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Making Caring Visible 2020

Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience but carers often find it challenging to take care of their own wellbeing whilst caring, and find that their contribution to society is not recognised and celebrated.

Its impact on all aspects of life, from relationships and health to finances and work, should not be underestimated. Caring without the right information and support can be tough.

This Carers Week, we’re coming together to help make caring visible. There are 6.5 million people in the UK who are carers, but they often feel isolated; carers are 7 times more likely to say they are lonely than the general population. They will be looking after a family member or friend who has a disability, mental or physical illness, or who needs extra help as they grow older.

Everyone has a part to play in making sure carers are seen, heard, and understood; and helping them to get the support they need to care.

This could include an employer setting up a carers’ network, a GP practice offering an annual health check or alternative appointment times to carers, or a leisure centre offering special deals.

Making caring visible to ensure that carers get the information and support they need from services and the wider public

Advice and information

Caring can be extremely complicated, whether grappling with the benefits system or considering how to pay for care. Too many carers do not know where to turn, or how to get the advice they need. There are many places that provide carers with these resources, including local and national carers’ organisations.

Services

Looking after someone can be hard work and carers often miss out on the support services available to them. Getting a carer’s assessment, which looks at what support they might need, is an important starting point. Arranging a break from caring, getting the right equipment to care safely, or getting support with improving their own well-being; services can connect carers to a range of support. The more visible carers are to the wider health and care system, the more their contribution and need for support will be recognised.

Visible to friends, family and at work

Caring can lead to feelings of loneliness and being disconnected from friends and family, as well as, for some, having to balance work and care. The difficulty of taking time away from a caring role, and the challenges of discussing the realities of caring, can lead to feeling isolated. Greater understanding from friends, family and colleagues about how to support carers and carer-friendly policies at work, as well as more opportunities for breaks and social activities, are all needed to combat feelings of loneliness.

Visible to other carers

Sometimes a few words from someone who understands your situation can be a lifeline for carers. Caring can be difficult and isolating, so speaking to someone who knows what they are going through can make a big difference. Carers Week is an opportunity for carers in your community to share experiences and build new friendships.

Visible to the general public

Most people don’t expect to become unpaid carers, but the reality is that two in three of us will do it in our lifetimes. By raising awareness amongst the general public, we can better support carers, help more people anticipate caring in the future, and celebrate the huge contribution carers make to society.

Get involved

For details of Carers Leeds events during Carers Week 2020, please click here.