He, like my husband, is a carer to someone – his needs ignored or put behind the needs of the person he is caring for.
This man might have a job if he is very lucky. Most likely he’s at home full-time, afraid to leave the person he is caring for. That means he is unpaid – aside from the pittance that the Government dish out once a month (less than the average jobseeker recieves on JSA). He is not a benefit scrounger; he is at home because there is no choice for him – he has a sick or disabled child, partner or other relative that needs full-time care.
This man is probably struggling to pay the rent/mortgage and general household bills. He has to worry about debt and credit scores on top of his worry for the person he is caring for. He can’t catch a break, whichever way he turns, because there is no system in place to help him.
This man could be my husband, who has to put me first each and every day.
Today my husband has gone for an eye test; he has only left me here alone because I’ve been laid low with an infection and am in bed, where I’m at no risk of injury. He will, however, still worry. After all, what if I suffer an abscence seizure whilst going downstairs for whatever reason? What if my brain decides that I’m going to have one of the seizures in which I stop breathing? Chances are that I’d begin breathing again on my own, but what if?
There is always a “what if” hanging over both our heads every time I’m in the house by myself.
This morning I heard that the government are finally hearing the cries for help that are coming from the mouths of carers – and carees – everywhere. So many are not on the Social Services radar (we’re not) and therefore miss out on help and services that they ought to be recieving.
The Government is now considering that carers need to be paid more, and that a plan for respite care should be in place for all carers and their families – not just the people who have CPNs and Social Workers and Occupational Therapists etc. working with them. I don’t know if this means that I would occasionally be sent to a respite centre – as my son already is – or if my husband will get a weekend away from home while somebody else comes in and does the cooking and the cleaning and the minimal amount of personal care required and the worrying for him.
It is high time that the Government accepted that not all carers get paid to wear a uniform and get out of the house for six hours. Not every carer has the option of walking away at the end of a shift and having a day off or booking annual leave.
Many carers do what they do out of neccessity and love. There is no money in it; no feeling good because they can go home knowing that they made someone’s day that little bit easier/brighter/more comfortable. There are only neverending household tasks to perform, bills to worry about and a patient to look after twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
I hope that this proposed legislation will go through. Not just for my husband, but for every carer – adult, child, male, female and all other specified genders – who is “going it alone” and living a life under personal, emotional and financial pressure.
Please add your voice to the fight, for the sake of carers and their loved ones. Don’t let the Government take the voluntary carer for granted any more; those of us that are cared for as opposed to being in care are grateful for people like my husband every day of our lives.