Carers UK Research Report
The theme for Carers Week, so successfully celebrated last week, has been ‘Building Carer Friendly Communities’. Underlying the importance of this theme has been the research conducted by Carers UK showing that carers are badly affected by inadequate support from local services and communities. Carers UK state ‘Three-quarters of carers with some of the most intensive caring responsibilities say their community does not understand or value their caring role, resulting in high numbers of carers struggling to balance other areas of their lives alongside caring’. One carer said ‘as a carer attempting to get understanding, advice, support and emergency care from the ‘community’, such as GP, public transport, social services, dentists, pharmacies and hospitals, it can be very challenging, exhausting and beyond stressful’.
At Carers Leeds, our support workers regularly hear from carers about barriers to getting help, difficulties in seeing health and social care professionals and very stressful issues in accessing services. As an organisation, we are committed to working with community service providers that impact on carers, to ensure that they are able to support carers as well as they can. This includes working with employers in Leeds to help them understand the need to support their staff with caring responsibilities, through flexible working and other carer friendly employment options. It also includes taking the small opportunities available to try to influence the debate around plans for transport in Leeds so that the needs of carers, older people and people with disabilities are taken into account.