It’s Carers Rights Day and with an estimated 6.8 million unpaid carers living across the UK, it’s certain that as I write this blog, there are carers out there who can relate to what it’s like to provide care for a loved one.
I recently came across a report by Carers UK which stated that: ‘everyday another 6,000 people take on a caring responsibility.’ 6,000. That’s four people every minute. As I let that figure sink in for a moment, it really brought home just how invaluable our unpaid carers are; moving me to write today’s post just in time for Carers Rights Day.
Deciding on exactly what angle to take was difficult, not least because I didn’t want this article to be just another downbeat exploration of the realities of being a carer. It goes without saying that as a carer you do what you do out of love and no one knows that more than you. So I decided that the best approach to take would be to tell you about the ways we can support you. After all, it’s always nice to know that help is on hand when you might need it, right?
In my opinion, there’s one thing that we absolutely do not do enough of as a society and that’s supporting our unpaid carers. It is estimated that family carers save the economy £132 billion every year, that’s an average of £19,336 per carer. Without their continued devotion, our social care system would be under even greater strain than it currently is and would inevitably buckle.
With the introduction of the Care Act in April 2015, came a renewed sense of hope for caregivers everywhere – there was finally legislation in place that enshrined their rights, or so it seemed. But almost three years on from its introduction, I can’t help but wonder whether anything has really changed, and most importantly whether or not carers feel any better supported than they did previously. My guess is probably not.
Isn’t it completely counterproductive to leave the UK’s unpaid carers to continue coping, without being there to support them when they need it? We think so. That’s why this Carer’s Rights Day we want to reach out to carers everywhere and remind them that we’re here to help.
As a charity we see the beneficial effects of supporting carers and the people they care for everyday – something we are proud to do through the provision of our respite breaks. Many of our guests come to us in need of time away from the stresses and strains of everyday life and by the time they leave us we aim to ensure that they feel rejuvenated and ready to continue caring once more. It’s our way of doing what we can to support the wonderful carers who give so much of their time and effort to support those they care for, and we’d love to help you too where we can. So since you’ve taken the time to read our blog, I’m guessing that you might also like to have a look at the respite holidays we offer? Great, you can do that here. Or perhaps you’d like to know more about our centres? Well, we have Jubilee Lodge in Chigwell, Essex, Netley Waterside House in Southampton, or Sandpipers in Southport.
We might not know what the future holds, but one thing we do know for certain is that for as long as the UK’s unpaid carers need us, our doors will always be open.
Written by Stephanie Stone.