Earlier today Bristol mother Riven Vincent released this heart-breaking statement:
'Yesterday, as has been reported, I called my social worker to tell her I wanted to start looking for a full-time residential care home for my six-year-old daughter, Celyn, who has severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy and epilepsy. I'd just received a letter from social services saying they was no chance of any more than the six hours respite care we receive currently.
I never imagined I would get to this point and it's the last thing we want for her but we just can't see any other option. Caring for my daughter is relentless. She needs someone 24 hours a day. She must be tube-fed, is doubly incontinent, cannot walk, talk, sit up, or use her arms. She has to be lifted using a hoist from chair to wheelchair, between bed and bath. She doesn't grow up. I sleep in a bed next to Celyn every night, beside a monitor that checks her breathing. I've barely had an unbroken night since she was born and I am exhausted. My sleeplessness leads to problems with everything else. I'm too tired to cook and give my three other children the attention I need to. Caring takes over your whole life.
And it's not just my family. Carers across the country are struggling the same way. It's not a new thing. It's been going on for years and no one government is to blame. But I had hoped that after David Cameron came to visit me earlier this year following our exchange on Mumsnet, he would have done more to protect families like ours. The money the government has allocated for short breaks and respite care - eight hundred million over four years - is not enough and worse still it's not going to be ring-fenced. So there's nothing to stop cash-strapped local authorities from using the money elsewhere.
I have no wish to put my daughter into a home. We want to look after her, all I am asking for is a little more support. Without this we simply cannot cope and nor can families up and down the country just like ours. We are crumbling.'
Read more here.
Are you in a carer and feel as desperate as Riven Vincent?
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