Carers Network supports adult unpaid carers looking after someone over 18 who lives in the City of Westminster, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham or the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Due to COVID-19 there are 4.5m people in the UK who have become carers since the pandemic took hold, with 2.7 million women and 1.8 million men starting caring for relatives who are older, disabled or living with a physical or mental illness.
This means there are now 13.6 million unpaid carers in the UK – which is 1 in 4 of population. (Carers Trust, 2020)
The chances are that you will know an unpaid carer if you are not one yourself.
We need to make sure these carers are aware of the practical, emotional, and financial help and support they are entitled to.
This help and support will enable them to better look after their own physical and mental health and wellbeing while they are caring for someone else.
Many unpaid carers neglect to look after themselves due to pressures of their caring role.
If they fail to do this the quality of care they are able to provide will suffer – and they may end up having to be cared for themselves.
By law, under the Care Act 2014, unpaid carers are entitled to a Carer’s Assessment, which Carers Network’s team of specialist caseworkers can carry out.
After an assessment, a support plan for the carer is put in place. It will consider the carer’s own personal circumstances and can help them access training, activities, and other local services so that they are better supported in their caring role.
Recent carer-training has included sessions on NHS Test and Trace, managing stress and wellbeing in a pandemic, maintaining wellbeing in isolation, first aid, dementia awareness, diet and nutrition, moving and handling, and advanced end of life planning.
Activities have included free theatre trips, tours of local gardens, galleries and exhibitions and trips to sporting events. These opportunities help provide carers with a break from their caring role – as well as a chance to meet and talk with fellow unpaid carers.
Currently all carer training and activities are being run online in response to Coronavirus restrictions.