Hello again and welcome to another blog post from Mental Health Carer Matthew Mckenzie. As of this blog post, today is Carers Rights day 2015. The theme for carers rights day 2015 is “Looking after someone”.
However what is Carers Rights day all about?
Basically a carer is someone who is looking after someone and I mean not a professional paid carer, but those who are unpaid and are not always receiving the support that can be so desperately needed.
In the UK we have around 6.5 million carers who care for either a relative, friend or neighbour. Those receiving care could be suffering serious physical problems, old age illnesses, mental health problems or even a mixture of the above.
There are many different types of carers ranging from Old age carers who are increasing since we are all living longer. We also have young carers some even caring from aged 7 onwards and even at a younger age.
Moving away from the age of carers, you can have carers who are suffering health problems themselves and are having to provide care for their loved ones. You can also have long distant carers and those who live with their loved ones. Support for carers varies depending on the age, access to resources and severity of the illness regarding the person receiving care.
Carers Rights day is a day not only to raise awareness regarding carers, but also to celebrate what carers have gone through and to remind organisations of their duty to support carers. Carers up and down the UK and beyond can struggle so much in providing care for those suffering health problems.
Carers save the NHS billions when we all know the NHS is struggling as it is. Too much strain on carers not only has an impact on the NHS, but much futhur. Without the hard work of carers, the community can suffer and society can become fragmented.
There is no duty for anyone to provide care, which is a frightening thought. Those who care can easily give up and walk away. So recognition of carers sacrifices is of the upmost importance.
We may ask what would cause a carer to give up caring and walk away?
– Not being able to get access to support
– Being ignored by health professionals
– Not getting a carers assessment
– Lack of funds causing carers to end up in debt
– Stress of caring leading to depression, anxiety, worry and sometimes worse
– Break down in caring relationship
– Isolation and stigma
– Carer fatigue, not getting enough breaks or respite
There are many more reasons why a carer would walk away from caring, but the ones listed are usually the main reasons. Since April 2015, the Care Act sets many changes where carers now have the right to get support, but even such a law will take time to bring into effect the support carers need. We also have to examine that many support services are being cut, so one would question where on earth are Local Authorities going to get that financial boost to cover the strain carers face?
Still there are many out there helping to make that difference for carers out in the community. There are a number of carer support organisations up and down the UK
And many more.
If you are caring for a loved one. It is so important you get in touch with such organisations and get yourself informed and supported.
Thank you for reading my blog post for #CarersRightsDay