Carers Week 2021
11 Jun 2021 | Anne Marie Fogarty
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June 7-13 welcomes Carers Week 2021. A week where unpaid carers are celebrated and acknowledged for their selfless efforts caring for people every day.
Packed with events and activities organised by individuals and organisations who fully support carers in their challenging yet rewarding roles.
Carers Week 2021
This year’s theme is ‘Make Caring Visible and Valued’. Every year many unpaid carers go unrecognised, perhaps even not recognising that you actually are a carer. You might be caring for a child living with a disability or minding an aged parent and see it as your duty.
Carers Week aims to raise awareness of carers and their incredible work and enable carers to recognise that they are, albeit unpaid, carers.
Self-care is essential care- making caring visible
All too often, carers neglect their own physical and mental health. If you are a carer, you might be unaware of your rights or what supports are available to you.
Carers Week will help carers recognise that they are in fact a carer who is entitled to support and help, rather than a relative doing their duty. When we think about caring, we often think about older people needing care, or carers being adults. However, many young people not only need care but are the carers themselves – they can be as young as school-going children, caring for a sibling or parent.
Having someone to talk to, someone to vent your concerns with or simply someone who understands how difficult life is as an unpaid carer can half the burden. With approximately 6.5 million people in the UK who are carers, we need to recognise the vast impact unpaid carers have on our society as a whole.
Communication is key. Not only to talk about caring but to interact with fellow carers, so you do not feel isolated. It can be lonely caring for a loved one. You might miss out socially on events that your peers can attend, and depression can set in as you fade away as an independent identity and become a carer all of your time. This is why it is important to remember your needs and time for yourself.
Remembering to take some time to care for your own wellbeing is a fundamental necessity-not a luxury. Spend time doing the things you find relaxing, the activities you enjoy or the socialising you look forward to. Whether it’s a hot bubble bath with a glass of vino or a good book in the back garden – whatever you like to do to unwind, make sure you schedule that all-important time in your day. If you don’t look after yourself, you’ll burn out and not be able to care for your loved one, so it’s paramount you make time for self-care regularly.
What’s Carers Week all about?
Carers Week is all about identifying your role and seeking support structures. You do not have to miss out; you do not have to stay home all the time; you do not have to feel isolated-just ask for help. There are several supports out there-you just need to reach out.
What supports are available for Carers?
- Respite to give you a break is available widely
- Carers who help you out
- Financial supports
- Community support groups where you can meet friends
For supports and resources available in your area, click here.
Caring is rewarding, but it is one of the most challenging roles you will ever do. Give yourself a break and get the support you deserve. You can care but start with caring about yourself too.
As a caring, flexible workforce organisation, we wholeheartedly applaud and appreciate all the unpaid carers out there. Carers are amazing people who give their time to help others- give their skills and love to enhance another person’s life – what an ultimate act of giving!