Caring is tough, both for carers and the cared for, but it is an essential part of modern day life with many people caring for their relatives and friends, often because it is the only way forward in a generally carer-unfriendly society.
Not sure where the fanfare has been, but it’s good to see Scott Mann MP has pledged his support to carers across North Cornwall as part of the national Carers Week 2016 awareness campaign, which has been running from 6-12th June.
There are 6.5 million people in the UK who care for a partner, relative or friend, of which 10,235 carers are in North Cornwall.
The seven charities driving Carers Week 2016 are calling on individuals, organisations and services throughout the country to improve the lives of carers by building ‘Carer Friendly Communities’ – encouraging all parts of the community to think about carers and do things differently to support them. The charities are:
Carers UK, Age UK, Carers Trust, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support, Motor Neurone Disease Association and MS Society.
The call comes after research for Carers Week revealed that a combination of inadequate support from local services and a lack of understanding about caring from wider society is having a negative impact on carers’ health, wellbeing, relationships and finances. Certainly, caring doesn’t come cheap in terms of time or money. What would be really good, however, would be to see politicians supporting carers in a more cohesive and all-encompassing way. Many carers spend a good deal on travelling to see ill relatives, on top-up fees in care homes and in the (potentially economically productive) time lost. Many women especially feel sandwiched between caring for the elderly and the young, alongside working outside the home. So, it’s all well and good people telling carers how selfless they are – yes, they most certainly are (many are also emotionally and physically drained and exhausted) but often they have little choice as the care at a wider societal level simply is not there. I’m not sure what a carer-friendly community is, to be honest, so I await the changes with interest.
Scott Mann said:
“Carers make a huge contribution to our society, providing vital and often hidden support to friends and family members.That’s why I am supporting Carers Week 2016 and encouraging services across North Cornwall to think about what more they can do to help meet the needs of carers and make our communities more Carer Friendly.
“Carers should be incredibly proud of themselves for the selfless work they do to help people in need in North Cornwall.”
Emily Holzhausen, who leads the Carers Week partnership, said:
“With an ever increasing number of families taking on caring roles for older, ill or disabled loved ones, it is great to see MPs showing their support for carers.
While carers have told us that it makes a huge difference when they are recognised and supported by their local services and communities, too many carers tell us they struggling to balance caring with other areas of their lives. By working together during Carers Week we have a huge opportunity to make our communities more Carer Friendly and make a difference to those who contribute so much”.