Carers Week 10th to the 16th June 2024

Posted by: alex - Posted on:

An unpaid carer is someone who looks after a family member or friend who could not cope without their support.

The person they care for could have a disability, illness, mental health condition, or may need extra help as they grow older. Caring is often part and parcel of family life and close friendships.

Every day, 6,000 people in the UK start looking after someone close to them, unpaid. For many, caring is something that happens gradually when someone becomes older, or has a progressive illness. For others, it arises suddenly, for example as the result of an accident, a stroke or as a consequence of a COVID-19 infection.

Caring can be hugely rewarding, but it can also have an impact on all aspects of your life. Looking after someone without the right information and support can be tough. If any of the issues below are affecting you, the organisations supporting Carers Week, listed overleaf, may be able to help

Getting More Support

You can find out you about local support groups and services by contacting your local council or Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland.

They can also tell you what rights you have.

For example, a carer’s assessment can explore what your needs are and the support available, from emotional assistance to practical help.

Looking after yourself

Taking care of your health and wellbeing is essential when you are caring for someone, but it can be challenging. You may struggle to eat and sleep well, find the time to exercise and manage your stress levels. It’s common to feel lonely or isolated as a carer, especially as friends and family might not understand how difficult it can be.

Work and finance

If you are balancing paid work with caring, it is worth checking out your company’s policies and procedures regarding caring responsibilities. For example, as a working carer, you might be able to request flexible working and time off to look after dependants in an emergency.

Technology and equipment

Simple devices and apps can help you feel more connected and manage care on a day-to-day basis. They may also help someone live independently for longer and give you peace of mind.

Planning for the unexpected

It’s important to think about what you could do if something goes wrong or your situation changes suddenly. For example, could family and friends help you?

Try to keep up-to-date information about the person you care for somewhere easy to access. Some areas also have emergency card schemes for carers. They are often set up by the local council (or trust) or your local carers’ organisation.

Find out more and get involved:

Upcoming Carers Events: