I always say the only way to understand the situation is when you walk in my shoes, be an unpaid carer.
There seems to be these government pictures of an elderly lady with all her family around here enjoying the family time as the carers do everything.
The reality is paid carers just don’t have time and won’t don’t can’t do everything, and family’s, many elderly just don’t see their family, lonely and living on their own.
The GP tells me to contact Social services, do they understand perhaps years ago, his elderly patients were well looked after by social services but there have been such massive cuts in social care.
Trying to explain to the GP in 10 minutes, writing a letter to the GP, just ignored.
And respite that’s not provided, you have to pay for it yourself, minimum £500 a week, how is someone with little savings able to afford that.
The rich yes can pay for respite and alsorts of things, but none of my carees had loads of money, could barely afford a new washing machine let alone respite/holidays etc.
There was one man from an advocacy scheme who did understand, he had been an unpaid carer juggling, work, caring, family etc and yes could see where i was coming from.
But the advocacy was only to help me complain about the NHS, could not help in any way Social care etc.
The services just aren’t there to help unpaid carers complain about Social Care and often don’t have time to complain about social Care, months and months of arguments.
We unpaid carers are just hidden, how many unpaid carers do you meet at the average dinner party? we don’t go to dinner party’s.
We see Nurses, the uniform, they work at the hospital, we see ambulance drivers, they drive big 20 foot Ambulances with lots of lights and sirens.
Unpaid carers are just not seen.
Sometimes a celeb reveals he was an unpaid carer and that’s good raises the profile slightly.
Children in need very good.
How about a similar programme unpaid carers in need, national fund raising, 6 hours of tv on a Friday night.
I looked after a lot of severely disabled people providing lots of services that just weren’t available, why not, no one knows, no one cares, people assume that the family’s will help, many of my carees just didn’t have family’s.
I was a chef, electrician, plumber, taxi driver, cleaner, personal shopper, PA/Secretary, mechanic, and many other jobs, caring just isn’t about care.
But the government says family’s should look after their elderlies, often they don’t, won’t ,can’t.
Perhaps if people could see what we do, a massive nationwide flood of media, the radio, the newspapers , the TV.
I wrote a diary, and it showed i just didn’t have a second spare, make time for myself how?, the council has cancelled 80 per cent of the help available forcing unpaid carers to do it all unpaid.