Carers Week 2018 runs from 11-17 June. It is an annual awareness campaign which celebrates and recognises the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers.

This year the campaign, driven by a team of eight charities, is looking at all the ways carers can be supported to stay ‘Healthy and Connected’ and calling on services and organisations across the country to help carers to access the practical, financial and emotional support them need to maintain their own wellbeing.  Carers do an amazing job looking after their loved ones, but they are individuals with health and wellbeing needs of their own.

Carers Weeks is a time of intensive local activity with hundreds of events planned for carers across the UK.  To find out about events in your area, visit www.carersweek.org

The Brain Injury Group and its members support carers as well as the individuals directly affected by brain injury.  To find out how carers of people affected by brain injury can access emotional and practical support – perhaps needing Court of Protection advice to be able to make decisions for other people, visit our website here – https://www.braininjurygroup.co.uk/living-with-brain-injury/supporting-carers/

What is a carer?

A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health problem or who needs extra help as they grow older.

For some, taking on a caring role can be sudden: someone in your family has an accident or your child is born with a disability. For others, caring responsibilities can grow gradually over time: your parents can’t manage on their own any longer or your partner’s health gradually worsens.

The amount and type of support that carers provide varies considerably. It can range from a few hours a week, such as picking up prescriptions and preparing meals, to providing care day and night.

Whilst caring can be a rewarding experience, it can also have a damaging impact on a person’s health, finances and relationships.

To find out how you can get support in your caring role, visit: www.carersweek.org/

 

Some facts from Carers UK about carer health and wellbeing

  • 7 in 10 carers (69%) said they find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, over half (54%) reported that they have reduced the amount of exercise, and nearly half (45%) reported that they have found it difficult to maintain a balanced diet. (Carers UK (2017) State of Caring Report 2017)
  • 2 in 5 carers said they had not received any training or information to help them keep well.  (Carers Week (2016, Building Carer Friendly Communities Research Report for Carers Week 2016)
  • 3 in 5 carers have a long term health condition, this compares with half of non-carers. This pattern is even more pronounced for younger adults providing care – 40% of carers aged 18-24 have a long term health condition compared with 29% of non-carers in the same age group. (NHS England 2016 GP Survey)
  • Half (50%) of carers said their mental health has got worse as a result of caring
    • 8 out of 10 people (78%) said they feel more stressed because of their caring role, and 7 out of 10 (72%) said caring has made them feel more anxious.
  • A third of carers (35%) reported that they have physically injured themselves through caring and half (51%) of carers reported that the have left a health problem go untreated
  • Young adult carers (aged 18-24) are significantly more likely to report a long term health condition than their non-caring peers (40% compared with 29% respectively). 45% of carers aged 18-24 suffer anxiety and depression, compared with 31% of non-carers of the same age. (NHS England GP Patient Survey 2016)

Carers Week 2018 is made possible by Carers UK joining forces with Age UK, Carers Trust, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support, Motor Neurone Disease Association, MS Society and Which? Elderly Care and kindly supported by Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition.