Caring for the elderly – Carer or Caring, that is the question?
Everyone likes to believe that they are a caring person and I would hope that is a fact and not a belief. The full definition of care is as follows,
- effort made to do something correctly, safely or without causing damage
- things that are done to keep someone healthy and safe etc
- things that are done to keep something in good condition
I think at some point in our lives we have all fulfilled at least one of those if not all. However there are many people who go beyond those basics and become Carers. These are the people who due to circumstances have choices to make which effect what can be described as normal day to day living. For these people, lives change beyond all recognition and for most it is done without any arguments or regrets.
I found out many years ago just how the health of other people can impact on my life. Within a matter of days I went from having what could be described as a normal life with my parents to spending hour upon hour at Hospital caring for my Father the best I could when the Nurses weren’t around.
After 18 months in hospital my Father returned home to a totally different environment to the one he left behind. His life had changed to the point that he was unable to look after himself and needed 24 hour care. We as a family didn’t complain and did whatever we could to make his life easier. We never asked for payment or outside help. We did it for the love and respect that we had for my Father.
That was over 20 years ago, and if my Father was still around I would still be doing exactly the same today as I did then. No questions asked.
My father became wheelchair dependant and because of this there were many places he cold not access and as such he felt helpless at times. Now thankfully more and more places are catering for the disabled, and quite rightfully so. But what of other people who through circumstances beyond their control feel the need to go from caring for the elderly to being a carer.
In the 20 years or so since, there have been many schemes that have evolved to assist with help in the community, Caring people and carers no longer have to feel as though they are alone. Caring in the community as we know it today was first thought about in the early 1950’s but was not put into practice until the late 1980’s. No longer do the people who suffer from mental or physical issues have to be locked away in institutions we now have the faculties and finances to be able to assist in their quality of life in familiar surroundings.
The majority of people in this country have at some point in their lives been a carer. When you become a parent for example you immediately become one, and this remains constant until your children leave home , then it restarts when you become a grandparent. That is a great cycle of life to take part in.
However there is another group of people whos population is growing, they are the full time carers of family members who maybe are of the same age but are suffering from dementia or other serious and life threatening conditions. These carers don’t want our pity, just our understanding that their lives are now different from before.
I personally know many people who participate in Caring for the elderly in the Community, they don’t do it just for the money, because believe me its not very well paid. They do it because they do Care and they are Caring. They get a huge sense of pride and achievement through helping others who may not be as fortunate as themselves.
If however you have an immediate family member who needs care, then to me its not an option to do nothing. This is where the government services need to step in to assist wherever possible, Help is available if you know where to look, Unfortunately for some trying to find the correct aid is virtually impossible.
The NHS have produced a document www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/Pages/assessment-care-needs.aspx which goes somewhere towards giving the information that is needed. It wasn’t easy to find though, so I hope you will find it useful.
I managed to find that through searching on the internet, but what about those people who maybe don’t have the same access as I did.If you know of anyone that maybe has difficulties in getting this information, please pass it on to them. Show them that you care.
Caring for the elderly – I asked at the start are you a carer or caring – The answer should be BOTH of course
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