Carers Week is an annual campaign which raises awareness on the challenges that carers face and also recognises the contributions that carers make across the UK.
Around 6.5 million people in the UK are unpaid carers, caring for friends and family members who are physically or mentally unwell. They may help individuals with getting dressed, cooking and shopping. This can often mean lots of time is dedicated to helping others which can put a huge amount of pressure on carers. This year’s campaign is all about building carer friendly communities. Carer friendly communities such as schools, hospitals and other local services are aware of the work done by carers as well as the challenges they may be facing. They aim to address the needs of carers by offering them support to make their lives that little bit easier.
Why we need to be more carer friendly.
Although supporting someone can be a very positive and rewarding experience, caring for someone with a lack of support from others can have a negative effect on someone’s life for many reasons:
- Full time carers are more likely to suffer from bad health than non-carers.
- 3 million individuals have quit work to care for someone and 1 in 5 carers have had their work negatively affected.
- 54% of carers struggle to pay household bills and 35% have to cut back on other household essentials.
- 40% of carers say they have had a relationship breakdown and 60% have found it difficult to maintain their friendships.
- The cost to the economy due to carers having to give up work is £5.3 billion.
More services need to be put in place to ensure carers get the support they need and live happier, healthier lives.
Visit the Carers Week Website to see how you could get involved with carer friendly communities and check out the carer’s week events that may be happening near you.