Carers Story 1
Doncaster Carers Service spoke to the carer in late September. She had not had a holiday for many years and looked after her son who had cerebral palsy and wanted a break. His condition meant that to go away the accommodation had to have a hoist and was near to facilities as the Carer did not drive.
We gave her information about accessing grants, details of accessible transport and researched accommodation that was located on a campus with shopping and social facilities and had access to a hoist. We managed to find a chalet that was available for 5 days in October, had a hire shop that would deliver a hoist and had a social club and shop on the site.
With encouragement from Doncaster Carers Service, the carer contacted the Social Worker to see if a grant was available to contribute to the cost of the accommodation and transport. She also followed up to book the accommodation from DIAL.
The result was that both carer and her son had a 5 day break away in Blackpool with the aid of a grant. Both had a good time and the Carer returned feeling more refreshed. The facilities were great, everything was on hand and even the weather was brilliant, although we can't take any credit for that.
Carers Story 2
Doncaster Carers Service received a self assessment form from a gentleman caring for his wife who has multiple health issues including severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. He had been given our information pack by his local GP surgery. After calling the carer to discuss his responses we decided that a home visit was necessary as the situation was very urgent and the carer was distressed.When visiting the carer, it became clear that the carer and his wife had slipped through the net and were in desperate need of support including care and health visits. The carer's wife was unable to leave the house, dress, brush her hair or wash herself and was in too much pain for her husband to apply medicated cream that had been prescribed. The cared for was finding it difficult to get up out of her chair or move around the house and was awake most of the night in pain unable to move. The carer was also unable to cook and struggling to support his wife with her personal care due to the severity of her illness and his own disabilities. The couple were socially isolated and their pendant alarm system was not in working order. We discussed what help the carer and his wife felt they needed. Key areas were help with personal care, someone to talk to and help in managing pain. They did not have confidence in services but agreed for us to make a referral for support. Consequently, we called the Adult Contact team to make an urgent referral for care and equipment this was followed up by STEPs who visited the couple. The outcome of this visit was that no carers could go into place until pain management was under control. After contacting the carer to discuss this we advised them to get in touch with their GP as they were overdue a home visit to discuss medication. A week later no progress was made so we called the GP to discuss the couple's situation. The GP then organised to visit the couple and proceeded with medication adjustments. Meanwhile, an equipment assessment was done and a referral was made to a specialist as the assessor was not qualified to provide the specialised equipment needed. A new pendant alarm was also organised and the district nurse visited to provide support and discussed adaptation options. We also made a referral to Sue Ryder for their Supporting Me service to provide the couple with social support. Throughout the aforementioned activity we called the carer on a weekly basis to check progress and provide emotional support. This is still on going as, due to further complications in the physical health of the lady in question, STEPs are still not able to commence care support. We are continuing to support the carer until this can go in place. The carer is now feeling a lot more positive as support has started to go into place and he feels that he has a point of contact for any questions and worries that he has.
Through Doncaster Carers Service both the carer and his wife have started to access urgently required services and gain an improved quality of life.
Carers Story 3
We received a call from a carer who was struggling to cope with the emotional aspects of her caring role. After assessing the carer's needs, I found that she was in need of respite and at risk of social isolation. I provided a listening ear and discussed the possibility of the carer taking some 'me time' and finding a social activity that would give her some respite and help her develop a better support network. The carer was signposted to local community groups and given details of how to access volunteering and educational courses.
Within a few weeks, the carer had applied and accepted an interview for a volunteer position and was feeling much more confident in her caring role as she had gained some independence and respite. Accessing the support from Doncaster Carers Service had given her the confidence to start to take control of her situation and improve her quality of life and emotional health through social and community activities.
Carers Story 4
We received a call from a carer requesting support. As the carer was emotional and struggling to talk I arranged to visit her at home. I assessed her needs and provided information on accessing STEPs and a community care assessment as well as providing details of local care agencies, supported housing and residential homes. The carer then contacted me to let me know that her mother had been admitted to DRI and was undergoing assessment. I maintained contact with the carer to provide emotional support as she did not understand what was happening.
During the 4 week review the carer raised concerns about her mother being discharged although she did not feel that she was able to provide the 24 hour support that was required. I advised the carer that she does not have to do anything she is not capable of and that she should speak to her social worker about what options are available. By the 8 week review it had been arranged that the carer's mother would be transferred to a care home. The carer was extremely relieved by this and felt that it would improve her relationship with her mother as well as improving her own physical and mental health. She commented that we had enabled her to have the strength to cope with the situation and that by signposting her to the appropriate services she got the help she needed to make informed choices about what is best for both her and her mother.