Carers Rights Day 2021 is coming up on Thursday 25 November, but many people who look after a family member or friend do not realise that they are a carer, or that there is vital support available to help them.
We are encouraging people to help increase the awareness of the role of carers, which is often hidden, and the support available to them.
Miriam Martin, chief executive of Caring Together, said, “Many carers are facing huge pressures, but help is available. Depending on their situation it may be emotional support, help to have some time away from their caring role, practical advice, opportunities to meet others in a similar situation, or help to attend medical appointments that they need.
“Three in five of us are likely to become a carer at some point in our lives, with many more of us likely to need the support of someone to help us.
“This means that caring is an issue that affects all of us. But very often people care for someone they love, and do not realise that the support that they are giving is something that is recognised and that they can be given support with.
“Some rights carers have, for example the right to a carer’s assessment, are set by law. Others may be provided by an employer or school that has policies or support in place carers can access. And we are here to provide advice and information for carers, as well as to raise awareness of the incredible contributions they make.”
The latest findings from the State of Caring Survey by Carers UK highlight just the need for carers to know about the support is available to them:
- Nearly half of carers were caring for more than 90 hours a week (or 12 hours a day).
- The top priority for carers is support with their health and wellbeing.
- Nearly 40% of carers did not know what a carers assessment is – something that they have a right to access.
Earlier this year we asked young carers about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and found:
- 74% said their ability to cope with their caring role has deteriorated during the pandemic
- 71% said their mental health has been negatively impacted
- Over half of young carers said they had not had any respite or break from their caring role during the pandemic
- 60% felt their education has been negatively impacted
If you or someone you know looks after a family member or friend, you can contact us. See caringtogether.org, email [email protected] or call 0345 241 0954.
We are also able to help health, education and community organisations, as well as employers, to identify and support carers. More than 60 organisations now hold the Carer Friendly Tick Award, in recognition of what they do and have in place for carers.
What is a carer?
A carer is anyone, including children and adults, who look after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, and who cannot cope without their support.
Carers Rights Day 2021
Each year, Carers Rights Day is held to:
- ensure carers are aware of their rights
- let carers know where to get help and support
- raise awareness of the needs of carers.
This year’s Carers Rights Day campaign will focus on raising awareness of the rights that unpaid carers have. The pandemic has had a massive impact on the lives of carers, affecting access to services, the ability to juggle work and care and much more. That’s why it’s more important than ever that carers are aware of what they have the right to.
State of caring 2021
You can read the full Carers UK report at www.carersuk.org/news-and-campaigns/state-of-caring-survey-2021