Millions of carers across the UK look after their family members, friends or partners who are ill, frail or disabled. The care they provide is unpaid and saves the UK economy £119 billion a year.
Carers often dedicate so much time towards looking after that person, they lose sight of their own lives and caring for themselves. The duty of care often means they are working around the clock and are unable to focus on their own lives.
A lot of carers are stretched to breaking point trying to juggle work and family life and many experience ill health as a consequence.
National Carers Week is about raising awareness to improving the lives of carers and those they care for.
The campaign will help people identify themselves as carers and advise them of what support and information is available. It also highlights the challenges faced by carers, where funding and support issues are addressed.
- 6.5 million people in the UK are carers, one in eight people
- Six in ten of us will be carers at some point in our lives
- Every day 6,000 people take on new caring responsibilities.
Each year two million people take on the responsibility of being a carer. Most are over the aged of 18, but there are 175,000 carers under this age. 13,000 of these young carers provide care for 50 hours a week.
Shani Brooks is 17 and has cared for her father since she was 11. She has found support at Carlisle Carers Association.
John Brooks has primary lymphoedema. His daughter Shani is his full-time is carer and not only has Carlisle Carers Association help her, they've also helped him too.
Carers help with day to day tasks, such as shopping, cleaning and cooking as well as looking after medication and money. They also help with the personal things many people take for granted, such as getting dressed and going to the toilet.
How does being a carer affect someone's life?
Whether it's for an intense few months helping someone get back on their feet after they've been in hospital, a regular few hours a week to help someone out, or a lifelong commitment, there is support available.
Carers are affected depending on how much they do. It can be a rich source of satisfaction and will deepen and strengthen relationships but it can also have a devastating impact without the right support.
Carer's can struggle to hold down a job, have problems with finance and even health problems as a result of their role of care.
- 45 per cent of carers have given up work
- 61 per cent have suffered depression
- 49 per cent struggle financially because of their caring role
A carer's assessment will identify the needs of a carer and look at what help they need.
It will cover all aspects of the carer's role. From the time spent caring for someone, to the feelings and choices about the role. It will cover the affects on health, work and leisure of the carer's life.
For more information about how to arrange a carer's assessment, and about the process and outcome click here.
- Carlisle Carers Association, Eden Carers, West Cumbria Carers, South Lakeland Carers
- Borders Carers Centre has carers support workers based in Peebles, Hawick, Berwickshire and Kelso, Jedburgh and Central Borders.
- Dumfries and Galloway Carers Centre has centres is Dumfries, Newton Stuart, and Castle Douglas.