Caron Cares is the advice and information blog for people caring for the elderly and those with dementia. Created by Caron Sprake, the blog recently featured on Vuelio’s Top Ten Healthcare Blog Ranking. Here, Caron talks to us about covering an unsexy topic, her open invitations to PRs and the current state of care in the UK.
How would you describe your blog?
Caron Cares offers advice and information to anyone caring for someone elderly or someone with dementia. A cross between Age UK and Which? with a passionate campaigner and a soap box firmly installed.
It is so much more than just a blog, it is my passion. From that platform I have been involved in so many projects that have made a real difference to the lives of elderly people and their carers.
Why did you start your blog?
I started Caron Cares as having cared for my disabled and blind mother-in-law for many years whilst raising a young family. I felt I had useful advice and helpful tips to share with others. It was initially going to be a monthly paper newsletter until a friend suggested in 2012 I wrote a blog. At this point I was a complete technophobe, I couldn’t even copy and paste. I’ve gone from that to winning two national awards in 2016.
What makes your blog different from others in your field?
Well apart from the fact that not many people focus on issues faced by the elderly because it is not sexy, I really do care. People come to me via the blog and social media almost daily asking for help and advice, and I am always happy to help. I have experts in dementia and social work issues I can turn to as advisors if I don’t have the answers.
My blog is also different as not only is it a depository for over 800 articles, it is also my safe space to share my concerns and frustrations about the future of social care and the failings shared with me.
What’s the biggest issue facing health in the UK?
You would have had to have been living on the moon to have escaped the issues facing health and social care as we move forwards. Despite prior knowledge that the baby boomers would probably mostly live to be elderly, no government has seen fit to put suitable measures in place to fund this. It is not down to money alone though, we need a shift in attitude towards elderly people and especially those with dementia and a whole new approach to the delivery of social care. Good employed care workers are leaving in droves, poor pay, long hours and challenging environments, make retail a favourable alternative.
How important is accuracy and truth to your blogging?
I am probably too honest! I tell it like it is and am proud to do so. Far too much is going wrong in social care and care for the elderly in hospitals is not ideal either. I write punchy, emotive articles on my blog and also share them elsewhere, raising awareness is the name of the game. Be aware, prepare!
What are your favourite topics to cover?
Everything to do with issues faced by elderly people, people with dementia and their carers. Unpaid carers save the government £132bn a year and deserve to have their voices heard and their huge contribution rewarded and respected. I write about age related benefits, products and services, nutrition, health and safety – everything.
What makes your blog successful?
Passion, commitment, regular updates, simplicity of use and me! Caron really does care. Find me on FB, Caron Sprake, to get a feel of the conversations I have with readers and supporters. You can have the best blog in the world but if you don’t let people know, its useless.
How often do you work with PR professionals for your blog?
As my subject is very unsexy – although I consider it essential – I have only had one PR company approach me in five years (sob). Without being biased, I think Caron Cares will really come into its own in the future; with less choice of care, more people will become unsuspecting carers for loved ones and I will be here with my busy blog and open arms!
What top tips would you give to PRs who want to work with you?
Bring it on, care is the growth market in an ill funded environment. We are all going to have to assume more responsibility for the care of others and if agencies realise the urgency of the matter they will understand they SHOULD be working with me!
What advice would you give to new bloggers?
Just do it! Nothing to lose, be yourself, enjoy and most importantly – help others.
What are your favourite blogs/publications to read?
Mental Elf blog, The Unmumsy Mum, Deliciously Ella, BBC Good Food, Age UK, Independent Age, Pippa Kelly… the list goes on. I am also an avid follower of all news updates and articles relating to social care, as you would expect.
Caron Cares features on the Vuelio Media Database along with thousands of other bloggers, influencers and journalists.