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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

SIB, Blustery days, woolly hats & Carer Flu-Jabs...

Hi guys, winter has arrived here!

Just how do I know?
Well... I've been chasing panels from my greenhouse all around the garden and I feel a bit like Piglet in Winnie the pooh and the blustery day and I've a feeling this is just the start!

Last week, some of my wee Carer group (Three Towns Carers), were missing in action. I think this time of year brings added stress and struggle for Carers, everything seems just that bit more difficult in the grey days of winter and I honestly think, grey days make for greyer moods and with coughs and sneezes all around, it's so hard to avoid the dreaded sniffles!

While a cold is a pain in the neck for most people this time of year. For most Carers it means, addition struggles coping in an already leaky boat and a dread they'll be ill themselves!

Speaking of which...NHS, Carers and Flu Jabs!

All being well, we're off for our flu-jabs this Saturday. Remember Carers get free flu-jabs too - see you're Doctor now! Don't just get a flu-jab for the person you look after but...get one for you too!
Trust me, the flu jab isn't really as big as this one! lol You won't feel a thing - well, not really!

Am I slowing down for winter? Heck no!
 I've a SIB (Shadow Integration Board for Health and Social Care) meeting on Thursday in Irvine and the Carers Scotland Summit in Stirling on Friday - I like to keep busy and I'm so grateful for the SDS (Self Directed Support) that makes it possible for me to stay actively involved with things that are so important to me!

Well, it's definitely 'woolly hat and wellie wearing weather'! so...keep strong,keep cosy and splash in a puddle too - it's good for you!
Maz x

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Carers Parliament, challenges and positives...

Hi guys, I've been busy this week, speaking out for Carers - I do try!lol On Tuesday, with other Carers, I made the trek from the coast up to Edinburgh for the third Carers Parliament!

Just who was there from our government?
Carers Scotland delivered the day and Alex Neil - Cabinet Secretary for Health & Wellbeing and Michael Matheson - Public Health Minister, were the speakers. They both spoke well and shared lots of information relevant to Carers but the most powerful part of the day was where Carers shared their own stories, their issues and the struggles they had experienced trying to seek out proper care and support! No-one got angry, it was dignified and controlled but the pain and struggle was all so tangible in the room - we'd all been there at some point or were still struggling on now!
We need to speak out and just tell it how it is!
I used a Respite day to go and I'm lucky, our SDS (Self Directed Support) care package, gives me the support I need to have a time out, some Respite and be able to continue doing things that are important to and for me but I know it's very different for lots of other Carers.
Fifteen minutes networking when we arrived at the parliament, showed that SDS is working well in some areas like mine shall we put it? Far less impressively in other areas around Scotland! I challenged the minister on why it's been interpreted so differently by the local authorities, there's no consistency and he agreed!

He assured the Carers present, our government is on the case, they are closely monitoring and reviewing all the local authorities in Scotland and just how they are (or are not!) implementing SDS and I hope they do sort this out!
When SDS works, and I mean really works, it can be so wonderful!
Really opening doors for Carers, doors that have previously been shut tight! - Respite, time out, equipment, help at home, even just time to think, draw breath and regroup for the next onslaught. It really can be the difference between, coping and continuing and giving up.
Caring on alone is a scary place. Having to make decisions for someone else, all the time, when you don't really know what the best course of actions are, is really scary too and a helping hand, a bit of support and a little kindness along the way makes all the difference in the world!

I'm glad I got to go to the Carers Parliament and speak out - it's important for Carers to come together like this, to talk, share experiences both good and bad and to challenge our government when necessary!
It's only by working together will we ever have a chance to change things!

Keep strong!
Maz x

Saturday, 4 October 2014

SIB, Advisory group, Carers meet and new babies too...

Hi guys, what a week - I've been busy again!

First up...
I was out with my Local Authority and NHS Health Trust - I'm the Carers rep on the shadow integration board (SIB) and try to make sure Carers voices are heard just about as often as I can!
Next up...
I went along to the latest Carers Advisory Group last Thursday. It's a good meeting, Carers from our area, meet with the Carer champion councillor Steel and other council representatives and Carer services providers to discuss, issues and concerns. It's only by working together we can successfully change things and get a better deal for Carers.
Fun times...
On Friday, some of our Three Towns Carers went over to Irvine for a master-class in, of all things, hanging baskets! lol Now I grow loads of veggies and fruits but I'd never arranged a hanging basket before and guess what? It was fun!
Eight of us had a ball, planting up the baskets and tea drinking! What a pleasant way to spend a wet Friday morning!

I kept the best news for last...

Our new wee grand-baby arrived this week so...
meet baby Islay Eve with her big sister Jessica!
We're just truly tickled pink with the both of them!

 All in all it's sure been a busy week and it's been a happy one too!

Next up, it's the Carers Parliament on October 8th!

I hope you've had a good week too where you are and if you're at the Parliament...shout out for Carers!
Maz x