Last updated on August 29th, 2017 at 10:23 am
This week is Carers Week, an event that runs every year in order to raise awareness of the amount of unpaid work that carers undertake to support their loved ones and highlight the contribution made to the community by unpaid carers.
Who are the carers?
People of all ages need caring for, but it is well recognised that those providing the care are increasingly over the age of 80. Indeed, Age UK recently estimated that 1 in 7 people over the age of 80 provide care for someone they love – often enabling a partner to stay at home for as long as possible. These carers regularly put their loved ones well-being ahead of their own.
If this care had to be paid for, it would put significant pressure on the Government’s budgets and the social care budget would simply not be able to cope. Age UK estimates that carers over the age of 80 save the country £6 billion a year.
Supporting the carers during Carers’ Week
Despite the huge benefit provided by these unpaid carers, there seems to be a gap in service to support carers that often results in a lack of availability of much needed and valued respite care.
Carers who look after their loved one 24 hours a day benefit hugely from a week of respite care for the person being cared for. However, often based in a nursing home, these placements are becoming more difficult to access as local authority budgets are cut.
It is important that all carers are supported, particularly those older, more vulnerable carers. This can be done through carer support groups and online chat support forums. Bringing people together who are experiencing stress in their caring role often means they can continue to support their loved one in their own home for longer. This results in a happier, more settled time for the person being cared for.
Find out what you can do to support out country’s carers.