We know that many support services for the people we care for, closed during the pandemic. As carers, 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.
Members of our community have told
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 was 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 anytime, 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 we might like to take.
Five things to do if your local support services close
1. Get it all out our system
Scream into a pillow. Whatever we need to do.
2. Get information
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 we can do to help, e.g. contacting the local press or writing a supporting letter, if they're accessing grants.
3. 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.
4. Contact our GP and social worker
Ensure they know about the closure and to discuss other support options that can be put in place. Again - tell them what we want. We may also want to request an updated Carer's Assessment - given the change in our circumstances.
5. 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 tiring 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 unpaid 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.
Our 'What does good care look like for our loved-ones and OURSELVES', is also an important message to help us to see the bigger picture in caring role for our loved one. And how we can best do this by looking after ourselves.
What's the scale of the problem? If you've been affected by service closures for the person you support and would like to speak to someone about it, please book a free one-one support call with one of our coaches.
Or, please do drop us a comment or post in our Facebook community.