I don’t usually blog about carer’s needs. Doing this blog is my wee escape from the 24 hour round of caring. But following my blog post last week in response to the Clare Lally issue, many of you have said that you want to do something to help. Your kindness, care, and concern was overwhelming, and I spent much of Friday in tears. The media talks so much about how nasty the online world is – the fact there is so much good and so much humanity often gets overlooked. It restores your faith in the basic goodness of people.
So I called Kaye – no, not that one, this one works at the carer’s centre – to get advice about crowd funding and fundraising and how it might affect my claim for Carer’s Allowance. And basically we think the solution is a simple one, if people are kind enough that they wish to crowd fund in order to raise money to help with my partner’s care needs, any money raised can be paid into a special bank account where it can be used to pay for any care services he requires, and for anything we need in order to assist me to continue to care for him at home.
However you need to crowdfund for my partner, not for me, and then it doesn’t count as my income for the purposes of Carer’s Allowance. I cannot be involved in fund raising efforts myself. Please note that we still need to check the legal issues further to confirm everything, but this way of going about things seems, provisionally, to be the answer. So you can go ahead.
The reason for such caution is that I don’t want to give those who are nasty and vindictive – and we all know who I mean – any excuse to attack me or my partner. Because you know they would.
If my partner Andy is settled and in one of his more lucid periods, he can be left for up to 45 minutes to an hour which allows me to get out and do the weekly shopping, but as his condition deteriorates even that’s getting more difficult. Vascular dementia is a progressive condition which has no cure or treatment, and we are going to need more support in future in order to ensure that I can continue to care for him at home, with the dug and me, where he’s happy and feels safe and where he wants to be.
Andy fought in two wars for the UK, in Suez and Cyprus. He was a sniper in the Royal Marines. He then served as a police officer in London for 25 years. He deserves his dignity. Naturally I’ve spoken to him about this crowd funding idea, he’s a very proud man who would rather suffer than ask for help, but he has given his consent to this. He knows we’re going to need more assistance in future, and neither of us wants him to go into residential care.
I don’t do this blog for money, and never have done. You may see some adverts when you view this site, but the income from those adverts goes to WordPress, not to me, because I don’t pay WordPress for their blogging platform. I do this blog because I’m a full time carer who can’t get out the house for long and it gives me something to think about which doesn’t revolve around caring and care needs. In a small way it lets me feel connected to the rest of the world, which is important when you’re a carer. Many of us feel a crushing social isolation. I honestly had no idea that this blog connected with so many people. It has touched and humbled me. I’d also ask you to think about the carers amongst your own friends and families, and ask that you reach out to them too – don’t let them feel that they are alone.
So if you wish to crowd fund to help my partner’s care needs, you have our blessing, our thanks, and our eternal gratitude.
This is being organised by the readers of this blog and Wings Over Scotland, and is being discussed on the Off-Topic page on Wings Over Scotland. If you would like further information and discussion about the practicalities, it’s best to go there. The link is