“IF YOU put a bit of effort into looking after the carers you would save so much money in the long run. It would be better for them, better for their loved ones and the public purse” – that’s the verdict of Redditch Carers Careline’s Fiona Mitchell.
The charity has more than 280 carers on its books, many with health problems of their own and including 43 who are over 80 years old themselves.
“The condition they mostly care for is dementia and often these people have more than one thing wrong with them, so there are complications too,” said Fiona.
Carers Careline offers a resource for carers, running days out, lunches and get-togethers and a chance to talk to someone who knows exactly what they are going through.
The support network extends to a men’s group plus a counselling service but all too frequently plans to offer more things run into a lack of money.
“We don’t offer respite care but if I could secure funding we might be able to put on a sitting service, but it’s a big issue,” said service manager Fiona, who runs a tight-knit team backed by a willing band of volunteers.
“Most of our carers want to do it but sometimes they need a bit of help, because it’s wearing them out,” she said.
“We also have people looking after someone who is younger than them and the worry of who will take over when they can no longer cope.”
Recently, as featured in the Redditch Standard, Carers Careline received a vital shot in the arm from the Anonymous Donor when it was on the brink of closure.
Thanks to that donation it has gone on to win other grants and is now bidding for more funding to keep its services going and to hopefully expand them.
Based at the Ecumenical Centre, the offices are open Monday to Thursday from 10am to 12noon but people can ring 01527 66177 from 9am to 2pm or visit http://carerscareline.co.uk/ .