How Advocare cares for carers
The concept of Advocare - Caring for Carers is based on the premise that:
- Carers are first of all people with their own unique identity.
- Carers need to feel valued for who they are and what they do.
- When carers feel dispirited they feel less able to handle a crisis which they fear will hasten their loved one’s admission into residential care.
As far as we are aware, Advocare is the only independent organisation of its kind in the country. The charity is run by carers for carers and dedicated to providing truly independent support to carers and former carers of frail, sick or disabled people. We also empower carers to speak openly about their needs and concerns and help those who feel isolated or 'stuck' or after their full-time caregiving role has ended to make friends and 'move on'.
Our free Caring for Carers service offers:
- An independent, confidential 'listening ear' (telephone or home visits);
- 'Moral support' during assessments, reviews, consultations;
- Advocacy - we can make representations to the relevant statutory authorities on the carer's behalf.
Not feeling in charge of one's own destiny is a well-documented cause of ill-health and depression. The enormous pressures of caregiving can cause what we term 'the unpaid carer's syndrome', a form of physical and emotional burnout. Our casework shows that some carers can be traumatised by 'the system' treating them badly or their identity submerged through the demands of caregiving. Advocare's Assert programme has been specifically developed to empower carers by reducing their stress and improving their outlook.
The support we provide is tailored to the person's unique circumstances and helps them to regain control of their situation. With a more positive approach carers deal more effectively with the demands of their caregiving role. When they encounter difficulties with statutory agencies we can usually open fresh channels of communication to improve understanding on all sides. Carers then feel more able to voice their own needs and those of their loved-ones. They access appropriate services earlier, including respite breaks which improves their wellbeing. This in turn helps to prevent carer breakdown and enhances their quality of life and that of their loved one.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"
(Benjamin Franklin 1706-90)
By caring appropriately for the unpaid family caregiver we are safeguarding their wellbeing and that of the person they are looking after. We help carers to avoid the unwanted or premature institutionalisation of vulnerable loved ones and prevent them from becoming patients themselves.
For more details about our free, independent Caring for Carers service please contact Cathey on (01202) 737592.