Posted: Mon 10th Jun 2024

Putting carers on the map during Carers Week

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

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Carers Week 2024, running from 10th to 16th June, is a crucial initiative to enhance awareness about unpaid carers’ significant contributions and challenges in the UK.

This year’s theme, “Putting Carers on the Map,” underscores the need to ensure that the voices and needs of unpaid carers are recognised and addressed by a broader audience, including politicians, employers, and service providers.

The recent research report highlights that over 310,000 individuals in Wales alone provide unpaid care to family or friends due to various needs such as age, illness, disability, or addiction.

This unpaid labour is estimated to save the Welsh economy approximately £10.6 billion annually, a figure that underlines the economic value of carers’ contributions.

However, despite their invaluable service, unpaid carers face numerous challenges.

Many experience significant physical and emotional stress, with adverse impacts on their own health and well-being.

Financial strain is also common, as carers often incur costs related to their caregiving duties and may struggle to balance work with their caregiving responsibilities.

Legislation like the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 is in place to support these carers, mandating local authorities to promote carers’ well-being and provide necessary information, advice, and Carers Needs’ Assessments.

Initiatives like the Carer Aware project further aim to enhance recognition and support for carers within health and social care settings.

Commenting on Carers Week, Altaf Hussain MS, Shadow Minister for Social Care, said:

“I would like to pay tribute to carers for all the hard work they do – paid or unpaid, they deserve our respect, admiration, and our support.

“Let us take the opportunity of this week to celebrate and appreciate everything that people in the care community do for our loved ones.

“It is crucial that we celebrate the hard work of carers, but also raise awareness of the satisfaction and positive benefits of working in the care sector.”

Also commenting, Rob Simkins, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Carers Wales, said:

“Carers Week 2024 is an opportunity to recognise the enormous contributions of unpaid carers in Wales, with research showing nearly a million people in Wales as current or former unpaid carers. Unpaid carers play a vital role in supporting loved ones to live happy and fulfilling lives, as well as saving the Welsh economy over £10 billion a year with the care they provide in communities.“We call upon all decision makers in Wales to do more to help us put carers on the map, to identify and support unpaid carers with their vital work, and to recognise the impact they have on individuals and society as a whole.

The daily focus during Carers Week addresses various aspects of caring—from the initial research launch, discussions on health and social care, to specific challenges faced by younger and older carers, and the overall mental health and well-being of carers.

These targeted discussions are critical in addressing the multifaceted needs of carers and ensuring they receive the support they deserve.

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