Carers encouraged to keep healthy and connected – Carers Week 2018 (11-17 June)
Kent Carers Matter – a county wide campaign developed by five Carer organisations in Kent is supporting Carers Week (11-17 June) with a range of events for Carers reflecting this year’s theme, which is encouraging Carers to keep healthy and connected with their local communities.
1 in 9 adults in Kent look 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. Carers are all ages, come from all walks of life and backgrounds and unlike care workers, are not paid. For some, it’s a 24/7 role; others may also work or have other caring responsibilities. Many wouldn’t use the term ‘Carer’ to describe themselves, it’s just what they do as a relative, friend or neighbour.
Being a Carer can be a positive experience, but it can also be challenging, exhausting, isolating and impact on your mental and physical health.
Jill Attwell from the Kent Carers Matter campaign says:
“We know that Carers often put their own needs to the back of the queue, delaying doctor’s appointments or breaks from caring which could help them stay well. Whether through work, the community, school, university, at home or among friends, we all have a role to play in helping Carers to access the support they need to look after their health and well-being.”
If you are a Carer
- 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.
- Come along to one of the Carers Week events taking place locally.
Supporting Carers as a friend, relative or colleague
- Be aware of how being a Carer might affect their lives.
- Be a listening ear and offer practical help and support when you can.
- Recognise how valuable and important being a Carer is.
- Encourage Carers to look after their well-being and to access support.
- Suggest Carers tell their GP and workplace about their caring role.
For support available in your area and details of all Carers Week events taking place in Kent https://www.kentcarersmatter.co.uk/carers-week-2018/
 Kent Carers Matter has been developed by five Carer organisations – Carers FIRST, Carers’ Support Ashford – Shepway & Swale, Carers’ Support – Canterbury, Dover & Thanet, Crossroads Care Kent and Involve Kent.