This week (10 – 16 June) is Carers Week, an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring and highlight the challenges unpaid carers face.
In Scotland, there are at least 747,000 unpaid carers aged 16 or over. The value of care provided by carers in Scotland is more than £10 billion a year.
What does being a carer mean to you? Sometimes it is difficult to find time to take care of a loved one and your own wellbeing. That’s why, this #CarersWeek, we’re coming together to build communities that support carers to be Healthy and Connected. pic.twitter.com/MBCTsdyjcZ
— Carers Week (@carersweek) June 13, 2018
A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, mental illness, physical illness, or needs support as they grow older.
People often become carers in times of need to help friends or family with their day to day living. This can be sudden, like after an accident, or gradually over time. Sometimes people can be carers even if they do not consider themselves to be.
The amount of time and type of support a carer provides varies in each situation. It could be a few hours a week or providing care day and night every day.
Carers help with everything from getting someone dressed and prepping meals to helping them wash and managing money.
Without the right support carers can become socially isolated, live in poverty, and experience ill health.
Carers Week takes place annually, this year on 10-16 June. The awareness week is an opportunity to highlight the challenges faced by unpaid carers, the contribution they make to their families and society, and to shine a light on the support available to unpaid carers.
Thousands of individuals and organisations come together to organise activities and events during Carers Week, showing how important caring is.
There are 6.5 million carers in the UK, and while caring is a rewarding experience it can also be challenging to take care of your own wellbeing and someone else’s.
Research carried out in preparation for Carers Week found that 35% of unpaid carers always or often feel lonely in comparison to 5% of the general population.
Getting carers connected
The theme for this year’s Carers Week is Getting Carers Connected. It highlights that the impact being an unpaid carer has on all aspects of life should not be underestimated.
Taking care of your own wellbeing, managing your finances and maintaining relationships can all be challenging without the right information and support.
This week is about supporting carers to get connected in their communities in multiple ways: Advice and information; Services; Friends and family; Other carers; Technology.
Carers Week have created a range of resources to help unpaid carers get connected in their communities. You can help raise awareness of the challenges faced by unpaid carers by sharing information, attending an event, or pledging your support.
If you or someone you know is an unpaid carer there is a host of support available.