Are you an unpaid carer?

Just wondering, especially if you live in the UK, are you an unpaid carer? Please do share your experiences.

I have been a carer on and off to some degree since my teens. All this has been unpaid, as a carer. I have just automatically done it. Neither of us have asked for help.
But since my mum took that overdose just three weeks ago, yesterday, I have
upped the care I give and as you know, the plan is to get mum to live with me in a council flat. So the council list I am on, has been updated accordingly and I had a form to fill in regarding my my mum’s needs, as you know. So after the council have dealt with the form accordingly, means the banding will get changed accordingly. Hopefully for the better.

I have looked into being paid as a carer, through advice of family members. But I am entitled to nothing, because mum’s DLA is low mobility. Mum needs to be on medium to high care on DLA to get this. No way will I expect mum to go through the hell’s of PIP, just for me to get carer allowance. So as I have said to my family that advised me to apply for carers allowance, I can’t get it, stating the reasons why, but nevertheless, I will manage. We will manage.
I know just by me and mum living together, I won’t struggle as I do now. If anytime social workers, or whoever responsible in mum’s care says for mum to apply for PIP, I will say mum is fine what she has. Mum is better being on DLA on little she has then lose it altogether because of the shambling with PIP where a person will just say mum is fine and then she lose what she had. I have not forgotten the stress of it and how it made me feel, when I applied. (I was on DLA for life originally, but had to apply for PIP, because I was in the criteria affected in the change of DLA to PIP.) I won’t put my mum through that. My mum would not cope with that process and, the effects it would cause from that don’t affect social workers and decision makers at the end of the day. They get to go home and play happy families. But it affects my mum and me, because I would get the brunt of seeing my mum’s aggitation and whatever else, as well as how my mum will be feeling and the unknowns of what is whirling around in her head. My priority is keeping mum safe and knowing she is well, while being independent as possible.

Share your views as an unpaid carer.

12 thoughts on “Are you an unpaid carer?

  1. I have done unpaid care for several of my friends as their illnesses took their lives away. I fought and fought for some kind of compensation from the governmental agencies, but at the time in America, it was unheard of. Or, it was like the PIP you describe and just not worth all the hoops and crap they make you go through, just to throw you crumbs and laugh in your face. I am glad you had your horrible PIP experience, so you know what not to put your mum through. Everything for a reason.

    There is no shame in receiving money for the care given to others. The last caregiving experience I had, I applied for help and was contacted from “govt. assistance” after the person died, offering me some form of money. Sure, it probably could have been paid out to me retroactive back to the date I first filed for help, but my friend was no longer in my care. I did not bother to respond to the “help” offered me. In the end, a good caregiver will be a good caregiver with or without the money. But the money can be most helpful during my times of caregiving.

    Today, I believe caregiving is more recognized and there may be organizations outside of government hands, for support. Maybe not monetarily, but emotional support is very important when doing caregiving, 24/7. If you have not already done so Liz, you may want to start exploring support groups for caregivers. They have tons of wonderful helpful ideas for the caregiver.

    Hugz to ya…..sounds like everything is going to work out perfectly for the two of you. Keep focused on what you do want….forget the negatives of what you do not want…..visualize the outcome you do want.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences Ren.
      Yes, I have been looking into support groups, but I have found no support group in my area unfortunately. So until I find a support group, I shall just make sure I take my time out as I need and do what I do. I am doing well in what I am doing so far and got over the worst difficulties I have had so far.

      Yes, I believe carers are recognised more today, as you say. When I last requested some medication online at my doctor’s, I looked at caregivers information there and I seen there was an option to inform my doctor’s surgery that I am a carer. So I have filled in the details on that. It was to recognise that when requiring appointments, you may need them to suit around work and caring. But it also mentioned about supplying information that may be useful. So maybe I will hear something from that. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When I had mentioned support groups, I was envisioning online, not local. Virtual online support can be very beneficial, for you can access them 24/7 as needed. Most likely, someone really cool and caring, probably already has such a site on WordPress.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Although online would be helpful and a good idea, which I not thought of, it’s not where I want to go. Although I am not knocking it, as yes, online would be helpful. But online is not for me accept for here on my blog, or with others. And yes, they could be a wordpress blog out there of that nature.
        Elsewhere online is not where I would like to use my time, as I rather use it to other things I would benefit from. Xx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I really hate the way they work out who is and isn’t entitled to financial support. I’m sorry I can’t offer my experiences, but looking online I found a few resources, whether they’re any help or not I don’t know. Maybe just in terms of ideas, support, advice, suggestions.. I’ll share just incase.

    https://carers.org/what-carer

    https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/care/helping-a-loved-one/

    https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/care/helping-a-loved-one/financial-support/

    https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helping-someone-else/carers-friends-family-coping-support/#.XIfyoxP7TL8

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I shall take a look at these links.

      I have emailed my local Mind, to see if there are support groups suitable for me there, just in case I was wrong on first impressions.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am a paid career for my autistic son but an unpaid career for my mother in law. I gave up work to become a full time mum because my boy was struggling with school & life so the careers allowance came in handy! I really do think of re-evaluate careers allowance so more people have access to it, is much more than a mobility issue! Best of much to you 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was because the DLA is separated into two components. Mum has had DLA for years and at the time of applying, it was more to do with her mobility side, which filling the form in was basis on her mental health. Mobility was what mum needed help on all those years ago, to help her in places she would not be able to go, because of her mental health.
      Someone said to mum all those years ago that she could possibly get more than that. I wish they helped, or advised us where to go to reapply, as I filled the form originally for my mum and you know what those forms are like without an expert making sure you get the right info in it of your life of negative stuff.

      The family member who suggested carers allowance, still thinks I can getting it. I told him I have asked the right people who help people to apply for the right benefits and I have seen it myself in black and white, my mum is not on that part of DLA to get it. So I can’t apply.
      I have come across Attendance Allowance, that I thought with the benefit shake up, that it was no longer around, but it seems it is, so maybe down the line, when mum is living with me, mum can look into applying for that, for me. But there is nothing else, unless mum went through PIP and I won’t put her through it. X

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When I came to applying for DLA some years ago, before losing it because of changing to PIP, I was told as I had help to fill this form in that look at it as a negativity form, because all they want to hear is what you can’t do and how it affects you, etc… It’s so draining, because what you try and do in your own life is to find positives.

        Liked by 1 person

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