Making caring visible for Carers Week and beyond

Sally from Evesham, is one of our parent carers. Published Friday, 5th June 2020

June 8th marks the start of Carers Week 2020, with the theme of ‘making caring visible.’

June 8th marks the start of Carers Week 2020, with the theme of ‘making caring visible.’

One of the least visible caring roles is that of a parent carer and it’s important during Carers Week and beyond to recognise the role carers take on.

Sally from Evesham is a parent to four children. She became a parent carer when her third child was diagnosed with a disability.

Sally said: “It came as a shock because you just assume you’re going to be a parent again, and to suddenly find out that you’re a carer also, doesn’t quite make sense. You become the carer because of the amount of extra support you need to give to your child.

“This includes additional personal and hygiene cares and needs, feeding needs, medical appointments and filling out numerous forms. It’s exhausting, and you have to continually repeat your story to people you meet and see. There’s a lot more involved when you’re a parent carer supporting a child with a disability.”

Sally explained that 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.”

Worcestershire County Councillor Andy Roberts, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Children and Young People said: “Carers across Worcestershire play a vital role in supporting our children and young people. Those who are young carers and parent carers often go unnoticed, and it’s important that we all recognise this role in society.

“Worcestershire Children First aims to support and empower parents and carers. You can find advice and resources on our website.”

Sally has received a lot of support from both Worcestershire Association of Carers and Worcestershire Children First but says carers must look after themselves, too. She said: “Self-care is something that we as parents, and parent carers don’t put at the top of our priorities. But I’m asking you to do that, make yourself a priority and do things for you.”

Sally wants to share advice and information for others and is holding a Zoom ‘coffee and a chat’ for parents, carers and others to come, ask questions and chat informally on Friday 12th June at 11am.

Information about this Zoom call is on the Families in Partnership Facebook page.

Support can be found on the SEND pages on the Council website and Worcestershire Association of Carers website.