2. Care in the Community

For discussion Monday 21 November 2016

Where do we start? Like Alice (at the beginning) or, as our discussion on education advised, before that? Principles have to be that both carer and cared for are both members of our community to be valued and supported. Our community has the reponsibility to support both and, as with education, the community as a whole needs to be prepared to step in and offer support to both cared for and carer whenever needed, whatever the willingness of the carer to do more.

The beginning is obviously the care of the newborn and ‘before the beginning’ the community’s support for pregnant women (and their partners). Support obviously includes health checks, education, time, support at work and at home. It also includes a system that allows mothers with a career the certain knowledge that, although her career may be on hold whilst he is away from work, it can continue without any other penalty. We may wish to discuss the matter of maternal and paternal leave at another time, possibly together with the concepts of sabbatical leave and/or basic income.

If our community is to support both cared for and carer then the time that carers take away from employment needs to be valued just as much as time in employment. In some places (e.g. UK) qualifications taken before a maternal break may expire during that break. Our community should find a way around that problem.

Having expressed some principles around ‘he beginning’ we might accept equivalent principles for the cared for and carers where the cared for is older and ill, disabled, and at the end of life. Each has its own specific problems but each can be tackled in a similar way.

[specifics of each for completion after discussion]

Of course some people may need support from the community without requiring an actual carer. Such support may stave off the need for a carer. I list some of the ideas below - and some apply to both cared for and carers:

Keeping body and mind active - a reason for getting up in the morning and an ability to get out - can be critical.

Having the space [private or community] and finance to do things can be critical - anything from scrap-booking to wood turning.

Ensuring that resources aren’t cut-off as mobility, restricted options of carers, and finance are reduced.

Enabling means of ensuring that need is signalled immediately to friends, relations, neighbours, community support.

© John Cartmell 2013