30 November 2023
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Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. This year, the lead organisations are: Carers UK, Carers Trust, Rethink Mental Illness, Oxfam, Motor Neurone Disease Association and Age UK
This year, people across the country are continuing to face new challenges as a result of Covid 19. Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support. This awareness campaign helps people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and we want them to know that there is help for them in their new role, both locally and nationally.
All carers need to be recognised for the difficulties they are experiencing, respected for all they are doing, and provided with information, support and understanding. There is evidence that unpaid carers are amongst the most lonely in the UK.
New research launched for #CarersWeek found there are an estimated 13.6 million unpaid carers in the UK. That is 26% of the population. It is more important than ever that we are all #MakingCaringVisible. According to Carers UK, a third of informal carers are aged 65 and over, while the number of those aged 75 and over has increased by 35% since 2001. In particular, it is now noted that those aged 54 to 65 years are often looking after grandchildren as well as an ageing parent. Others are working, looking after their own children and their older relative or friend. There is also evidence that people retire early to care for someone, often affecting their future financial security.
Data from the Newcastle City Council Carers Survey also demonstrates that the number of hours caring has risen by a third per week. Predicted trends for Newcastle show that the number of older people, over 65 years, providing unpaid care will increase over the next 15 years by a third and those over 85 years providing unpaid care will increase by 50%.
Caring impacts all aspects of life, from relationships and health to finances and work, and caring without the right information and support can be tough. This year, when carers have the additional worry of how to keep themselves and the person they care for safe during the coronavirus outbreak, it is important that carers have the information, guidance and support they need. There are an estimated additional 4.5 million unpaid carers that have arisen during the coronavirus outbreak.
Spread the word about Carers Week on social media by using hashtags #CarersWeek and #MakeCaringVisible and Pledge your support on the official page
Locally you can support the following activities:
Create a montage on the Council’s social media pages. Send in a photo of you with the person you care for as a tribute. Emailcommpublishing@newcastle.gov.uk
Newcastle Carers are dedicated to supporting all carers in Newcastle. Follow their
Elders Council is taking the opportunity to acknowledge and thank unpaid carers for the amazing work they do. If you are caring for someone in your own home; trying to support someone from a distance or have a relative in a care home, and have the time and energy, they would love to hear from you. Please send your reflections on your life under lockdown to email@example.comCumbria, Northumberland Tyne and Wear Mental Health Trust (CNTW) patient and carer involvement team are asking for a photo that makes you smile. Perhaps a pet, a place, an item, as well as one or two sentences about why it makes them smile. They hope to share these through the Involvement Team Twitter account throughout Carers Week. If carers are happy for them to share their photographs, please forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com #makingcaringvisible.
Active Newcastle want you to get active and learn about wellbeing. They have:
Carers UK are at the forefront of carers week. You can join one of their daily Care for a Cuppa online meet ups between Monday 8 and Friday 12 June. These offer a chance for carers to get together and have a chat over a tea or coffee. They also have a Share and Learn session on Tuesday 9 June which will focus on exercise for carers. More information on all of the sessions can be found on their website.
Statistics show us that you can be a carer at any age, but do we think of ourselves as such? Are we prepared for this role and do we know what support is available to help us as informal carers of family and friends? In this edition, we wanted to help you think about your role as a carer for family and friends, signpost you to local resources and highlight the information on Information NOW.
You are a carer if you provides unpaid help and support to a family member, parent, friend, partner, child or neighbour who could not manage without your help. The person you care for may have a disability, a physical or mental illness, be frail, or have alcohol or drug-related problems. This applies to children under 18 years, young carers and adults.
Read our article on Looking after someone and read the following sections for resources and organisations that can help.
Young adult carers are young people aged 18-25 year old who help to look after a relative or friend with a long term illness or disability, mental illness or an addiction, who could not manage without their support. This may interfere with their sense of wellbeing, socialising and choosing their future career. Newcastle Carers can support this group of carers.
There are children under 18 with caring responsibilities, perhaps for a brother or sister, a parent or grandparent. They may help with preparing meals or cleaning the house, help someone to get washed and dressed. This may interfere with their sense of wellbeing, socialising and doing their schoolwork. You may be able to get financial and practical support from voluntary organisations, health services and the council. The Children’s Society has information on being a young carer. Action for Children supports young carers with respite and breaks.
If you are part of a health service, care service or employer, then you can pledge your support for carers:
The whole community can pledge support too.
Return to work
Newcastle Carers is working as part of a partnership with the North of Tyne Combined Authority, North Tyneside Carers’ Centre and Carers Northumberland to deliver a project to support young adult and adult carers to return to work. Three Carers into Work Advisors will work with carers on a one to one basis across the North of Tyne.
InformationNOW has a section on caring. This section includes carers benefits, such as the carers allowance which is not means tested; carers assessments and care and support; telecare and keeping safe.
When you are caring for someone else, it is very easy to forget about your own health. However, it is important to look after yourself so that your own health doesn’t suffer. Let your doctor know that you are a carer and how it affects your health. Ask for this information to be noted on your medical record, so that your GP surgery can provide you with suitable help. You may need to arrange respite to allow yourself to re-energise with a break from your caring duties. Respite should enable you to do something you enjoy or something that makes you feel good whilst ensuring that your family member or friend is cared for safely.
Unfortunately, there are no day services or respite options during Covid 19 but the information below may be useful as things change this year:
You may need to arrange a carers assessment or seek advice from Newcastle Carers to help you manage your finances and find support that meets both your needs.Keeping fit will help you combat stress related to caring. It is also important to consider what you eat and drink. Take a look at the Information NOW articles on Healthy eating and drinking and Keeping physically active.
New and updated organisations
Friends of Jesmond Library
Care home residents and staff are invited to take part in a Northern Musical connections event on Friday.
Last updated: April 9, 2021