As carers it is just as important to look after our own health. Having time for yourself is very important and while you can do this in little bits throughout the day while still looking after someone, you also need to have time away from actually being a carer or time away from the person you care for.
There are different ways this can be made possible. DAY CARE CENTRES are the most common and these are usually funded by your local council, so there usually is no need to pay a fee (or very minimal fee). Unfortunately these centres are different depending on where you live. A few years ago a very nice lady came to see me and @raspberrytalk to talk about the possibility of us using one of these centres. After discussing @raspberrytalk issues it was clear to me that the centre was neither able, nor willing, to look after someone with such complex issues. So that was that…………bugger!
Another way of getting some respite is getting home visits by a Health Care Professional. Again availability is different depending on where you live - also this is a service you have to pay for. Some carers take on part time jobs to fund this if they can, but this can effect your Carer’s Allowance depending on how many hours you work. The other way to pay for this service is to get a Grant from a charity or your local council (this is sometimes called a direct payment). I do believe these will be changing this year, a lot of areas will be losing or having services such as these cut, all thanks to the Tory government……….
I contacted these guys, Essex Respite, who offer respite for carers of someone with a mental health condition. I thought this was great, but what I didn’t know was you needed to pay for this. I was unfortunately not in a position financially to pay for such a service and I don’t think the council would have help as we had already had big grants for #raspberrytalk ramp and my driving lessons.
So no real respite for me
But, if I did get respite, I would like to spend the time with my best friend … @raspberrytalk !
A lot of people think I’m strange because I would like to spend respite time with @raspberrytalk. At the end of the day it’s not him I want a break from, it’s a break from being a carer!
Maybe this is where I’m different from other carers, I actually miss just spending time with @raspberrytalk, being his wife. I never seem to be able to switch off from being a carer. Damn it!
Take care of each other,
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I personally think there needs to be more awareness of mental health conditions.
Whenever something is in the press they usually talk about DEPRESSION, DEMENTIA, Alzheimer's, which is great because we do need to be educated about these conditions, but there are so many more Mental Health Conditions. We never hear anything about the Cluster Conditions. My husband has what they call Cluster B. Even as I'm writing this blog I'm having trouble finding links about the Cluster Conditions, so how on earth how am I to help my husband if I can’t find much info on the condition?
Also, because this condition is never mentioned in the press, people think you’re mad whenever you mention it or they want you to explain it in more detail, which in itself is a nightmare to explain.
I personally think there should be more press about all mental health conditions, because I think the more we hear about these different conditions the more we can recognise them and help people with any of them.
It was recently Time To Talk Day, but how many of you knew this? I only knew because I follow @timetochange on twitter. I watch the news and even sometimes watch breakfast TV and I didn’t see anything about the Time To Talk Day.
I also feel the press only talk about older carers (50+) or carers that are children. I personally think no child should ever have to be a carer and I have a lot of respect for those that are, but what about the carers that are say 40+ and are caring for someone in that age range? There never seems to be any press or awareness of these carers or the people they care for. It can be very frustrating for me being someone in this age range and caring for someone in this age range. Also I noticed that a lot of the charities will only help either the really young carers or older carers (50+). What about the middle aged carers? We need help too!
I’m just glad that there are so many carer groups on Facebook that understand that carers come in all shapes and sizes.
Anyway …. Here’s a couple of mental health groups on Facebook:-
Remember Take Care Of Each Other,