Caring for a loved one in whatever circumstances, is a very challenging feat. Caring can take many forms whether this is an elderly relative, a child or adolescent with learning difficulties or a severe disability.

In light of the forthcoming changes to the Care Act, and with all the publicity regarding the changing care system, we have to ask the question “when it comes to care do people have a “one track” mentality? Does ‘one size fit all’? How are benefits and personal budgets for carers calculated and should these be more individual?

I truly believe one size does not fit all when it comes to care and it is important that carers have established links to help support them with whatever service they require. Links to local charities, respite providers, advice services and support groups are vitally important.

Not one size fits all, and Local groups like Stockport Advocacy, The Together Trust, Signpost and Flag can support carers here.

Having previously worked closely with AuKids magazine, a parenting magazine for children with autism, I understand the issues and concerns that parents and carers have. AuKids co-editor Debby Elley said: “Autism is a really wide spectrum and it doesn’t just vary from person to person, but the nature of it changes within a person’s lifetime as well. The needs of parents of children with disabilities also varies widely, depending on the sort of support network they have and the needs of the other family members they look after. One size most definitely does not fit all! Disability can’t be seen in a vacuum, because we don’t live in a vacuum. So whether you have a child with autism or with any other condition, you need to consider how the disability affects you and them in your specific circumstances.”

As a Wills, Trusts & Probate Solicitor, clients often come to me for advice on how best to provide for their disabled partner or child in the event of their death. Establishing trusts either in their lifetime or upon death, are important mechanisms to ensure the level of care for their loved one continues without substantially impacting upon that loved one’s current care package or means tested benefits. These trusts are managed by Trustees and the Trustees are guided by a discretionary letter of wishes provided by the carer. This letter ensures that the Trustees understand their wishes.

To bring this to light in our community, Gorvins have partnered with The Together Trust, Stockport Advocacy and various other organisations in Stockport’s care sector to provide an opportunity for individuals in these situations, to find out what they are entitled to and the options available to them.

I hope that this unique opportunity will help people understand where their situation fits in and how the changes to the Care Act will affect them personally.

For me it important to help people understand how they can best care for their loved ones in a way which will suit them, and collaboration with all the support networks is the way forward.

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