Unsung heroes: National Carers Week 11-17 June 2018

The week celebrates the often unseen involvement that family and friends have in caring and supporting loved ones. This year the focus is on helping carers to be healthy and connected.

A carer is someone of any age who provides on-going and unpaid care to a partner, child, relative or friend. Without this help, the health and wellbeing of the cared for person could deteriorate due to frailty, disability, a serious health condition, mental ill health or substance abuse. Many people don’t even identify themselves as a carer because they believe it is their responsibility to look after their loved one.

There are currently around 40,000 unpaid carers across Dorset, who are vital in providing personalised healthcare. However, in supporting others, many carers neglect their own health and wellbeing, leading to a lower quality of life and even their own health complications.

The role of an unpaid carer can be a very lonely one at times. To help carers stay healthy and connected, Dorset County Council, Dorset HealthCare and Tricuro are hosting and supporting a range of events across the county during the week to offer advice and support.

Highlights include a carers get-together at The Crown Hotel in Blandford, a celebration of the great outdoors at Durlston Country Park and a free film at the Plaza cinema in Dorchester. Many other activities will be taking place, including coffee mornings, drop-in information events, story sharing, support groups, lunches and pampering sessions.

They will take place in various places including day centres, libraries and GP surgeries. To find out what’s happening in your area during Carers Week visit dorsetforyou.gov.uk/carers.

Cllr Jill Haynes, the county council’s Cabinet member for health and care, said: ““We need to help you to look after yourself, as well as the person you care for. There are a couple of simple steps that could help; firstly, you should register as a carer with your local council, who will send you an information pack and carers discount card with details about the help and support available.

“Secondly, you should tell your GP, as they will endeavour to make services and appointments accessible to you.”

To register as a carer with Dorset County Council, visit dorsetforyou.gov.uk/carers or telephone 01305 221016.

More information on national events and advice can be found at carersweek.org.