Although there is still only the one topic, namely the war against Afghanistan and the spectre of biological warfare in America, I am pleased to note that life is beginning to return to normal in many other respects.
Last Friday a one day conference was held at Adams Park to launch a report into the health and social care needs of carers from minority ethnic communities in Wycombe and Chesham.
The conference, organised by South Buckinghamshire Carers Centre, was attended by representatives from social services, Wycombe and Amersham hospitals and voluntary agencies.
Conference delegates heard speakers including Alison Ryan, chief executive of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, Lydia Yee, head of racial equality at the Department of Health and Razia Karim, a solicitor with the Commission for Racial Equality, stress the national requirement for services to be provided in a way that met the requirements of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act.
Grainne Suter, the author of the report headed Responding to the Needs of the Minority Ethnic Carers and Andrew Cozens, director of social services at Leicester City Council also addressed the select gatheringe.
Caring for a sick or disabled person can be a very demanding and lonely task. Many carers get little time for themselves and can feel very isolated.
Most carers are women but there are also men who find themselves in this position, and often they feel there is no one to whom they can turn.
Speakers at the conference urged communities to use the current services, as it appears that for one reason or another, based on language or cultural differences, the ethnic minority carers were not availing themselves of the help and assistance which is generally available.
The other thing which was obvious from the many speakers was the fact that the current approach of social services was not reaching a significant number of carers within the Asian community.
A few felt that decision makers and planners needed to review their work practices and to adopt good practice techniques so that the minority ethnic carers were not entirely left to their own devices to care for a member of their family.
The Wycombe Carers Centre is passionately led by Patti Vincent, who would like to emphasise to the carers from the Asian community that asking services for additional support does not mean that people are not doing their duty.
Nevertheless, many carers within the Asian community see caring for a relative as nothing more than their duty and some are not aware of the full range of help which is available, or do not have time to seek help.
There is a need for the professional people to ensure that language barriers or different attitudes based on religion or culture should not deny help and assistance to the very people who selflessly devote their life to caring for others.
Indeed helping the carers with their caring role should improve the quality of life for the sick person.
Source: Archive - Bucks Free Press - Friday 19th October 2001
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