Hi there,

My names Michael Thomas and I am a film maker currently undertaking a Masters in Documentary Film and Video at the university of the West of England. As part of my course I am having to make a film and I have chosen to focus this on carers of older people with mental health problems such as dementia and Alzheimer's. although I would like views of carers from all backgrounds.

The focus of the film is a discussion on the value placed on caring from several different perspectives.

Firstly the value that people who care place on the caring process and the impact that this has on there lives. I do not want to focus on the actual process of caring, but on the carers themselves and how being a carer has impacted on their life aspirations, for example the things that have had to be given up in order to be a carer. As well as this I wish to highlight the impact of caring on the day to day life of an individual and how this has affected them. In order to produce this section I will be interviewing people who are carers and would like o know from you what you believe are the important questions to ask in respect of the above.
Also I would also like to get peoples views on why they care and the positive and negative aspects of caring. I would also be interested in the issues that arise when someone stops becoming a carer due to the person being placed into care or passing away.

Secondly the film will look at the support and assistance that carers receive from the state i.e. the status there are given as carers the services that are available and whether this are good or not. The benefits which people receive and the costs that people incur when someone has to be cared for outside of the home. For this part I will also be focusing on the forest of Dean which has recently had support services for carers and older people with mental health problems relocated and shut down. I respects of this section I would like your views on the support that you as carers receive and whether you you feel it is adequate. Also how do you feel the state views the role that carers provide in society.

Finally I will also look at the value that carers bring to society as a whole in terms of the contribution that the caring population brings in terms of providing a vast service which props up society often at very little cost. Again any views on this would be welcome.

Also any other information which you feel would be useful would be handy, i.e government documents I should read or good books on the subject of caring etc. I have only just come across this site and will be looking at it in more depth, if you feel there are specific threads that would be really helpful could you please highlight them to me.

Thank you in advance,

Michael Thomas