Recognising the value of Unpaid Family Carers

Nursing homeRecognising the value of Unpaid Family Carers

Over the past few months much has been written about the role of ‘Carers’ which is being used to describe people who provide care in a paid capacity, as opposed to those ‘Carers’ who care unpaid for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.

There is a clear difference between these two types of roles and Herefordshire Carers Support, as an organisation which supports unpaid Carers, feels that it is important to make the distinction between paid care workers and unpaid Carers as there is an on-going need to pay attention to the role of Carers and how they cope with everyday life. Unpaid Carers can be of any age, they provide help and support to very vulnerable people that helps to keep them out of our very busy hospitals, residential nursing and  care homes and as far as is possible helps to maintain their independence in their own home. Young Carers are children and young people who often take on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult.

But there is a price to be paid for this, and it is too often the unpaid Carer who pays, with in many cases financial consequences and an impact on their own health and wellbeing.

Elderly woman and her daughterHerefordshire Carers Support routinely hears accounts from exhausted Carers about having to navigate a complex system to try and establish what they are entitled to and this supposes that Carers have already identified themselves as being Carers as opposed to ‘just being a family member’ who carries additional caring responsibilities.   With fewer resources to juggle, Carers more often than not sacrifice their own interests and sometimes their health in placing the needs of those they care for above their own.

Carers just don’t need sympathy, but genuine recognition of the vital role they have and an expectation from us all that they shouldn’t need to fight for resources to help them to maintain their caring roles.

If you are an unpaid Carer and not yet registered with Herefordshire Carers Support you can do so online or by calling the office on 01432 356068.  Once registered Carers can take part in the activities of Carers Week which are all aimed at encouraging you to look after your own health and well-being including therapies, fitness taster sessions, massages, make-overs, a murder mystery walk, woodland activities, film matinee, cream teas, lunches etc.

CaringAnyone can become a carer; carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and can be of any age.

Herefordshire Carers Support is a small charitable organisation and supports unpaid family carers across Herefordshire.  Advice, information and support is offered FREE of charge to Carers of all ages; children, parents and older people who care for someone within their family who has a disability or long-term condition or illness.

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