Inspiring those who are struggling.

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
We know what it's like to struggle as an unpaid or paid Carer. We have written a book called "Who Cares? We Do." Our aim is to gain access to those in power and really make a difference. Great strides have already been made in achieving this. The book is a mixture of honesty, engagement, humour and not backing away from difficult and emotive situations. It's written for Carers and those who have loved ones who are being Cared For.

It's available in Amazon printed and kindle versions. Our aim isn't to make money per se from the book, it's to authenticate what we've observed and written. Reviews from blogs and amazon readers have been great so far. We are determined to take this to the very top of the House of Commons.

We have formed a facebook group called Care chat uk. You're welcome to join it.

Thank you.

Andrew Milbank and Tom Jannone
What would you like the House of Commons to do?

eg, increase Carer's Allowance to a 'living wage'? (I believe, at the moment, it equates to under £2 an hour)(and assumes only 35 hours care a week!)

eg make CA payable to pensioners in addition to their state pension.

eg, to set up community hospitals/cottage hospitals to provide 'convalescence' for carees coming out of hospital, but still needing high levels of care.

eg to massively increase the provision of residential respite care to give family carers a break

eg, to increase the statutory pay of professional care workers, so that more people want to enter the profession, to ameliorate the dire shortages in the UK

etc etc
Our Lord Kitch is a good starting point.

If all implemented , not much change out of our £ 132 BILLION ???

Needless to say , put more money into carers' pockets and eliminate most of the barrier to be able to claim CA.

In isolation , fine ... not when allied with increasing costs for support ... in one hand , out with the other !

That should , at least , reduce the number of carers having to use food banks to , below , 100,000 within a short space of time ???

Say 1,000 for every £ 5 per week of increase ?

Even if to the level of the " Holy of holies " ... the minimum wage ... there will still be several thousand with no other option.

For a 24 / 7 carer , that's still only £ 1.56 per hour ... and £ nothing for the many child carers amongst our ranks ... as well as for our senior citizens fraternity unless ... of course ... the abhorrent double benefit rule is eliminated ... as if one's pension was a " Benefit ? "

The old " Is it a bird or a plane ? "

Depends on whose telling ... not asking ???
Some of our main points are:

For paid Carers:

1) Set up and establish a national network of self employed carers. They would be fully trained and insured. They'd get paid a minimum of £10 per hour. The cost to the taxpayer of this increase would be offset by a) Bypassing nursing agencies,b) better staff retention and therefore c) beneficial accumulated experience. This would also really help Mum's looking for part time work when their kids are at school. Care homes are crying out for people to work in the mornings and evenings. Self employed could dip in and out and the care homes wouldn't have to fork out £ for nursing agency fees at (usually) a minimum of 4 hours per time.

2) Set up undercover carers to go in and root out terrible care providers. They're getting away with so much. We (Tom and I) have experienced this so many times as have thousands of other carers. These carers would report back with evidence and grade the care homes on their key standards of care.

3) Convert greedy, failing or badly run private care providers into charities (or whatever name you wish to call them). This way the onus would be on others to step up their game or face the consequences. It would also divert the profits into better pay and conditions for carers and far more choice for the service users / cared-for.

4) Allow service users choice to stay together in their own home if a care provider is deemed unsuitable and has to close. Another care provider can take over for 2 years with the option of buying or taking over completely after the 2 years has finished. Staff can remain from the old company (if the service users choose them). This means continuity of care and prevents panic placements and therefore bed blocking in local hospitals.

There are lots more ideas. HOWEVER..our book "Who Cares? We Do. " is also just as importantly about our experiences and observations, both funny, sad, inspirational and contentious. We don't shy away. Many carers should relate to what we have written about.

For unpaid carers.

1) Join up with carer social groups. Share transport to keep costs down. I found this invaluable when Mum's Alzheimers became worse and it was harder to look after her. The groups might only meet for only an hour or two a week, but they can make a huge psychological difference to your (and loved ones) well being.

2) Use music to calm and relax people and anything that evokes good memories and pleasant experiences.

3) Get in touch with local volunteer groups who pop round and sit with your loved ones for a while. This gives you a much needed break.

4) Local day centre respite groups - you might have to pay a little bit (not always though) but they are often brilliant at giving your loved one something to look forward to and enjoy.

I could go on, but I don't want to write an essay!

Any questions are welcome!

Kind regards

Andrew Milbank
Reads as a set of policies produced from someone outside of CarerLand.

To achieve anything beyond a short term improvement for any number of carers , carers must first have the bare essential in order to continue to care ... and , in this Sad New World , that means the money to do virtually anything other than to merely survive ... at it's most basic , food on the table and heat to ward off the cold.

A basic fact that is even overlooked by our own supporting organisations !

Good luck ... a few might benefit.

Lord Kitch spells out our immediate needs.

Remarkably absent from your chosen remedies.

A case of anything else bar your immediate needs.

Perhaps even health checks ?

Ever worked for the Carers Trust ?

As for the care home bit , perhaps returning responsibly back to the public sector , a Watchdog with full powers , including taking criminal proceedings , would be the first step ?

The very last thing to do is to continue to abandon our senior citizens , leaving them in the hands of the private sector wherein care is secondary to the making of money ?

Many care homes in the private sector ARE already registered as " Charities " ... wolves in sheep's clothing !

Different perspectives , different views ... we are on the inside looking out.

Playing music while some 100,000 of our fellow cares need the services of a food bank ?

Perhaps " Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life " as they try to avoid eye contact with anyone else through shame ????

And you are on the outside trying to muscle in ?

Certainly reads that way.
Please explain who "we" are. All very well pushing for £10 an hour for paid carers but some unpaid carers like me, a pensioner, get NOTHING!
Following on , how could a family carer pay a care worker £ 10 per hour given the level of CA ... even with a few hours worth under a DP ?

In my day , I could afford 10 hours a week out of my total income.

Needs to conclude that I was a 24 / 7 carer.
Hi - just a point of information in respect of this particular forum.

Because Carers UK is for family carers (ie, not professional carers), we use the term 'carer' to mean ONLY 'family member'.

A professional (non family) carer is referred to usually as a 'care-worker'

It helps limit confusion between the two categories.

(are there any other professions where the professionas are called by the same term as the 'amateurs'??)
In direct reply to Jenny , only in the world of football ... although clowns would be used in the same breathe ?

In CarerLand , it is usual to meet with all three ... and have fun identifying which is which ?
In short answer to one of your questions - I am from the inside and outside and looking in and out from many angles. Let me explain:

I look after my 75 year old Mum who has Alzheimers (getting to be later stages). She is also arthritic in both knees and her mobility is now decreasing on a monthly basis.

I also work as a paid carer / support worker and have looked after a whole range of needs including Dementia, Autism, Aspergers, Challenging Behaviour, Immigration, Alcohol and Drugs Rehabilitation as well as many other spheres of Care.

One of our aims is to assist carers to become self employed and persuade the government to raise DP hourly wage for home visits and care home visits is a) better paid carers helps motivation, standards and continuity. This is complicated when associated with paying people who look after loved ones as I do and aren't paid for except for Attendance Allowance. Given the national debt is about £1.9 trillion and rising it would be brave (!) of any government to admit it is becoming harder to fund without taxing a significant proportion of the population. Short term taxation it seems is a temporary solution and getting people to save for their and their loved ones will have to be more effective in the future - which is hard for people on low incomes like me, but as least forewarned is forearmed.

Anyhow please do ask any more questions. I have to go now as Mum is calling, but I will reply within a reasonable space of time.

Kind regards