Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious !

As a child I spent ages learning that word and singing that song. Mary Poppins was the best nanny ever ! Then of course she went on to have adventures on flying beds ,what a woman.

I had a meeting the other day with the care provider who have the contract to look after young carers in my area (Lancashire). It was established that their contract is being met. They do run their service differently from a neighboring one and it isn’t fair to compare. I thought personally that being a charity they were raising money to do more beyond what they got paid in their contract for but…..

Right so let’s move on . I’ve been racking my brains around and they do take a lot of shaking and organizing. I started thinking about when my children were little and there were lots of things at health clinics, centres….

The main person that kept everything in check was your health visitor. Now my health visitor Lavinia was amazing. She was so supportive and efficient at her job. If you had a question she had an answer a leaflet or she’d get you one. The health visitor was central to my health and my child’s health and any other children in the family. She could make referrals, appointments, find support etc

This all seems to stop when your child grows up and goes to school. Normally this is fine as let’s face it you just want to get on and do things your way . No more 9 month check worries . You get settled into a routine and everything is hunky dory.

So when a spanner is thrown in the works, who is supposed to step in and help a family ? Who’s supposed to coordinate care ? Who is supposed to check the emotional and physical wellbeing of the children?

Obviously a parents first port of call when struck down with an illness is the doctor’s. Now you can’t get people involved straight away but there should be some kind of red flagging on the system that allows them to get some social support for a family surely?…

What about school? Should they have a red flag system because mum has stopped bringing the children to school, dad is now and when asked the children say mum is ill?

I think that instead of paying all these different charities and organizations, money would be better spent on family support centers in different areas which cover all the areas in one base. A bit like sure start but for older children . I know you have the wellbeing. I’m not sure if this is what that is about but if it is , it isn’t known about by doctors or anyone else.

Money is being used on services that help a handful from the area . Other money in primary care is being wasted on services which are pointless.

I’m ashamed to say that because of my illness my 2 younger kids have never had any of their friends around for tea as it just too much and I have a camping toilet downstairs . My 9 year old has never been invited to a school friend’s to play or for tea and my 7 year old has just once. Neither have ever had a birthday party because at my worst logistically it wasn’t possible but that is going to be rectified this year hopefully! As dad works mainly weekends if one of my older children aren’t around or I’m not great we are stuck in. This is not a normal childhood . I feel guilty as hell about it and it’s what keeps me motivated to try and get as physically strong as I can become.

What I’m trying to say in my round about long winded usual way is , young carers there is help if you fill out the assessment and say I need help I am a young carer I do everything I have no other life…….. so if you are having that assessment and feel that way, please say it. If you’re not so forth coming or you are too young to express yourself in that way then you will drift, but your childhood certainly won’t be that of a normal one.

I went to see my 12 year old in a performance at school. My chest was bad so I had my ventilator on but still kept frequently coughing. I’d taken my 9 year old as a treat (stay up late) . Every noise I made he looked at me with concern and needed a thumbs up that I was ok ,now that’s a young carer !!! I felt sad that my 9 year old was looking out for me but also proud of how sweet natured he is. He should be able to relax though.

I strongly believe that the key to helping young carers is to work with the whole family. It’s a process that needs to be gone through and someone needs to be central as it’s just chaos and counterproductive at the moment.

Until then I will do my best for this area to keep trying to set up monthly meets in different places for families.

If you are a local business who would be willing to offer your premises and services once a month every month then please get in touch.

Joanne Quinnell

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1556840474401957/

It’s Everyone’s Right to Enjoy Family Life….Please Let Us Have Ours!!

Wouldn’t it be so nice to be able to see disabled and people with chronic health conditions join in fun physical activities with their families?

I recently experienced this again after not being able to for so long due to bad health, no support or the equipment needed to use . Thankfully I found a few people to help me, motivate , without them it would have been impossible.

Even though it’s been years and taken a long time for me to get to the stage where I am strong enough to go on a handcycle down the promenade with my children , I still count myself lucky and privileged.

To feel the air on my face. To feel free . To feel in control. All of you adventurers/explorers/adrenaline junkies know that feeling.

To hear my children scream and laugh with excitement . To be moving something with the power of my own body ( this was so important to me ). I had to compromise and have a ventilator on so I could breath but I’ll live with that if i can join in with fun activities with my children as it’s about adapting to things just having a go. I want to share experiences with them like all other mothers do . See their excitement calm their fears ….

It does feel a little bitter sweet because I know that there are so many families out there craving the same. I hurt for them, I know how it feels to be a parent who can’t do things with your children. The guilt you feel, the feelings that you are failing them are actually unbearable at times.

To do things as a family with adapted equipment with support if needed is what our families should have .

More equipment so wheelchair users can get on the beach.

Adapted bikes so families can go cycling together.

Better lightweight all terrain wheelchairs on the NHS so users can push them manually .

Rollaters (treadmills for wheelchairs) in the gym so people Can exercise.

Wheelchair/seated dance classes.

More wheelchair sports in all areas .

All these things will help people build up physical strength and much needed confidence so that new skills can be learnt.

This in turn can only have a good impact on everyones physical health , mental health and family wellbeing .

The cost of getting equipment that is classed as for use by a disabled person, is automatically inflated . The reason for this being some local councils etc will buy or pay for the equipment and also people use all their mobility benefits and the industry milk ever penny they can get but really the profit margins that they make are extortionate and should be capped !!!!

These items aren’t fashion accessories. The wheelchairs that you get given from the nhs aren’t fit for purpose for everyone .You are supposed to have an assessment done to get one suited to your needs but that doesn’t usually happen. So these big bulky wheelchairs are a waste of money because you can’t move in them anyway.

Even though it may seem like it may cost more to support a project like this , I really believe that long term it would work out cheaper. If you think to about the impact social isolation has on the whole family. So supporting that one person to get active is the way forward.

The Health Secretary is always claiming to want to solve the problems within the NHS and social isolation within communities. This could do both . It would be an investment not just in the person who needs adapted equipment but the rest of their family too.

For example my husband works and he works mainly weekends unfortunately that means my children are often stuck at home with me. Sometimes I am too ill or didn’t have any mobility equipment suitable to use to go out. This means that my children don’t get to exercise, enjoy fresh air or socially engage with other children, our family is not unique.

Going out on a handcycle was the best thing ever! It felt like i got a little bit of something back …… maybe my rights as a mum …… self worth …… hope …… happiness …….. independence …….. my adventurous spirit.

Please help me to come up with ideas to change the way we look at support less abled and people with long term health conditions and their families.

In my area Young Carers especially have no support. The emotional impact of a family member being ill can cause so much turmoil in a young person’s life. From a personal perspective I’ve begged charities for help for my family, as I can see how us going from being super active as a family to literally doing nothing is effecting them. I got no support and again I’ve approached charities for help in starting a group for young carers in Fleetwood Wyre and Fylde for young carers but no help even though they work just down the road in Blackpool.

It’s like a postcode lottery almost as to which areas are provided with money and support . Yet there are policies in place saying that certain services should be provided for all young carers and their families.

There are some adapted bikes at the YMCA in Fleetwood that are only used once a week . I thought it might be great to perhaps expand that and start a family cycling club . I’ve been trying to get hold of the right people . If anyone can help I would really appreciate this.

Also really think that families doing activities together is the best therapy, be it crafts ,ping pong ,board games, cooking, skiing etc so if you are a #charity #organisation that could offer some time and if needed equipment please get in touch .

If anyone has any contacts from this area. Ideas . Thoughts ……….

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1556840474401957/

Joanne Quinnell.