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AGM and Conference in November - Carers UK Forum

AGM and Conference in November

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Is anyone else planning to attend this? I'm hoping to (provided I can get full carer cover for mum). Is there an opportunity for forum members to meet up at all at this event?

I went to one of these a few year ago (when I was looking after mum pre dementia) and found it interesting. One thing that has struck me over the years is that not a lot has changed for me as a carer in relation to general support and benefits. Will it ever? I doubt it. The only way things will change is when mum has gone and I'm no longer a carer (and can then get on with my life). Pre the dementia, I sometimes felt I was a bit of a 'cheat' even calling myself a carer as I was still able to (fairly) freely go on holidays and work part time. Now I'm the full time carer of someone with fairly advanced dementia, I really do feel I qualify in calling myself a carer!

I guess not a lot will change in relation to any financial support (ie a slightly less insulting amount of Carers Allowance!) as it's not as if we can all go out 'on strike' by virtue of our positions! It would be great to hear that one day this organisation will have achieved this though. Maybe?

As time goes on I am getting more and more resentful that I have worked for so many years and have had to give up my livelihood to care for mum and yet all I'm entitled to is £62.10 a week, just because I was sensible enough to save while I was working. It really is tragic, if you think about it for long enough.

This forum is a life saver though, as is the 'other forum' specifically for carers of PWD.

Roll on the day full time carers get some respect and reward for what they do.

Sorry, a bit off topic! Am still planning to attend in November though!
I'd like to attend, but it's too expensive. Hampshire is counted as a "Home County" so with a bursary, it would cost me money. Whilst the top end of Hampshire is easily within an hour of London, I'm almost on the Hampshire/Dorset border, so I have an hour longer journey.
However, you raise a point about members meeting up. I'd be very happy to meet up with other CUK members on a regional basis. Maybe this could be considered by those who make the rules?
Up to a point, we COULD all 'go on strike' though! (in respect of caring for parents) At least, the ones whose parents own less than £23k.....because it would surely cost the state more than £62 a week to do what family carers do!!!

And, as some folk on the forum have found, it takes holding that 'I'm going to walk!' gun at SS before they actually 'do something' by way of helping, or finding a place in a residential home.

The bottom line, however, is that the UK - and all countries of course - has to work out a way to pay for the 'care burden' that old-age-with-infirmity places on the economy. Whether that is paid for at an individual level (as my MIL is doing out of her life's assets - ie, the flat she lived in, all her savings over her lifetime), or via general tax contributions for those who either never accumulated/inherited any assets - or who, of course, maybe disposed of them (ie, spent them!) before they needed care.

The dreadful 'bottom line' is that people who need other people to look after them, for whatever reason, are 'very expensive'.......

(And that ranges from newborn babies and pre-schoolers, through to the disabled, mentally ill, physically ill, through to the very-old-and-infirm.....quite a sizeable portion of the population overall!)

What 'society' as a whole should do about that is fraught!
In my area a care company has built homes with small bungalows on the same site. Bungalow residents can eat in the home, join in activities, and care in the home if required. I would also like to see the return of cottage hospitals so those needing end of life care can be local, not miles away in a major hospital.
That sounds such a good idea, BB. An excellent 'half way house' for those who can't quite live completely independently, yet don't want to go into a residential home, and don't need one quite yet.

When MIL was at her Abbeyfield, I used to think that a slight modification of the set up (they had ensuite 'bedsits', with a shared kitchen to make their own breakfast in - food etc provided, but no service (though many, like my MIL hired an extra 'morning carer' to help them get up/showered and made them breakfast!) - and a laundry room to do their own laundry in, but lunch and dinner were served communally in the dining room.

I think a slight modification on that set up would be for a layout much like a motel, with two-room flats (sitting room and bedroom), plus ensuite and kitchenette in the flats, all opening to a patio with communal grounds beyond, and behind the flatlets a 'service corridor' for staff/nurses/carers etc to access the flats as necessary, and then on top of that a kind of 'restaurant' and general lounge area, with entertainments etc etc etc.

The idea would be to combine the 'independence and privacy' of a flat of their own, yet have the 'support structure' available to hand, including, especially as dementia sets in, escalating levels of carers. (It was 'revealing' to me, I think, that MIL just had to have a morning carer - she was not (just?!) 'unwilling' to make her own breakfast, she was simply forgetting how to do so, and lacked any impetus any more unless someone helped her or did it for her....)


As for cottage hospitals, definitely definitely bring them back - I suspect that 'elder-bed-blocking' in 'real' hospitals would just about end over night if they did!
BB I doubt I would attend the AGM. Am I correct in thinking the bursary would be £170 for carees travelling in England.
I agree about cottage hospitals, far less clinical