Care Collective Cafe Conversation Thursday 20th April underCOVER 56 Kelburn St Barrhead Glasgow G78 1LR
On the 20 April we held our first Café Conversation in Barrhead. Nearly 40 people came together to talk about how we support carers better. Through a series of small group discussions we explored three questions:
What does ‘care’ mean to you? What might help you to take better care? How might we work better together in East Ren to take better care of each other?
The themes that came up through these discussions are set out below. Perhaps these topics and opinions will sound familiar to you? Or maybe your experience is quite different?
P lease let us know what you think.
We want to keep the conversation going. If you would like to host a Conversation Café, please get in touch and we will help you to make it happen. If you’d like to take part in a conversation, keep an eye on our News and Events page for a conversation near you. Members of the Care Collective attended the Carers Act Implementation Group (CAIG) hosted by East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership. We fed back the comments raised at the Conversation Café. Those at the CAIG are keen to ensure that the community influences the way the Act is implemented in East Ren and have asked the Care Collective to work with the community to make this happen. In addition to the Café Conversations we have been interviewing people with experience of caring for someone. We’ve also been interviewing social workers, people from community organisations and decision makers within the local public sector organisations. These interviews are helping us to build a rich picture of the current situation and to generate ideas for what could improve things in the short, medium and long term. If you would like to be interviewed and so share your experience and ideas, please get in touch. Based upon your opinions and ideas, we will be inviting people to come together again to identify what we can do together to take care of carers. We’ll be finding ways to make a difference and to influence the implementation of new legislation to ensure that it best meets the needs of people in East Ren.
What does ‘care’mean to you?
This was a tricky question. Care means different things to different people – and at different times. At one end of the spectrum, people spoke about the need to care for one another – maybe even ‘interfere’ more if we think someone might need help.
“We’re all responsible.” “Care is love and inclusion” “There are too many isolated people. We should interfere more!” “It’s about making people feel that they matter, that they are valued” “I do it without thinking” “Sometimes it’s just sitting with someone”
However, caring for someone else isn’t always a choice and it can be traumatic and demanding. “It’s hard work – emotionally and physically” “It means prioritizing the needs of someone else” “It changes by the minute. Care is a changing story” “It can be life-limiting and hard to relate to” “It’s project management” “Becoming a carer can be traumatising. It’s sudden and it’s life-changing” “Outsiders don’t understand the impact. It’s our lives. You cannot walk away from care” “It means looking after someone who once was the main homemaker and now is unable to do anything
Question 2 What might help you to take better care?
Caring for someone else could be all-consuming and carers often felt that they had lost control. Independence and choice was important to carers as well as cared for people.
“How could I take better care? I wish I knew!” “For me care means frustration with services” “You have no control over who else is in your life making decisions” “Care means making changes to suit other people because of services available” “It’s about carers recognising that they need help” “I can’t plan ahead. It’s all consuming” “It’s very difficult to get more care”