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Carers Week 2018 Launch: Minister joins charities' call to help carers be "Healthy and Connected"

16 March 2018

Carers Week launch 2018 for web

This Carers Week, eight national charities are preparing to join forces to help the UK’s 6.5 million unpaid carers stay ‘Healthy and Connected’ by recognising local support that can help them maintain good mental and physical health.

Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister of State for Care, joined senior representatives from the Carers Week charities, NHS, local government and business to launch community engagement for Carers Week encouraging local organisations, the public and carers to get involved in the week and pledge their support to help carers be Healthy and Connected.

 

Looking after a family member or friend with disabilities, illnesses, mental health problems or extra needs as they grow older can be hugely rewarding but, without the right support, many carers put their own needs to the ‘back of the queue’. More than half of carers have seen their physical (61%) and mental health (70%) worsen as a result of their caring role.[1]

 

This year Carers Week is calling on communities, health care professionals, employers, and the wider public to support carers to get connected to health and wellbeing services and support. The week-long celebration of the enormous contribution that unpaid carers make to our communities will also be a time of intensive local activity, with hundreds of awareness-raising events taking place across the country.

 

Caring for a family member or friend is one of the most natural things in the world. Yet, without support, these responsibilities can bring unexpected costs affecting carers’ mental, physical and financial health. Only 2 in 5 carers (42%) say they received training or support on keeping well, despite the often physically demanding nature of caring. As a result more than a third of carers (42%) reported that they have physically injured themselves while caring.[2]

 

Meanwhile, practicalities can make it hard to maintain the same levels of wellbeing as before their caring role started. Half of carers reported that they have let a health problem go untreated (51%)[3] whilst a majority also struggled to get a good nights' sleep (69%) or maintain the same level of exercise (54%).[4]

 

Minister of State for Care, Caroline Dinenage said:

"Carers’ invaluable contribution deserves to be recognised and I thank them for all they do. That’s why we will soon publish our Carers’ Action Plan and why they will be a key part of our upcoming proposals to reform social care. I urge everyone to get involved with Carers Week, to celebrate these true unsung heroes and ensure they get the support and recognition they truly deserve."

 

Helena Herklots CBE, on behalf of Carers Week, said:

"As we approach the 70th Anniversary of the NHS this July, there has never been a more timely opportunity to recognise and celebrate the enormous contribution of carers. Without the unpaid care provided every year by family and friends, our health and care services would collapse. Yet caring for others too often means that carers put their own health needs last. We need health and care services, employers, and all parts of the community to play their part in helping carers to stay healthy and connected."

 

There are lots of different ways to get involved in Carers Week. From sharing information with a struggling friend, to handing out leaflets at your local GP’s surgery, we all have a role to play in helping carers stay Healthy and Connected.

Visit the Carers Week website (www.carersweek.org) and:

  • Pledge your support for Carers Week by spreading awareness of caring, as well as ways carers can stay Healthy and Connected in your town
  • Run an activity or event and add it to the Carers Week website so that others can find it
  • Follow Carers Week on Twitter @CarersWeek and use the hashtag #Carersweek
  • Like Carers Week on Facebook (www.facebook.com/carersweek) and join in with the conversation

Carers Week 2018 is made possible by Carers UK collaborating with Age UK, Carers Trust, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support, Motor Neurone Disease Association, MS Society and Which? Elderly Care and kindly supported by Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition. For more information, visit: www.carersweek.org.

 

(Above image,from left to right: Janet Morrison, Chief Executive at Independent Age; Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK; Cllr Claire Wright, Independent Member of LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board; Phillip Anderson, Head of Policy at MS Society; Alison Railton, Public Affairs Manager at Motor Neurone Disease Association; Barbara Bennett, carer; Dr Neil Churchill, Director for Patient Experience at NHS England; Laura Bennett, Acting Head of Policy at Carers Trust; Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister for Care; Neena Bhati, Campaigns Manager at Which? Elderly Care; Andy Kaye, Head of Policy and Influence (Health and Care) at Macmillan Cancer Support; Heléna Herklots CBE, Chief Executive at Carers UK; Kate Hall, Head of External Affairs at Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition)

 

[1] Carers UK (2017) State of Caring Report 2017
[2] Carers Week (2016) Building Carer Friendly Communities Research Report for Carers Week 2016
[3] Carers Week (2016) Building Carer Friendly Communities Research Report for Carers Week 2016
[4] Carers UK (2017) State of Caring Report 2017

 

-ENDS-

Media contact

Case studies, good practice examples and spokespeople are available on request.

For media enquiries, please contact Carers UK for Carers Week:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
020 7378 4972
07534 487 027(out of hours)

 

Notes to Editors

About Carers Week 2018

Carers Week will take place from 11-17 June 2018, across the UK.

Carers Week is an annual awareness campaign which takes place to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers. It is also a time of intensive local activity with hundreds of events planned for carers across the UK.

Website: www.carersweek.org

Twitter: @CarersWeek #carersweek

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CarersWeek

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CarersWeek

 

What is a carer?

A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health problem or who needs extra help as they grow older.

For some, taking on a caring role can be sudden: someone in your family has an accident or your child is born with a disability. For others, caring responsibilities can grow gradually over time: your parents can’t manage on their own any longer or your partner’s health gradually worsens.

The amount and type of support that carers provide varies considerably. It can range from a few hours a week, such as picking up prescriptions and preparing meals, to providing care day and night.

Caring will touch each and every one of us in our lifetime, whether we become a carer or need care ourselves. Whilst caring can be a rewarding experience, it can also have a damaging impact on a person’s health, finances and relationships.


To find out how you can get support in your caring role, visit: www.carersweek.org/support

Facts about carer health and wellbeing*:

  • 7 in 10 carers (69%) said they find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, over half (54%) reported that they have reduced the amount of exercise, and nearly half (45%) reported that they have found it difficult to maintain a balanced diet.
  • 2 in 5 carers said they had not received any training or information to help them keep well.
  • 3 in 5 carers have a long term health condition, this compares with half of non-carers. This pattern is even more pronounced for younger adults providing care – 40% of carers aged 18-24 have a long term health condition compared with 29% of non-carers in the same age group.
  • Half (50%) of carers said their mental health has got worse as a result of caring. 8 out of 10 people (78%) said they feel more stressed because of their caring role, and 7 out of 10 (72%) said caring has made them feel more anxious.
  • A third of carers (35%) reported that they have physically injured themselves through caring and half (51%) of carers reported that the have left a health problem go untreated.
  • Young adult carers (aged 18-24) are significantly more likely to report a long term health condition than their non-caring peers (40% compared with 29% respectively). 45% of carers aged 18-24 suffer anxiety and depression, compared with 31% of non-carers of the same age.

*Facts gathered from results of the Carers UK 2017 State of Caring Report and Carers Week 2016 'Building Carer Friendly Communities' Research Report

Carers Week 2018

These organisations joined together to make Carers Week happen in 2018

  • logo01
  • Carers UK new logo
  • image description
  • independent age
  • MacMillan Logo
  • MSS-logo-orange partnersrow
  • MND logo
  • Which later life care logo

Proudly supported by:

  • Nutricia

 

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