Over the past few years we have worked with East Renfrewshire Carers Association, ERCA, to support carers. Carers are people who have the responsibility of looking after family members who are ill or aged in the home. Carers often have to make difficult decisions about family life when a partner, parent or child is ill and requires increasing care at home. They often have to deal with social services and the Health Service to make sure that the person they are caring for receives the treatment, support or services that they need because of their condition. Many carers have to take time off work or reduce working hours. Others find themselves spending their retirement years attending clinics, hospital appointments and struggling financially with reduced benefits.
All these things add an increasing amount of stress as care becomes a full time responsibility and the focus of life for the carer is reduced to a timetable of medication, appointments and support workers.
As with many Carers Associations the ERCA provides a huge range of support for carers, with information, advice and a personal contact when everything seems overwhelming. It has been our privilege, at Finn’s Place, to support ERCA in providing events for carers, to give them a ‘time-out’, when they can relax, be pampered and cared for themselves and meet others who are dealing with similar situations.
We have had movie nights, afternoon retreats, garden parties, Christmas events – all to provide a few hours of relief for carers. Through these events many of the carers have been introduced to the other activities in Finn’s Place and now attend regularly for a massage or a Capacitar session.
Christine and Karen, two of the support workers from ERCA, have told us how important this support and care at Finn’s Place has been appreciated by the carers who have attended our joint events.
I believe that the joint events we have offered to carers have not only provided much needed “time out” but also allowed them an opportunity to discover and consider the importance of self- care and identify what works best for them from a range of different practices that they might not have previously been aware of or considered.
The partnership we have is of great value to our carers. The carers who visit Finn’s Place feel very welcome. The place has a warm, supportive and safe atmosphere. The activities on offer at Finn’s Place are embraced by some of our carers as a result of attending joint events e.g. movie night, garden party. The resources at Finn’s Place certainly improves health and wellbeing and many carers report feelings of relaxation and feel better for having time to themselves. They feel supported and connected and it gives them space away from the challenges of caring. It is a place that many carers feel comfortable to bring the person they care for with them. This clearly improves the quality of life for the cared for also.
Creating partnerships like this is central to all we do at Finn’s Place and we look forward to a long term relationship with ERCA and other organisations.
Project Coordinator, Finn’s Place
About Finn’s Place
Finn’s Place has been a Go For It funded wellbeing project, based in Langside Church in Glasgow, providing activities including meditation, art, retreats and gardening. For further information, please email Ruth or like their Facebook page.
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