Change Carers’ Futures in 5 Easy Steps: a Manifesto

Proposal One: That we  award Carers Benefit to all live-in carers, irrespective of age, income, or employment, just as DLA/PIP is (or should be) given to those they care for.

This would not only recognise (in part) the range and responsibilities of work they do, it would mean many carers who can fit in a little work around their caring responsibilities would be able to do so without the fear of losing this support. (And as paid work brings in tax revenue, the state may well find it is compensated for some – maybe a lot – of this outlay.)

Proposal Two: The state pays into an occupational pension scheme for each fulltime carer to reflect what they might expect to have put in if they were working , say, an 80 hours a week at minimum wage. This would give end-of-life value to all those years in which they worked hard for someone else’s benefit. (It would also be likely save the state pension benefit top-ups to the carer at end of life).

Proposal ThreeEstablish solid practical careers advice and training to help carers train for and sustain appropriate work within their environment (bearing in mind all the work that could be done this way if the will were there: teleworking, local working, working that can be supported around care needs). This would maintain skills, support a career, restore confidence and provide longterm independence for the carer. This is not just about fairness, though it is. Its about economic commonsense.

Proposal FourTake social housing back from the sem-autonomous situation it now occupies and ENSURE that it recognises the requirements of disability and caring in the allocation of rooms. When doing so the state must alsoENSURE that sufficient appropriate accommodation is purpose-built for the disabilities of the local population. This would mean that carers are not further worried by the constraints of, say, caring for tetraplegia in a first floor unmodified flat. If you fail to support the people with disabilities in this way, much of the additional stress is felt by those who care for them.

Proposal Five: Finally, when allocating money to support carers, the state must ensure that money is ONLY given to organisations that offer properly targeted transport-accessible help that is fit for purpose  to everyone who needs it. It doesn’t seem a big ask  – but look around and see how many organisation do this. Stop regionalising carers or subdividing them into disease-specific tranches. You may not be intending to divide and rule, but that is what you’re doing.

Who wins? Everyone!

Carers win, because they don’t feel shafted by fate and apathy and can see that their life prospects are valued and being protected

The cared for person wins. How guilty and how annoyed wouldyou feel to recognise that state policy is ensuring your condition may be assisting in the inexorable decline of your loved one’s life?

The state wins. It puts in an insignificant outlay and targets other resources better. In return it gets a more employable, less dependent population with greater chances of a productive outcome.

Best of all,it avoids the current shocking waste of a large chunk of the human capital of this nation. 

Advertisements

12 comments

  1. See what my fellow workers & Managers of D-B-S-Railways think of carer Bullied Discriminated Harassed for 4 years then Sacked after Medical Specialist sold my medical records to D-B-S. Sacked for my own disability ( spine ) & for going to my doctors 6 times in 30 years possible from supporting lifting pulling pushing my sons wheel chair. ASLEF Gen Sec sat at my side when I suffered second Mental Health Breakdown from bullying at sacking THEN DUMPED US. Sacked after Mother Then Brother both died when bullying was at its height just before my Sacking.

    SPOT ON IM ALL RIGHT JACK WORKERS & UNIONS DONT GIVE A DAM AS WELL AS PRIME MINISTERS M/Ps EQUALITY MINISTER H HARMAN HAS IGNORED MY E-MAILS LETTERS NEVER ONE RESPONSE R BACON M/P MY STANCE ON YOUR BULLYING HAS NOT CHANGED. WILL NOT HELP US ITS DIFFERENT WHEN AN M/P COMPLAINS OF BULLYING FROM ONE OF HIS CONSTITUENTS IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS & R BACION SIT BEHIND HIM ROARING HIS DISGUST.

    WHO CARE FOR CARERS IN POWER NO ONE.

    IM ALL RIGHT JACK BULLINGDON CLUB RULE.

    Colin Utting

    Like

  2. After three years as a carer without respite, I came close to a nervous breakdown, I have my own health problems including a heart condition. My wife had to watch as I sat on the floor sobbing because I am so exhausted, went to my doctors and all she did was up my anti depressants. Local carers group have stepped in but it’s two months before anything can happen. Hope I’ll still be here soon.

    Like

    1. I am so sorry to hear this, Paul. The complete unconcern that the state has traditionally had for the family carers it relies on is breathtaking. It is as if all services rely on us lasting ‘just long enough’ in terms of both our mental and physical health.
      An additional cruelty is the further burden this places on the people we care for – who no more asked to be cared for than we asked to become their carers. Why should they be made to feel responsible, and yet it is hardly surprising that they may. We are carers because we love, respect and cherish the people we care for – and this should not be taken advantage of in the way that it is.
      This situation has gone on far too long. It is about time the state recognised this and DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

      Like

  3. I’m 23 and have been a full time carer for two years. The help I get is zero, I ask for nothing yet I can barely get by on what I do, I try and work a couple of hours to which I have to be very careful for fear of losing my carers allowance. I can’t develop my hopeful future as, again, school constitutes that I could potentially lose out. The job that we do is for our loved ones, our people. We should be recognised by the government as sacrificing ourselves for the sake of others. Not claiming help left right and centre to get on with our own lives. I wouldn’t have it any other way but I sure as hell would like a little more support!

    Like

  4. All makes sense. Since having to give up work I seem housebound but my husband does better than I do. I would like to see pay for carers to eat the loss of both salaries.

    Like

  5. as a carer of someone with multiple health conditions i have burnt out. i now have an injunction to prevent my son coming to my home due to the hell it causes me day and night. i am in fear so often of him killing himself or at times that he might harm others due to his phychosis and autism and adhd. he doesnt even have a cpn or support worker or anyone to help apart from the police -who are great i might add. he has recently got a criminal conviction which had i been strong enough i would have fought. he had a meltdown so because of a medical symptom he is criminalised. this is so wrong but im so tired and have to choose my fights. im a carer who is dying due to the hard work and guilt cannot cope. when i actually die who will take over as the nhs and the support services dont actually give an actual damn.

    Like

  6. I want and deserve recognition for caring for more than one person and in addition I want same recognition whether I am a live in unpaid Carer or not!

    Like

  7. I have found too much is expected of too few for too long and when the family falls apart/and or mental/physical health fails the family and the illness is blamed..As a society we really need to change our attitudes and priorities so that those who are carers get all the support they need in order to live a life where they don’t fall apart..I think people are very ignorant of just how much pressure looking after someone unwell takes..I wish everyone reading this well…:)

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s