After months of planning, Carers Week 2013 is here. It starts today (Monday 10 June) and takes place until Sunday 16 June.
Every day at least 6,000 people start caring. Becoming a carer can impact significantly on a person’s life – it takes time, energy, can leave you isolated and can be costly. Leslie is 84 and looks after his wife Frances, he spoke to us about the impact being a carer has had on his life and his advice for others.
Listen to his story.
Carers Week is run by a coalition of charities, including Age UK, Carers Trust, Carers UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, MS Society and Parkinson’s UK, who all believe that informal carers should get more support and recognition for the incredibly difficult job that they do day in and day out.
This year the theme is ‘Prepared to Care?’. Carers Week will focus on how the UK’s current carer population is coping, how effectively Government is supporting them, and whether the wider population is prepared for future caring responsibilities.
Many carers tell us they weren’t ready to take on caring responsibilities, and had not given this much thought in advance.
Often, when people require care, families and friends find the situation comes about very quickly, and often they find themselves in a crisis with little time to investigate the options. This is particularly common when an older person needs care following a stay in hospital. The purpose of Carers Week this year is to encourage people to discuss with their friends and families in advance about the care they might want or need, and what information they require to make informed choices.
Whether you want information on adapting your home or advice on how to arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney, Age UK has a host of free guides and factsheets on almost any topic to help you prepare in advance for life’s challenges.
There are already over 2,250 organisations taking part in this years Carers Week activities. You can find out what events are taking place locally by looking at the Carers Week interactive map. We hope as many of you as possible will get involved, whether you attend a local event or order an information guide for someone you know.
To find out more about what Age UK are doing to improve the social care system for carers take a look at www.ageuk.org.uk/careincrisis or if you need information and advice call our free helpline on 0800 169 65 65 or look at www.ageuk.org.uk/carers