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Sunday, 27 November 2011

The new 'elf service...

Hi guys, Coo and I had a lovely day yesterday!

It was the local community centre's Christmas Fayre and it was brilliant fun!
Judging from the title of todays post...can you guess just what my job was? LOL

Here I am with one of Santa's littlest Bryce!
At 3 weeks old, isn't he a cutie!
Sixty children all went to visit Santa and  got some Christmas Chocolate!
They wrote their Santa letters and got to feed his reindeer too and all for FREE!

Our community is not the most wealthy and finance is usually a bit tight this time of year and as a Carer, I know first hand, just how challenging things can be at Christmas, especially if you have some little ones too!

Free events are brilliant and best of all?
Well, they raise community spirit and for a wee while, everyone feels included and equal and all the children get exactly the same regardless of wealth so job's a good 'un!

All-in-all, everyone shared in a real family Christmassy day and for once nobody needed lot's of pennies either so...smiles all around!

Happy days!
Maz x

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Carer Campaigning...

Hi Guys! I was feeling a bit pensive after my last post!

When I realised it was over two years since the 'Justice for Carer' march in Edinburgh I was shocked! It really was a great, feel-good experience that day, Carers did come together and speak up for themselves and it was great!

I think it's a shame though, there's been nothing like it since!
On reflection, I've come to think that, we Carers have not given up - not at all!
We're still active and if the others are anything like me, they're just as busy campaigning as ever but at local level instead, fighting the system for better services.

I guess that's no bad thing either, as everytime somebody pushes for service improvements it results in help for us all in the end!

So...we all must stand together and keep up the good fight as best we can!
Maz x

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Meetings, Ponderings and poems...

Hi Guys, did it go today at the meeting with my Local Authority? Well...pretty good in my opinion!
I managed to raise some points and speak up for Carers so I'm happy!

Today helped remind me of the time I joined with other Carers from all over Scotland to march and rally at our Parliament. Is it really two years ago? I hadn't realised but it was over two years ago my wee Carer group made the trip to Edinburgh and spoke up for exactly what has changed? Have things improved at all for Carers?

Well, financially things are much the same - not good.
Carers allowance is still the lowest paid pension of all and really isn't fit for purpose anymore. Many of our politicians have said as much themselves and on numerous occasions too but it's still a real big issue that needs attention and the sooner the better!

On a positive note though, Carers have become more vocal and now do have some confidence to take on the big Care Agencies, the Local Authorities and the N.H.S. too for that matter. I think more and more often Carers are realising they have to step up and be prepared to lobby for changes and better services.

Two years ago a consultation which included both Carers and Service-Users would have been unheard of. Social Workers and their managers would have gone away wrote a document and probably said - take it or leave it!  This time around...this just has not happened!
The council, have actively engaged and asked Carers for their opinion on what does and doesn't work and that's a major mind-shift and has to be great news for Carers!

I think the poem I wrote two years ago for the march on parliament is still so very real and apt today, I guess we still have a lot more to do don't we...

Here's my poem...

*** ‘Just a little Peace’***

We don’t need any help, we’re managing fine,
Pile it on…pile it on…never look for a sign.
Carers work on with not much of a break,
They continue to care for a loved ones sake.

As the caring goes on and the load does increase,
God send us some respite, just a little peace.
Some time to go walking, kicking leaves in the park,
even just sleeping when everything’s dark.
The caring continues deep into the night,
we struggle and strive and continue to fight.
For help it is out there or so we are told,
but trying to find need to be bold.

Some time for a break, to do something new.
Maybe just sit still and take time for you.
Reading a book or watching a show,
Finish something, not having to go.
As the caring goes on and the load does increase,
God send us some respite, just a little peace.

It’s not easy to spot us, we look just like you.
Carers are working and constantly too.
When others go home at the end of the day,
We still keep on working, minus the pay.
Please listen now, it’s so easy to find,
Yourself as a Carer and stuck in this bind.
Nobody knows how, it just happens unplanned,
as quick as that jar with the small grains of sand.

Heed what we say as we carry on,
caring and struggling way past the dawn.
we know lots of Carers who live in this way,
it’s not what they asked for, this role that they play.

Some time to themselves it’s not much to expect.
It’s down to government and Scottish Exec.
Some help with this task that never seems to cease.
as caring goes on and the load does so increase,
please send them some respite and just a little peace…

It still kinda covers all that I want to say.
Stay strong,
Maz x

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Coo and me and D.P.

Hi guys! Coo's latest anti-biotic run is finally over!

Things seem to be improving now and although tired from the latest on-slaught, we're both a bit more settled now so...result - woo hoo!
Looby's come to stay as this week as I've got lot's of pot's on the boil...what's new! LOL

Thank God for our D.P. (Direct Payment!), without which I just would not be able to manage the things that are important to me. It's amazing just how much the precious timeout gives me. It's not just about the time away, it's the fact I don't have to worry about Coo while I am busy. I know he's just fine with Looby and that's something of value as I can really switch off for a bit. All in all, it kinda helps keeps me sane!

I've a big meeting tomorrow with our local council, remember I mentioned, they had asked me to help with their new personalisation strategy? Well, tomorrow is the next stage.

You know, there was a time where I would not easily have spoken out in public and been comfortable to challenge authority, be it Government, N.H.S. or Council but I think being a Carer has changed me!
I guess, always having to keep pushing for services does tend to make you more assertive. it's a bit of a sink or swim situation at times and in my experience if you're not prepared to do your homework and then just go get 'em, well, you just don't get the help you need.

Now in an ideal world, it shouldn't be like this but I find it frequently is and that's why it's so important to me to keep speaking out for a better deal for all Carers!
So, let's give a wee silent prayer for every one of us Carers who can stand up and say...hey! We need your help and even better...this is exactly how you can help us!

We need to stay strong and hopefully one day, Carers will all feel supported and be able to access the help they need!

Wish me luck tomorrow,
Maz x

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Anti-bio-land again...

Hi Guys, Coo's still poorly and back on yet another anti-biotic run.

We've been stuck at home this week as things have been a bit of a struggle.

We went as usual on Friday, for Coo's routine blood test and everything seemed fine but by Saturday evening he had a temperature of 39 degrees (102.2F) and was seizing a lot! He didn't really improve much over the weekend but his temperature came down a little so he decided to wait it out and see our own doctor on Monday - Coo hates the midnight dash to hospital and we avoid it at all costs!

Turns out he's picked up a bacterial infection from somewhere and needed yet more antibiotics!
Thankfully though, they are beginning to work now and he's feeling a little better today.

We're both shattered, apart from that, we're fine and glad to be out the other side of this latest health hassle!

While at home, I've kept myself busy with my harp and my craft box. Extra time at home is not the issue it once was.
I've found lots of ways to keep myself amused and have a little fun!

I hope things are a bit more settled this week and that you're having a more settled time where you are too!

Maz x