to Be !

Not just the miners element ... all the citizens ... lifeblood of money sucked out of the area.

Fine .. until one factors in and even bigger problem ... human / carer nature ... apathy !
Chris From The Gulag wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:00 pm
Thanks David.

Perspectives ... from inside and outside street level in CarerLand ... difference btween reality and imagination ?

Start off from the same point ... one degree in a different direction ... after a mile ... one would need binoculars to see the other ?

Life is very different between carers in CarerLand ... financially secure inside a family unit to lone carers needing a food bank for the basic essentials of life.

Sheffield ? Good example ... a one size fits all policy ... ???

Wrap together in one package ?
Chris: you make an important point about reality that with 6.5million carers, there are many, many different circumstances. Recognise someone caring alone faces very different challenges to a carer with a wide circle of family and friends to share the caring. We are very conscious of need to keep reinforcing "one size does NOT fit all!" Why getting many more responses to our annual State of Caring survey important -
bowlingbun wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:05 pm
I have refused to sign any of the last three carers assessments as they were factually inaccurate. Needs Assessments likewise.
The LGO is about to investigate. My son was granted Legal Aid in March, the LA has been slow to respond to his correspondence. It has taken months for a new MCA to be done, due to repeated staff changes and the old one being effectively "lost".
I insisted on having an advocate for both me and my son.
Repeated formal complaints about financial and physical abuse not acted upon.
Important meeting due on 15th November.
Talking to my colleagues on Advice Line - you are, of course, very welcome to talk to them ahead of Nov 15th or afterwards.