South Asian Carers of Older People's Respite Support Group
A story by Milan Senior Welfare Organisation
A fortnightly carers respite group providing a range of therapeutic and educational activities as well as informative talks. Regular outdoor activities organised to boost confidence and promote relaxation so that this also benefits the person cared for. Opportunities of social interaction to meet others in similar situations.
What South Asian Carers of Older People's Respite Support Group did
One sessional worker recruited for organising and running group, two volunteers recruited to support sessional worker, information/advice worker recruited to provide information sessions and help with welfare benefits for income maximisation.
Activities and training booked with experienced sessional workers who have expertise of working with charitable organisations. Fortnightly 2 hour sessions with activities booked for yoga, massage therapy taster sessions, active walking, arts and crafts and monthly information advise sessions. Follow up work for any information/advice work would be in the Milan main office. One off trainings included basic first aid training & food and hygiene. Trips organised to Glasgow and Loch Lomond with team building activities.
Sessions took place in the training room conference room within Norton Park. Walking sessions took place at water of Leith
We encouraged the carer to participate in various trainings and then put her in touch with some of our elderly clients who were also looking for a paid carer. The carer is now happily working for them and feels active and has a sense of worthiness. Our elderly clients have also benefitted as now have someone that speaks in their mother tongue and can understand their needs.
The recipients were able to receive relief around Christmas time and spend quality time with their families and pay for activities without having a financial burden.
The walking sessions was a form of relaxation and gave them a boost of energy. The feedback we received back was that they went home so relaxed and this reflected on the person they care for too. it is important that carers are well looked after and remain healthy and active as only then can they provide a quality caring role to the person they look after.
What Milan Senior Welfare Organisation has learnedWe are able to run this support group and provide a better quality of life for carers of all ages. We faced challenges when carers would inform us at the last minute that they could not attend a session due to something that came up unexpectedly. We balanced this by working hard towards increasing our group membership so that the overall attendance is higher and someone dropping out would not effect the planned session.
We have learned that even though we continue to do active work to promote our carers support group there is still a large majority of carers unaware of our services and we are working closely with all our colleagues and organisations we work with to refer us potential clients that can benefit from our services.
We have come across difficulties of male carers joining the carers support group and are working actively to promote our group to male carers by taking their views into consideration and making the group accessible by organising activities which are male friendly. Male carers is a taboo for the BME community and a lot of work needs to be done to encourage them to attend and seek the support that they are entitled to.
This fund has made a difference as we are able to run the carers support group and provide training, information/advice and activities which benefit so many people and opens new doors for them. Opportunities for sharing experiences and getting support which would not be possible otherwise.