PRT South West Glasgow Carers Centre on behalf of Glasgow Carers Partnership
A story by PRT South West Glasgow Carers Centre
We provided grants directly to carers who live in Glasgow in order to direct and design their own short breaks to meet their identified need.
What PRT South West Glasgow Carers Centre on behalf of Glasgow Carers Partnership did
Application Process, carers completed a short application form detailing the reason and description of the break, the anticipated outcomes, details of their caring situation, other supports are available to them. Support to complete the application form was made available to all carers. This involved not just filling in a form but sitting down with the person and taking time to work out what sort of break would help them the most and identify any barriers specific to that individual with the final outcome of making it happen.
Applications were submitted throughout the year. Decision making panels made up of local representatives of the Glasgow Carers Partnership and they met to make decisions on applications within two weeks of receipt (or as close to this timescale as possible) The locally based panels assessed applications on the fund eligibility criteria, need and anticipated outcomes. Part of the decision making process, included checks if other suitable/appropriate funds to access.
Advertising, the fund was well advertised through an extensive list of organisations that we disseminate the Time to Live information to. This includes organisations specialising in supporting the harder to reach including BME and Kinship Carers. A translation service is also available. All Carers registered with the Carers Centres are notified of the Fund through our newsletters, websites, Face book page and Twitter accounts. New carers were encouraged to apply by our Support Workers.
We continued to try to offer all carers who apply for time to live funding access to a short break, whether funded through Time to Live or other funds or programmes. Time to Live continues to be an excellent vehicle for helping carers to identify wider outcomes they wish to achieve and facilitating access to other supports.
Relationship is strained, Carer feels Gran is extremely demanding and argumentative, and was unsure how long she could continue caring. There is limited additional family support. Gran agreed to allow her son and daughter to take her away for a break. Carer took the opportunity to try to have a much needed break herself, she applied to Time to Live in order to fund a break for herself during this time, and a grant allowing a 4 day bed and breakfast break was awarded.
The Carer reported that the break, along with some personal effectiveness training provided by the Carers
Centre, had allowed her to take time out from her caring role, in a relaxed stress free environment, and evaluate
her life, including her caring role.
Carer reported a reduction in stress and anxiety levels, and an increased confidence in making choices about the
level and extent of her caring role, and asking for help with her caring role.
Carer has spoken to Gran and extended family, and told them she cannot manage the caring role alone full time.
Gran and family have accepted this, and are making additional support arrangements. Carer is learning more
about dementia, and gaining an understanding of the illness, which is helping to reduce arguments and the
stress of the caring responsibilities.
Finances did not allow for monies to be spent on an individual break for the Carer, as cared for was reluctant for this to be at the expense of their breaks together. Carer identified that he used to enjoy attending the Gym regularly as a break from his caring role, but finances would not allow this anymore. A Time to Live application was made and a grant awarded for a Glasgow Club Membership. This allowed the Carer to resume visiting the Gym, Sauna and swimming, allowing flexibility for this to take place around his caring responsibilities.
The Carer reported both emotional and physical benefits from the membership. A reduction in his social isolation as a result of the increase in time out of the house and interaction and conversation with others. There was an increase in his physical fitness, which made some physical aspects of the caring role easier to undertake. These benefits, in addition to the relaxation aspects of the sauna and swimming, helped to reduce the Carers stress levels.
Gran is now 83 of age and has number of serious health conditions. She has suffered a stroke, has undergone a triple heart by pass operation as well as being diabetic and suffering from Osteoporosis. This latest condition has also unfortunately resulted in a broken hip and pelvis following a fall at home which has further restricted her mobility. As such she is now fully dependent on Sam for all of her day to day care needs which he admits is beginning to have an adverse effect on his own mental health.
Sam is a very sensitive and articulate young man who recently graduated from Strathclyde University however he has experienced bouts of anxiety and depression which he feels is directly related to the pressures he experiences as a carer. In this role he attends to all of the daily household chores, prepares and cooks all the meals, collects the shopping, assists with the laundry as well as providing emotional and practical support to gran as and when required.
Unfortunately they were unaware of the support available to them until very recently and only made contact with the Carers Centre in March of this year. At this time Sam explained that he was struggling financially as he has been unable to secure any permanent employment since leaving University as a result of his caring responsibilities. He had however in his attempts to combine his caring role with work embarked on an online business venture but this has been slow to take off which has further undermined his confidence and has contributed to his low mood, depression and financial difficulties.
As part of the assessment process the worker assisted Sam in applying for the relevant benefits and made referrals for him for training and stress management therapies to enable him to address the stress and anxiety he was experiencing. Sam has also become quite withdrawn and isolated since finishing his degree and finds it difficult to maintain his relationships with friends as he is worried about leaving his gran home alone. Until this
point Gran had been resistant to accepting any outside supports.
Sam was told about the Time to Live grant which would offer the opportunity to get some much needed respite and encourage gran to try accepting outside support whilst Sam was away. Following a lengthy discussion with Sam and his gran he made an application to the Time to Live fund and applied for a grant of £200 to attend a Figures Collectors Tournament in England. This is one of Sam’s hobbies and actually one of the few things he is still able to get some enjoyment from. He is an avid collector and this upcoming event provided a perfect opportunity for him to combine a short break with attending an event that he is passionate about. Additionally Sam hoped that there may be the potential to meet and mix with other enthusiasts and share experiences and knowledge which he felt he could use to help develop an online business venture.
Gran was able to see the advantages for them both if Sam was able to get away for a few days and ultimately agreed to a referral being made for home care support for the duration of Sam’s trip. This enabled Sam the peace of mind he required in order to make the most of his trip away which he hoped to combine with a visit to a University friend who lived close to the venue. Without this grant from the Time to Live fund Sam would never have been able to make this trip and the likelihood of the caring role becoming unsustainable would have significantly increased.
Thankfully, and as a direct result of this very much appreciated support Sam has been able to get some crucial respite from his caring role. He has also had the chance to recharge and has gain some renewed enthusiasm again for moving forward with his own life despite the challenges he faces as a carer.