Carers week runs from Monday 11th June to Sunday 17th June. It’s an annual campaign aiming to raise awareness of the life of a carer and general caring.
It opens our eyes to the challenges carers face day to day encouraging us to recognise the contribution they make. Carers help shape loving and safe communities providing hope and support to families across the UK.
The role of a Carer
‘Around 6.5 million people in the UK are a carer’. Taking a step back and really looking at this figure, it’s astounding. To imagine the number of people they help is admirable.
Carers are those who provide unpaid care and support to family members or friends with a disability, illness or mental health issue. Whether it be a parent, partner, child or friend, they can provide the needed support and help as they grow older. The responsibility of being a carer could be from a few months to a number of years to a lifelong commitment. They carry out a range of duties including;
- Administering medicine
- Offering practical support through shopping, laundry, cooking, cleaning, and filing important forms
- Offering emotional support
- Attending to an individual’s personal care
- Assisting with financial matters
- Providing physical help
Being a carer is a hugely rewarding experience. It ‘can help deepen and strengthen relationships whilst teaching a multitude of skills’. You can unlock your true potential, which you never knew you had.
Isolation in the Workplace
Carers do so much for vulnerable people in this world, however, the way carers feel remains an unheard issue. We need to care for their physical and mental health as much as they care for the physical and mental health of others.
It can be tremendously difficult for a carer to juggle duties and maintain a personal life. Without the right support, carers across the UK can be left feeling alone and socially isolated. Carers may struggle to hold down their paid jobs, get the sleep they need and retain relationships with friends and family. Loneliness as a whole is one of the world’s greatest epidemics, arguably partly due to the culture we live in today. Tackling loneliness will require the help of more than just one person. It will require governments, employers, businesses, civil society organisations, families and communities. We all have a role to play in making a difference.
‘Statistics show three out of five of us will become carers at some point in our lives’. ‘The estimate is that by 2037, the number of carers in the UK will rise to 9 million’. Let’s offer the support to carers now which we will want if the day comes that we take on the duty of becoming a carer.
What can we do to support this year’s Carers Week?
This campaign brings together individuals and organisations who organise activities and events throughout the UK. There are so many little things you can do that are a big help in raising awareness and supporting carers. You could;
- Display posters about Carers Week in your workplace
- If you’re an Employer, be aware of employees who are carers. Be understanding and offer flexible working arrangements and paid care leave. Remind them that you are available to talk and that you can allow emergency time off for care if needed.
- Start conversations about carers, whether it’s face to face or over social media, we need to raise awareness. This will create an environment in which carers will feel they can access help and support.
- Schools, colleges and universities need to recognise young carers and have the resources to be able to offer them support.
For more advice if you are a carer or you are an employer with a carer on your staff contact us.