David Cameron has offered “every sympathy” to the mother of a disabled girl refused care, but carer Nicky Clark tells Channel 4 News the coalition cuts make a mockery of his sympathies.
Riven Vincent and her heartbreaking plea via the influential Mumsnet caused me to feel both anger and empathy.
As the mother of two disabled girls, and with my own mum in end stage Alzheimer’s disease, I understand too well what carer burn-out feels like.
I can’t believe that David Cameron seeks to deliberately disenfranchise disabled people.
I understand too well what carer burn-out feels like.
But the idea that he is leading a government which is removing the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, yet tackling Riven’s case personally, makes a mockery of his assertion that he stands shoulder to shoulder with all carer’s and their concerns for their disabled children.
There are many people’s children who are already in residential care and who are going to be devastated by the loss of their mobility.
Imagine someone taking your car now. Even if you were sure you could get a bus or train to wherever you wished to go it would limit your independence something which disabled people already fight against everyday.
Plus, the stigma of the heartbreaking decision to place your child in a residential setting has been made worse by these headlines. It may be the worst nightmare of parents of non-disabled children but it’s a reality for many people.
Carers cumulatively save the government £87bn. If we decided to buck the trend and claim our unpaid wages that would make Vodaphone, Topshop, Boots and HSBC’s tax avoidance look like small change.
But we don’t because quite frankly we’re so bloody knackered and sad most of the time we haven’t got the energy.
We don’t think that the government owes us a living, but respite is key.
There is carers allowance admittedly but I’m not sure there are many paid carers who work as I did for three people, 24 hours a day, for £170 per month.
The rate of divorce in families with a disabled child is extremely high. The figures of alcohol addiction and anti-depression medication, is also higher than the average.
They are our children and we love them. We don’t think that the government owes us a living, but respite is key.
We receive poor treatment from bosses who don’t understand a pressured home life, bullying of our children and abuse in the street. When you add that to our caring responsibilities, it just makes life that little bit worse.
I would like to send a reminder that children with disabilities turn into adults with disabilities
Finally, I would like to send a reminder that children with disabilities – such a favourite for some people in public life for compassion filled photo opportunities – turn into adults with disabilities.
Not so cute, but equally valuable in human terms. They are vulnerable; they are often ignored and routinely bullied. They too are loved by their parents.
They may not be target voters, but just like my mum and my children, they matter to me.
Nicky Clark blogs at dontplaymepayme.com and is on Twitter @dontplaymepayme