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Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Carers Scotland today...

Hi guys, I've been busy today!

It was 2013's first meeting of the Carers Scotland Committee so it was a wee trip upto Glasgow! Pity there's never time to actually visit the city though is business! lol
It was great to catch up with the other Carers, share new information and work through the latest issues surrounding Carers.

Well, just what did come up today?

Welfare reform and the so called 'Bedroom Tax' - There's lots of Carers struggling to get to grips with these two! Scotlands next Carers Parliament, SDS, Respite (or lack of it as the case may be!) and the usual business of the day for a busy charity - a bit of everything really!
I think it's important Carers get the chance to be part of the process and are right in there at the beginning, when the strategies are written. I'm glad too, our wee group are able to travel from all over Scotland to share their views and help things along their way!

I guess, we gotta support one another and just keep at it!
Slowly the barriers are being chipped away and Carers are finding proper support and respite. In an ideal world it shouldn't be this way, but while it is...we've all got to stay strong and just keep knocking down those barriers where we can!

Stay strong my friends - we'll get there!
Maz x

Monday, 25 February 2013

Sad day today...

Hi guys, it's been a bit of a sad day today as I had a funeral.

Coo stayed home with our son, while I set off with one of my Carer friends earlier this morning. We have a wee Carers group, there's twelve of us and for the last six years, we meet twice a month to help one another and offer some kindness, support and friendship.
Caring is never easy, it's usually a struggle and we mostly kinda lurch from one crisis to another and it's so very comforting to share the journey with other people who know exactly what it's really like!
I guess we're lucky to have found one another and gained valuable knowledge and companionship too.

It's so sad when one of our number comes to the point in caring, where the person they care for is too ill to manage safely anymore at home or when they are bereaved.
That's when our wee group are probably most valuable.
When there's a death in the family, it's all raw and new and everyone tries to stay strong to help support one another.

With other Carers, especially a group where they're all at differing stages of the caring journey, there's always somebody there who knows how it is and that it's really ok to feel exactly as you do and hold your hand for a while!

My wee friend will be ok, she'll still come visit with us and the other members who have already experience bereavement will help too. I guess that's how we all cope, we help one another and just ease the pain a little.

I hope you're ok, where you are and someone's holding your hand too,
Maz x

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

SDS Review...result!

Hi guys, we've had some provisional info. on the review.

Now that was quick!
I'm really pleased as when things drag on for ages, Coo gets really stressed - and I try to hide the fact I'm stressing too!
Thankfully, there's no need for stress this time, the provisional report was emailed yesterday and it looks like everything's going to be fine - woo hoo!
Social Services are happy with the way things have gone with the SDS (Self Directed Support) care package and their recomendations are for the Local Authority to continue funding so we'll be able to carry on as we have been for the last seven months - what a relief!

We really are so greatful for the support we have now. It took a long time to get here but it was really worth it - I'm so glad we persevered!

If you're stuck in the middle of the dreaded reviews or are still trying to get proper support to help, don't give up! It can work out well in the end!
Keep strong,
Maz x

Friday, 15 February 2013

Review time already...#9

Hi guys, Social Services have been in touch and it seems it's review time again!
Where has the time gone?
We've been using the SDS - Self Directed Support- care package since last July and just how have things been? Well, that's an easy's been really great!

Coo and I have had more opportunities than ever before and for the first time in a long while, we've had really good support. It's brought some sunshine and we've honestly had some fun!

SDS has been a positive experience for us!
I've had more respite than ever before, the support and flexibility has meant both Coo and I have been able to make things really work for us. It's a long time since we felt so in control and that's been so very empowering!
Things people take for granted like days out, in the past, were always difficult for us. Coo would struggle with travel and once he started to tire, it was so very difficult to keep him awake and seizure free until we could return home. We both usually ended the day feeling very stressed and it kinda took the pleasure away - it was usually easier just to stay at home!

Having the option to go for a day out and then have a sleep-over too has made such a difference! It's meant we can both enjoy the day now, without worrying about how we're going to manage the return journey - what a difference!

The additional respite has made such an impact for me as I've managed to go places on my own and be involved with things that are important to me - like the Carers Parliament for one!
I used some of the additonal P.A. hours for Looby to come stay over with Coo, this allowed me to travel up to Edinburgh the night before and be well rested and able to fully contribute while I was there and Coo and I both managed some new experiences, we had some time away too ! We loved the Pandas at Edinburgh Zoo and had a wonderful time visiting the museums in Glasgow too!

I know most people do these kind of activities every day and without much planning or thought but it's not so for most Carers and having proper support can make all the difference in the world!
***and the SDS review?
Well, I know how we feel things have gone during the last seven months with SDS we just have to wait and see if our Local Authority agree. I hope they feel it's the best way forward too and continue our funding!
Fingers (and toes) crossed things go ok!
Maz x

Monday, 11 February 2013

Carers and Saint Valentine's day Crafts...

Hi guys, I thought I'd share one of the highlights of my annual valentine routine!
I've mentioned our Care Club before.
It's for adults with both physical and learning disabilities and we've been running if for over 7 years. I decided to open it as we didn't have a club of it's kind locally and I thought it would be good for Coo, well for us both really, to spend some time working with and helping other's and I honestly feel, it does you good to spend some time, lending a hand, with other people who are struggling with disabilities too!

It kinda helps put your own situation into perspective and into the bargain it provides some much needed respite for a couple of hours on a Monday night for their Carers too a good 'un! lol

Anyways, me being me, we have a big craft box full of bits-and-bobs and we always make things!
From Salt-dough to fabric painting and just about anything that's easy, cheap and cheerful, we'll have a wee go! lol This being the Monday before Valentines day, it was card making of course!
Nothing too fancy, just a heart cut out from some coloured card and some pretty floral fabric sticky taped into it's place!

Easy-peasy and I must say very effective! lol
The group all left with a smile and cards and a heart balloon, aquired from a promotional day on healthy hearts held earlier in the year but pinched or...recycled! to Care club with lovely St. Valentine crafts in mind!

In what has been a bit of a tough week, it's done my heart good tonight!

Happy Saint Valentine's day when it come on Thusday!
Remember it's not the end of the world if you don't get a card - just make some! Trust me, it's fun, you'll enjoy yourself too!
Maz x

Saturday, 9 February 2013


Hi guys, Coo's been so sleepy the last few days!

It's been a bit isolating this week as Coo's been either asleep or seizing for the last three days. It's fair to say, we've been kinda stuck in at home and I guess, you tend to forget just how isolating this can be but...not today!

Looby came to keep Coo company and Mum and I went shopping! Timeout - woo hoo!
Our SDS (self directed support) care package, makes it easier all around to cope with things, especially when we're going through a difficult period. That's when it really provides the most valuable support of all.
So what did I do today?
We had some fun looking around the shops for bargains but really I was just glad to be out and about and best of all, mum and I went for lunch too!

I often wonder how I coped before we set up our care package and got some support - it sure wasn't easy that's for sure. I know how it feels to be stuck in at home a lot and I also know the value proper support can really make for Carers.

I'm greatful we have support now and only wish all Carers could have the help they need too.
Maybe one day it will be so!
Maz x

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Carers, influence and Local Authority...

Hi guys, I've been our visiting with my Local Authority yet again.

Remember I posted about the councils plans for a new community Portal. How they wanted Carers and service users to tell them just what information they really need to be in there?
Well, basically it's a one-stop-information-shop and people will find information on how they can use their DP (Direct Payments) and SDS (self directed support), budgets too - things are really coming together now! 

Carers, service users and the local community, will be able to access this resource and just find out what's going on in the community.
I think the most exciting thing for Carers, is the ability to access information on services, respite and even what activities are available in our area - just what really is out there!

I'm quite excited about this project!
I've always felt, if people knew just what is available on their doorstep maybe, just maybe, they'd be able to live a fuller life, with more opportunities and chances and not be like this wee hamster stuck inside looking out instead of having a wee go at things for themselves!

I really do feel this new resource has the potential to improve things, particularly for Carers. If they can identify some respite areas, maybe something the person they care for would like to try or attend for a few hours, it could effectively give them a little respite and some much needed time for themselves.
I actually think this could really be so be very good!
Maz x