I’m currently 42 and used to work full time whilst trying to care. Until I was diagnosed with Pneumonia and recently type 2 diabetes. I am trying to improve my life style, we are also trying to move to a Bungalow. I care full time for my Mum now.
What’s difficult is the lack of benefits. Why is carers allowance so low? They expect you to do 35 hours caring but you only get £1.99 an hour! How do you find time to work, socialise, care and look after your own health too?
Junior Doctors are striking at £14.90 an hour. I would like the government to up Carer’s allowance to £8 to £10 and hour. Who else thinks this?
How many of us work JUST 37 hours though? Most of us work far far more hours than this. I feel constantly ‘on duty’ checking husband has not let his bath overflow, remembered to switch off the gas ring et al et al. Constant prompting re his medication, inhalers and trying to prompt him to eat. Plus ordering his medication and making sure I am around when it is delivered as his deafness is now a real nightmare. I then have to drop any plans if he decides to call the GP and we need to wait for a callback which can sometimes involved a visit to the Surgery.
If I had my chance again I would NOT sleepwalk into being a Carer.
I don’t think any of us would have CHOSEN the Carer Role.
‘Sleepwalking’ into it would have been good - I hit it like a car wreck. No choice, no warning, no training, no qualifications - no nothing…
I am fed up with filling in forms which ask ‘how many hours a week do you perform your Caring Role’ - don’t be bldy stupid 168 hours a week, EVERY week, I would love to work 9 - 5 five days a week. That’s the other thing which pies me off with Local Authorities who use Annual Leave / Sickness / Understaffing as an excuse for not providing the Service they are Legally Obliged to provide. I even asked one guy what it was like to have a holiday when he tried to excuse a four week delay on ‘staff are on holiday’. Went straight over his head. We don’t get a Night Rate, do we?
Up at 3am changing beds and cleaning up our piglets. 41p/hour - amazing. BUT you wont find any of us going on strike to demand a ‘Living Wage’…A feel like going out to some of these picket lines with a placard saying "I get 41p/hour - what are you moaning about?
Oh I love this soap-box !!!
I know Chris what other job demands being ‘on caIl’ 24/7? Working weekends and evenings? I literally had to fight to be allowed out as I honestly thought I was at huge risk of sinking into clinical depression. It is hard not to feel bitter at times isn’t it?
I have been raising this issue for about 20 years.
The basic problem is that the government does not count caring for a relative as work.
It is work if anyone else does it though!
Do you live with mum? Does she have over £23,000 in savings? Claim disability benefits?