Time to recognise the carers

The very nature of caring - of being there for a loved one facing ill health or disability - means so often people don’t at first, or sometimes ever, identify themselves as carers.

Wednesday, 19th February 2014, 5:07 pm

Rather, they think of themselves simply as wife, husband, son, daughter, mum, dad or perhaps grandparent, niece or nephew helping a loved one.

But without the right help and support caring can have a devastating impact – carers can quickly become cut off with their physical and emotional health, work and finances all hit hard.

Caring for those who are older, disabled or seriously ill is without doubt a huge and growing social issue - every day 6,000 people take on a caring responsibility for a loved one.

My sister and I cared for our mother when she had Alzheimer’s and so I know first-hand the impact that caring can have on someone’s life.

I believe we can all play a part in helping improve the lives of those who take on a caring role. That is why I am supporting the Carers Week Quest.

The Carers Week Quest is an important new initiative aiming to reach out to the thousands of carers in the UK missing out on support and services that can help them with their caring role.

Individuals and organisations, community groups, GPs, health and social care professionals, employers, can all make a difference and I urge readers to sign up today and start thinking how they can make a difference and connect with those in their communities who are caring.

To find out how you can join in and help carers visit www.carersweek.org.

Lynda Bellingham