Transport costs are a massive issue that affects so many carers of all ages, from as young as they start school till older adulthood. Many carers face huge financial difficulty and as a result are unable to have much of a social life of there own as they can not afford to get around by public transport. The simple task of getting to shops, collecting medication from the chemist or doing many other things that come as part of the daily routine that carers face on a day to day basis.
Alongside a caring role its important for carers to be able to attend support groups and meet with friends in order to have a healthy social life which many can not do due to lack of money for buses or even trains depending on where you stay. As a result of being able to get out and about it allows the carer to be less stressed and lowers the chances of developing a mental health issue due to the many pressures of the caring role.
The cost of travel may not seem alot of money to many however £4.00 per adult a day adds up to £28.00 a week(varies dependent on where you are for bus fares) which is a huge amount of the income a carer receives.Having concessionary travel or even a discount on travel for carers would be huge benefit to so many as many people say companion card is enough . However people do not realise the cared for has to be present to allow card to be used, a carer is 9 out of 10 times on there own while traveling so as you see companion card is useless at this point.
45% of young adult carers (18-25) have reported that they have mental health problems due to their caring role and the struggles they face because of it.
68.8% of older carers say that being a carer has an adverse affect on their mental health. This could be lessened by such a small change like concessionary or discounted travel. For young people aged 16-19 or in full time education who have a young Scot card you are entitled to a discounted rate of travel however, this discount is only valid on single journeys. In most cases this is no use to a carer as they are making return journeys especially if they are in further education and have a long distance to travel everyday or do not live with the person theyou provide care for. Some carers have to travel many miles just to visit the person they care for if they are in specialised hospitals or care homes.
Being a carer is not all bad it has many positive aspects such as learning crucial skills such as observation skills, listening skills, budgeting skills, organisation skills, being trustworthy and so many more. These skills would be of so much use to the employment field but unfortunately not many employers see this. Carers do this on a daily basis because they care even when the cared for could end up in a hospital, care home or in a looked after residential setting. When this happens the carer will do whatever they can to get to the cared for even if it results in at times not eating or walking miles due to not having money for transport.
This is why I feel so strongly about getting support for carers when it comes to transport. I hope that carers and decision makers will get behind this campaign and help to change so many people’s lives for the better.
Is free concessionary transport for carers really too much to ask for when carers dedicate their lives to provide care to others?
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