Archive for March, 2012

New online resource for carers launches – CarewellUK

20 March 2012

A new partnership to support carers and help them and the people they care for be happier and healthier has launched.

Carewell  has been created with input from Carers UK, Bupa and MEND and is all about encouraging carers to make positive changes to their lifestyle so they’re better able to care. It combines tips from health experts and carers themselves in an easy-to-use online hub which is ideal to dip in and out of as time allows.

Under the overall banner of ‘energy to care’ – helping carers feel more energetic and better able to care as a result – content covers four key areas: identifying and coping with stress, eating well, moving more and sleeping well.

As well as providing useful information, Carewell also encourages carers to share their own thoughts, tips and views. It also offers some useful interactive tools including a downloadable track to help with getting a good night’s sleep, a nutrition quiz and a healthy snack guide – all with the aim of giving carers more energy to look after their loved one.

Check out the site here  and log on to have a look round, share your top tips for carers and those for whom they care and help shape the future of Carewell.

Discussion forum

WHY have family carers been failed again?

16 March 2012

For several years now CarerWatch, along with other campaigners, have fought for Carers’ benefits to be improved. However, past and present governments, have continuously failed to address both the low level of the allowance, £55.55 per week, or tackle the restrictions which bar many carers from claiming.

We have repeatedly taken our concerns to Ministers, DWP, MPs, all of which have been ignored. We were outraged with the present Welfare Reform Bill/Act, as once again carers’ benefits were overlooked.

This was frustrating as the current Secretary of State for Works and Pensions, Mr Iain Duncan Smith, had previously recommended an increase in the allowance when with the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), an independent think tank he set up.

In the report, Breakthrough Britain, it was stated –

 “”Family carers are undervalued in our society and receive a disproportionately low level of financial support given the many hours of work that they do“”

Considering we are witnessing the biggest reform of welfare benefits in over 60 years,

WHY have family carers been failed again?

Why, on March 14th 2012, did Mr Paul Burstows answer a question from Mr Jim Cunningham and state:

 The Cross Government’s Carers Strategy “Recognised, valued and supported: Next steps for the Carers’ Strategy”, recognises that carers should not face financial hardship and the Departments are working together to take forward various initiatives to support carers in their caring role, through welfare reform and in developing the White Paper on care and support. We are looking at putting the rights of carers on a firmer footing in social care so that they have similar rights to the people they care for.

The WRB received Royal Assent March 8th 2012 and there was NOTHING included that would alleviate the financial hardship being faced by many carers.

With a White paper due for care and support, can we be at all hopeful that the Dept of Health will succeed where other departments have failed. Time will tell.

A recent report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights  urges the Government to conduct an impact assessment on the cumulative impact of the current reforms on disabled people. It considers that this is required by law.

This mirrors exactly what is asked  for with Pat’s Petition – a pause to consider the impact of the ‘perfect storm’ of changes. Too many of these changes will impact on family carers and we urge everyone to sign Pats Petition, share with others.

I need your support to save local Alzheimers services

10 March 2012

Personal post

When coping with disability, illness, caring, have you ever met someone that you just know understands what you are going through, but more importantly knows what is needed to help you come to terms with a serious diagnosis. Someone who looks to the family as a whole.

I met someone just like the above last week. Her name is Liz Williams and she works for our local Alzheimers Society organisation. She visited our home for the 1st time, and in those few hours we received advice, support, understanding,  but also something more. She gave us Hope. This was to be ongoing long term support. That is now under threat.

Last night our local paper, The Shields Gazette, ran a story outlining how through funding cuts she may lose her job at the end of this month. Both local MPs, David Miliband and Stephen Hepburn, are onboard to try stop this happening.

The number of people with Alzheimers/Dementia is increasing at an alarming rate. It would be irresponsible to cut local services.

Having been involved with CarerWatch  for some years, this is only time I have used it in a personal capacity. However, I am asking for your help

You may or may not have experience of Alzheimers but you will know some one who has. Will you help me with this campaign to save Liz Williams job?

send comments to Alzheimers Society here   include any concerns you have in your area too. Help them build a wider picture of where the cuts are happening

you can tweet them  @alzheimerssoc  or our local paper @shieldsgazette

email the journalist covering this story -

gareth.crickmer@northeast-press.co.uk

Through the use of the internet I know where the online support networks are.  Talking Point  and Carers UK support forums  have helped me so much. However, it is vital that face to face local services remain.  It was one of the reasons why I supported Pat Onions and her petition and many other campaigns.

It will take 2 seconds for you to help raise awareness. Do a brief blog post, add to twitter and facebook. Share with family and friends.

These cuts are coming fast, getting deeper each time. This time it is affecting my family, it could be you next.

Enough is enough.

Rosemary

x x

Care reform must succeed where welfare reform failed

6 March 2012

The Care Lobby is here. Full details on their website 

CareLobby 2012 are also staging the world’s first twobby – an online lobby so that even more people can tell MPs that a change in social care is urgently needed. This will run at the same time as the lobby at parliament. Our social care system is broken. Support the twobby TODAY

The program of welfare reform and cuts is proceeding with alarming momentum and the needs of carers  and  disabled people are being lost in the fiscal crisis.  

In this present economic climate we are already witnessing many cutbacks within Local Authorities:

  • Care criteria being tightened
  • Day centres closing
  • Respite allocations reducing in many areas
  • Meals on wheels costs increasing dramatically
  • Care package costs increasing
  • Transport for disabled people either stopping or priced out of reach
  • Carers’ grants under threat

…………… and so the list could go on.

Add in the recent passage of the Welfare reform Bill which will see Disability Living Allowance become a Personal Independence Payment. Removing or reducing DLA will not only have an enormous financial impact on disabled people it will also impact on their carers – a double blow which will especially hit hard those families on the poverty line.

This is why we need a pause. To stop and assess how all these changes will impact on lives.

Sign Pats Petition here   Share the link and ask as many others to sign too, ask them to pass it on. Together we can do this.

Have your say about how caring has affected your health

1 March 2012

Carers Week 18th – 24th June 2012

In sickness and in health

Every year we ask thousands of carers to tell us about their lives. We use the survey to generate interest in the press and media. 

Our theme for 2012 is “In Sickness and in Health” and your answers will help us to highlight;
- How does caring impact on your health and wellbeing?
- How much have the cuts to local services impacted on your health and wellbeing?
- What could really make a difference to your life as a carer?

Take the survey here

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If you are worried about cuts to services please sign Pats Petition too and then gather as much support as you can.

 

End the Care Crisis – We cant afford not to

1 March 2012

Lobby 2012

We are entering a key time for our social care system. Our social care system is broken. It cannot cope with a rapidly ageing population and positive impact of people living longer with illness and disability.

Read in full here

On Tuesday 6th March 2012 we will hold a lobby of Parliament to take our message to MPs across all parties. People from up and down the country will be travelling to the Houses of Parliament in London to present their concerns and lobby their MP.

Take part in the lobby

Take part online

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If you are worried to changes in services, charges being increased, eligibility criteria being tightened – please sign Pats Petition and gather as much support as you can.

 


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