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Carers, Cared for, Carers Groups - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Carers, Cared for, Carers Groups

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I will add a funny story to this, actually :)

I did go to a Carers' Lunch at a local pub and met a load of people I'd never met before. They were doing a special deal for an adult meal of fish and chips with a free beer. It was the same price as a kid's meal and my son loves fish and chips, so I asked the chap if we could get the deal but with a Fruitshoot instead of a beer.

All was well, the food was lovely and the chat friendly but when the chap took my son's empty plate he started asking for his free beer and then banging on the table shouting "Beer! Where's my beer!". He was eleven at the time :)
To give my local Carers group their due, they do have a pot of money which will pay for a sitter to enable carers to get out to the carers group or other care related activities eg a first aid course. This isn't relevent for me but it may be worth others asking if such a thing is available for them.

I have stopped going to my local carers group - there isn't really anyone there with the same issues as myself. I get on well with the other people in the group and they are happy to come over & tell me their problems. As I have been a volunteer for various charities in the past i know a lot about local services, charities and the way things work with the result that I usually end up obtaining help, advice, phone numbers etc for these people. Due to the local population here 95% of the carers are over 65 and caring for a spouse or more elderly parent. Over half are dealing with some form of dementia. There tends to be an underlying one upmanship - who has the most problems! A friend (who has also stopped attending) mentioned carers allowance one week and was set upon verbally as if it was her fault that older people cannot claim carers allowance.

I support my husband to work from home as an artist. I also work from home. This is a choice we have made and it can be exhausting and a struggle. We also have an autistic son. I have just been diagnosed with severe GAD, mild depression and mild social anxiety disorder. There is no-one in our local carers group (and believe me I know all their issues in depth) who is trying to work or support a caree who is working. I just don't feel that there is anyone to share with who would understand. I know there are others who do have mental health issues but at the moment I don't feel able to talk about it in a public group.

So I won't be attending the local carers group again until I feel able to cope with other people's problems. We, as a family, will continue trotting along in our own bubble supporting each other with the occasional dip into online groups such as this.
I have been to many carers groups. I have been a carer for around 14 years and some groups have been rather helpful, while others might not be for me.

I care for someone suffering mental health difficulties and also try help out caring for my 2 autistic brothers, however both brothers have home help care now, although I am in fairly constant contact with them.

Over the years I have been to carers groups at

Ward Hospitals
Carers Centers
Carers groups provided by MH trusts
BME carers groups
Male carers groups
Carers forums
Carers groups outside my area

Each group has there advantages and some disadvantages depending on your depth or journey as a carer. The best carers groups are the ones that welcome you, but also give you space.

I think the worst groups are the ones where you isolated, no one talks to you or you cannot get a chance to voice your worries or concerns.

The Mental Health ward hospital carers groups was very good when I started out as a Mental Health carer, because I could visit my loved one and go to the group to voice my concerns, but then the problem is it can be depressing to have a carers group at the mental health ward, some carers just want to get out of there.

The carers center groups are probably one of the best, since the person facilitating the group is experienced and knowledgeable, they are also patient, but the problem can be that some groups may dwindle in size and other groups tend to be held during the day, which can be a problem if you are working part time.

Specialist carers groups (e.g. MH trust group) I thought were good as well, because they update you on the latest events, help and can sometimes get action on your situation, some groups are funded very well, but then this can depend on the Hospital Trust or the council funds, if either of those get cut then the group can experience difficulties. The other problem with specialist groups is some members can be guarded to newcomers, but that is rare.

BME carers groups were also quite useful, since from my profile you can tell by my colour, these are good if carers are from a specific background and feel safer within their culture or specific group. Its quite known some minority carers are hit hard by stigma, so these groups are very useful.

Carer forums are quite rare, but they are one of the best to go to. Carer forums are quite expensive to run, but they have a lot of power with the council and other partners. Usually established carer centers provide them and I blogged about one I attended of my carers blog site.

http://caringmindblog.com/2014/07/11/my ... july-2014/

I don't want to go on too long, but there are many carer groups. Its always worth going to one and if you do not like it, its even possible to make your own carers group, but they take some hard work.

I hope my post has been of some help.
In my area it is well worth going on a Carers Group list, even if you don't go to meetings. Then you get a regular newletter about what is going on, any new services, etc. Twice a year they run "Pamper Days" when you can have free massage, facial, drumming, free lunch, etc. and it's a really good way of meeting other carers without a formal meeting. They don't ignore the fact that there are male carers either, doing things like a free visit to a steam railway for carer and caree, coach visits to Portsmouth Dockyard, etc. etc. There's a saying about raffles etc. "You have to be in it to win it" - well it's very much the same for carers groups!
MumWhoCares wrote:
David_0406 wrote:I have not visited a carers group as yet and wouldnt rule it out,however,planning a visit at set times could be an issue at times.Plus to ignored while there would not encourage me to visit again.....
Hiya David,

I'd always give it a go, if you can manage to get along. I've never been ignored at a carers' group, but one I went to everyone had to sit in a circle and then they went round the group asking everyone to explain their tale of woe - mortifying for me and I felt like I was at an AA meeting confessing to my situation or something!

Another one I went to was less formal than that, but I got my ear bent for two hours by a number of people who all, it seemed, had more help than I did but complained endlessly. LIke I say, when you're the one that needs to let off steam it's great to have a willing ear but when you're the one being expected to provide the ear it's less enjoyable!
Maybe i will give it a go if i find a local one to me.....
I would find it difficult if i had to sit in a circle confessing lol.... be hard to keep a straight face. I will try it though :)
David_0406 wrote:
MumWhoCares wrote:
David_0406 wrote:I have not visited a carers group as yet and wouldnt rule it out,however,planning a visit at set times could be an issue at times.Plus to ignored while there would not encourage me to visit again.....
Hiya David,

I'd always give it a go, if you can manage to get along. I've never been ignored at a carers' group, but one I went to everyone had to sit in a circle and then they went round the group asking everyone to explain their tale of woe - mortifying for me and I felt like I was at an AA meeting confessing to my situation or something!

Another one I went to was less formal than that, but I got my ear bent for two hours by a number of people who all, it seemed, had more help than I did but complained endlessly. LIke I say, when you're the one that needs to let off steam it's great to have a willing ear but when you're the one being expected to provide the ear it's less enjoyable!
Maybe i will give it a go if i find a local one to me.....
I would find it difficult if i had to sit in a circle confessing lol.... be hard to keep a straight face. I will try it though :)
Ha, me too! Always worth a try, though, as others have shown from the responses on the thread there are good ones about, these things vary as everything else does! You might get lucky :)
haha me and luck do not meet very often :)
But i will give it a go.... its finding enough time in the day when balancing work,caring and presently removal man for my son :)
Well,since you asked:

The coffee morning/support group at my sons' Special School sent a threat,via my MP,that should I dare to attend,following the death of my estranged wife-who'd been falsely accusing me of threatening her-they would "honour her memory" by sending me to Coventry.This the 'girls' did for a year,arranging seats so that they were in a protective circle,with me outside.
My Owen moved to college,to of the so-and-sos,who also had children attending,attempted a pre-emptive strive by having everyone 'warned' about me before my first meeting.Subsequently,the two of them would talk loudly to each other any time I tried to take part in discussions.
I then became vice-chair of a citywide support group for parents.I had to miss one meeting,and at the next discovered that one of the Kemball ladies (that's the name of the Special School) had contrived an un-minuted expulsion of myself off the board.

So...Is this just typical of Stoke-on-Trent? Certainly,I see it as an area which can't help itself because there's such a propensity for doing the dirt on each other.But then again,I would!