At some point in our lives, most of us have – or will experience – what it’s like to care for someone – a mother, father, sibling or simply someone we hold dear. Taking on a caring role can lead to many significant changes, as both the individual needing care and the individual providing it must adapt to a new way of life. It’s unsurprising then that this sense of change often presents fresh anxieties meaning that carers are reluctant to let go of their loved ones even if only for a few days.
If we take a moment to consider the findings of our own research, they are extremely insightful. We found that over a third of carers passed up the opportunity for respite due to feelings of guilt at leaving their loved ones in the care of others. That’s not all, our recent Revitalising carers blog post painted a clear picture of the plight of the UK’s unpaid carers, revealing a strong correlation between our own research and that of the National Accident Helpline’s Accidental Carers campaign.
That’s why we will never stop reiterating the point that we passionately believe in doing all we can to provide support to unpaid carers across the UK. We understand the importance of enabling carers to take time away from their caring role which is why its value should never be underestimated. When asked about the beneficial effects of respite, nearly half of all carers we surveyed said it made them feel more able to cope and over a third said they felt happier and healthier.
In giving carers the opportunity to relinquish their duties, even for a short while, we are able to restore meaningful connections, to allow our guests to become mother and daughter, father and son, husband and wife once more – something we’re sure you’ll agree is absolutely priceless.
Those of you who follow us on social media will have seen news that we proud to be working in partnership with the National Accident Helpline, not only in echoing their call for greater support of the UK’s estimated 6.5 million carers but more recently on their British Caregiver Award – we are delighted to share news with you all that our CEO Chris Simmonds will be taking his place on the judging panel to help select the worthy winner of the Award. We are also ecstatic to be providing a respite holiday at one of our three centres for the chosen carer and a guest of their choice, to be given as top prize!
Whoever wins, I like to end by to taking a moment to celebrate carers far and wide, you truly are incredible.