There are around 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK, and Carers Week aims to help carers get connected to the right support services.
Carer’s Week will be hosted between 10th – 16th June 2019 and raises awareness for the unpaid carers who are supporting loved ones, helping them get connected to services and support.
1 in 8 adults in the UK is a carer to a relative or friend who has an illness, living with a disability or need extra support as they age. For many unpaid carers, they don’t see themselves as a primary caregiver but just doing their role as a partner, parent, child or friend, but caring can take its toll on their own lives.
Becoming a carer can be sudden for some, with a child being born with a disability or partner being diagnosed with a life-changing illness. For other carers, it can be a gradual, starting with a few hours just helping out where they can until the loved one being cared for starts to depend a lot on their carer for day-to-day activities. The support carers provide can vary depending on the needs of their loved one, ranging from helping with household chores, collecting the weekly grocery shop to providing personal care and helping someone get in out and of bed.
Carers allow people to continue living at home for longer, surrounded by their treasured processions and memories. Certain daily activities can become a struggle to do when someone is living with a long-term illness, has a disability or has become frailer as they’ve gotten older. Simple actions such as preparing a meal, bathing, or visiting the local shops. For others, they may need help taking medications or getting in and out of a wheelchair. A carer, especially if they are a relative or friend, helps people continue living independently. Not only are smaller jobs taken care of but having someone there helps some people have the freedom to access their wider community, like going to a doctor’s appointment or visiting friends.
Being a carer is a rewarding experience, but without the right support, it can have a huge impact on a person’s daily life. Some carers can feel socially isolated, feel stressed or suffer mental health issues. Looking after someone who is bigger can cause physical strain, especially if they are helping with lifting. Being a carer can affect daily work life; many carers have had to work fewer hours at their paid job or quit altogether in order to provide the dedicated care with a loved one’s needs, leading to money troubles and poverty.
Carers Week aims to help unpaid carers find out about the services they can access, which can provide advice and support, training and signpost funds and benefits. If you’re a primary caregiver, you can find information about services available to you by visiting www.carersweek.org/about-us/supporters.
At Heritage Healthcare Wakefield, our care team provide dedicated home care and support to help local people continue living at home for longer. Our services include personal care, companionship, domestic help and dementia care. Our respite services allow primary carers to have some much-needed time to look after themselves. We adapt our care plans to a routine already in place and match our clients with a care team they can build a trusted friendship with. When tailoring care plans, we work with our client, their loved ones and their healthcare professionals to make sure every wish and need is met.