Across the UK, unpaid caregivers are the focal point of communities.this caregiver week (June 5-11, 2023), it is time to recognize their important contributions and focus on both local and national sources of support.
The importance of unpaid caregivers cannot be underestimated, but their toll is often not recognized. People are constantly being forced to abandon their jobs, deplete their savings and abandon their social lives if they do not receive adequate care through their local authorities.
As the annual Caregiver’s Week awareness campaign kicks off, support groups and unpaid caregivers are demanding more.
A big part of this week is helping caregivers recognize themselves, and this year’s theme is focused on recognizing and supporting caregivers in the community.
“People often see their roles primarily as partners, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters and even close friends and neighbors,” said Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Communications at Carers UK. Emphasize. “It can mean not seeking support for yourself until it hurts your health or you find it too difficult to juggle all the responsibilities.
“By helping people identify themselves as caregivers, we can connect to the many types of support out there. It will also give you focus.”
The unpaid caregiver label isn’t just limited to those who support their loved ones around the clock. It refers to people of all ages caring for friends and family, from just a few hours a week to providing full-time care. . To be an unpaid caregiver, you do not have to live with the person you care for or be the only person who supports them.
Caring might be helping someone with their personal care, doing household chores or grocery shopping, taking them to an important appointment, or providing companionship or emotional support.
“Unpaid caregivers are very important in our society. They are the foundation of our community and need to be recognized,” emphasizes Emily.
Carers Week plays an important role in promoting resources and ensuring that this message reaches the right people. During the campaign, caregivers can speak directly to politicians, revealing not only the sheer number of unpaid caregivers, but also the challenges they face.
Norman, 71, has been his wife Ross’ full-time caregiver since 2008 and deeply understands the need for additional support. Ross says she has MS, dementia and many other health issues. Over the years, Norman’s role has evolved. When he first started caring for Ross, he was still working, but as her condition progressed and Norman himself experienced health problems, Norman was forced to relinquish his role as Ross. I no longer get it. he is a project manager. Social care costs also forced Norman to sell his family home.
“If my caregiver didn’t show up and I was away at work, the pressure became so unbearable that one day I collapsed on the street,” Norman recalls. “I was working 50 to 60 hours a week, coming home to take care of Ross, and doing all the housework on the weekends. not.”
Over the years, Norman has found his own approach to caring to keep Ross as independent as possible.
“It’s tempting to say that this is what we do to get things done, not human-driven, but my role is to give her as much choice and control as possible.” emphasizes Norman.
If Roz decides she wants to go get her nails done, this may be as simple as following her instructions, but providing round-the-clock care can be very difficult.
“It’s nice to have a little rest. Now I try to take a rest night four times a week to get some sleep. Unfortunately, she’s really stressed at this time.” ‘, says Norman.
Norman understood how inconsistent the assistance was and set out to make a difference in the local community. When she needed her help, Ms. Norman reached out to caregiver organizations for assistance, but she wanted to use her skills to give back to the community.
Norman has launched three events in his hometown of Stevenage. It is an information point to help people recognize that they are caregivers. A welfare event at a local leisure center that emphasizes the importance of caring for one’s health as a caregiver. and a relay walk around a local lake. Ms Norman has raised money for multiple charities over the years, including Carers UK and Carers of Hertfordshire, through events held during her Carers Week..
“Instead of just handing out flyers, we ask one of our volunteers to gather their information, prepare them, and contact the appropriate charity,” explains Norman.
“That way, you know you’ve been contacted, because the first call can feel a little awkward when you first realize the fact that you’re an unpaid caregiver and need support. I felt like I was failing when I asked for help, but now I know I’m not, you’re doing your best and you just need a little help.”
Norman has access to some support and a desire to help others in similar situations, but he can’t help but feel anger at the state of social care.
“We’ve been promised for years to improve social care, but it’s frustrating that services seem to be getting thinner and thinner,” says Norman. “People are expected to take on extra responsibility, but they can’t handle it.”
Norman always recommends seeking help from caregiver organizations and charities, and contacting disability-specific organizations for advice on providing care for their specific disability or condition.
“I chose to stay with Ross until the day he doesn’t know me anymore. Once that stage is reached, it’s time to move her to a nursing home,” explains Norman. “But even if people make that choice, they still need access to help and support to survive.”
For more information, please visit our dedicated Carers Week website. Campaign details and how to participate (www.careersweek.org) or contact Carers UK About access to resources and support (www.carersuk.org0808 808 7777).
https://enablemagazine.co.uk/recognising-carers-in-the-community/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=recognising-carers-in-the-community Recognizing caregivers in the community