Caring for the carers
Many carers do not consider themselves
to be a carer. They feel that they are just
looking after their spouse, parent or child.
They simply get on with it and believe that
they are doing what anyone else would do
in the same situation.
There are now thought to be about
1.9 million people in the UK who, without
payment, provide help and support to a
partner, child or relative. The need for
care may arise from age, physical or mental
illness or disability.
Many carers provide this help 24 hours
a day, seven days a week with little or
no chance of a break. It is not surprising,
therefore, that 59% of carers suffer
deteriorating health themselves as a
direct result of their caring responsibilities.
The NMSF and RMBI have recently
launched a joint initiative to offer support
to Freemasons and their families who are
providing care over a prolonged period
of time and who need a break.
The support provided will enable the carer
to have a break while respite care is provided
for the individual in need of care. Where
appropriate, this care will be provided in an
RMBI home and will be available for up to
two weeks at a time. If the need continues,
support may be available for further respite
stays up to a maximum of four weeks per year.
Consideration will be given to funding
respite care in other care homes if the need
cannot be met within one of the RMBI
Some applicants will be too young to be
looked after by the RMBI, whose homes
are licensed to provide care for the elderly.
Others in need of respite may live too far
from an RMBI home and be unable to travel.
Support will be provided once the
need for respite has been confirmed.
The application process is straightforward,
and completely confidential, but will
involve a financial assessment to confirm
that the applicant cannot afford to fund
their own care.
Further information is available from the
NMSF and RMBI. Enquiries are welcome
by phone, email or in person from Almoners
or potential applicants.
or 020 7404 1550
or 020 7596 2400
Spreading the word
“Quite a few of the members had no idea how the
NMSF had originated, nor how it worked. It was
just something they were asked to give money to
and that was that. They now know much more
and how, in possible time of need, it may help
them and their families.”
This is a quote from a ‘thank you’ letter
written to one of a growing band of volunteers
after he had delivered a presentation about the
work of the New Masonic Samaritan Fund.
This is a welcome vote of thanks for a job well
done, but one that reinforces the need for
continued effort in order to spread the word.
The NMSF continues to fund over 500
new applicants every year at a cost in excess
of £3m, yet many eligible applicants still have
“no idea how the NMSF had originated or
how it worked”.
Support is available to fund private
medical treatment for Freemasons, their
wives widows and dependants, who have
an identified medical need and, faced with
a long wait for treatment via the NHS, are
unable to afford private treatment. The
application process is straightforward and
Support is available for a wide variety of
surgery and treatments licensed by the NHS.
If you, or someone you know, has seen a
consultant and is now faced with a wait of
longer than three months for surgery (two
months for cardiac), contact the NMSF to
see if they can help.
If you would like to know more about
the work of the Fund, either in support of
a possible application or simply for a daily
advancement in Masonic knowledge, visit
their website at www.nmsf.org or phone
020 7404 1550 to ask for details, including
the name of the nearest available speaker
who can help you to spread the word.
Web site created by Mark Griffin