5 Things to do if Local Support Services Close
We know that many support services for the people we care for, had to close during the pandemic. As carer's we've been bridging the gap, and many of us are feeling the strain.
And while some of these support services are tentatively beginning to re-open, the sad news is that some have not survived the economic impact of being closed for 6 months.
Members of our community are starting to tell us about service closures across the country. These are valuable day (and sometimes overnight) services for people with learning disabilities, mental health challenges and dementia, to name a few.
The impact of these closures is far reaching. The loss of routine, friendships and learning for the people we care for. And the loss of valuable support and respite for us as carers.
If you're affected by such closures, and need support to clarify what you can do now, please do book a call with us.
We've been chatting in our community about what we can do, if we find our valuable support services closing. As usual, our community have come up with some wonderfully practical top tips for next steps you might like to take.
5 Things to do, if your local support services close
(as suggested by our community of carers)
Have a cry. Get it all out your system. Scream into a pillow. Whatever you need to do. It sucks.
Get info. Contact the local service to ask if there are any plans to appeal the decision or access emergency funding to keep going - perhaps there is something you can do to help, e.g. contacting the local press or writing a supporting letter, if they're accessing grants.
Contact your local MP. Write a strongly worded letter, pop to one of their surgeries, give them a call, or if they're active on social media - get their attention there. Tell them what this service is, why it's invaluable and the impact it will have by closing. Things to ask;
Are they aware of the service closure?
What will they do to change the outcome?
What are the plans to replace this vital support in your area?
What do they propose you do in the meantime?
Tell them what you want! Don't leave to them to guess.
Contact your GP and social worker to ensure they know about the closure and to discuss other support options that can be put in place. Again - tell them what you want. You may also want to request an updated Carer's Assessment - given the change in your circumstances.
Contact the staff who have lost their jobs! - they may be available for Direct Payment work in the interim! In fact Jacqui in our Community has done just this and with success!
"Tell Social Care what you want and need. Tell them them the implications of not having it. Don't leave them to come up with solutions that just don't meet your needs"
It's a tired circle of finding support, fighting for access to support, only to have the support then removed. It can make us weary, when we've been here before and are going through it again. Take some comfort from knowing our community is made up of carers that 'get it'.
And like the quote that Jacqui shared today at our cuppa:
"Don't let them take away your sparkle"
We've been there - we all have the T-shirt and we can give lots of empathy, virtual hugs and some truly great advice. You may find that popping along to one of our virtual cuppas, is just want you need to help you feel a bit better.
In the meantime, remember to look after yourself. Our blog 'How to care for yourself, when there's no time to care for yourself' offers some practical and quick wellbeing techniques.
What's the scale of the problem? If you've been affected by service closures for the person you support, please do drop us a comment or post in our Facebook community.