12 Mar 2020
Supporting older carers who are bereaved or planning for their caring roles to come to an end
In 2019, Legal & General provided financial support to the Carers Trust, helping ten Network Partners (local carers’ services that are part of the Carers Trust Network) across the UK, who were awarded grants to develop and deliver a programme of activities for older carers.
The programme was focused upon:
1. Bereaved carers. This could include sessions such as grief workshops, group therapy, and social activities for groups of bereaved carers giving them an opportunity to make friends and rediscover old hobbies.
2. Carers planning for their caring role to come to an end. This could include discussions with carers around end of life issues and how to talk about them with the people they care for, and workshops on topics such as writing a will and establishing a Lasting Power of Attorney.
The Carers Trust were especially keen to work with Network Partners who would be focusing on supporting groups of older carers from Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT+), Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) or rural communities. Relatively low numbers of carers from the first two community groups access services from Network Partners, and in rural communities there are additional challenges in delivering services. We therefore want to support services that are accessible and suitable for these groups of carers.
In total, 491 older carers were supported. The programme benefitted the following Carers services: Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service, Carers First, Swindon Carers Centre, North Argyll Carers Centre, Carers Trust Carmarthenshire Crossroads Care (Sir Gar), Sutton Carers Centre, Northamptonshire Carers Centre, Carers Support Centre, Northamptonshire Carers Centre, Bridgend Carers Centre, East Renfrewshire Carers Centre
Five Network Partners chose to work with bereaved carers. This could be carers wishing to access support very soon after they were bereaved or some months or even years post-bereavement.
The ten Network Partners funded through the Planning for Tomorrow programme delivered their projects in a variety of ways from short courses focusing on information, advice and signposting to longer programmes of activities involving counselling, wellbeing techniques and peer support. The common thread running through all the projects is that carers taking part reported feeling more confident to face the future, better equipped and more resilient to face what lay ahead, whether that was difficult decisions around end of life care, or life beyond their caring role.