If family carers wrote a Christmas wish list for themselves, the chances are that top of the list would be – TIME to themselves. TIME for guilty pleasures. TIME to have relax or have fun.
Family carers need both mental and physical respite to support their health and wellbeing. Four out of five family carers report that their caring role has had a negative impact on their own health. Carers Trust Cambridgeshire knows this well. For the past 31 years we have been looking after carers and people of all ages, all abilities and disabilities. We know that being a family carer can be rewarding, but it can also be relentless throughout the day, and for some, at night time too, leaving them exhausted and struggling to cope.
The impact can be particularly devastating for older carers in their 80s and 90s who are more likely to have health problems of their own – yet continue to be the main care giver for their loved one. With an increased emphasis on caring for people at home as social care cuts begin to make an impact, caring for our carers has never been more important.
Carers tell us that when they take a regular break, they are able to cope better, maintain the quality of care they provide for their loved one and sustain their energy levels. But many don’t invest in themselves. We can help. Caring is not just for Christmas, it happens every day of the year – and we can be there to support families when they need us most.
We sell Gift Vouchers for Care which can be bought by family and friends to give the carer and this can be redeemed for a carer’s break provided by one of our dedicated Carer Support Workers.
This will enable the family care giver to have much needed respite, enabling them to have time off for shopping, meet up with friends, see a film, have a massage – or just have time to be themselves. The range of support services we provide can be a simple as signposting the carer to a day club where they can meet others in a similar situation, putting an experienced Carer Support Worker in to sit with the cared for person, or even as far as taking you all out for day trip.
Steve Nicholson, one of our dedicated Carers Support Workers, said “A lot of carers feel guilty about leaving us with the person they care for. This is quite normal and I reassure them not to worry. Afterwards I can see how much they appreciated the break. We give them peace of mind and they know their loved one is well cared for. It’s nice you put your heart and soul into your job and see how grateful people are.”
Buying a Gift Voucher for Care is an investment that will have beneficial consequences for everyone. Vouchers start at £50.