04 June 2014

National Carers Week (9th to 15th June) is set to highlight support and services available to Northamptonshire carers.

About carers

Across the UK 6.5 million - 1 in 8 people - are caring for a loved one who is older, disabled, terminally or seriously ill. As the population ages, the number of carers is rising fast.

Census data in 2011 shows that the number of adult carers in Northamptonshire has increased by 18% (one of the biggest increases in the country) to 69,498 since 2001.

The very nature of caring - of being there for a loved one facing ill health or disability - means too often people don’t at first, or sometimes ever, identify themselves as carers and, across Northamptonshire there is an invisible army of carers missing out on support.

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.

Mark Major, Director of Northamptonshire Carers, said: “Carers own health can often suffer as a result of providing ongoing care for the people they look after. This year the Carers Week Quest is collaboratively working with organisations within local communities in order to connect with thousands of carers missing out on help and support”.

Activities for National Carers Week

A week of activities is being kicked off on Monday 9th June 2014 by our Northamptonshire Carers Choir at the Swansgate Shopping Centre in Wellingborough between 10.30am and 12 noon, to highlight the work of carers and the support available.

The event is being attended by carers, representatives from Northamptonshire Carers charity and staff, Northamptonshire County Council staff and from NHS organisations including NHS Corby and NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Derry Miller, Services Director of Age UK Northamptonshire said: “We have supported Carers Week year on year. It really highlights the importance of the role of the carer. Caring for someone you love is a tough job which has a strong emotional demand. This carers week ask yourself ‘am I a carer?’ Do I know of someone who is that could do with some support? We provide advice and help to carers and family members that enable you to continuing in your caring role but also ensuring you too are getting the help you need and deserve”.

A recent Commitment to Carers report published by NHS England highlighted that increasing hours of care results in the general health of carers deteriorating incrementally. Unpaid carers who provide high levels of care for sick, or disabled relatives and friends, are more than twice as likely to suffer from poor health themselves compared to people without caring responsibilities. Nearly 21% of carers providing over 50 hours of care are in poor health compared to nearly 11% of the non-carer population.

84% of carers surveyed for the 2013 State of Caring Survey said that caring has had a negative impact on their health, up from 74% in 2011-12.

County Council cabinet member for adult care services Councillor Suresh Patel, said: “Carers Week is an opportunity to raise the profile of what caring is, who carers are, the impact it has on their lives and to help thousands of people who are missing out on help and support which could make a real difference to their lives. This includes the many people who don’t recognise themselves as carers so may not realise that they don’t have to cope by themselves.

“We want to make sure that people know what help and advice is out there so I would encourage as many people as possible to take advantage of the activities planned for Carers Week.”

For more information about the support for carers in Northamptonshire visit: www.wholooksafteryou.co.uk.

You can also go to the Northamptonshire Carers website for more information the work being carried out by this charity. Carers can also contact the Carers Support Line on 01933 677907 or email carers@northamptonshire-carers.org