Hand In Hand Activities CIC helps carers stay 
‘healthy and connected’ this Carers Week 2018

Published by Alison Watson-Shields on

Hand In Hand Activities CIC invited local carers, services and businesses to come together during Carers Week to celebrate the vital contribution made by carers in Stockton on Tees

Thursday 14th June was an incredible day at Grays Road Institute in Grangefield. Between 11 am and 3 pm, no less than 15 carers attended the carers week consultation event, where they were treated to a delicious afternoon tea platter and free mini pamper treatment. In return, we asked carers to provide feedback on who they cared for and what services could help them in their role as a carer.

Alison Watson-Shields, Managing Director at Hand In Hand Activities CIC and event organiser said:

“This event is vital to the carers of Stockton on Tees because I have seen first hand the amazing work that they do to support their children, partners, parents, siblings and friends. The resolve of those I have met is inspiring. Carers have to fight to receive support and service provision is not unlike a postcode lottery of sorts. Today’s event will hopefully be the first of many opportunities to bring carers together to socialise, to relax and, most importantly, to feel valued. We want to work with carers to try to develop groups and services that we hope will support them to continue in their present role and in their future role should their circumstances change. 

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

“It’s fantastic to see so many events taking place across the country to support local carers. Carers Week is an opportunity for organisations to join our calls to keep carers Healthy and Connected. We know that carers often put their own needs to the ‘back of the queue’, often delaying doctors appointments or breaks from caring which could help them stay well. So, whether through work, the community, school or university, at home, or among friends, we all have a role to play in helping carers access the support they need to look after their own physical and mental health this Carers Week.”

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.

Carers Week 2018 is made possible by Carers UK joining forces 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.  The eight charities driving Carers Week are calling on individuals, services and organisations across the country to help carers stay Healthy and Connected – accessing the practical, financial and emotional support they need to maintain their own wellbeing.

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/ 

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 the 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 a half (51%) of carers reported that they 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.

Website:     www.carersweek.org

Twitter:     @CarersWeek  #carersweek

Facebook:    www.facebook.com/CarersWeek

YouTube:     www.youtube.com/user/CarersWeek

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