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Carers I interview - Page 6 - Carers UK Forum

Carers I interview

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
112 posts
It's getting personal again, and I've received a complaint to that effect.

Please restrict your comments to the issues presented, and not the personalities.

To sum up, there are differing views on the level of help available and what this means to carers. As before, on many occasions, the views are that:

1. Carers can get help - but some cannot, for varying reasons
2. Carers can go to work - but not all, and not everywhere supports carers to work
3. Not every carer has a wider family to offer help and support
4. Every carer has rights but some do not feel able to exercise them, and others don't know what their rights actually are

Excalibur's first post gave an example of how things can work for some carers. It is by no means an isolated example, but it's not a typical example, either - assuming there is a "typical" example.

As for challenging each other to find examples of choices made/not made, etc., please leave them in the playground. Not here.

Incidentally, if anyone wishes to report a post or thread, please use the "!" at the top right of the offending post - that way every moderator will be aware of it.
I fequently browse the forum and occassionally post and I've noticed that many threads no matter what their subject matter (especially the emotive ones) end up similar to this one. I guess it's just human nature to want others to sympathise with our personal circumstances. When you're in the eye of the storm it's hard to see outside - we've all been there haven't we? Image
It's nevertheless useful to know about the wide variety of circumstances that we carers find ourselves in, because there are, or at least may be, routes out of the poverty trap for most of us. I don't hold up this lady as a model because I want to belittle carers who lack her resourcefullness and skills, I hold her up because I think some of us can learn a little from her. I will always challenge the negativity and defeatism that is often seen on carers forums, because from my own experience, and that of many other carers I meet, I have realised that there are always solutions to our problems that we can generate ourselves, in other words, we cant expect government to solve all our problems.
Carers of working age are crazy to give up work without exploring all the possible alternatives. Sure, some care homes and day centres are crap, and some care workers are dire. This isnt a reason to abandon the idea of external help entirely! Its just because we lack the expertise to screen out the rubbish or design an individual service, but like all skills, these can be aquired: so all the more reason to improve our skills in recruiting good people or spotting the dodgy services.
It is perfectly possible to be a carer and also work full or part-time. Someone implied that this lady wasnt a real hands-on carer, or that her daughter did all the hard work! Nothing could be further from the truth: the lady has a tough job and is also very much a carer every time she steps back in her home: the daughter is a very busy professional, works 37 hours and commutes 10 hours a week.
We only have ourselves to blame if we take the whole burden of care on our shoulders. There is always help out there, it just may take a bit of time to find it. There are no magic fairy godmothers who can make it better, you have to do a lot of hard graft and research, but it always pays off in the end.
Excalibur, you really don't strike me as a Pollyanna.

Not everyone can find a solution, even with help. You should see the caseload we have of people who have been refused help although as far as we are concerned the situation is desperate - not difficult, not tough. Desperate.

Answers can be found, but not for everyone. It doesn't mean you shouldn't try, but be realistic.
Excalibur, you really don't strike me as a Pollyanna.
Image Image Image Very funny! I'm not, of course, but I'm reasonably good at ducking and diving ... especially when Rosemary starts throwing her toys out of the pram .. Image
Lets try and confront the other elephant in the room: it's about maintaining a decent quality of life in adversity, and governments arent going to give us more than basic subsistence for the foreseeable future. They are spending billions more than they are earning, they have a huge debt problem and are not willing to stop spending money on useless things like nuclear weapons. So (barring a revolution, and I don't really rate smashing Tescos windows in as a serious threat to the global capitalist conspiracy) we all have to find ways around the problem, and if benefits are rubbish, then the only other short-term solution is going out to work. ( the long-term solution is voting Green, by the way!)
I went to see Brecht's "Mother Courage" a couple of weeks ago .. the moral of that story is that we all have to hustle when times get tough, because nobody else is going to do it for us.
Lets try and confront the other elephant in the room
There's another elephant in the room! **** that's all i need Image

Sorry but i wouldn't presume to tell other carers how they should or shouldn't live their lives or how they should cope with their individual and very different situations.

And to be honest it's a bit tiresome being lectured at Image
I resent this statement
I have no doubt some people are offered no choices or support in their caring situation but at the end of the day no one is holding a gun to our heads

No one was holding a gun to my head and no one told me I had to be a carer, its the heart that motivates you. Yes, I would be the first person to say we need our time and our space............as for working? everyone could work, but not everyone can work and care...........well, unless they care from afar and pay someone else to do the daily tasks that caree needs help with!

I don't care what anyone says, I agree with George there..........if you can go working full time that makes you a part time carer........some of us DO NOT have a choice unless we put the caring role into hands of strangers! how many of us would want a stranger caring for us? NOT ME, and how many carees feel guilty that they are a 'burden' to their loved ones? far too many. Carers are not maryrs, they are just people who care for their relatives in the best way they can. Free time is one thing [respite] pay for others to look after your caree more hours than you are.........does not make for a carer.
I think some people her make rash comments and try to over run others in this forum I saw this before, there are 2 and one of them is commenting a lot in this subject, there are 2 sides to everything, no one should judge another, however, there is one person in this argument [which started as a discussion] that is always putting other peoples comments down and trying to 'blind them with science' I think that person needs to acknowledge that 'knowledge puffs up, love builds up' always think before you type. Theres another person on the other side of this screen and you have become [in my eyes] very dogmatic in your views, right or wrong, there is a way to say it. I guess you should learn instead of upsetting some. People come from all walks of life and some have good times and bad, rememeber, we can all feel vulnerable at times and your comments are hard hitting
Excalibur, if you don't know the question, how do you come to an answer? If you know the question but don't know who to ask, where do you go for the answer?

That's the reality for many carers. You were lucky because of your work within the NHS - it gave you a starting point. I was lucky because of my civil service background - it gave me a starting point.

Not everyone is as lucky. If we were at square one, most carers start somewhere off the board. They have to find the board first.

A favourite analogy about caring is that it's like going to Italy but arriving in Holland. All the knowledge and preparation you made for Italy is useless. People, customs, language - all different. Not to say that Holland is a bad place: it's different. But you have to start from scratch. Without a guidebook.

As far as anything else is concerned, I don't see working carers as any different from other carers in most of the important ways. Most of the ones I know (including myself) still have interrupted sleep, are on call 24/7, still have to deal with caring issues during the day - calls to the doctor, hospital, social worker, etc. The only difference is that they are not hands on all the time. Except, nor are many other carers who don't go to work. Some carers who see themselves as "full time" carers have the use of day services, colleges, schools or other help to get a break from caring during the day, sometimes for similar hours to those of us in work. It doesn't make them any less 24/7 carers - why does it make me a "part time" carer?

Surely the point is that we are all carers, with different experiences of caring. We need to recognise the differences, sure, but what is happening here and elsewhere is that we are concentrating on the differences - not the similarities. And the fact is that there are far more similarities than differences.
Well said, Charles. Many carers have been both working carers and full-time carers dependent on their changing circumstances, for example, some find that combining work and caring is no longer viable, others are able to return to the workplace when they have the support they need to make work an option.

I am not sure where those who are adamant that having outside help to enable one to work makes a carer a "part-time" carer stand on the many carers who are not in paid employment but who have outside help to support their caring roles, are they too part-time carers? I also find interesting the assumption that putting the care in the hands of "strangers" is wrong. I think that, where the person being cared for can make decisions, whether outside help is used or not is their choice, not the choice of the carer, not all carees see themselves as a burden willing to do anything to reduce the burden neither do all carees dislike having personal care being provided by non-family members, in fact there are circumstances, for example that of a son caring for a mother, where this is the preferred option. A PA or a good small team of agency carers do not remain strangers for long and can make the difference between someone being able to stay at home rather than enter residential care, it is very much what is right in the circumstances, not something which is universally wrong.

I think that it is all too easy to see things from the perspective of one's own situation and caring role but collectively we care for a diversity of people with a diversity of conditions in diverse circumstances, I would prefer to embrace and respect this diversity, not to embrace the false divisions which cloud the message that the majority of carers, whatever their circumstances, have been failed by successive goverments.
112 posts