Today is Carers Rights Day and we really couldn’t let this opportunity pass us by to give a huge shout out to the UK’s army of unpaid carers. We salute you – you’re all heroes in our eyes!
Did you know there are currently around 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK – that’s 1 in 8 of us – and this number is increasing at a rate of 6,000 people each day? Carers UK estimate that unpaid carers save the economy a jaw-dropping £132 billion per year. That’s like a second NHS – or, if you’re a Bond fan, 660 Spectres!
We’ve been having a nose around the whole issue of caring this year and we’ve come up with some truly astonishing discoveries. Did you know for instance that 100% of carers think proper breaks away are crucial in enabling carers to sustain a good relationship with those they care for? Blimey – we’ve always believed that regular respite is vital – now we’ve proved it!
So here’s the big question – how come a third of carers have never had any time off since they started caring? Well, we found that guilt is one of the most significant barriers. In fact 8 out of 10 carers told us that guilt is a huge barrier preventing carers from accessing respite breaks for themselves and those they care for.
Carers simply can’t let go – and one of the reasons for this is they have no confidence in the quality of respite care on offer. They don’t believe that anyone else could look after their loved ones as well as they do, and frankly they have a point. Why is Revitalise one of so very few respite providers that carers trust? It shouldn’t be just us they can come to.
We know we are trusted because of what our guests and their carers tell us. Why just today, on Facebook, a lady named Patricia told us: “I took my husband on a Revitalise break and saved my sanity.” Simple as that. And people still think respite is a luxury – what nonsense!
That’s why we think it’s high time that social care decision makers paid more attention to the fundamental issues of quality and choice in respite care. Regular, good quality respite breaks for disabled people and carers should not be considered a luxury but an absolute essential in sustaining the caring relationship.
We’ve always said this and – until every disabled person and carer in the land gets access to the regular, good quality respite breaks they so richly deserve – we always will…