A Carer's Story

Julie had suffered from a brain haemorrhage and was struggling to continue to care for her mother, who lives with her and suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease.

Julie’s mum had a social worker but she felt their relationship was poor, and that the social worker was not listening to her or understanding the stress and difficulty involved in her caring role. Julie felt her mum needed far more respite than had been awarded, and felt unable to get this across in meetings with social services.

When Julie found out she was entitled to advocacy support, she rang and spoke to an advocate called David. David helped Julie get a care review meeting postponed, so that he could attend with her. David helped Julie get a better working relationship with the social worker and supported her at several meetings and care/carer reviews with him. David also worked with Julie to find alternative weekend respite options for her mum, to cover times when the original respite home was unavailable. At times David liaised with the social worker on Julie’s behalf, which she said improved their relationship.

Julie constantly said how refreshing and enabling it was to have someone in her corner who had no preconceived ideas, and who did not judge her, but listened to her. She said she felt she was taken more seriously by social services and also felt more able to deal with them.

Eventually a care package was approved that everyone was happy with, giving Julie’s mum the respite she felt the family needed. Direct payments were also arranged enabling Julie to choose to employ different, better care staff for home care calls.