‘Relaxing’ group offers carers ‘escapism from isolation’

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Art as therapy and relaxation

By Grimsby Telegraph

Brushing up: Pictured during the art class at the Carers’ Support Centre, in Town Hall Square, Grimsby, are, from left, Rachael Williamson, art group facilitator, Mary Hoyles, carer, Hannah Salah, support development worker, and Christine Anderson, carer. Picture: Rick Byrne

PEOPLE who care for loved ones with long-term illnesses have turned to art as a way of escaping their day-to-day pressures.

Providing round-the-clock care for a relative suffering with conditions like Alzheimer’s can often lead to the carer becoming isolated and ignoring their own needs.

In a bid to tackle carer loneliness and stresses, a “relaxing” art group based in Grimsby encourages the sometimes under-pressure carers to forget their worries and immerse themselves in art.
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Shipley-based Carers’ Resource director says more still needs to be done

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Fight for carers’ rights

Carers’ Resource director Chris Whiley

Kathie Griffiths, T&A Reporter /

THE boss of a Shipley charity says there still needs to be a greater understanding and recognition of carers, one year after the Government brought in an Act to boost their rights.

Chris Whiley, director of Carers’ Resource, the integrated carers’ service for Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, said the findings of a one-year-on review of the 2015 Care Act should now be used as a tool to further promote and fight for carers’ rights.

She was speaking after Carers Trust, the UK’s national charity for unpaid carers, asked carers if the introduction of the Care Act had impacted on support they received. In some instances, the review revealed carers who were unaware of the act and its implications on them.

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New law failing to deliver for England’s unpaid carers

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A year on

A year on from the introduction of the Care Act, a review by the UK’s largest charity for unpaid carers has found that the new act has made little or no difference to the 5.4 million carers in England.

Carers Trust surveyed and spoke to unpaid carers looking after their sick or disabled family and friends, and to health and social care professionals to find out how well they thought the new act, which entitles carers to an assessment of their needs, was working.

The review, led by former care minister Paul Burstow, found a ‘mixed picture’ with examples of good practice, but in many cases found that the act had made no difference to carers. In some instances, carers hadn’t heard about the measures that had been introduced, which could support their needs and well-being as a carer.

The new Care Act came into force on 1 April 2015 and gave carers rights on an equal footing to the people they care for.

Their new rights include taking into consideration the carer’s health and wellbeing, family relationships and their need to balance their home life with their education or work. If they are found to be eligible they are entitled to support, sometimes funded by their local authority. In addition, all local authorities must provide advice and information and prevent carers’ needs from getting worse.

Former Care Minister, Professor Paul Burstow said: “For many of the carers who responded to Carers Trust’s calls for evidence, the response was stark – the act had made no difference. It was news to some that there were new rights as they simply hadn’t heard of them.

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