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Carers Meetings - Carers UK Forum

Carers Meetings

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hi All,
Just wondered what anyone else felt about carers meetings I have found them really good for me. What do you think they could improve,to help us.What did you enjoy about them.
Best Wishes Sonia xxx
I found them a total and utter waste of my time. Had zero in common with the people who used it (mostly elderly people caring for their partners or for their grown up children with a learning disability). No-one was caring for a child with a physical disability or a child with a terminal condition. I was asked not to talk about my sons condition as the fact it is terminal made them feel uncomfortable. They all seemed to want to "top" each other with "my sitation is worse than your situation" sort of thing and I am so not interested in that sort of one upmanship

I am not interested in hillwalking or coffee mornings - I want my son to have his needs met and that will help me as a carer - not give the carers their little carers centre and they will shut up asking for their rights.

....a carers meeting,and as i work,i very rarely get near one,,ive found,fine in theory,but the group dynamics for the few ive attended seem to be just a bit sad,i felt sad for those who told us of the daily struggles.just was a bit depressing.Image
No carers meeting can meet everyone's needs, but let's be clear about what they are there for.

Carers' meetings can be there to:

inform - to give information that carers should have as of right but rarely hear

provide social contact - all too many carers are socially isolated. I have to say that sometimes what you hear is depressing but think about this from the point of view of the carer who can talk about the difficulties they are facing. Often this is their one chance to let it all out, among people who - sometimes - understand. As for whether any story is too depressing, it's up to the person running the meeting to make sure that every carer has a chance to say what they need or want to say.

influence - carers can give their opinions on local services and influence the way they work. Often the changes they can influence are small, but effective. And can be built on.

There are difficulties in organising meetings for working carers. For example, not everyone works the same days or hours. I've yet to find a formula that works, but I'll keep trying!
oh-so-cool to network,but futile to rely on carers meetings to solve every problem.they do offer mutual support though.thats good. Image
Sometimes, although a problem may not be solved, it can be shared.
Over the last month, I have been stunned, as I have used Facebook more, to find sites supporting young people with Type 1 Diabetes, who are angry with it, who do not look after their health, they are not able to function properly, they lose their lives. This is why my son died. I am stunned to see that it is so common. I have read about four recent deaths, in the last 6 hours.
It doesn't solve a problem for me to read it, but it has made me determined to try to bring awareness of issues with young people. It has also given me a link to other parents, a link that none of us want, but we share anyway, through the death of our children.
My experience of carers' meetings is that all they talk about over coffee is 'one-up manship', as Eun says. I get more support, if that's what you call it, I don't actually ask for any help, from our Carers Direct Group. These are the people who organised the day trips last year for carers, which I went on. The guy sitting next to me on the coach, only wanted to talk about his wife's disabilities and what was my hubby like. It did him good to talk about things, I guess. I just wanted to gaze out of the window and revel in the fact that for once I COULD gaze out at the scenery, instead of driving continously and having to concentrate. I don't really want to talk about wheelchair matters all the time, when I'm away from home, on a supposedly relaxing day out - I want to forget about stuff for the day, relax on the coach, wander about the place (Llangollen) on my own being ME.
Carers' meetings aren't for me either, I'd rather have the support at the end of the phone or from a visit from one of the CDG staff, who really understand things.
Carers Meetings, I think can just be a talking shop, yes but also, and not to underestimated, a sort of break for the Carer. If regarded as a 'social' event, especially beneficial for Carers that otherwise would have little or no contact with other people. If the sharing of advice, stories, an opportunity to let off steam, a realisation that 'you are not the only one facing the same /similar problems, happens too result. It doesn't always have to be about the 'Big Picture'.

They may not be the place to go for answers to all our problems, but they can be a place that offer different things to different people, it depends on your expectations, keep 'um real.