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gordon brown and carers - Page 2 -Carers UK Forum

gordon brown and carers

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I agree with Luke that we do need helplines as alot of Carers don't have access to the internet and therefore being able to receive advice is badly needed. If it wasn't needed then why are the helplines inundated with calls?? We are not in a position really to say that its not needed as there are more and more new Carers everyday needing advice and guidance!

It goes without saying that Carers do need to be valued more from the government as a key member of the caring profession and given an amount that resembles this! Alot of Carers get into debt through caring, and I admit that being financially better of would be one less worry. I agree the overlapping rule needs seriously to be scrapped!
something needs to be done about the benafits .if we are intitaled we should get all the money. not take some off because you get this that or age . just because my hube is older i lose out on a lot of money. Image its not fair. Image Image
Yes, help lines and training are important, but the government seems to think that's all.

We need to see a flexible package of carer support, from advocacy to advice, information and training, from respite (there's very little actually available) in all its forms, to a decent level of income. And no charging for services.
Carers should in my opinion get a minimum of a hundred pounds per week as a starting rate, as i have said before on this site i do not understand how foster parents can get upto four hundred and fifty pounds per week per child, why does it cost less to care for a sick or elderly disabled person who needs twenty four hours a day care, it just does not make sense, the only reason why that the same money is not provided for carers is that the government does not think that caring and looking after the sick and disabled are worth it.They just do not value the work that carers do, they can afford to increase their pensions every year and increase their perks package but to hell with the damm carers.

All the best Tony. Image
Most carers can be identified through their doctor. Any person identified as 'needing care' by the doctor should immediately get a 'carers package' to be given to the person who will be doing the care, who will usually be attending with the caree anyway. This package should contain ALL the information they need, from how to access benefits, to local carers groups. Then there would be no unidentified carers, unless they wished to be so. Carers should recieve a Social Wage, which would be of a realistically liveable on rate, overlapping rules should be scrapped and monies allocated for carers should not be allowed to be spent on anything else.
Well, I had a surprise last week! I was visited in my own home by someone from the DWP and a lady from a PR company for a 'government consultation' on what life is like for a carer over the age of 50!!! (I had volunteered through a posting on another carers' site.) They must be serious - the two people came from different parts of the country and were travelling to as many areas as possible. They recorded the interview, which lasted well over 2 hours, and made copious notes.

I was able to tell them my story - I had a breakdown through trying to work full-time and care for Mum, was forced to give up work through ill-health, had to sell my home because I couldn't afford the mortgage, moved in with Mum, used the proceds of sale (my pension!) to extend and renovate the bungalow, took a part-time job but had to give that up because I couldn't guarantee being at work on time, lived off the rest of my savings for several years until it was all but gone and now, at long last, I can claim Income Support!!! I was also able to tell them what it is like to try and live on £47 per week, to care 24/7 with no prospect of holidays or weekends off, what the non-existent services are like in our area, how I will be made homeless if Mum needs to go into a nursing home before I 'retire', etc, etc, etc..

Funnilly enough, they seemed to agree with me on all the points I made: - That Gordon Brown's New Deal for Carers offers NOTHING that carers have not been able to access in the past. That £47 per week for 35 hours work is an insult while unqualified salaried live-in carers can 'earn' £500 per week (plus expenses, board and lodging, pension, healthcare, respite, support, etc, and NO nursing involved!!!) That the recommendations made by the Royal Commission on care of the elderly in 1999 have never been implemented....... Oooh - I could go on and on ......

They didn't know about this forum so I suggested, if they REALLY wanted to report back the views of carers and what we have to put up with, they should spend a couple of evenings reading the meaasges here.
Good for you Pysie, it's about time they heard the real story of carers and how they cope - well done Image

Paula xx
Forgot to say, Myrtle, they thought there should be carer's advisors based in all GPs surgeries.
Some of you might already know that a carer has drafted a 'standardised letter' based upon the collective opinion of carers as gleaned from this forum and other message boards. It is designed to highlight the plight of carers from first-hand experience and calls for real action. Petitions are normally useless because 'the powers that be' often take the view that anyone will sign anything put in front of them, but to write a letter and send it takes time and thought. Also, it makes the recipient think more deeply.

So as not to compromise the charitable status of CUK and other carer support groups, this campaign is designed by carers for carers in the hopes they, their families and friends can copy the letter, either in its entirity or adapted in any way as seen fit, and send it to their MPs and other interested parties. It is acknowledged that carers have little time to spend writing letter, hence this initiative!

Matt has said he is happy for the 'standardised letter' to be posted here for comment.

Please bear with me because I'm not sure how to copy and paste the letter from its original site!!!! I might have to ask Matt to do it for me...... Help, Matt!!!!

Watch this space ....... .
You right click and while holding the button down scroll across what you want to highlight, when everything you want is highlighted you left click and choose the option COPY you then go to the place you want to paste to and left click and choose PASTE Job done Image

Name Date
Address
Town
County
Post Code



Carers have heard from various politicians how much they value and appreciate the work and commitment of Carers. Carers are frustrated with battling with an unfair, uncaring system. Carers are fearful of the future. Carers do not feel valued or appreciated. This, and preceding governments, have not made a serious attempt to solve the problems that Carers experience every day.
The main problems being:
1) Poverty : Poverty caused by the appallingly low CA Benefit.
Carers struggle to pay their bills and feed and clothe themselves. This is entirely caused by the restrictions of the responsibility of being a Carer. I.e.: The level of Care they provide result in many being unable to work even part time.
2) Housing : Many Carers lose their homes because they are unable to meet the mortgage repayments when they give up work to become a Carer.
3) Respite Care : Carers work with out a break for months sometimes years on end because they cannot afford to pay for Respite Care, or it is just not available.
4) Over Lapping Benefit Rule : This rule ensures that Carers live on an inadequate income.
5) Health Care Costs : In spite of their appallingly low income Carers pay for Prescriptions, Dental Care and Eye Tests.
6) Pension : Carers Allowance is stopped at pension age. This causes immense hardship to pensioners, because as Carers they incur extra expenses.

The enormous contribution that Carers make to society should be recognised with appropriate and realistic financial support. They need support in the form of disability aids and training.
Carers need emotional and physiological support in the form of Reliable Respite Care. So that like every other person on the planet they can come back to their work rested and refreshed. ( Even God rested on the seventh day!).

As more people become aware of the hardships that at automatically go with becoming a Carer; many may choose not to become a Carer. Consequently the full cost of that Social Care will fall upon society and the government. In the long term it would make more economic sense to adequately support Carers than it will to provide care for their Carees.
There are two options. A) Pay Carers an amount that reflects their work load and commitment in keeping with the cost of living, so that they can support themselves financially. Plus Free Respite Care of 4-6 weeks per year. It is the only realistic way they can have a break. I don’t know of any other category of people who have to pay someone else to do their job while they have a break or take a holiday. To add insult to injury they have to pay more than they themselves receive for the same work.

Or B) Put together a far more extensive and realistic range of financial benefits and support.
1) A Substantial Increase in Carers Allowance
2) Make Carers Allowance a Non-Means Tested Benefit
3) Free Respite Care, prescriptions, dental and eye care, Free Adult Education.
4) Carers Allowance to continue after reaching Pension age.
5) Disregard all Carers Savings
6) A Non Means Tested Extra Payment (To cover Mortgage Repayments, heating, travel and transport costs).

To appropriately provide for Carers a separate Community Care Tax should be implemented exclusively for the provision of Carers. Our Government could also follow the Spanish example of running a Lottery, the proceeds to be used for Carers.

The public may not like the prospect of another Tax; but one thing that is guaranteed is that faced with the prospect of becoming a Carer they will be even less thrilled that there isn’t any particular fund of money set aside for them.
Because of illness, the consequences of an accident or just infirmity and frailty of old age. Becoming a Carer can happen to anyone. It is a fact of life and it should be properly provided for.
A separate Tax and Lottery Fund would ease the burden on other services and finances that are at present paid for out of the UK’s general budget.

This government says it wants to banish poverty; so why is this government by it’s inaction abandoning hundreds of thousands of it’s own citizens to live and work with out the benefit of basic human rights?