This year Carers Week runs from 10 to 16 June and the theme is ‘Prepared to care?’. And with at least 6,000 people every day becoming a carer for someone close to them, the awareness week will feature events and information showing the significant impact it has – taking up time, energy, leaving people isolated and the cost involved.
Carers Week will focus on how the UK’s current carer population is coping, how effectively government is supporting the growing numbers of carers and whether the wider population is prepared for future caring responsibilities.
It will also aim to help people already caring to make sure they are accessing all the practical and emotional support they need to care safely and look after themselves.
A recent poll of 57,800 carers in England showed that although the majority were satisfied with the support and services they receive (36% were either extremely or very satisfied, 29% were quite satisfied), carers do want more support from social services.
Five per cent reported they were quite dissatisfied, 4% were either very or extremely dissatisfied, 11% said that they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, and 16% hadn’t even received any support or services from social services during the past 12 months.
The research, carried out by The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), also showed a worrying 14% of carers say they are not eating well or are going without sleep.
HSCIC chief executive, Alan Perkins, said that all too often the needs of carers are not met even though they perform an increasingly vital role in society. He said the poll underlines the need to support carers and pinpoints where provision can be improved.
In Scotland, a report highlights that although better outcomes are being achieved for some carers and young carers, there is still much more to do.
‘Caring Together and Getting it Right for Young Carers’ is a progress report on implementation and related developments to support carers and young carers since first meeting of the Carers Parliament on 1 October 2012, also addresses the issues raised by carers and young carers at the first Carers Parliament.
For more information about Carers Week, events taking place or information or support available for carers, visit the Carers Week website.