Carers Week (8-14 June) is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring. It highlights the challenges carers face and recognises the contribution carers make to families and communities throughout the UK. This year the focus for Carers Week is on ‘making caring visible’. We want to ensure that carers get the information and support they need from services and the wider public.
There are over 68,000 people who are carers in East Sussex and around 6.5 million people in the UK. Three in five of us will take on caring responsibilities at some point in our lives. Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience, but carers often find it challenging to take care of their own wellbeing whilst caring. They find that their contribution to society is not recognised and celebrated.
Its impact on all aspects of life, from relationships and health to finances and work, should not be underestimated. Caring without the right information and support can be tough.
If you’re a carer, get in touch with the Carers Centre for East Sussex who can provide a one-stop shop for support and advice. They aim to improve the quality of carers lives by helping the local community recognise and value the role of carers. They also enable carers to access the services and support they require.
What is a carer?
A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend. They may have a disability, mental or physical illness, substance misuse issue, or need extra help as they grow older.
The amount and type of support that carers provide varies considerably. It can range from a few hours a week, such as picking up prescriptions and preparing meals, to providing emotional support or personal care day and night.
Caring will affect each and every one of us in our lifetime, whether we become a carer or need care ourselves. Whilst caring can be a rewarding experience, it can also have a huge impact on a person’s health, finances and relationships.
What can you do to help make caring visible?
Raise awareness and make carers visible in your community
This could include an employer setting up an online carers’ network. A GP practice offering an annual health check or alternative appointment times to carers. Or a business offering special deals or priority access for carers.
Offer support to carers who are also trying to take care of themselves
Reach out to family, friends or neighbours who you know are caring for someone and let them know that you are there for them too. Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have shared top tips to help family and friend carers to take care of their mental health during the pandemic.
Take part in online workshops and events
There are plenty of virtual events and workshops happening during Carers Week. Keep an eye on the Care for the Carers website for updates. Do join where you can.
Pledge your support
Add your name to this wall which contains pledges of support from organisations, politicians, carers and many more.
Share what you know
By raising awareness amongst the general public, we can better support carers, help more people anticipate caring in the future, and recognise the huge contribution carers make to society.
For more information about Carers Week, please visit the Carers Week website.