Walking a Tightrope: Carers and People with Learning Disability

Well, back to older people’s issues this week, but first a comment. Dear new PM Mrs. May, Why has the Health portfolio remained in the hands of Jeremy Hunt? He is deeply unpopular and has supported policies that threaten the future status of the NHS. If everyone else is getting a new cabinet minister why not Health? Do you really think he is doing a good job? See: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jeremy-hunt-now-longest-serving-792561

Tightrope

So what’s new? Today a new report was released from Age UK and Carers UK which calls on the Government to make all jobs flexible by default, as a new report reveals the significant impact caring has on employment prospects. The new report called “Walking the Tightrope” states that caring for as little as five hours a week, can have a significant impact on employment prospects, while those caring for more than 10 hours a week are at a marked risk of leaving the labour market altogether.

Age UK’s Charity Director, Caroline Abrahams, on publishing the report said:

‘People are living longer with multiple health issues and this is creating a demand for care and support that the state is failing to meet. The result is increased expectations on families and friends to step in to help. The army of unpaid carers in this country do an outstanding job but, we are simply asking them to sacrifice too much. Many feel forced to give up their own paid work …But when they do stop working the financial loss they incur is huge and often has consequences for the rest of their lives. It is morally wrong that people who do the right thing by becoming a carer should so seriously undermine their own financial security as a result.

I can only agree. To see the full report go to: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/latest-news/caring-in-later-life-harms-job-prospects/

On a totally different tack, a new paper published in Learning Disability Practice this month looked at the barriers experienced by people with learning difficulties accessing healthcare in the UK.

Many people will be aware of the fact that people with learning disabilities can age at dramatically different rates depending on their individual disability and circumstances, meaning that chronological age cannot be taken as a reliable indicator of the age-related needs of anyone with a learning disability. See: http://www.learningdisabilities.org.uk/help-information/learning-disability-a-z/a/ageing/ , if you want to learn a bit more about this. So the findings of this paper will impact on may “older” people with a learning disability.

The paper looks at solutions to some of the barriers, so to see what they suggest visit:

http://journals.rcni.com/doi/pdfplus/10.7748/ldp.2016.e1752

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