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Recognising Carers - Carers UK Forum

Recognising Carers

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Rosemary wrote:

"The years that I cared for mam before she died and now caring for my brother,I never really identified myself as a carer,just looking after my family the way they would have done me had it been other way round.Anyways,had I claimed benefits they would have deducted it from one of them.
Having joined 2 local groups lately,I find one of the main stumbling blocks is Recognition .
By that I mean,we seem to have seperate sets of carers.

1.........Those who already care,who fight against the injustice of the system,who get penalized whichever way they turn due to certain rules e.g. overlapping benefit ruling to name but one.

2.........Those who care but do not see themselves as carers and because of this they do not access benefits for themselves or their loved ones.For example,just last week an old lady took ill in our local shop,a dizzy turn.Several people round about assisted to make sure she was ok and took her home as she was panicking about her hubby who she had left at home in bed.To cut a long story short ,this was a couple who have entitlement to all sorts of benefits but in their own eyes they are man and wife. In sickness and health were the old ladys words.A few of us have helped a niece of theirs over the weekend and she is now aware of what they can claim.

I have read on many forums about raising awareness of support groups,both nationally and regional and I still agree with Maryanns idea for a Carers register and Information pack.However,I also think we need do something so people can actually identify that the role they undertake to care for their loved ones is now in most cases more than a family committment."


You're absolutely right, Rosemary. The two biggest problems for carers is the fact that the system doesn't recognise their needs and that most carers don't know or accept that they are carers. Image

The word "carer" is relatively new, so not many people use it or understand it - some think it means "care worker", hence some misunderstandings. Others think first of their other role: husband, wife, father, son, daughter, mother, etc. Often we see these words as a "catch all" without recognising that we often go well above and far beyond "duty". But part of the problem is that the people who should know who is a carer don't even think about them. These are the "professionals" who really don't understand and who can do so much damage without realising it. Image

It's only very recently that universities have included any training about carers for their social work and health trainees. Often it's one hour in a one year course. It's occasionally been as much as a whole day on the subject for a 3 year degree course. But it often depends on the lecturers to decide how much is necessary - and so it can be difficult to get "off the mark." But even so, there is no time in the training to help persuade an elderly lady that she is a carer for her husband - let alone to persuade her to have a carers assessment.
Carers Uk research on this backs what Charles47 is saying here - see

http://www.carersuk.org/Newsandcampaign ... /Intheknow

This research found that 65% of people with a caring responsibility did not identify themselves as a carer in the first year of caring. For a third of them (32%) it took over 5 years before they recognised they were a carer. About half of these carers felt they had missed out on benefits and support as a result.



Hi Charles and Matt,

Thx for your replies.

Charles,even after all my years of caring I still see myself as a daughter/sister first and a carer 2nd.I know many others I have spoken too feel the same.

Great article Matt,thx for pointing it out.

When I came home to nurse my terminally ill mum and be dad`s full time carer I brought my disabled husband with me, and we just got on with life as best we could. I still feel I am only doing my family duty most of the time, but am coming round to the carer idea now, but think more should be done to assist carers firstly recognise their role, then claim the benefits, if it will benefit them.
Yes Rosemary I agree, I also see myself firstly as a daughter and secondly a Carer. Even know I realise I am a Carer for my Mum I always want my Mum to see me as her daughter and don't like being referred to as her Carer before being her daughter. I guess this is why alot of people don't like to label themselves a Carer and therefore stay without support.

I'm glad that you bought up the Carers Information Pack/Register. I too still think its someway of reaching all Carers and inturn will recieve help and support! I shall think more about this...

Take care
M x
I am not a carer just an Husband.
I was there for my Mum & Dad as a Son Just did and do what any other Son or Husband would do.
They cared for me I did what they needed me to do and still doing it for my wife.
I don't want thanks it's my privilege to do it .
hi john,
my sentiments exactly, however the government uses this to get free help if it was not for loving sons and daughters where would they be
We went to see the bladder nurse and I went in with my OH. When it got personal she looked at me and I said"It's OK, I'm his wife". She said "That's OK then only some people come with their carers"
OK, so I am his carer, but forst and foremost, I am his wife.
Wow, this is really turning into an interesting discussion!

I'd better nail my colours to the mast. Image

I'm a father who also happens to be a carer. But in order to be recognised as my son's support in need I have to make sure I use the "carer" label. So I do. And I recommend to everyone the same, purely because some recognition of the sheer hard graft involved is long overdue. It's not about thanks. It's about acknowledging that what we do is tough, unrelenting and vital.

And deserving of a little respect. Image
I never thought of myself as a carer until I left work, I was just looking after my Mum.