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`Why can it be difficult to decide whether or not a person is an informal carer and does it matter? Base your answer on the case of someone you know, or have read about.

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`Why can it be difficult to decide whether or not a person is an informal carer and does it matter? Base your answer on the case of someone you know, or have read about. In this Essay I investigate what the difficulties are of deciding whether a person is an informal carer by label, and the importance of it in enabling them to access community services, helping them to continue a fulfilled life, whilst being recognised for their time and devotion. I will be basing this on Valerie's Case Study. Valerie is a 62 year old mother of 5, who looks after her 35 year old son Barry, who suffers from cerebral palsy; I have asked permission from Valerie (names have been changed for confidentiality) who gave her consent, I also discussed what being labelled a carer meant to her. Valerie explained to me "caring for her son was never about labels or financial gain, but was about trying to enable him to live as full a life as his condition would allow" The ...read more.


act 1995) . She broke this down as follows, 2 hours a day cleaning and bathing, 7 days a week - 14hrs 30 mins a day administering medication and creams, 7 days a week - 3.5 hours hrs 2 hours a day cooking and preparing meals - 7 days a week 14hrs 2 hours a day toileting - 7 days a week 14hrs Total 45.5 This allowed Valerie to access community support and government benefits. Labelling For Valerie being labelled a carer was not something she accepted easily, as she saw it as a "mother's duty". When it was explained to her that being recognised as a carer by local authorities would allow her to access more community support, she understood it could help her lookafter her son, and have some quality time for herself. Interdependence This was never an issue as Barry was almost completely dependent others to provide care and support for him. ...read more.


This type of indirect care has a large role to play within any care network, giving emotional and practical support. Conclusion As time goes on we will all require some sort of care, whether it is formal or informal. We may be part of some sort of care network right now, it could be post operation care or looking after an elderly family member. Labelling someone with carer status may not mean anything to an informal carer but becomes subjective if it's good or not. Giving people access to information on services available to them when they are labelled, allows them to make an informed choice. The government recognised the job informal carers do by introducing the Carers (Recognition and Service) act 1995. There are approximately 6 million people in the UK providing unpaid support to the elderly, infirm, disabled or sick people. This saves an approximate �57 billion a year (Carers UK, 2006). If people are not given the help and training they need, then the people they support may become isolated unable to access the community and live as a full life as possible. Word Count 834 ...read more.

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