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How can we end this betrayal - but whose - Carers UK Forum

How can we end this betrayal - but whose

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This next article has really got my back up.How on earth are we expected to help carers recognise who/what they are when its the politicians who need educated 1st.It came through in my alerts yesterday but I did not have time to add any comments till this morning.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/219 ... s-betrayal


In a desperately moving piece, ANN WIDDECOMBE reveals how she looked after her mother rather than letting her languish in a disease-ridden hospital – and why families need more help in caring for loved ones . She should be ashamed to admit we have hospitals in those conditions.

My father was one of those men who resolutely refused to have a child during the war. He told my mother that he had quite enough to worry about leaving behind a wife and small boy to the mercy of Hitler’s blitzes without adding anyone else to the anxiety list.

In 1940 he had three people to fret over anyway because my mother’s mother had been bombed out in Plymouth and she came to live with her daughter. She remained living with her until 1961 when she died.

In the immediate post-war years, couples made up for lost time. The uncertainty was over and it was safe to have children, so we arrived in great numbers. More importantly, we also survived in great numbers. My generation was blessed with vaccines, anti­biotics and a steadily burgeoning medical science which conquered diseases that had wiped out large tranches of previous generations.

We had no war to thin out our numbers, no abortion to kill us before we even got a chance at life. We were the generation of an efficient welfare state, free higher education and final salary pension schemes and most of us will live long enough to need someone else to look after us.

First and foremost, that someone else should be family whether spouse, child or sibling. Nothing irritates me quite so much when discussing this subject as the claim, often made, that carers save the Government billions
of pounds merely by doing what they should do and looking after loved ones. One might as well claim that parents save the Government billions by looking after their own children!

In that phrase alone she has dismissed what family carers do.No one can deny that most care out of love 1st whether it be for a parent/child/sister/brother etc but if I have read her correctly shes more or less said get on with it and stop the whinging.Its so 'good' to see that she takes all the reports so seriously of how much we do save this country

The presumption is that the Government has the first resp­onsibility for caring and we do it a favour by stepping in and taking on the job ourselves. Yet it is the reverse that is true: the primary responsi­bility is the family’s and we may be grateful that we live in a society where Government will help.

For me she presumes too much about how we feel and think.I always cared for mam and Robert out of love as a daughter/sister but I did and still do expect support from the Government.

I know readers of this newspaper care deeply for the elderly and frail and that elderly readers themselves have strong, loving families. But it must be said that the first betrayal of our old folk can occur within the family itself. When granny is packed off to a home so that everybody else can get on with their lives and not be encumbered by her care, it should be considered shocking or, at any rate, a last desperate measure. Instead, too many families believe the preservation of their comfortable lifestyle to be nothing short of a right.

I took exception to this
When granny is packed off to a home
.Yes we know it happens but it was an irresponsible remark to make as those cases are in the minority and in others it can be a heart wrenching decision to make to allow a loved one to go in a home.We only have to look on the forums to see how difficult a decision it is to make.
preservation of their comfortable lifestyle to be nothing short of a right.

It should be a right.How many times have we read where people have lost their homes,living in poverty,not being able to heat homes

The second betrayal is carried out by Gov­­ernment itself when it fails in its most basic duty to provide sound health and social care.

This should have been the FIRST betrayal (using her words ) but at least she has admitted this Government has FAILED in its most BASIC duty.

The third betrayal is that of a fragmented and unneighbourly society which drives many an old person into residential care before it is wanted or necessary simply by not supplying a little bit of help and a watchful eye.

People in their late 80s and early 90s are the very ones who fought in the war, leaving bits of themselves behind on the Normandy beaches, plummeting to earth in burning planes or abandoning ship to jump into icy waters. They have every right to expect a grateful nation to look after them but we are too busy enjoying the fruits of their sacrifice.
Throughout my childhood and early teenage years, my Gran was living with us and was as much part of my life as my parents or my brother. It would not have occurred to my parents that she was anyone’s responsibility but theirs.

My father’s mother also lived with one of her children and also continued to do so right up to death but she had four children and vis­ited each for a month or two every year, so for a small part of each year I had two grandmothers in the house. Both were widows.

My grandmother was 85 when she died and very frail. In my earlier years she had read to me, sung to me, kept me happy and amused. It was she who taught me to read before I went to school and who ins­isted I could sing all my tables. Most of all she told me tales of a time before I was born, of living in Victorian England, of lamp lighters and muffin men and horses in the street.

In later years she became very slow, crippled by arthritis in an age when hip operations were not the norm. Then came the forgetfulness and then the final months when she stayed in bed, her mind wandering, incontinent, all but paralysed by weakness.

My mother nursed her, I carried trays up and down stairs and nobody would have dreamed of it being any other way. She had relied on my parents first for a home and then for care and even then I was absorbing the idea that one day this would be what I would do and want to do for my mother.

The district nurse called regularly and became a family friend. The doctor was kind and attentive. Yet today, in a wealthier age, district nurses are stretched almost to breaking point with fewer and fewer caring for more and more. They are desperately needed by families where pensioner spouses or even pensioner children cannot turn patients, lift them or tend to intimate needs.

Rare also is the doctor who has time to stay and chat when he checks on elderly patients living alone. Targets abound but real love and kindness tick no boxes.

How hard has it been for many people to even get an apointment with their doctors never mind a home visit

In time, my parents also became old and frail and my mother took on the task of looking after my father at home until his death. He was never the most easy tempered of men and his growing weakness irked him. It would have been easy for mother to become isolated at home but she belonged to an active church whose members supplied moral support. Today, many an old person goes for weeks on end seeing nobody.

After my father died, my ­mother came to live with me. I sold my first-floor flat and bought a house with a spare bedroom and bathroom in case I needed live-in care, a downstairs loo and a garden. I installed a stairlift.

Many carers get to a stage where they lose their home or really struggle to maintain payments on property.Who here could even think of having live in care or affording a stairlift.
In the real world,we wait weeks if not months for assessments and even then its a constant battle to actually prove you have a need for an adaptation of some description.Majority of the time your request is denied due to lack of funding in the boroughs.

My mother viewed all these preparations in wonder for then, at 87, she did not really believe they would ever be necessary. Mentally and physically fit as well as financially independent, she looked after me rather than I her. I was in the Shadow Cabinet and would leave at dawn and return late. Mother ran the house.

How many here can even pop to the shops?How many can plan ahead to attend something?We have already seen just recently how members could not attend the carers consultations as no alternative arrangements could be made for their carees.

At 95, she could still walk, see and hear. She was weak and stiff and needed to be dressed but, slowly, she could still get about with her frame. The hardest job facing me or the carer was not the transfers to wheelchair or stairlift but simply persuading her to eat and drink. She had lost all interest in food. Coaxing, insisting, pleading or bossing were to no avail. Occ­asionally I booked her into a private sector hospital for rehydration or had a drip rigged up at home.

At times we cannot even access NHS hospitals.I remember many a time where it took over 7-8 hours for a bed to become available for mam

Today, in the 21st century – shockingly, heartbrea
I read this a few days ago Rosemary and was totally gobsmacked by some of the comments - the fact her Mum ran the house at 87, blimey my Mum can't even see to get out of her chair on her own at 86!

How will Ms Widdecombe see things when she gets to the stage when she needs care, OK she's got the money to afford equipment or whatever but at the end of the day she'll be looked after by strangers, not her own family - let's see if she feels the same way then.

Paula xx
Fair comment but Ann's not part of this Government.
Although the last Government that she served was no better.
Hi Rosemary: I too was incensed when i saw this stupid woman make these comments, she is just typical of the sort of person who thinks that there situation is ok so it must be the same for others, i doubt wheather she actually cared for her mother as we know or understand caring to be, i remember her doing a programme on TV with her mother, they had gone on a cruise on the QE2, i am sorry but i dont know any carers who could afford such luxuries.

Ann widdecombe has not to my understanding had the misfortune to go without food, clothes, heating, she even refused to support the campaign in the yours magazine to scrap the overlapping rule, anyone who really understands the plight of real carers would support that sort of campaign willingly.
I also doubt if miss widdecombe has ever laid awake at night worrying if some bailif will be knocking on her door due to non payment of some bill, her life is so far removed from what my experience of being a carer was and i would imagine her life does not reflect most carers lives either.

Ann widdecombe is just the sort of ill informed, out of touch person that the charities need to convince what carers problems really are, her talking about caring for our loved ones as something we should all try to do is something i agree with, the problem is that when people give up their jobs etc to take on the carers role they are penalised for doing so, they are forced into a world of poverty, they are sure to suffer with their own health both physical and mental, there chances of future employment have been drastically shortened, in todays society if your over a certain age no one wishes to employ you.

I was very proud to care for my wonderful mother, it enriched my life in ways i cannot express, i would not change anything except that i wish i had not been made to live in poverty and to be looked on by society as a burdon, carers hold this country together, they provide something which this society has all but forgotten about, empathy, love, devotion, respect,self denial, society has lost most of these characteristics today,this week is the week my lovely mum died this time last year, i wish she was here now, i will always remember her with love, i shall also never forget those wonderful times we shared laughter together.

Maybe carersuk should write to miss ann widdecombe and put her straight on a few things about carers lives etc, what do you say carersuk?

Sorry to have gone on for too long, i hope everyone is ok.

Tonyxx Image
Whether she is part of this government or not, she is well known and her views listened to.
With people spouting things like that, even if it is a truthful story (which I am not disagreeing wuth), most people and the present mp's are going to regard us as whingers.
After all Ann Widecombe can do it and be an MP Image
Fair comment but Ann's not part of this Government.
Although the last Government that she served was no better.
I know she is not part of it John but its obvious she still has an opinion that the media are interested in and as such she should address the real problems that exist and not dismiss the situation so lightly.The words she used...
Nothing irritates me quite so much when discussing this subject as the claim, often made, that carers save the Government billions
of pounds
Even now I still struggle with labeling myself as a carer,and no changes that could possibly happen will change my life but we all see what is happening for others,how so many are being left to fend for themselves.

I have no problem with Ann W and the life she had with her mother.I truly hope she had as close a bond with her mam that I had with mine and good luck to her that they were able to do as much together.It comes across that her family had strong values and were able to care for their elderly over the years, with support from each other.
My problem is the attempt to try compare her life to those carers like on this forum and others.There can be no comparison.

The Daily Express is a well read paper.How can we hope to get the public onside when they read examples like hers.
I agree rosemary on the fact that she should not compare her role as a carer to people on this message board and others, she has no real understanding what carers go through, she thinks she does but does not.

How can someone who is against scrapping the overlapping rule have any idea what carers go through, she may have strong family values, good, she is still far away in cuckoo land as far as the problems carers face.

I hope everything is ok with you rosemary, its freezing here.

Tonyxx Image
Ann Widdecombe is one of those people who have sufficient money for the necessities of life and beyond, and while she describes some of the horrors of being a carer she seems totally oblivious of her own role in making them happen and allowing them to continue.

She has reinforced my opinion of her, which I'm afraid was not particularly high in the first place.

And the trouble is, she will never learn.


True anne widdecombe won't learn , nor if she was forced to see the truth would she be likely to admit she has got it wrong.

She has always been out of touch with ordinary peoples lives, the same most likely applies to a lot of MP's, alarming when you think they are making decissions every day that affect ordinary peoples lives.
you only have to read the papers and reports posted on the forums to realise they don't have a clue how to run the NHS, Care Homes for the Elderly, in fact Care Homes for any one.

Their ideas about the direction the social care of this country should take is a joke. Hand it to the charitites to sort, and get your neighbours to help? Most politicians should have pontas pilot as a middle name, they sure would love to wash their hands of all this social care responsability.
anne widdecombe on the point of retirement doesn't have to worry about who she upsets with her point of view. Take a closer look she is the public face of how/what most politicians think.