County-wide Kent Carers Matter campaign launches
A new county-wide campaign – Kent Carers Matter – has been launched to raise the profile of the 1 in 9 adult Carers in Kent and to increase access to Carer services.
151,000 adults in Kent are Carers, looking after a family member, partner, friend or neighbour who due to physical or mental illness, disability, age related difficulties or an addiction cannot cope without their support. Being a Carer can be a positive experience, but it can also be challenging and exhausting, which can impact on a Carer’s mental and physical health or well-being.
Kent Carers Matter has been developed by five Carer organisations in Kent to:
- raise the profile of Carers in Kent
- increase access to Carer services
- support health and social care professionals to identify and refer Carers to services earlier
- provide more opportunities for Carers to engage with and have their say about local and national issues that affect them.
If you are a Carer
Whether you describe yourself as a Carer or not, looking after someone can be tough at times, but there is information and support available.
- Contact one of the Carer organisations in Kent to access a Carer’s Assessment, get information about your rights and entitlements, talk to experts who understand about being a Carer, join a support group to meet other Carers, participate in training or organise a break from caring.
- Look after your own health and well-being. Tell your GP you are a Carer and how caring is impacting on your physical and mental health.
- If you also work, you may be able to reduce the stress of juggling being a Carer with work demands by speaking to your employer. There may be some simple changes that could be made to make things easier.
- Talk to family and friends about your caring role, your concerns and worries if you can.
What you can do to support Carers as a friend, relative or colleague
It’s likely that you’ll know people who are Carers (though they may not use that term.) You can help as a friend, relative or colleague by:
- Being aware of how being a Carer might affect the rest of their lives.
- Being a listening ear and offering practical help and support when you can.
- Recognising how valuable and important being a Carer is.
- Encouraging Carers to look after their own health and well-being.
- Suggesting Carers tell their GP and workplace about their caring role.
CARERS IN KENT – KEY FACTS
Over 6.5 million adults in the UK are Carers (Census 2011)
- 1 in 9 adults (151,000 people) in Kent are Carers. (Census 2011)
- 3 in 5 people in Kent will become a Carer at some point in their lives. (State of Caring 2017, Carers UK)
- Carers in Kent save the public purse around £3 billion every year (Value of Caring 2015, Carers UK)
- Carers are all ages, come from all walks of life and backgrounds and unlike care workers, are not paid.
- Many Carers also combine caring for someone with paid work.
- Carers provide a valuable and often invisible role in society.
For more information about Kent Carers Matter and to find out what support is available for Carers in your area visit www.kentcarersmatter.co.uk