Every June is carers awareness week. An annual week-long campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise their importance to the families and communities they support throughout the UK.
The Need For Care:
There are many reasons why an individual would need care and many different care options to choose from.
Whether you have an expensive care package or a great neighbour that calls by each day, it’s that caring person who truly makes a real difference in that special someone’s life.
People often turn to their family and friends first, which is normal, as looking after each other is something just we do.
Unpaid UK Carers
Up and down the UK there are 6.5 million unpaid people caring for an ill, frail or disabled family member or friend.
If these people were asked they probably wouldn’t class themselves as carers; they would probably say that they are just being a husband, a wife, a mum, a dad, a son, a daughter, a friend or a good neighbour.
Everyone is human and even these unbelievable people need help and a break from time to time. There are many types of professional care that can provide this assistance or relief for these hardworking people.
The Role Of A Carer
A carer’s job is always different. Sometimes a nice cup of tea and a chat can really help someone in need. But if necessary they can help with more personal things like getting someone dressed, turning them in their sleep, helping them to the loo, helping them move about or administering their medication.
Carers also help with things like shopping, laundry, cleaning, cooking, filling in forms or managing money.
Duration Of Care
For many caring can be brief. Perhaps you’re helping someone who has come out of the hospital to get back on their feet - a few intense months that turn your life upside down and then it's back to normal.
For others it may be regular care, helping out for a few hours each week. Those with a disabled child can face a lifelong commitment and some have to care 24 hours a day.
The Effects Of Care:
Caring affects everyone in different ways depending on the level of care needed, what else is going on in their life at the time and to some extent what kind of a person they are.
Caring can be a rich source of satisfaction and a feeling of purpose in people's lives. It can help deepen and strengthen relationships. It can teach a multitude of skills and help people realise a potential they never knew possible.
However, without the right support caring can have a devastating impact. Evidence shows that caring can cause ill health, poverty and social isolation. When caring is intensive and unsupported it can be a struggle to hold down a job, get a night's sleep, stay healthy and maintain relationships with friends and family.
Finding The Right Carer:
Carers are the unsung heroes and many people are shocked to find out just how little support there is available.
Help is often out there, but talk to any carer and they will say be ready to fight tooth and nail for every bit of help.
Caring is something that will affect each and every one of us at some point in our lives, directly or indirectly, so let’s help raise awareness to this amazing role. After all, the statistics show three out of five of us will become carers at some point in our lives.
Carers Week celebrates and recognises the contribution of all of the UK’s 6.5 million unpaid carers.