Helping People In Care And Their Carers

11 June 2010, 05:00

There's a big push in Central Bedfordshire to give people more control over the care they receive.

Previously vulnerable adults had little say over when their carers would visit, but now the council wants to give people more control and choice in the matter.

They’re promoting the scheme at a series of workshops, starting on Friday June 11th at the Forest Centre in Marston Mortaine.

Susan Claringbull, who lives in Mid Bedfordshire and has Multiple Sclerosis, has been trying out the new approach.

“It’s given me my life back,” she told Heart. “MS predominantly affects my right-hand side. I need help to get dressed in the morning, to cook meals, do housework – things like that.

Before I felt I had no control, even down to the food I ate. I had to have something that was quick and easy to do, usually in the microwave, because you couldn’t be sure exactly what time the carer would arrive.

Now I feel like I’ve got my independence – I’ve got a say in how I have my care and when I have my care.”

The workshops around Central Bedfordshire take place on: 

Friday 11 June 9.30am-12.30pm: Forest Centre, Marston Mortaine
Mon 14 June 6pm-9pm: Dunstable Fire Station
Fri 18 June 9.30am-12.30pm: Priory House, Shefford

Central Bedfordshire Council are also trying to support the carers themselves – there are 25,000 carers in this area alone.

Councillor Carole Hegley, Central Bedfordshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “Being a carer can often take its toll when working in such a demanding role, so we are offering free blood pressure checks to our local carers.“

Local representatives will be on hand at the carer’s roadshows to provide advice and support as well as ideas on enriching life, offering free pampering sessions and computer advice.  These events take place on:

Monday 14 June, 10 to 12pm, Stotfold Memorial Hall
Tuesday 15 June, 2pm to 4pm, Dunstable Methodist Church

Did you know?

  • One in four carers in Central Bedfordshire look after someone with mental health problems
  • One in nine Central Bedfordshire carers look after someone with dementia
  • 60 percent of residents with learning disabilities receive care from a family member  
  • In 2009, 135 carers were able to enjoy a small break or holiday through NHS funding.