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Celebrating the contribution of carers
Carers Week, beginning on Monday, June 11, this year, gives us an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the invaluable contribution that carers make to families and communities everywhere.
There are about seven million carers in the UK currently and three in five people will be carers at some point in their lives. Many, however, do not see themselves as carers – they are just doing what they would do anyway for somebody they care for.
There are numerous examples of becoming a carer by default, such as when a husband starts looking after his wife who has developed dementia; or a partner becomes disabled through an accident or a child needs to care for a parent with a debilitating illness.
Even if you have made vows including ‘in sickness and in health’, becoming a carer is not necessarily what you might have expected. The work carers do is not only essential for the people being cared for, it underpins the support available through our health and social care services, with an estimated annual economic value of £132billion.
Having said that, many carers do not feel valued by society. This is just one of the challenges they face, in what can often be a very isolating role. Carers often just ‘get on with it’, with potentially negative impacts upon their finances, their mental and physical health and their ability to continue to look after their loved one.
However, there is help available. The Independent Living schemes managed by Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) have helped many carers to continue providing care for their loved ones without their loved one having to give up their independence.
The schemes offer affordable homes for people over 55 years in a friendly community, with access to support through the You First Telecare service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
With the additional reassurance of weekly checks by Independent Living Coordinators, carers can focus on the support they are able to provide, whilst caring for themselves too, and throughout Carers Week we’ll be staging a series of open days at schemes across the area. More information is available at https://www.sarh.co.uk/contact-us/events/)