Opinion: A life after caring

There are an estimated six million carers in the UK and the system is struggling to provide them with the support they need.

I have written previously about my experience, in which I abruptly had to give up a full time job to become a carer.

The Liberal Democrats have included policies in their pre manifesto that will help, but it isn’t just about carers while they are actually caring.

What about when caring ends?

In many cases this can happen as abruptly as when the caring role starts.

The change can come through the death of the person, their move into a nursing home or when the carer simply can’t cope anymore .

I was a full time carer for more than three years, switching to a part time role when the local authority recommended a move to residential nursing care for the person I was looking after.

After a lot of soul searching I went along with their proposal mainly because managing at home had become impossible.

The adjustment was massive and ongoing support non existent.

Of course my Carer’s Allowance stopped as soon as the move to residential nursing care had been completed.

I am attempting to get back into some kind of paid work so I can continue with the care responsibilities and earn some money.

It is proving difficult though.

I have and will continue to manage, but the circumstances I have described  can’t be considered acceptable.

I don’t think it is just my local area that has nothing in place for people who stop being full time carers.

The Lib Dems have been alone in recognising the need to support people who have experienced mental health problems back into work.

How about championing a similar approach for carers?

* David is a member of Horsham and Crawley Liberal Democrats

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4 Comments

  • David Faggiani 6th Jan '15 - 11:46pm

    I agree, that policy sounds very sensible.

  • David Warren 7th Jan '15 - 10:42am

    Thanks for the positive feedback David.

    One of the points I am trying to get across is that being a full time carer can leave you feeling really isolated, when that comes to an end the situation can get worse.

  • Jayne Mansfield 7th Jan '15 - 12:00pm

    @ David Warren,
    I hope that the challenge is taken up and practical help is forthcoming. .The current situation is, as you say, not acceptable. I am finding that the various agencies both state and charity are so hard pressed, they sigh with relief when they come across someone like yourself who is prepared to shoulder almost intolerable burdens including social isolation and financial disadvantage.

    Any prospective employer who does not recognise the very special attributes of someone who has devoted themselves to being a full time carer and all that it entails, is in my opinion, losing out.

    It is a message that we do not trumpet loudly enough, if indeed at all.

  • David Warren 8th Jan '15 - 9:59am

    Appreciate the words of support.

    In the next few months I will be trying to get my voice heard as the General Election campaign hots up.

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