Why can it be difficult to decide whether or not a person is a carer, and does it matter? Base the answer on the case of someone you know.

In this essay I am going to discuss a family who are close family friends. I will be looking at their situation and using this to form the basis of my essay.   All names have been changed to protect the identity of all persons in this essay. I will be discussing the four complicating factors in (K101, Unit 1) and in relation to the question, I will also show how this links to Susan’s and Tom’s situation

Tom is a 62 year old man with diabetes and mild learning disabilities. Tom lives in the family home independently which he has continued to do since his parents passed away. Tom receives care from his younger sister Susan, who has her own family and lives several miles away.

The government has a set certain criteria that a person needs to meet to officially qualify as a carer. These criteria need to be met so that Carer’s Allowance can be claimed. A recognised carer needs to be caring for someone for more than thirty five hours a week and not earn more than £100 per week. The carer should be over sixteen and caring for someone recognised as disabled.

Susan is not able work and relies on her husband to support her due to the amount of hours Susan spends caring for Tom. Susan spends around six hours a day, seven days a week with Tom. Quite often, Susan’s husband will work long hours to compensate for lost income since Susan gave up her job to care for Tom. This puts Susan’s family unit under great financial stress. The work of Nissel and Bonnerjea (1982) as cited by Llewelyn and Payne (1995, p110) state that “…any financial assistance provided for by the state did not effectively compensate for loss of earnings or increased financial demand.”

Susan meets all of Tom’s care needs without any support from friends or outside agencies. Susan’s husband does not recognise that Susan is a carer and he sees this as her...