We’re praising unpaid carers during Carers Week

We are praising unpaid carers who have been looking after their elderly and vulnerable loved ones during the current restrictions.

Carers Week

We want to raise awareness, as part of Carers Week, which takes place from June 8 until 14, of the amounts of people out there who are caring for their loved ones on a daily basis, unpaid and alongside dealing with their own lives and families, and ask individuals whether they could take on such a role if it was needed.

We know how tough it can be to care for someone, especially during a worldwide pandemic, and we take our hats off to everyone out there doing it. We know that for many unpaid carers, who look after their loved ones, it can be a lonely occupation, as, unlike paid carers, they don’t have the support networks or on-going back-up they need.

During Carers Week, we’re hoping to show how we’re all in it together, so we’re inviting any unpaid carers to call us to have a friendly and informal chat and to receive any support and professional advice they need.

They can give our offices a call and speak to one of our helpful and friendly carers about their worries or generally just about their caring role.

They need someone to talk to and they need space to live their own lives too. Their need has never been more profound that it has been during the lockdown, when staying at home was the only option and still, now, even with relaxed restrictions, many unpaid carers are not able to go out, as they care for someone who is vulnerable and elderly, who needs to continue to be shielded. The Carers Week campaign says one in three unpaid carers feel isolated and we’re sure during the lockdown this would have been exacerbated further.

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

It also helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.

Carers Week highlights the growing numbers of carers out there and investigates if we’re all prepared for our potential future caring responsibilities, as we’re all likely to live for a lot longer.

We employ fantastic carers across Wales to look after our service users and we believe it’s extremely important to offer support to them in whatever form they need. If they are finding things particularly stressful, we have members of staff who they are welcome to talk to and discuss any problems with, however we know there are many people out there who are unofficial carers and aren’t paid for the work that they do looking after a family member in their own homes and don’t receive any support.

It is extremely important that a caregiver has their own space away from caring in order to normalise themselves, even if it’s just the chance to watch TV on their own, have a cuppa or stare out of the window without interruption. It’s also important they have social relationships, even if these are just online or via the telephone during the ongoing restrictions, to help them avoid becoming depressed and isolated and to enable them to talk to friends about non-care issues.

They need to make sure they take some time to themselves to have a well-earned rest, as looking after someone can often become physically and emotionally overwhelming, so we are inviting anyone who cares for a loved-one in their own home to call us to get some free advice on the different ways they can look after themselves and give themselves a break. We also offer respite care too, so people can get a good night’s sleep and a rest from their role, which is in effect a full-time job 24 hours a day.