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Carers Week

(18 Posts)
varian Mon 14-Jun-21 19:26:38

"Last week, during Carers Week, I spent some time meeting with a wonderful group of unpaid carers brought together by Carers UK. Their stories chimed with my own experiences as a carer, and those I’ve heard over the last few months, as I’ve met with carers across the country.

Whether it’s looking after a frail parent; a child with severe mental ill health; a disabled brother or sister, husband or wife, caring can be rewarding and full of love. But it’s far from glamorous: and it can be relentless and exhausting. And it’s been especially tough during Covid.

I am most struck by when I speak to carers is that they’re not asking for anyone to solve all their challenges. They don’t expect caring to be easy. They don’t resent the sacrifices they have made. What frustrates them – what makes them angry – is that they too often feel forgotten and ignored by people in power.

Carers deserve to be recognised for the invaluable work they do. They deserve more support, from carers’ breaks to Carer’s Allowance, to help with the pressures of caring. They deserve to be included in decisions about the loved ones they care for. Most of all, carers deserve to be listened to. So I will keep listening, and continue to use my voice to speak up for carers. They mustn’t be forgotten and ignored any more. "

Ed Davey MP , Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Granny23 Sun 13-Jun-21 17:03:12

Glad to hear of better run services for carers elsewhere. Sadly that was not the case where I live and over the lockdown periods the local service shut down completely, leaving carers with no support at all just when they needed it most.

JaneJudge Sun 13-Jun-21 13:17:13

I'm sorry to hear about your husband. You should still be able to access the carers groups if you need to. Lots of widows attend one of the groups I am involved with

JaneJudge Sun 13-Jun-21 13:16:19

Granny23, our carers group has different groups for different demographics. So they have a parents group, a spouse group and then the carers cafe (weekends) is open to all. Then all activities are open to all too but happen at the weekend as well as daytime in the week and some things are evening, like yoga/exercise classes. Ours is extremely well run though

FannyCornforth Sun 13-Jun-21 12:28:46

Has Carers' Week finished now?
Wow, what a week it's been for us!
It will be good to get back to normal!

Granny23 Sun 13-Jun-21 12:21:28

I am no longer a carer since DH died, but remember well the injustices involved. EG you cannot claim carer's allowance if you are already in receipt of your state pension. The thinking behind this is that, having reached retirement age, you will have nothing better to do with your time than care for your partner/parent/ adult child 24/7. When you are sorely in need of a break the much vaunted respite care is virtually non existent.

A smaller niggle was that during Carer's Week all sorts of goodies were on offer from the local Carer's organisation. Problem was that the boat trips, lunches, massage sessions, etc. were all scheduled in the daytime, with no offer of alternative care e.g a creche for the "carees". If there had been treats in the evening on offer, I could have benefitted from them as DDs could have sat with their Dad, but they were both working full time during the day.

I was unable to attend the daytime Carer's Forum for the same reason but submitted written questions on this subject and received the response that day time events best suited the Carers of special needs children (because they would be at school) and that most attendees were in that demographic - I wonder why? The other reason given was that the Carer's Centre workers, who organised the events, would have to work in the evenings??? which cut no ice with me, who had been required to work some evenings in every job I ever had.

Sorry - just letting off some long bottled up steam sad

JaneJudge Sun 13-Jun-21 11:59:31

sad sad sad it has been so hard for people. Being a carer is isolating enough without this

varian Sun 13-Jun-21 11:51:13

Ed Davey writes this week-

"This last year has been tough for everyone. School closures made parenting more challenging than ever – and even harder for parents of disabled children.

I heard from a father recently whose daughter has cerebral palsy and needs therapies that are usually provided through her school. This meant lockdown deprived her not just of her education, but of her physio too. Her health has deteriorated as a result, meaning she can’t return to school until next year at the earliest, compounding Covid’s impact even longer.

A mother told me how her son’s disability means he simply can’t be home-schooled. The guilt she felt only added to the worry of who would look after him if she became sick. Like too many families that have had to continuously shield, they’ve had no professional carers visit at all during lockdown."

varian Sun 13-Jun-21 11:47:35

Sir Ed Davey has branded the Government’s 5p a day increase of Carer’s Allowance “a total insult” to those caring for loved ones during the pandemic.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats said it is “breathtakingly awful” that the Government thinks the increase of 5p is sufficient.

His comments come as research from Carers UK revealed unpaid carers are saving the state £530million every day in the care they provide.

“I’ve been engaging with a lot of carers throughout this pandemic, and many of them are facing extreme financial hardship,” Davey told South West Londoner.

“What makes this so awful is that the Government raised universal credit by £20 a week last April. It showed how bad benefits were in this country that it had to be raised by that amount.

“It was really important something was done to address it, but why didn’t they increase carers allowance by the same amount?”

maddyone Thu 10-Jun-21 23:48:20

Fanny I’ve no idea what it means either, particularly as I didn’t even know it was Carers Week. I would have thought that the media would have highlighted it.

JaneJudge Thu 10-Jun-21 19:48:28

I agree vampirequeen, carers allowance is a disgrace ad a notion was forwarded to parliament but failed by the coalition government to get rid of it altogether as it gave unpaid carers no incentive to go out to work!! LIKE THAT WAS THE PROBLEM

FannyCornforth Thu 10-Jun-21 19:48:20


I didn’t know it was Carers Week either.

I did, but what exactly does it mean, or do?
One week it's 'pie week'; it's currently 'Pride Month'
Is it to raise 'awareness'? Give me a break!

FannyCornforth Thu 10-Jun-21 19:44:03

'Self-identify as carers'...
The truth is, they have absolutely no idea how many carers there are

maddyone Thu 10-Jun-21 19:22:28

I didn’t know it was Carers Week either.

varian Thu 10-Jun-21 19:02:09

Carers Week will run from Monday 7 until Sunday 13 June 2021 and its theme is to Make Caring Visible and Valued. Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

vampirequeen Wed 09-Jun-21 19:46:08

We had no idea that it was Carer's week. DH is my carer. He says he doesn't need a Carer's week. He needs his carer's allowance (£67 per week) increased to take into account how much he's saving the NHS, social services etc. by looking after me. Carers are totally under-rated and taken for granted by the system.

boheminan Wed 09-Jun-21 16:40:12

I had no idea that it is Carers week and like thousands of others I'm an unpaid carer and I'm exhausted. The chance of a break for a couple of days, even more than money, would be wonderful sunshine

varian Wed 09-Jun-21 16:23:08

Ed Davey, Leader of the LIberal Democrats, writes-

"Carers Week is always important, but this year it means more than ever.

Despite everything we’ve seen during this pandemic, carers are still being taken for granted by the Conservative Government. It’s our job to speak up for carers and make sure Ministers can’t ignore them any longer.

1 in 3 people self-identify as carers. And throughout this pandemic, millions of people have stepped up to look after their loved ones. The past year has shown that we are a nation of carers - but it has also been relentless.

The brutal combination of lockdowns, shielding requirements and reduced support services have made the pandemic especially tough for unpaid carers.

Most carers haven’t had a single break since the pandemic started. 3 in every 4 carers report feeling exhausted and worn out as a result of caring during COVID.

So this Carers Week, we’re standing alongside carers organisations and carers themselves to call on this Conservative Government to give carers a break.

Local councils need emergency funding so they can offer every unpaid carer the support services to take a weekly break. And they need it now. "