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Former Carers Group - Carers UK Forum

Former Carers Group

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
I am looking to start a group for Former Carers and wondered if anyone has any advice that would be useful. Has anyone been part of a group such as this and if so what did and didn't work. What would former carers most benefit from? I have some ideas but it needs to be user led. I am looking to include Carers who's loved one has gone into permanent care as well as those who have been bereaved.
If anyone has any tips, advice (or things that have gone wrong) then I would love to hear from you.
Thanks Image
Hi Polly, welcome!

I have recently worked with another carers worker who wanted to set something up for former carers in her area. After a lot of promotion, we got 5 people interested - but only one turned up. We're trying to find out why but I believe that it's about sagging confidence.

When you're caring for someone there is a huge sense of purpose that keeps you going when others would give up. But that disappears when the caring stops and your confidence goes with it: the idea of meeting new people might be too much.

We're looking at doing some home visits to people so they get to know someone they can feel comfortable with, to give them a little more confidence to cope with the idea of meeting others - and hopefully the ball will start to roll a little faster!
Thanks for the reply. So far I've got 4 people interested although who comes is another matter. I haven't secured the funding yet so I guess it will be at least Septemebr before it starts up so if you get any joy before then I'd be grateful if you'd keep me posted and give me any tips! Thanks
Hi Polly

Have a read of this part of the website
http://www.carersuk.org/Information/Car ... ereavement

Also just a comment, but at Carers UK we hear from a lot of carers who have the person they care for in permanent residential care. They are often upset at the term "former carer" as they see their caring role continuing albeit differently.

This forum post is a good example.

Just thought it might help you think through how you "market" the group to people.

Thanks for that advice Matt. I'll look at the suggested reading. I have spoken to a couple of people who have a partner in permanent care and we suggested the group might be called something like 'Moving on' or 'moving forward' but we're not sure yet. They've both found how hard it is to be expected to go straight back to work once their partner has gone into care and they are by no means ready or able to work yet all their benefits stop overnight. It's a really tough time so I want ot be able to include them if I can.

thanks again
I was a full-time Carer for my husband who had Dementia and Alzeheimers. He passed away on the 9th December 2007. I am still trying to bury him with Dignity. But I am asked to pay money upfront, money I dont have. The DWP tells me they will pay after the funeral. I feel stuck and very alone because I cannot get any one to tell me why this is happening. Image

I wonder if there are other carers who have experienced this problem. I dont want to start my life as a widow with debts. By the way I am doing a basic funeral with the co-op. The amount that was asked was 2,550. Image

I am willing to be a member or join a group of former carers.
Hi Snowblue,

Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your husband.
To have this added stress on top of your grieving must be hard to take.

This is so personal but without further information its difficult to know what has happened.
I dont really want to upset you any further than you already will be but without knowing more details it is hard to know how to help you,such as was your hubby at home or in hospital and the reason for the delay for the funeral.
If at home your doctor should be able to advise and if in hospital the administrator who handles these matters should be able to help you.

Please look at these next links,you may find something of benefit.

http://www.carersuk.org/Information/Whe ... persondies

The funeral

The funeral can be very important in helping you and friends and family of the deceased to mourn. It is an event when the person’s life can be thought of, valued, and clebrated. It is a time to think of the person who lived, and not just the difficulties of the last few weeks, months or years spent caring for them.

Arranging the funeral
When the funeral takes place may depend on factors such as religious or cultural requirements. Aside from that, the funeral or cremation does not have to happen immediately, unless that is what you want. In any case, you will not be able to finalise the date until the death has been registered. When planning the funeral, you should find out whether the deceased left any instructions about their funeral in a Will or other written document. Other than that you can choose between burial, cremation or alternative burials of various sorts and, if you choose to use one, a professional funeral director will help you make the arrangements. There is further information about these options at www.ifishoulddie.co.uk

Paying for the funeral
Funeral costs can be quite high so it is worth obtaining quotes from more than one funeral director. Make sure that everything has been included (church or other venue for the service, burial or cremation fees, cars for the mourners, flowers etc.) You can ask for written quotations.

If you arrange the funeral, you will be the person responsible for ensuring the fees are paid, so it is sensible to check in advance if the deceased had money available to cover the funeral costs. You could check their paperwork to find out]www.direct.gov.uk[/url] or apply at your local Jobcentre Plus office.

That link also has a lot more relevant information regarding payments possibly due to yourself.

This next section gives a list of Cruse Bereavement branches in London.Contact the one local to you as they may have more information that will help you.

Bexley Branch 020 8304 5245
Croydon Branch 020 8916 0855
Greenwich Branch 020 8850 0505
Hillingdon Branch 01895 811 330
Kensington and Chelsea Branch 020 8964 3455 Kensington & Chelsea
North London Branch 020 8340 1716 North London
Richmond-upon-Thames Branch 020 8876 0417

Is the delay for the service due to lack of funds or something else.

Please use the private message facility if you would prefer not to answer on the open forum but please please keep us posted.Once a carer always a carer and we will try help you through this.

Do you have any family or friends to help support you?

Be strong Snowblue,

x x x x

Me again Snowblue,

Depending on your age there may be benefits/bereavement allowances that you are entitled to in your own right.Your local welfare office can advise plus CUK have their own helpline...


The service is free. Unfortunately the service is currently only open for 2 days a week. However we do have an answerphone service if you leave details an advisor will call you back.

Telephone 0808 808 7777

Open Wednesday and Thursday 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm

Snowblue, if it is the funeral director asking for the money up front, even though they know (presumably) that you have applied for assistance from the DWP, they are bein unreasonable and charging in advance for a service yet to be received. Talk to Trading Standards or the local press. There would be little sympathy for the undertaker in this sort of situation!
Hello Rosemary,
Many thanks for your kind words of encouragement and for all the info. You are spot-on about the delay being due to the lack of funds. I should point out that my local jobcentreplus caused a lot of the delay in processing the funeral grant. At first, instead of taking in the application form (well it is a booklet about 20 pages in all) I was told to see the funeral directors, book in hand, hence, I was told to pay money upfront. They must have assumed I did not qualify for a grant. Initially the appointment was to see the Bereavements Officer, but to date dont know what she looks like. I had no help from her. They were not very helpful.

The next day the book was handed in together with three estimates & was accepted.This all happened long before Christmas. In the New Year I was told it still was not being processed.I am feeling very drained by it all, because it seems to drag on & on. By the way, my husband died in hospital, he developed blood cloths on his left leg while he was in a care home. He was a WW11 Vetran.