Twitter followers will be given a real time insight into the non-stop demands of a carer today (Tuesday 22 May) through Walsall Council’s Who Cares? initiative.
Sheila Haynes, who is a full time carer for her husband Ron, 76, who suffers from vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s, has agreed to let officers Tweet from her home as she sets about a typical morning.
Sheila, aged 68, has been caring for retired haulage boss Ron for the last four years, and says she is “on the go” all day because of his condition.
“It’s hard to describe to someone what it’s like – unless they were a fly on the wall they wouldn’t have a clue,” she said.
Officers will tweet from the couple’s home this morning (Tuesday 22 May) as part of the week-long Who Cares? initiative which is focusing on carers, dementia and mental health awareness and the support being given to people with learning and physical disabilities to come back to Walsall to live.
Running throughout this week (21 May – 25 May), the multi-media event will feature the daily demands and challenges that are faced by thousands of carers and the partnership work between the council, Age UK Walsall and Accord Group in developing specialised dementia support and advice.
There will be also be live Tweets from a carers’ consultation event in Bentley, as people share their experiences and expertise.
And Twitter will also be used to give people a taste of a typical day at Walsall’s new Independent Living Centre – the £300,000 joint social care and health investment which showcases the latest technology, state-of-the-art equipment and support available for disabled people of all ages.
The help that is available for Walsall residents across the borough’s communities will also be highlighted.
Suzanne Joyner, Walsall Council head of community care, said: “Sheila is one of the many carers we have spoken to as part of our consultation as the council and NHS Walsall work together to launch a new carers’ strategy in June.
“She spoke very honestly and openly about the difficulties of caring for someone with this condition and now she wants to give carers a voice through Twitter.
“Her situation will strike a chord with the thousands of carers who know exactly how she feels and the Tweets will also give an insight to those who have absolutely no idea of the selfless role that carers play in our borough.”
You can follow out tweets using the twitter hashtag #whocareswalsall
If you don’t have a twitter account you can follow the tweets live and join in via ‘Cover it Live’ on the Who Cares? blog http://whocareswalsall.org.uk/?page_id=206 and the Walsall Council website http://cms.walsall.gov.uk/social_care_and_health.htm