Time to Live 4
A story by Borders Carers Centre
We provided grants directly to carers who live in the Scottish Borders.
What Time to Live 4 did
Borders Carers Centre has responsibility for carrying out all Carers Support within the locality and this complements and supports the application process, as it is centred around the needs of carers both met and unmet. Many of the referrals to the Time to Live Fund come through this process.
The Time to Live fund is also widely advertised through our website, e-bulletins to carers and professionals and carers support groups. The application form is easily accessible and available on-line. We also receive a considerable number of referrals from social work, health and other voluntary sector agencies in the area. Carers can submit applications themselves or with the support of a Carers Liaison Worker. We have tried to make the form as straightforward as possible so make this process easier.
Our panel is made up of a carer, board member and a member of staff. All panel members receive guidance and training and panel members are elected on a rotational basis. Decisions are based on the fund eligibility criteria and information presented on the application form. We also request further information if required. All applications are endorsed by a third party.
P had made some enquiries at a nearby hotel, which was able to offer membership to its leisure facilities and she felt that this was something she would really like to take advantage of, especially as she was beginning to struggle with low confidence and self-esteem due to weight gain. P used the Time to Live grant to take up a membership for six months.
P found the flexibility around the membership of great benefit as she could go from anytime between early morning to late evening and relax in one of the steam rooms, in the Jacuzzi or swim in the tranquil setting. This worked well around her son’s day service and her younger daughter’s school hours, also when her husband came home from work she could go out for a few hours.
P has really valued having the opportunity to have some time outside of the caring situation. "I am starting to feel like me again, these few hours of time in beautiful surroundings have really helped me to reconnect with myself and others. Even the staff know me now and they know about my caring situation which is a great support, and it’s great to meet new people and I’ve even made some new friends. I feel fitter and I’ve lost weight – I feel happier in myself and more confident, also my stress levels have really reduced, it’s great to have something to look forward to every week"
J completed a Carers Support Plan with the Carers Liaison Worker and the outcomes from this indicated that J more than anything required support to help her sustain her caring role. Each time J’s daughter experienced a crisis with her mental health this would lead on to J experiencing a flashback to abusive events in the past. This was impacting so heavily on J that she was not sleeping, her resilience was low and she was finding it difficult to adopt coping strategies which would benefit both her daughter and herself.
The action plan from the Carers Support Plan highlighted the need for J to take some focused time out, doing something that she had previously enjoyed and which helped her to relax and it was agreed that a Time to Live application would be submitted for this purpose. J was supported to consider what would help her recovery and help her to sustain her caring role. J felt that she was carrying a great of tension in her body and was starting to experience a number of aches and pains as well as increased levels of stress and anxiety.
J told the Carers Liaison Worker that she used to attend a yoga class on a regular basis, which she had felt, really befitted her with relaxation and positive mental health and well-being. A local yoga group was identified and an application was submitted. By attending a class J was able to focus and take time to herself but was also able to use the skills learned on a daily basis to ease tension, which in turn helped her to manage and cope with the difficult and challenging periods of time when her daughter was in crisis. The calming breathing techniques also helped J to manager her own flashbacks.
J reported, "I feel more relaxed and more able to cope with the demands of caring. I feel more confident in my ability to cope with what life throws up at me and Yoga is something I can use on a daily basis. I am sharing some of the techniques with my daughter to help her manager her mental health, as it is something we can do together and its positive. My sleep pattern has improved also"
A Carers Support Plan was carried out and very much focused on future planning but also what could be done at the present time to support T’s well-being as much as possible. T really hoped that once he had finished his next round of treatment that he could get away to recharge and spend some quality time together with his brother. He felt that it would really help his mental health and well-being and also help him come to terms with what lay ahead. He also wanted to continue to spend special time with his brother and to build some memories. T really wanted to get on top of his anxiety as well, as he was concerned about the impact this would have on his brother.
A Time to Live application was submitted for a caravan break away to a place the brothers had visited often in the past and where they had a network of friends who could support them through this difficult time. They planned on spending the time relaxing and fishing as T felt that this would be really therapeutic and at the same time be something that he could easily managed. He also knew that if he needed to take time out to rest, his friends would take care of his brother. With a grant of £300 T and his brother managed to get a week away together.
T reported "I feel rested and more positive, I have more energy and mentally I feel stronger and more able to plan for the future. We have made some special memories, I feel that I have had a real boost and some of the anxiety has been eased"
What Borders Carers Centre has learnedTime to Live is becoming widely know now throughout the Scottish Borders both by carers and by practitioners from statuary services and third sector organisations.
It has resulted in increased referrals to our centre and increased support for carers as an application to Time to Live can open up access to other support services, such as a benefits check, and increased support for the cared for person. Word of mouth is also impacting on applications as carers are telling other carers about the benefits of a Time to Live Grant.