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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

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