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Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Also carers can't just drop out of work to claim CA, there has to be someone to care for. It is just another excuse to stall paying carers a decent amount to live on.
Some can, some cant. All our situations are different. Where a husband and wife, for example, are sharing the care of a disabled parent (a situation I am very familiar with) then yes, both parties may be able to work, depending on the degree of disability and the alternative forms of care within or outside the home, private or statutory.

But, if one of them is a low earner - say working for £6 or £7 per hour part time, then if you raise the level of Carers Allowance to - say £120 a week, giving up work becomes more attractive. Thats not insulting, it's common sense.

Its fairly obvious that most carers work because they have to pay the mortgage. There are plenty of old folk with disabilities left at home to potter about the house.... check any neighbourhood and you will find them. Just because someone has a disability doesn't mean they have ... or even need .. a full time carer. My own parents are in the late eighties, both have very significant disabilities, but still cope, looking after each other, with both family and paid carers popping in on a regular basis for an hour or two a day to help out with heavy tasks.
Just because someone has a disability doesn't mean they have ... or even need .. a full time carer.
I accept this is the case for some Carers but for others it's very different. Image
High-end caring does affect your life, there's no doubt about it.
It affects both your own health and well being and this is where the finances come in, it limits earning potential drastically. Image
For Carers on Carers Allowance:working 35+ hours a week this means their earning potential can be very much reduced.
If people can manage their disabilities/illness with minimal input from other people that's great clearly they don't need 35+ hours a week care so that kinda takes them out of this particular equation. Image

I honestly feel, Carers who are high-end caring for 35+, 50+ hours or more every week, clearly are not able to work or earn as much as people with no caring responsibilities and it's these Carers who most need a change in the system. Image

For those who say help is out there to enable you to go back to work - it just isn't there! Image

I'm already using the current system and was assessed as qualifying for 28 hours per week, it's enough for 2 nights sleep to let me function, a Saturday afternoon off and 1 work session.

I'm careful to spread the time I have from my Direct Payment over the week as best I can.
With high-end caring, lack of sleep constantly pushing and the 1 remaining surgery I do still manage, there's no way I can do anymore. Image

Even if more daycare hours became available, I still couldn't go out to work more than I already do, I'm too exhausted.. you can only spead yourself so thin and remain functioning - I've tried it! Image

marie x
I know the government have implied that if they raise CA more people will leave work to become a carer. I greatly resent that implication, in fact I think its extremely insulting.
They don't say it about foster parents and they are paid hundreds per week, they don't say about MP's who can claim £250 per week expences without providing a single receipt as proof that they have even spent it, never mind what they've spent it on.

There are bound to be some people claiming benefit that are well enough to go to work, but studies etc have shown that it is a small percentage of claiments.
Also carers can't just drop out of work to claim CA, there has to be someone to care for. It is just another excuse to stall paying carers a decent amount to live on.
I must admit that I resent the implication too. I don't think it's anywhere as simple as the politicians would have us believe: but for politicians the world is black and white with no shades of grey. Would that life were that simple.

There is no shortage of carers: we're often bounced into the situation without any knowledge of the system or our rights, and few carers are told their rights even though there is a law guaranteeing that they will be. There is a shortage of Foster Carers, and those who step forward are told their rights. One reason I refuse to be compared to a Foster Carer. Another is that the allowances we all talk about that Foster Carers receive are actually there for the child: it's why fostering allowances are ignored for benefits purposes. It's not an income. If we really see carers as being someone doing a job of work on behalf of society at large we need Carers Allowance or any replacement for it to be fair payment for that job of work. Or we will continue to have no status.

There will always be people with dodgy knees or whatever: I have a dodgy back myself and there are a lot of people out there with similarly bad backs who could work and don't - but I agree that there are fewer of them around than the politicians and the media seem to think. But let's be honest with ourselves - part of our problem is that the majority of people will lump us together with those few as scroungers. Which brings us back to needing to improve our status.
as far as iam concerned if you are a carer thats your job i dont know how you can work or even prepare for work and care at the same time i believe its wrong for the government to pay millions if not billions to care workers or employ more people at day centers or have care workers sit with our caree`s to enable us to go out and work just pay us direct we do of course need a break now and again therefore respite care should be the main thing the government should focus on

when i gave up work i had no idea that the carers allowance was even an option i was told by the powers that be that my state pension was in doubt unless i paid my N.I. contributions they suggested that i moved onto carers allowance like many other carers we just drift into the role of carer and take on all the problems that go with it .
i get annoyed when carers want more and more and more help it will end up when many of us will have so much help we wil have nowt to do Image of course we do need some help now and again but we as ive said before we should be paid for what we do
I have done both; worked and been a Carer, plus stayed at home to be a Carer. I am not at home out of choice. I had to give up, and I resent having had to give up my job,but I do believe that I am doing more than a fulltime job at home.Last week, i gave up a day for my nondisabled daughter, due to her car accident, I thought I would have a nice peaceful weekend doing bits and pieces of housework, and gettin ready for Christmas. It didn't work out. My son woke up yesterday morning quite poorly, we thought it was a tummy bug, but seems to have calmed down and be a heavy cold. Due to his diabetes, even when he is ill, he still has to have insulin, and blood tests, plus he has to eat, otherwise he would end up in hospital. On top of that,because I have been up most of the night with him, when my husband came downstairs this morning, I had forgotten to move a blanket, and he slipped,jolting his already painful back.

I don't think I could go back to being employed, as that would be more pressure if one of my family was ill, or other unexpected circumstances occur. A few years ago,my dad was living at home, 10 miles from us, and my aunt phoned up, to say that they could not get an answer at his door, or the phone. It was 9pm, my children were in bed, I could not afford to go across the toll bridge, so needed my husband, who is able to get across free as he is disabled, so we had to call a friend, and ask her to come and stay with the children.(My brother lived in the same town as my dad, but when I phoned him and asked him,he refused to go out at that time of night, and said he would check up in the morning.)

I think that alot depends on how much support Carers can get from family and friends. Over the years, many have dropped by the wayside, and our firends now tend to be those who are also parent carers so cannot do anything in an emergency,as they are already committed.

I am not a Carer through choice;this life has been handed to me, and if I had been able to carry on with nursing, then I would have. I hate having to go cap in hand to Social Services, DSS, or charities to ask for help, and I dislike the stigma of living on benefits.

I don't want to return to nursing, as I could not give total commitment, and that is the point. Others would start resenting me if I needed time off for caring,I would have to have certain amount of time off for appointments, some at very short notice, so would be a very unreliable employee, even though I would want to commit to my job.

I am enjoying reading the points of view of others on here, as everyone is so different.

Oh and by the way, when I am feeling low and think I can't go on much longer, then something lifts me up. Last night, my son needed me to bath him, as he wasn't well enough, but he wanted a bath. When I washed his hair, he said "aah, that's better, my hair was all sticky and sweaty."Yep, I might not have asked for this life, but a comment like that is what keeps me going.
Lets start off with the premise that most disabled adults and children should be either at work, at school or college, or in some form of structured day therapy during the day. Its unacceptable for a disabled adult - unless they are sick - to be stuck at home every day.

And lets also consider the premise that adults with disabilities should be entitled to have their own accommodation, with support. It certainly isnt right that a 30 year old person should have to live with their parents - fine if thats their choice but when I speak with adults like that most of them want their own place. You don't stop being a carer just because you no longer live with your caree - caring just becomes lighter and less intensive.

Where does this leave the carer? Well, if the carer is retired, then that gives them time to pursue their own hobbies etc, but if they are of working age then a job or study is what many aspire to.

The trouble is that some folk just look at the caring situation from their own perspective, and sure, some of us here have very heavy one-to-one caring responsibilities and paid work is impossible. But we know that at least half of all carers work - and many more would like to work if the job could be fitted in around their caring tasks. And we also know that quite a lot of carers have partners and family and share the care around.

So lets get out of this trap of assuming thats what right for me is right for everyone else - it just doesn't! And when we campaign for improved rewards, let us prioritise those carers who are in the heavy-end of caring, like the Finnish scheme where there are lower and higher rates of non-means tested Carers Benefits. (approx £50 and £100 in their case I think) . That would also be easier to sell to the government.

Right now I'm having to watch my work hours and turn down work sometimes to avoid losing carers benefit - that cant be right, surely!

Carers have been realistic for 40 years and we still get paid a pittence.
I agree Pixie, Even when we're in an economic boom there will still be another excuse for the Government to justify giving carers a pittance.
Just on a point of fact, forty years ago (in 1968) we didn't get a pittance, we got nothing at all - Carers Allowance started in 1976 following a lengthy campaign by the carer-led organisations that later merged to become Carers UK. And married women couldn't get it when it did come in - that took another ten years of hard campaigning and a European Court legal case by Jackie Drake in 1986 to change.

Its important to look back and reflect on what has been achieved sometimes, and not deride the magnificent job done by carers and our dedicated professional staff in the past.
we have tried respite on a couple of occasions, never again I would rather eat soup for the rest of my life.
Too right Vicky! We tried respite it was nothing but a disaster. Theres no way I'd ty it again. Unfortunately I need my knee opperating on so I'm in a conundrum at the moment.
after writing about not being able to return to work, I have an interview in Mid-January!I cannot return as a trained nurse, as I would have to do a course, which would be fulltime education, but I have applied for a job as a nursing assistant on the NHS Agency. If I get through the interview, then it does mean that I could let them know the hours suitable for me,and I just say no thank you if I reach the limit of my hours. If I could do one or two nights a week, it would be ideal, and I can easily get to each of the hospitals in the area.

I don't know if I would be able to cope, but believe because of it being agency work,and within my interests, then I would have the incentive to want it to work.I am anxious about the interview, as the last one, again for a job that I would have been able to cope with, I was asked lots of questions about my caring role, and how I would juggle both. This time, I will be more aware, when they ask me, as they will.

Cross my fingers!
Fingers duly crossed!