Stonehaven Probus Club President, John Callander welcomed guest speaker Moira Hurry of the Aberdeenshire Social Care charity VSA at the Club’s last meeting. Presently working from temporary accommodation after Stonehaven’s recent flood damage(for the second time) Mrs Hurry and her colleagues are carrying on with their work giving help to the Region’s carers.
Serious illness or injury, which can happen to any of us at any age, can dramatically change the life of the victim but it can also impact severely on the day to day lives of their nearest and dearest. Our much admired NHS can do a great job of putting the pieces back together but when the recovery turns out to be a long process, parents, partners and others are often called upon to change their own lives to give the necessary care, sometimes for years.
Moira explained that the help her organisation can provide to these selfless people, who may sometimes have to give up their work of even move house, is very cost effective for Scotland’s health spending.
In Aberdeenshire a mixture of part-time and volunteer workers cover a very large rural area. Their principle aim is to collect information about the needs and problems of carers and then to put in place the necessary provisions to help. Many of these carers are elderly and some have health issues of their own so this means many home visits and much listening to people who often don’t realise what help is available.
One particularly important function is to provide regular gathering where, over a cup of tea, carers can meet and exchange information and experiences- caring can sometimes be a very lonely job. Moira and colleagues have organised art, writing and craft classes all with the intention of giving carers a break from the daily routine. Financial help is also available where a short holiday is thought to be of benefit to both the patient and carer.