As the years have gone by I have grown to detest the term carer and the implications it has on the relationship between people with impairments and their families and others. As soon as you say the term carer, the other person in the relationship, the ‘cared for’, is regarded as someone or something that lacks the capacity to consent, have any ability to make a contribution to their family or society, and generally regarded as a burden for everyone. As opposed to family members or friends, carers are seen as always knowing best and always have the best interests of their loved ones in mind, which this can not always be the case by default.
This article is not an attack on anybody who provides additional assistance and support to family and friends beyond what is expected in the realms of a normal family relationship. I believe most people who identify themselves as carers believe they do more hours caring each week than they actually do because they include the activities involved in normal family interdependency.
What I am attacking is the Carer’s Movement social reconstruction of family relationships into carer and ‘cared for’ relationships, therefore defining them as abnormal and so defective. The message that ‘carers save money’ is used to keep carers with the power and control within these relationships, allowing authorities to turn a blind eye to a wide range of abuse including mercy killings.
The construction of carers further abnormalises the existence of people with impairments and therefore increases the hostility towards them by society. If carers are inadvertently chained to the burdens of people with impairments then a way to free them from this incumbrance would be to support the systematic killing of people with impairments, which is a eugenics policy akin to what happened in 1930s Germany.
This means we can see a very sinister agenda originating from the strong and powerful Carer’s Movement. Despite using terms like dignity, compassion and respect, this is a movement that denies people with impairments their rightful place in families with proactive roles. Instead, people with impairments are portrayed as unwanted defectives who are merely the burdens of carers who have been forced to look after them.
In taking the ‘side’ of carers, society is slowly building an intolerance to the existence of people with impairments that not only promotes hate but also encourages support for eugenics. The only way to change this is to challenge the whole carer and cared for rhetoric and accept while people with impairments may require additional assistance and support, they still have roles to play in a family and deserve to have their family around them as opposed to state-controlled carers.
I know the strength of the carer’s movement currently means it is politically incorrect to challenge them, but it is important to challenge them to save the lives of people with impairments now and in the future. Society needs to support families to reclaim their interdependency from this movement and value the roles all people with impairments have in their families, communities and society at large.
The cares movement has become something sinister in modern day society and it is time its destructive agenda is halted and reversed to allow the role of families to be celebrated instead.