Archive for the ‘INCONTINENCE’ Category

‘They know you are vulnerable’ – plight of older people in home care

23 November 2011

Most of the women from the care agency, were, in the words of a 78-year-old, “nasty and rough”. Whatever the carers’ demeanour, the frail woman in a wheelchair did not expect attitude to translate to violence that left her bewildered and powerless.

“Rather than say ‘sit in the chair’, they’d push me back into the chair, that sort of thing, and I didn’t like that … I couldn’t do anything about it. I can’t even walk and I think they know this you see; they know you’re vulnerable”.

However, such tales were depressingly familiar in a damning indictment of council-funded home care across the country – the Equality and Human Rights Commission found evidence of a “systematic failure” in the way we look after the elderly.

The commission’s report, “Close to home”, painted a disturbing portrait of poor treatment of the old in their own homes, which breached their human rights.


Who will speak for the old and disabled, trapped in their homes?

21 November 2011


You lie in your own mess. You are cold. You are hungry and confused. You can’t remember whether you have taken your pills. You feel ashamed. You feel angry. It is still five hours before someone will knock on the door, let herself in, and wash you. You hope for a few minutes’ talk but you know that it won’t happen. She only has a quarter of an hour for your appointment …

This is how it ends for many people now. This is how it may end for you, your parents, your siblings, your loved ones. Social care isn’t sexy. But it is perhaps the greatest avoidable crisisfacing British politicians – certainly bigger than immigration, energy supplies or bad schools.

Who will speak for the old and disabled, trapped in their homes? | Jackie Ashley | Comment is free | The Guardian

Major shake-up of adult social care in Lincolnshire is approved

5 October 2011


HUNDREDS of elderly and vulnerable people will have their home help removed as part of the biggest shake-up of adult social care in Lincolnshire for more than 60 years.

County councillors agreed yesterday to remove care allowances to people who need help with simple household tasks like cooking or cleaning.

Major shake-up of adult social care in Lincolnshire is approved | This is Lincolnshire

An opportunity to raise YOUR voice to break the silence

21 September 2011

This is a joint venture between CarerWatch, The Broken of Britain, Disabled people Against Cuts and ACTnow

Everyone is urged to support this.

To all our members and supporters;

The Labour party conference starts in Liverpool on Saturday. As we all know, Labour were the architects of Employment Support Allowance and the ‘not fit for purpose’ Work Capability Assessment which is so stressful and traumatic it was linked to the suicide of claimants whilst Labour were still in power. The Labour party are the official party of opposition, but they are not opposing the Welfare Reform Bill as they should be and seem to have forgotten that the 10 million sick and or disabled people plus carers, friends and family in the UK have the power to vote. It is time for us to remind Labour that they will not get any of our votes if they do not start to oppose the parts of the Welfare Reform Bill set to return sick people, disabled people and carers to a life of desperation, dependency, despair and charity.

We are asking you to help with a mass email to the Labour party to remind them of our voting power. Please include the following details in your email and send it to Ed Miliband, Margaret Curran (shadow minister for disability) and Liam Byrne (shadow minister for DWP). If you have time please also email it to any Labour MP and particularly any members of the shadow cabinet. We have provided a list of email contacts below.

Please aim to send your email at 11am tomorrow (Thursday the 22nd September) If you can’t send the email at 11am, don’t worry, just please try to send it at any time between then and the end of Labour party conference on Wednesday 29th September.

The email subject should read “Your Silence Is Deafening”

We suggest embedding a link to this youtube video “The Sound of Silence” To embed the video into your email just copy and paste the link below.  

Then please copy the following text into your email;

Dear (insert name here)

‘The 10 million disabled people in this country plus their carers, relatives and friends are watching what your party do in relation to disability issues and wondering why you seem disinterested in trying to get their votes by opposing the savage attacks against disabled people being made by the Coalition government. During conference season we wish to remind you, the architects of Employment and Support Allowance to ‘never fall ill, never grow old, never become disabled, never become a carer’, for if you do, as we have found, not even Labour will speak up for you.’

If you would like to add a short, personal message explaining to Labour how you feel about their lack of support for sick, disabled people and carers then please include it after the suggested text. You might also like to include a photo of yourself, or perhaps a photo of what disability, sickness or caring means to you. Don’t worry if you don’t want to personalise the email, sending the suggested text is fine.

Contact details below

Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4778
Shadow Secretary of State for Work & Pensions
Liam Byrne
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6953
Fax: 020 7219 1431
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8102
Fax: 020 7219 6656
Shadow Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities
Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP
Shadow Chief Secretary
Angela Eagle
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills
John Denham
Cabinet Office and Minister for the Olympics
Tessa Jowell
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Caroline Flint
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4407
Fax: 020 7219 1277
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport
Ivan Lewis
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 2609
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons 
Hilary Benn
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 5770
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
Jim Murphy
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4615
Fax: 020 7219 5657
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Mary Creagh
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6984/020 7219 8766
Fax: 020 7219 4257
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Election Coordinator
Andy Burnham
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8250
Shadow Lord Chancellor, Secretary of State for Justice
Sadiq Khan
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6967
Fax: 020 7219 6477
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Meg Hillier
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 5325
Fax: 020 7219 8768
Shadow Secretary of State for Health
John Healey
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 6359
Fax: 020 7219 2451
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Shaun Woodward
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 2680
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
Ann McKechin
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8239
Fax: 020 7219 1770
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
Maria Eagle
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 4019
Fax: 020 7219 1157
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
Peter Hain
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 3925
Fax: 020 7219 3816
Steven Timms MP

Karen Buck MP

Leaky bottoms and Bowel screening

19 September 2011

Guest post by Pat Onions. Regular readers here will remember Pat is registered blind so you will understand the difficulties she outlines below.

David has a bit of a problem. One of many but this is something that many will not like to hear. He has a leaky bottom. It could be related to his spinal injuries or it may not. It could be his age or it may not.

Numerous visits to neurology, pain and incontinent consultants who have carried out assorted ‘procedures’ have shown nothing concrete. Ooooh that could be painful.

He was referred to the incontinence nurse who, whilst sympathetic, are really more concerned with other leaky orifices. They recommended him to wear a type of nappy. He does in spite of being conscious of the inconvenience. (Sorry about dreadful puns.)

Some years ago when I reached that magical 50 when bits start to wear out or drop off I was sent a bowel cancer testing kit. Many of similar age will understand what you have to do but for those younger it involves a minute wooden spatula, some even smaller instructions and you provide your own marigolds. I won’t explain the method…. suffice to say it is a delight for everyone to look forward too.

I peered into this tiny package and in very bold very large letters I was instructed DO NOT OPEN. Nope I wasn’t going to manage it so it was resigned to the bin.

Last week by now several years older I received another package just as tiny. This time i called the help line and asked if I could have mine in a larger format. Hoping the whole lot would be large enough for me to manage I was disappointed. Only the instructions had been enlarged. Once again I peered hopelessly at it. I would leave it a bit and ‘see’ what I could do.

A phone call from the District Nurse at our surgery sent my blood pressure rocketing. She wanted to visit David to check he is wearing his nappies correctly. You can’t make these things up.

‘Oh good’ – she can help me perform with my tiny spatula and I promise that I will wear the marigolds.

She arrived to see David armed with THE TICK BOX LIST. Don’t we just love them? Wanted to know which drugs he takes. Fair enough. Marital status? That’s relevant. How much he drank? For why? Type of accommodation we lived in. Interesting. I felt we were fast becoming a statistic. X% of men aged 60+ who live in old mining villages, take 14 different drugs a day, like a tipple or 3 and have a wife called Pat and have leaky bots…..

Anyway. Big dos and little dos and she finished. I spotted my chance to ask for her help with my ‘little’ package. She was so helpful and read out all the instructions for me. The same ones the ever so nice helpline had enlarged for me. She even showed me what to do. “But I can’t see the little windows” I lamented. Silence while she worked out what was coming next. “Give it a try” she answered heading for the door….”Any problems see your GP.”

Bowel screening is a vital test to catch that type of cancer early. It is treatable, successfully, if caught early enough and I want to do the test.

My brother died a short time ago from bowel cancer. He didn’t die because he didn’t wear the nappies correctly.

Pat Onions

If you have any further questions call the national bowel screening helpline on 0800 0121 833


Coalition government – a ‘machine’ made from steel

8 September 2011

For countless years, with successive governments, family carers have continuously raised their voices outlining the many problems they face, about resources, finances, respite and/or equipment.

Yet no matter how much they chipped away at the brick wall no real action has been taken, by past and present govts. Campaigns have followed one after the other from many individuals, groups, and charities.

We are currently witnessing the biggest shake up of welfare benefits in over 60 years and still the issues surrounding Carers Allowance are not being addressed.  It is the LOWEST of all benefits at £55.55  per week.

As campaigners we will not give up even though the brick wall is now made of re enforced steel. Behind that wall lies a Coalition machine made from cold steel too. It shows NO understanding, NO compassion. It operates so clinically, so precise and its actions prove that it has no heart.

It speaks of Responsibility, Big Society, yet continues on its mission to persecute many disabled people, their families, and carers, with this current Welfare Reform Bill.

Is this the future we want for ourselves, for our children?

A future where disabled people and their families are battered from all directions.

Borrowing the famous words from Winston Churchill and altering them slightly…

Never has so much been given so freely by so few, for the benefit of so many.

 Carers need action and they need it NOW

 Please contact any groups/charities you belong to. Tell them your concerns surrounding Welfare Reform.

Contact your MP . Add your postcode in the box on this link to find their details

Feel free to use this template from Sue Marsh of The Broken of Britain

Support the Hardest Hit campaign which following on from a successful march in May 2011 are now planning local protests.

One simple change re ESA

As individuals any action we take may seem so small, but collectively we can be stronger.

Out of the shadows Carers UK

11 August 2011

 Emily Holzhausen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK, speaks to Editor Caroline Pennington about what health and social care reforms mean for carers

In June 2011, the NHS Future Forum’s independent review of the Health and Social Care Bill made significant changes to the much debated and most radical reforms that the NHS has faced since its inception in 1948.
During the surrounding dialogue, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation Mike Farrar stated: “The government must now give the NHS some clarity and enable it to focus on the major problems it faces such as financial pressure and the variability of care.”1 His point echoes the deep concerns of experts who fear the reforms may threaten quality and patient outcomes amid the need for the NHS to find £20bn in efficiency savings from 2011 to 2014.

click below for article in full

Out of the shadows – Public Service

What does the future hold for family carers?

8 August 2011

Can we afford to ignore family carers?

Care provided by them is a necessity and will be even more so as the population ages.  Plus as medicine breakthroughs continue and many people with disabilities and illnesses will live longer, the country will rely even more on the foundation that family carers provide.  They are a group of people who provide a vital service, yet governments, past and present, have taken them for granted, have taken their love for granted.

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.

Yet through all this, the one thing that remains constant is the love and support given freely by families. They provide a foundation that would be a great folly for any government to ignore.

We recognise that many carers want to return to/remain in work, and realise that any support given to them is vital.

However we cannot, and must not, ignore full-time carers.  Failing to recognise their input is storing up even further trouble for the future by placing added pressure on already stretched Social Services departments and the NHS.

Carer Watch were pleased to learn in the publication of the Welfare Reform Bill that Carers Allowance will remain outside the proposed Universal Credit. Along with many others we campaigned long and hard for this. However Carers Allowance has always been completely inadequate and carers still seem to be overlooked and forgotten as other benefits are changed around them in the biggest shake up of our benefit system in over 60 years.

To date, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mr Iain Duncan Smith, and his department, have maintained silence as to their intentions re:CA. Leaving it outside the proposed UC is not enough. They need to address the problems that have surrounded this benefit for far too long.

There have been many campaigns over the years by various organisations (see notes below) all asking for the same – the reform of Carers Allowance – to remove the restrictions therein and also to increase the monetary pittance that CA is.
In the report Breakthrough Britain (2007) from the Social Justice Policy Group (policy recommendations to the Conservative Party) it was recommended –

 doubling the carers allowance to £90 a week because of the vast amounts carers save the taxpayer by looking after their sick and elderly relatives at home and not relying on the state to care for them.

Other measures would need to be put in place to ensure that families claiming other benefits/premiums were no worse off.

The report also states –  

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.

We cannot and must not allow this opportunity to fully reform CA to pass us by.

Carers are used to words of praise, more of which can be heard here from David Cameron but it is NOT enough. No matter how much understanding he says the Coalition has, no matter how many times he says Thank you, it is NOT enough.

Carers need action and they need it now


Carer Watch campaigns    

National Pensioners Convention      

Carers UK         

Daily Mirror

Age UK – Invisible but invaluable

The Bandwagon – where do you belong? On or off ?

4 August 2011

Regular visitors to this blog will be familiar with Pats’ story. Here she describes how negative reporting has angered her.

Guest post by Pat Onions

Dear Mr Editors of  Mail and Express

 I am by nature a peaceful person. I abhor bloodshed especially my own. I will not put up with cruelty to dogs and violence to other human beings makes me very sad. Strange then that I should have chosen to spend all my married life with someone who served in the Armed Forces?

Many things make me angry though and people who park half on the pavement and half on the road evoke those feelings in me. This is especially true when the owner of the offending car says…”Every one else does it….love.” Ah so that makes it alright?

No it doesn’t. They know it is wrong to block the pavement completely although often ignorant as to why. Pedestrians or pram users would not measure on their scale as pavement users, and if a wheelchair comes along? Oh…you know the same old same old. Mind you Mrs half on would probably tell her offspring to ride bikes on the pavement because it is safe. Mr half on half off would never park on the road in case their precious car is scratched.

Mr half on half off does something because ‘every one else does.’ It is called  a band wagon and it seems the members of the press have found one to jump on off, on off, on off, on off. I am getting very dizzy.

Scroungers, cheats, fraudsters, spongers, loafer, work shy, scum….hang on a few more coming through….Bromus secalinum, vetch, bearded darnel. Hold it, that’s not right? Ah yes. A bit of my Latin and horticulture creeping in.

“Cheat is a ‘weedy annual native to Europe.’ ”

I think that sums me up very nicely. I can say that about myself. I can say anything I like. Happy today. Feeling good today.  I was sad yesterday, cold and hungry. I can say I am good looking and bear a remarkable resemblance to Penny Lancaster. I don’t but I can still say it because she is married to the  other man I love..! I don’t hurt anyone with these words and only lie when I say I am very slim…. really.

What gives the gentlemen, and heaven forbid, the ladies of the press the right to talk about me as if I am something that came out of a cow’s backside? When, yet again, I hear words of one or maybe two syllables, which are repeats of words I heard yesterday, the day before and the day yawn. before that. I get bored. Repeats on TV bore me. Maybe a classic film like The Great Escape…..(Ooooh didn’t we always hope, by watching the repeats, that Steve Mc Queen would get over the wire but he never does.) There may be a line or two that you missed or a particular scene that was breath taking that made you watch it every Christmas.


Bristol Socialism: BADACA: Campaign Against Social Care Cuts

25 July 2011


Last Monday’s BADACA meeting and the two lobbies of the City Council have laid the foundations for a concerted campaign against the council’s threats to close homes and day care facilities for the elderly and vulnerable while at the same time threatening funding to voluntary organisations which provide vital services to these people and their families.

Workers at the council-run services turned out to tell councillors what they thought of these plans. So did workers and representatives of threatened voluntary sector organisations and users of the services. Leading LibDem councillors were uncomfortable facing criticism of their plans. They will need to get used to it because there’s plenty more to come.

At the BADACA meeting on Monday 1st August representatives of service users and workers will report on activities so far. It will be an opportunity to plan the next stage of the campaign to protect social care services in the city from the council’s threatened cuts. Details are below – please try to come along and pass the information on to anyone you know who is effected by these threatened cuts.

click link below for story in full

Bristol Socialism: BADACA: Campaign Against Social Care Cuts

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