We both want to get our independence back - accidental caring.
Being a family carer is hard work and often, when we spend our energy on those we care for, we can often forget about ourselves. This can have a massive impact on our physical and mental health, our confidence and our well being. In turn, there's a negative knock-on effect on the very people we are caring for and that's a growing problem. With 6 million of us currently caring for a loved one, (a figure estimated, by the Carers Trust, to increase to 9 million by 2037) this has become a critical challenge for our society.
Over recent years, we have also seen the rise of technology solutions that can enhance our lives as we get older. With an intelligent use of data, networks, sensors and virtual support capabilities, technology is helping us lead lead richer, more independent lives. for longer.
In November 2016, we partnered with AXA PPP to explore, together, how technology can improve care in our society. We used The Age of Action, our crowd-sourcing platform, to find tech ideas and innovations that have the potential to improve caring in our society. In other words, identifying those innovations, that could apply technology, to enhance the lives of the carer as well as benefit the person receiving care.
As part of our project, we spent a few days with the mother and sister of George Lee, do-founder of The Age of No Retirement. We wanted to find out what they thought could make their lives easier given a drastic change in circumstances.
Val, George's mother, had a fall two years ago, just before Christmas 2014. Not expected to survive the night, due to a horrendous brain injury, she defied the odds and survived emergency brain surgery. The fall turned everyone's lives upside down and Val now needs 24/7 care.
"We so need things which bring some freedom to both of us."
George's sister, Victoria, has moved in with her mum as her full time carer. In this short film, Val and Vic share the frustrations surrounding the dire lack of real help and highlight the fact that this is obviously true for people in similar circumstances, all over the UK.
As these women navigate the total alteration in their individual lifestyles and living arrangements, their feelings of guilt, as well as a sense of being trapped, is laid bare. The loss of independence and dignity, is felt profoundly by both women.
This is a film about Val and Victoria.
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