That's especially true when it comes to your local authority as it's generally the key to getting better services and support. With that in mind, I'm still heavily involved with my local councils personalisation and Carer strategies. I figure, if you want changes and improved services, you need to be prepared to give some real time and get ready to...push!
In my experience, dealing with the Local Authority (or N.H.S.), usually means digging out your hard hat and flak jacket and preparing for the long-haul and it's usually very stressful and a real struggle for all concerned too!
That's why I feel, real Carers just like you and me must have their voices heard - it's important! Who knows better than other Carers, just what is working (or not working for that matter!), with current services around caring?
I know it's not easy finding time, it never is for Carers, who sometimes feel pulled in all directions trying to negotiate the best deal they can! Really, what we all need to keep in mind, is Carers are one of the most essential parts of the system as without them the whole care system fails - it just doesn't work!
In most cases we the Carers, are the glue holding it all together so it really makes sense to just Care for the Carers! It sounds so simple doesn't it so why doesn't it happen?
In our area, this time at least, the local council are trying to get it right! To enable Carers to attend meetings and be fully involved, they've actually paid respite costs! Now, that sounds such a simple thing, but it's the difference between being able to give your input or be left out the loop!
They've asked lots of Carers and service users for their honest opinions, what they really think and they seem to have taken their views on board - now isn't that a new approach!
Thank God for this change in attitude as more than ever before Carers have been able to sit around the table with the decision makers and at the earliest stage - what a change!
I must say, I'm impressed with how things have gone so far and I'm pleased to see they have at last recognised the work and commitment Carers provide. It's been a long time coming but it is a real and positive step isn't it!
Hopefully things will continue to improve!