I have been a Parent Carer for 43 years
My name is Trevor Clower I am an unpaid voluntary carer.
I have a son who was born with a learning disability and autism.
He is 43 years old; therefore, I have been a carer for 43 years.
I have organised the Carer Road Shows over the last two years all over Nottingham and the surrounding county and met hundreds of Carers. I have spoken to Carers from all walks of life and with varying years of caring. I go to many different groups and organisations and hear the same thing, why don’t the professionals listen to us. They prefer to talk at us and not listen to our situation, their stories.
Don’t you just hate it when you see a resource that is not used to its full potential.
Two Types of Carers
There are Carers like me, long in the tooth, caring for a person who was born with a disease and there are people who live a life where they get married, kids, nice house and car, the whole nine yards. When suddenly, and without warning, their nearest and dearest starts to act weird, and that is all they have to go on.
They pack them off to see the Doctor and while they try to make a diagnosis, this person decides to look after them and from that point, they are sucked into the Caring roll, without any idea of the enormity of their decision.
These Carers are not an extra person for you to cure; a lot of them are strong-minded, resourceful individuals that are putting up with the most appalling situations. These Carers are not someone for you to pass on for counselling or a group. These Carers are experts in the wellbeing of your patient.
Providing you catch them early enough before they fall victim to the five events all carers have to deal with.
A Sequence of Five Events
- They lose their job
- They lose their social life
- Loss of all Family & Friends Promises of Help
All Carers fall victim to these five sequences of events:
- They lose their job, even reducing it to part time never last long at all.
- They lose their social life
- They come to realise that not all the promises from friends and even family lasts very long, as they have a life to lead too.
- They fall into isolation; sleep like a cat, the slightest thing wakes them up. They can’t leave the house for more than an hour in case someone wanders out the house or has fallen out of bed.
- They pop up on the NHS radar, not as a Carer, but as a patient in A & E in deep depression.
The Race Is On!
The longer you take to make a diagnosis, the further down this road of events the Carer has endured.
The KEY to Carer Recognition
- At the point of diagnosis ask the patient for their carers contact details and record them in the medical records
- Ask for their permission to consult and include their carer in their health management and record their consent in the medical records
- Get access to your records and ask for permission from the patient if you can get access to their records too.
This will minimise the probability of professionals bumping into confidentiality without any references towards consent. Don’t just get access but learn to understand what the records mean and how they can help you and the person you care for!
The advantages of early recognition of the carer allows you to Including the Carer, making them feel valued. Being a part of the treatment for the person their caring for.
Listening to the Carer, helps you identify the carers knowledge of the patient, which will help you make a more positive treatment plan. Drawing on the experience of the carers knowledge of the patient.
Valuing the Carers relationship and trust they have with the Patient, helps you use that trust to deliver the treatment plan after discharged in the home environment. Use the carer to help administer the treatment in a way the patient accepts and trusts
You have a more settled patient by using the Carer to Patient relationship. A more settled patient leads to a happier patient and a happier patient always responds to treatment better.
You have an informed Carer who is included and valued, thus preventing them from falling victim to the Five Sequences of Events. An informed carer also settles the patient, as they have a carer that is included in their treatment plan.
By making more informed decisions about your patient’s treatment plan, from this collaboration, you will feel more empowered and valued as part of the team
Trevor Clower based in Nottingham and happy to share his experiences with you.
Haughton Thornley Medical Centres would like to thank Trevor for sharing his immense knowledge and experience with us for the benefit of all.
Useful links for Carers
Find out about the Carers Centre in Tameside – see further down the webpage
Find out what the Patient Participation Group is doing in the practice and get involved!
Common problems you can solve See the top 50 things people come to the GP with which you sort out too!
Learn about online services and what they mean for you. Find out what your doctor or nurse has written about you or who you care for
The practice-based web portal www.htmc.co.uk has been designed from the ground up to support patients and carers at the practice to get the best from the people and services we offer. We signpost you to trusted information gathered from the practice including patients and staff, local, regional, national and international sources. See the links around this page to learn more about what there is available and share this widely as we spread the information for all to learn from and share. Please send an email to [email protected] or follow us on Facebook / twitter @htmc0
Factoids on the Adult Care Act
Under the Care Act 2014 everyone who has been assessed as having ‘eligible needs’ for care and support will have a ‘personal budget’. This is the amount of money that the local authority thinks would need to be spent in order to meet your needs. People who have sufficient income or savings might have to make a contribution towards their own personal budget – this is determined by a financial assessment. If you have a personal budget you can let the local authority arrange services to meet your needs or you can ask for some or all of the budget to be given to you as a direct payment, which means you will be able to use it to choose services yourself to meet your needs. If you have direct payment the money must be used to meet the needs that the local authority has identified and recorded in your care plan.
To request an assessment of your needs call 0161 342 2400 (office hours) – this is the number for the Tameside Adult Assessment and Customer Care Team.
Local authorities must provide assessments to all people over the age of 18 living in their area who appear to have needs for care and support. If, after an assessment, they find that you don’t have needs that they should meet then they should still provide you with information and advice that will help to prevent the development of needs in the future.
Your assessment must not take into account whether you can afford to pay for any services (although a financial assessment will be done later, and you might find that you have to contribute to the cost of your care and support).
If you are being assessed you must be fully involved in the process and you can nominate other people to be involved as well. If you need support with the assessment and have nobody who can help then the local authority must provide you with an advocate.
Go to https://adultportal.tameside.gov.uk:14500/web/portal/pages/home for more information, and to record an Initial Contact (which can lead to a full assessment) using the ‘I need help’ link. The telephone number for adult services is 0161 342 2400.
Although we all know about the importance of safeguarding children we should also be aware that adults have a right to live free from abuse and neglect as well.
Adults over the age of eighteen who rely on others to help them in their day to day living are particularly at risk from family members, friends, carers or strangers. Abuse doesn’t always mean physical violence or sexual abuse; it can include, among other things, neglect, belittling, theft of money or not allowing someone to make their own decisions.
There is a video about Dignity on Tameside Council’s website where you can also find out more about adult abuse and how to report it. See http://www.tameside.gov.uk/socialcare/adultabuse.
If you are concerned about a vulnerable adult you should contact the Safeguarding Adults Team on 0161 342 5217, or Adult Social Care on 0161 342 2400.
If you are worried about a child you should contact the Tameside Safeguarding Children Board, Public Service Hub on 0161 342 4101 (office hours) or 0161 342 2222 (other times).
Whether you are concerned about an adult or a child, if they appear to be in immediate danger of harm you should contact the police.