Carers Week 2015 Did you know that this week is Carers Week 2015?   

Carers Week is highlighted each year to raise awareness for the courageous, selfless and often difficult challenges faced by unpaid carers and the contribution they make to families and communities in the UK. 

This year’s theme is focused on Carer Friendly Communities. This theme aims to recognise the individual needs of people who are looking after by their loved ones and it hopes to encourage local communities to reach out and support carers.

What do carers do?

In the UK there are 6.5 million people caring for a relative or friend who is unwell, frail or who has lost capacity to do things for themselves. Loved ones step in to help with everyday duties from practical help, like paying bills and doing the shopping, to more demanding duties like personal care and emotional support. According to the Carers Week website, 40% of carers are supporting their parents or parent in-laws and a quarter of people are supporting their partner or spouse. With these facts in mind it is natural for people to say they’re just doing their job as a wife, husband, daughter or son and not see themselves as carers, and more often than not they put the needs of the person they’re caring for before their own. It’s also important to remember that carers are sometimes children and young people caring for their ill or disabled parent. We need to do more to support all carers in our communities and pay attention to the needs of carers too.

How you can support and help build Carer Friendly Communities

As we’ve highlighted above, people often don't identify themselves as carers and you can do something to change that.

Whether as a friend, neighbour, employee, colleague or as part of a public service like a GP practise, community space or school, you could take a small action and make a big difference to help carers to be identified and supported to look after their own health and care for their loved one.

Have a look on the Carers Week website for an inspirational list of simple ways to get involved and help draw attention to how important carers are.

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