Posted by Amanda Crawford at 12/06/2018 11:06:37
Around 6.5 million people in the UK are carers, looking after a parent, partner, child or friend. 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.
Carers Week is about coming together to build communities that support the health and wellbeing of carers.
For most people, caring for a family member or friend is something they are very happy to do. However, it is all too easy to forget about your own health and wellbeing. It is important to know what help is available and getting the right support can enable you to carry on caring for as long as you wish and are able to.
Contact your local carers’ organisation for information, advice and guidance, practical help with forms and claiming benefit entitlements, someone to talk to in confidence, the chance to link up with other carers in support and activity groups, regular newsletters, free ‘Caring with Confidence’ courses, and much more. On behalf of Kent County Council, they provide statutory Carers’ Assessments which look at what support you need in your caring role. They can also provide you with a free Kent Carer’s Emergency Card so the person you care for will be looked after if you are taken ill or involved in an accident.
Carers First Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Cranbrook 0300 303 1555, www.carersfirst.org.uk
Involve Carers, 01622 685276, firstname.lastname@example.org
Taking a break
Crossroads Care West Kent offers carers a regular, free, short break of a few hours by providing support to the person you care for. They also have a health appointment service which looks after the person you care for so you can attend your own health appointments.
Crossroads Care West Kent: 01622 817114, email@example.com
Our local hospices provide support to carers and families of people in their last year of life, as well as the patients themselves.
Heart of Kent Hospice, 01622 792200, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hospice in the Weald, 01892 820500, email@example.com
Kent Carers Matter is a campaign to raise awareness of what carers do, and give them a voice and access to support. Looking after yourself
For more information, visit www.kentcarersmatter.co.uk
Carers are at risk of depression, but help is available. If you feel too worn out or ill to go on, or the person you’re looking after needs more specialist attention than you can give, talk to your GP or social worker. They will be able to discuss options with you.
You can also access talking therapies in your area by visiting Live Well Kent.