Doing what really matters in social care in Wales – how do we make it happen together?
When Dafydd’s* wife was diagnosed with dementia three years ago, he turned to his local carers service and was introduced to a dementia support worker who helped him access grants and short breaks, welcomed him to peer support sessions and helped with legal and financial planning for the future.
“I don’t know how I would have coped if it wasn’t for the support worker”
(Dafydd, carer of wife with dementia)
Dafydd and other unpaid carers across Wales are supported by Network Partners who provide support for the emotional, practical and health challenges that looking after a family member can bring, but too many carers:
- are not aware of their rights
- cannot find the right information at the right time
- cannot access the support they need to maintain their own health and well-being.
In 2014, Wales passed legislation that now underpins carers’ rights but we know that too often many carers struggle to get by and regularly tell us they are:
- burnt out from not having a break,
- struggling to maintain employment with a caring role, or are
- experiencing poor mental health.
Hearing from people about their lived experience of accessing care and support available in Wales is arguably the only way to assess whether we’re achieving what we set out to achieve in the Act. We can only judge a society by how it treats the most vulnerable members of the community.
From September 21 to 24, fifteen members of the public are taking part in Measuring the Mountain’s Citizens' Jury. Carers Trust Wales is a proud member of the steering group for this project that is capturing the stories of unpaid carers and people accessing care and support services in Wales.
The week-long digital event will see the Citizens' Jury presented with evidence from ‘witnesses’ who include our Network Partner North East Wales Carers Information Service (NEWCIS) speaking about their successful and flexible short break provision for carers, and also Credu, sharing their innovative practices in Powys.
Jurors will listen but also challenge, no doubt asking difficult questions to people who play a role in designing and delivering the services which we rely on to look after our parent who has dementia perhaps, or our children who need support with mobility, or even ourselves as carers.
Measuring the Mountain is a unique opportunity for us to celebrate how carers like Dafydd are being supported in Wales, but also have open and honest conversations about working together to make sure every carer is supported to achieve what matters most to them.
Download the programme and watch the sessions live online by visiting www.mtm.wales. Join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #mtmcitizensjury, and don’t forget to tag in @CarersTrustWal too.
*Name changed for privacy purposes.