My name is Harry and I am resident in the county of Ceredigion in the west of Wales. Although I have been a carer for my grandparents since 2005, it is in the last six months or so (following a move to a much smaller house due to financial requirements) that I have began to feel that “officialdom” has a generally negative view about caring, a feeling which was only enhanced on Christmas Eve.
On December 22nd, my grandmother had a stomach bug and on Christmas Eve both myself and my grandfather had the same bug therefore ruling us out of any contact with the outside world just when we were about to run out of a prescription medicine for them. I rang up the chemist to ask if they were part of the emergency prescription service (which they were) and whether they could send the medicine that day, they said I would need to contact the doctors (which I did) and their attitude was “Come in and we can process it”. I replied that I was suffering from a stomach bug and therefore couldn’t and as the registered carer I was the only person able to process the claim. The doctors reaction was “Carers cannot be ill” which caused my jaw to hit the ground so I replied very quietly “I am a person, people get ill, carers are people therefore carers get ill” and was then involved in a non conference call (having to dial and then dial again) between the doctors and the chemist who eventually delivered the medicine whilst I was trying to have a rest.
I have been sitting on this for the past two days and find my anger no less, therefore would like to know what it takes for officialdom to realise that carers are people and have come to the conclusion (which considering I am not the sort of person who would suggest this in a million years) that a twenty four hour strike of both unpaid and paid carers (or even the threat of one) might make officialdom wake up.
I’m glad you got the meds sorted through sheer persistence and hope you are all feeling better.
The doctors reaction was “Carers cannot be ill”
what a ridiculous thing to say. Of course we get ill, but we just have to battle on, don’t we.
It has been muted on here before about striking, but unfortunately the only ones who would suffer would be out carees and since it wouldn’t affect anyone else, I can’t see how it would make any difference.
I am so glad to hear that I am not the only person who has mooted the idea of a strike, but can understand why people are so reluctant. The reason I suggested a strike is that if 750,000 people can march on London saying “BREXIT IS WRONG” and then a few months later members of the Cabinet who have accepted nothing of the sort have started to say “Well, maybe…” then some mass demonstration of what carers are might be needed.
This might sound like a very long shot but has any polling been done on how those who care vote at a general election? I realise that at the last election the Conservative lead disappeared as soon as the Prime Minister mentioned what was dubbed “the dementia tax” but if the political parties could see a) how many carers would vote for them and b) what policies would make them more likely to vote for them then maybe that would make them more likely to listen to us and by association filter that message down to the local councils. I realise it is just an idea but it’s an idea nonetheless
As main carer for my Dad who I live with I find my Dad’s GP practice to be less than helpful apart from prescribing medication. Home visits? out of the question, only telephone appointments if you can’t go the surgery. Last week I had a urine sample to take in to them, but my Dad took sick very suddenly while I getting ready to go out. Phoned the surgery asking if someone could come and pick up the sample as my Dad was ill and I could not leave him alone at the moment. Was told no and to try and bring it in the evening !. Luckily my Dad did feel better so was able to take the sample in when his evening carer came.
Having been a multiple carer, I’d suggest the following tips.
Find out if your LA has an “Emergency Carer” scheme, so that when you are ill the next time, someone from the LA provides 48 hours free care.
Find out if your grandparents surgery has any online medication ordering scheme. I can order repeat prescriptions online, the surgery send the prescription to the chemist, and I can pick it up from there, or they will deliver it to anyone disabled.
ALWAYS have at least 2 weeks medication in stock of all repeat prescription medicines.
The surgery had a duty to make “reasonable adjustments” for your grandparents, as you could not care for them.
How old are your grandparents? What is wrong with them? Are they both claiming Attendance Allowance if disabled?
Do you have Power of Attorney? Have they each made a will?