There are 63,000 unpaid carers in Worcestershire. This week is Carer’s Week (8-14 June) and Worcestershire County Council is supporting the valuable work unpaid carers provide in Worcestershire.
The Council wants to recognise the contribution they make as well as helping them through this challenging time by highlighting the support on offer.
Worcestershire Association of Carers (WAC) have been commissioned to provide support to carers. Together we want highlight both the challenges carers face as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the support available to help them, so that no one should feel alone.
Support is available through our helpline 0300 012 4272 provided by WAC. The hours have been extended to operate Monday-Sunday, 8am to 8pm.
The suspension of normal services due to Coronavirus means carers are providing more care and, particularly if they live with the person they are caring for, the care can be continuous and exhausting.
With restrictions in place, some carers have expressed their concern about leaving their homes to provide care and fear being challenged by police officers.
Sally has 4 children, she became a parent carer when her third child was diagnosed with a disability.
She says being a parent carer can be isolating: “This can have quite a detrimental effect on your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, because it is an exhausting job.
“Parent carers are invisible carers that we don’t always see – everyone else just sees you as a parent and don’t realise how the extra caring responsibilities affect you.”
Some people will have become carers recently and may not be support is support available for them to access. Worcestershire County Council is working with Worcestershire Association of Carers and is determined to shine a light on the support available to them.
The theme for Carers’ Week is ‘making carers visible’, which is vital if we are to support carers in their much-needed roles.
One of the ways organisations and individuals can take part is to make a pledge to make caring more visible. Councillors Adrian Hardman and Lucy Hodgson as well as new director for People, Paula Furnival have all recorded a video pledge and support for carers. Take a look them on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/worcscc
Adrian Hardman, the cabinet member with responsibility for Adult Social Care said: “I am humbled by the efforts of carers during this pandemic, especially young carers. I admire all your efforts and will do everything in my power to put carers concerns and issues at the forefront of the County Council, so that as decisions are made we have considered your needs and listened to what you want.”
Worcestershire Association of Carers are also promoting their Emergency Card. The Emergency Card can be carried by carers so if they are involved in an accident or taken ill, it will immediately let those assisting know someone is depending on them and the Lifeline staff will know who to contact and what to do to arrange appropriate care.
Since the lockdown, application has been made available online https://www.carersworcs.org.uk/emergency-planning.