Clap for carers!

There are more than 6.5 million carers across the UK who bring comfort and support to millions of people who could not cope without them. This month we are celebrating Carers Week (5-11 June,, an annual awareness campaign to highlight the vital contribution made by unpaid carers, and to recognise the difference they make to families and communities throughout the country.
The campaign also aims to help people who wouldn’t necessarily think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to access much-needed support.
The covid-19 pandemic had a monumental impact on unpaid carers’ lives.
Now, after three years caring through the pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis causing further stress and hardship.
Caring’s impact on all aspects of life is huge. But without the right information and support it can be tough, so it’s vital that we recognise the contribution carers make to their families, local communities and society, and ensure they get the support they need.

‘I care for my dad, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2020 at the age of 74, having previously been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Dad has always been very active. He was a semi-professional footballer and a bricklayer, and he and Mum have been married for 55 years.
‘Mum is Dad’s main carer, but my sister and I visit every week and take it in turns to stay over at weekends to help her. I work full-time and while my employer is supportive, it is a lot to manage.
‘During the periods of full lockdown there was no support available, so Mum was left entirely responsible for his care. As a result, her own health suffered severely, and my sister and I had to take time off work to look after both Mum and Dad until she was well enough to care for him again. We were desperate for restrictions on care in the home to be lifted, and also for local support groups to open up.
‘Someone comes in for two hours once a week to sit with Dad, so that Mum can go out and do the weekly shop, and there’s the occasional night-sitting service that allows her to sleep. But these services can be cancelled with less than a day’s notice if the support worker has come into contact with someone who has covid. This can causes a lot of disappointment and extra stress.
‘Mum and Dad caught covid this year, so were left without in-home support for two weeks. While having covid was very difficult to manage, the benefits of going out, especially to a support group, actually outweigh the risk of catching the disease, so they went back out to their group as soon as they were able.
‘For advice on Dad’s condition and support for Mum on how to cope we have relied heavily on the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, which is run by Dementia UK. One of the consultant Admiral nurses has been fantastic.
‘We also rely on a local group run by volunteers. This provides an afternoon once a week where Mum and Dad can go for support. I worry that we rely on one club so much and would love there to be more support available.

Directory Access Care 01264 319 399
Miracle Workers 01873 881 306
Mulberry Live In Care 01380 870 270
Safehands Live-In Care 020 3417 0090

Pictures: Adobe Stock