MPs Vow To Help Local Carers

People caring for sick or disabled relatives have been offered support from their MPs. Both Linda Riordan, for Halifax, and Chris McCafferty, the member for Calder Valley, set up surgeries to listen to the concerns of full-time carers. It comes at a time when Calderdale Council’s social services department heads towards a £1 million overspend, which has created a waiting list of almost 100 people with critically high needs for home-care services.

Mrs Riordan said: “It was a very busy surgery and really successful. Some real issues were brought to my attention that we can campaign on. For example, one woman’s husband has Alzheimer’s but because he is under 65 he can’t get respite care without paying for it. That really needs to be looked at and I need to lobby to get it changed.”

People also appealed for better services and speedier home improvements to make life easier, at her surgery held at Halifax Town Hall. Mrs Riordan praised the work of the committed and unpaid carers. She said: “This is an important area that needs more attention paid to it. They do a marvellous job. We need to give them all the help and support we can.”

At Mrs McCafferty’s surgery, which was held in the Cen- tral Methodist Church at Todmorden, similar issues were raised. She said: “It was very well attended. The number of people who came who might not normally have come to see me was very pleasing.

“I am certain that we will be able to help. And most carers don’t realise that they are entitled to an assessment of their own needs. We were able to explain that. It doesn’t matter if they care for a partner, a teenager or an elderly person – we need to look after them because if they aren’t in good shape they can’t continue their great work.”

The simultaneous events were organised by the Calderdale Carers Project.