Today, many unpaid carers are not receiving the advice and support they need. Some people don’t even realise they’re classed as carers, even though they are solely responsible for another person’s wellbeing.
Taking place between 10-16 June 2019, Carers Week aims to raise awareness for carers of all ages and backgrounds. The main incentive is to improve carers’ health and help them remain connected, whether by sharing with others or receiving advice to boost their own wellbeing.
What is carers week?
Carers Week is an annual campaign which aims to spread awareness of the role of caring, as well as the struggles that carers often experience. While caring for another person can be an enlightening and fulfilling part of life, it also comes with a series of challenges. For instance, many carers experience loneliness or isolation due to feeling as though they have no one to talk to.
Carers Week 2019 aims to connect individuals who are experiencing these challenges in order to find them the right support and guidance. Supporters of Carers Week include organisations such as CarersTrust, AgeUK and British Gas.
Over half of UK carers expect their physical and mental health to worsen over the next two years if they don’t receive the right support. So, it’s time to get carers connected.
What is the role of a carer?
A carer provides full or part-time, unpaid care and support to a family member or friend with a disability. These disabilities may be mental or physical. A carer may also be someone looking after an older person who’s in need of additional help.
For the most part, unpaid carers tend to look after a family member or friend who is disabled, ill or frail. The amount of time and support a carer provides varies, ranging from activities such as meal preparations or picking up prescriptions. Looking after someone can also happen suddenly and, for some, they have no choice but to take on this role. For example, this may be the case if a child is born with a disability or a family member has been involved in an accident. A carer’s responsibilities may grow and develop over time.
How can a carer’s health be affected?
It’s been revealed that a large number of carers suffer from various health issues due to the strain and pressure they feel from caring. In 2018, it was said that at least 61% of carers in the UK had suffered from physical illness as a result of their role. It’s also been shown that at least 1 in 3 unpaid carers had felt lonely or isolated.
Caring for someone involves a lot of either personal or emotional care. This means it can be difficult to balance your own health, finance and social life. Caring can be particularly complex when it comes to finances. Many people have to give up work because they are caring for someone else. Ultimately, this leads to stress and worry.
It’s the aim of Carers Week to connect carers who are struggling with these complex challenges. There are various different ways to keep carers connected and healthy, such as:
- Finding available financial support
- Information centres: your local carers’ organisation, local voluntary sector or local council
- Staying connected to services/friends/family/technology
- Carers assessment
- Attending carers groups/regular health checks
There are many options available to you, such as staying connected with others, particularly other carers. This is important as not only will they understand more about what you’re experiencing, but it will help you feel less isolated. This Carers Week, find the support you need by building new friendships with fellow carers in your community.
When was your last health check? Visit your local GP and find the right support today.
For more information and health insights, read more from our blog.