Returning to work after caring

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
Former Carers are in a different category altogether to Carers and have different needs and sources of stress.

A Carers' Assessment is offered to all those who are currently providing care and support to an adult friend or family member. What about offering something similar to former carers?

Along the lines of....

[*]A Former Carer Assessment would allow local authorities to consider the impact that leaving one's care and support role has had on one's well-being, as well as important aspects of the rest of one's life, including the things that the Former Carer wants to achieve day-to-day. It would allow the LAs to consider other important issues, such as whether one is struggling to get back into work and whether one wants to study or meet other Former Carers socially.

Depending on the local council, the assessment could be done face-to-face, over the telephone or online. Not all councils would necessarily offer all three options. The council could use the assessment to identify a Former Carer's support needs, and to discuss how these could be met. This might mean that the council would provide the help required or put the Former Carer in touch with other organisations, such as local charities, that the Former Carer could talk to.[*][/color]

Adapted from - ... sment.aspx
My decade old comparison between a carer , just released from his / her caring duties , has many similarities to a prisoner being released from a jail sentence.

Hence my recommendations for a Carers Parole Officier ... details of which can be found earlier in this thread.

In many ways , a released prisoner has more opportunities to rejoin the real world through assistance from several sources , including during the tail end of the jail term.

Even education ... whereas the abhorrent 21 Hour Rule comes into play for any carer claiming Carers Allowance !

For a former carer , none whatsover !

Perhaps not in the strictest sense of " Rights " , another classic case of carers being denied advice and support that is available to others in a odd , connected way.
I don't really like the analogy of my being compared to a recently released prisoner, who's just got out of gaol on parole requiring the supervision of a probation officer. The names Carer's Parole (or Probation) Officer have rather negative connotations.

Well, Carers Week 2017 will be upon us next month (12-18th June)'s all very well running the Carers Week campaign every year, that's good for carers, what about raising awareness of the plight of poor former carers and having a "Former Carers Week"? Perhaps all 52 weeks in the year have now been taken up by various groups and given a specific name.

I wonder if the Department for Work & Pensions would be able to provide statistics for the number of former carers currently on Jobseeker's Allowance and at the same time be able to provide data about yearly trends and also data concerning the average length of time it takes for a former carer to re-enter the work place.

The DWP figures would not necessarily be 100% accurate, but they'd provide a fairly good approximation I would have thought.

The DWP might even be able to provide anonymised data relating to what the prior careers of former carers have been, what line of work they go into when they are reemployed and how old they are when their caring role ends. That data may help one to gain some insight perhaps into why many carers are struggling to get back into work.
CarersWeek is for carers ... says so the label.

One definately to highlight alongside others .. if carers themselves choose to do so ... another " Idea " running in the Campaigns section ... 21 Hour Rule / Concessionary Travel ... £ 400 / 500 million at stake on those two.

Judging by the response so far , even those figures appear to be of no interest to anyone ! Perhaps I should let both Issues simply fade away through apathy ?

Perhaps readers will begin to see why 2009 was such a pivotal year in carer history ? ... hope-29230

What's in the name ? Nothing ... it's what's in the tin that counts.

Feel free to propose anything ... so long as we eventually have the service for former carers.

And , no suits please , just a fellow former carer. The ones in CarerLand were enough for a lifetime. Still yet to meet one who would actually roll his / her sleeves up and pitch in.

Someone who really KNOWS what a carer experiences ... not just imagines !

Most saw me simply as " The Pusher " ... who pushed his caree in a wheelchair. Only two ever asked me how I was coping in .... ten years. A " Pusher " badge insted of a " Number 6 " badge ?

Analogy ? A little strong but ... adjusting to life on the outside is very apt .... I'm still doing so ... 9 years on.

Feel as a bird ... no longer " Chained " to my caree ... needs subversant to hers. Two and a bit years to go before the financial side of those 10 years is finally erased.

As a former , lone , carer , that analogy was very apt.

All carers have different experiences of caring ... some never have anything other in their lifetimes.
Sadly, I suspect for quite a few former carers they DO feel they have just been released from prison.....(I felt that way simply by putting my poor MIL with dementia into a care home.....)

I also fear that no local authority gives a monkey's about the stress that a former carer goes through. They are just glad they don't have to pay Carer's Allowance any more.

THAT SAID, I do think that a 'voluntary'/'forum-based'/'charitable' based 'assessment' would be very useful to those trying to sort out getting their post-caring life back together again, and moving forward at a time when they are not only emotionally pole-axed, but very often in dire financial straits as well....
Hi... I don't feel like a released prisoner, and never have, but I am frustrated by the utter lack of tangible help available for ex-carers.

I wonder if the following questions were to be put to all carers and formers carers in the country... what the answers would be.

1) How do carers and former carers ACTUALLY feel they should be being helped in their caring role and in the post-caring phase.

2) Were a 'pot of money' available purely for carers and former carers to access, for their most important needs, how would they put the money to use? In other words, how would former carers/carers use a grant of some kind if they were eligible for one? Would they use the money for a course of study or back-to-work training for example?

Feel free to reply with your answers to those questions.
1. Meet with a former carer and discuss the way forward after compiling a short list of " Uncertanties " ... the Fletcher as to my Godber ... Porridge ?

As a lone carer , what ACTUAL help was there beyond being offered support services that I could not both afford and keep a roof over my head at the same time ?

Being back with people and adjusting to crowds was my biggest task along with readjusting to normal sleep patterns ( That took months ). Even now , I tend to rely on myself to do everything , meeting others for a couple of hours per week ... more than for 10 years during my caring days.

2. In my case , simply reduce the outstanding debt incurred whilst caring and try to get back to some financial stability. Losing 30% of my income when the caring ceased didn't help nor did the prospective of living on my private pension , drawdown at 50 to ease the burden , feel me with much relief !

Retraining ? I was previously working in specialist roles within a high street bank. Between the time I left , and the time I had finished caring , some 22,000 had lost their jobs in the banking industry , many younger than me.

Retrain ? Then in my mid 50s ... for what exactly that had the same intensity and wherein I could use my skills that were now some 10 / 15 years out of date ?

Even then , London .... me , then in North Suffolk ... reallocation ? ... or close to 5 , perhaps 6 , hours a day just travelling to work ?

No problem there , I just joined the many others in my age group ... virtually invisible until finally being classified as a pensioner ... 22 months on for me !
If the (mythical!) pot of money were available it could be spent on different things, depending on individual circumstances.

But, alas, it's completely mythical. The only purpose family carers serve the state is to save the state money. The moment the caree is dead, the carer can cease to exist and welcome. Not the state's problem any more.

Jenny (who DID feel let out of prison) (we must agree to differ on that one.)
Subversant to one's caree followed by subversant to one's lack of financial resources as a direct result of caring.

A cycle that will never end ....
Thank you Chris for your thoughts and Jenny for yours.

Different people of course have different experiences, no two situations are exactly the same, but perhaps one can generalise and say 7% feel this would have helped, 42% feel that would have help and 51% feel that something else should be offered to everyone. Then bringing this and that and something else in would help everyone.

There are many different types of state benefit.. JSA, Income Support, Tax Credit, State Pension, etc... In addition to making mythical grants available for some people to benefit from, I think for former carers there should also be a new type of benefit introduced for the post-caring phase... a new "Carer Gap Support" so that those who have had one or more years "out of work" in Carerland get a top up on to their JSA or whatever to help pay for essentials, and perhaps help pay off accumulated carer-related debts, to assist them back into employment so that their situation does not end up spiralling into a very much worse situation, as I think it is much harder for former carers to get back into work than the average unemployed person, because of the "Carer's Unemployment Gap" which is seen by many as taking the easy route and a way of "opting out of working for a living".

Are there any other forum users who fit into the former carer category who could post answers to the questions in my earlier post above?