Monthly Archives: April 2013

Family Carers need the internet for support and friendship

Why it’s important to get older people and carers confident online

Rates of digital exclusion in social care are higher than in the general populationShare0

Elderly person using computer

One of the biggest barriers to being online is lack of confidence. Photograph: Murdo Macleod

The government’s digital by default agenda seeks to realise £1.8bn of savings by moving transactions with citizens online and it aims to boost the value of the economy by £63bn by developing better digital skills across the country.

Evidence suggests that being net savvy can save us time, money, make us feel better connected, less lonely and better informed. Conversely, being digitally excluded means having less (and diminishing) access to public and commercial services, to information and advice and to social interaction, all of which adversely impacts on wellbeing.

When depression affects 20% of older people living in the community and 40% living in elder care homes, compared with 10% of the population at large, and when national data shows that informal carers have lower levels of wellbeing than non-carers, being digitally literate is not just desirable, it becomes necessary.

Digital Unite research has shown that of those over 55s who are using the internet, four out of five (86%) said it had improved their lives, 72% said being online had helped reduce their feelings of isolation and 81% said using the internet makes them feel part of modern society. In addition, 20% of older learners in a Digital Unite social housing learning programme felt their understanding of health-related issues had improved as a result of being online.

Because a lot of caring is done by family members, it’s assumed anyone can do it.

How carers are often left out in the cold

We should be taking care of carers

The Observer,

Elderly people sit on a bench by the seaside

‘Carers are, in terms of status, about where nursing was pre-Florence Nightingale: in a job that very few would choose above all other occupations’: Katharine Whitehorn on carers. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

Carers come in all shapes and sizes, and as more and more of us fail to die on time, the demand for them is going to increase. But according to a survey, only a third of those working in the NHS believe they are properly supervised, and nine out of 10 want to be registered, as nurses are. Which might be a step in the right direction, but doesn’t address the basic trouble: that caring has no real status.

Some carers are little short of saints, but because a lot of caring is inevitably done by family members, it’s assumed anyone can do it, and too many are simply doing it because it’s the only job going, with no sense of vocation, precious little pay, and too often expected to fit half an hour’s care into 20 minutes. They are, in terms of status, about where nursing was pre-Florence Nightingale: in a job that very few would choose above all other occupations.

A chance for disabled and carer to enjoy the theatre

Theatre pilot for ‘killer’ play

editorial image

Published on Friday 19 April 2013 12:30

A TRAVELLING theatre company is hoping to encourage more people with additional needs to enjoy the theatre with an innovative pilot scheme.

The Theatre Broad will be bringing Broadway comedy hit ‘Deathtrap’, by Ira Levin, to the Webster Memorial Theatre on April 30 and has introduced a new discount scheme.

Ticket prices for those with disabilities have been slashed to a token £1 and their carers will be given free entry to boot.

The plot revolves around Sidney Bruhl (David Reid-Kay), a renowned playwright stricken by writer’s block who encounters unknown dramatist Clifford Anderson (Mark Harvey).

A twisted dark comedy unravels from this point with murder, black humour and more than a few surprises along the way as both playwrights attempt to write a ‘killer’ play.

The show starts at 7.30 p.m. and tickets are £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £1 for people with disabilities and their carers.

Tickets are available from the Webster Memorial Theatre box office on 01241 435800 or by visiting