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WHATAn annual awareness campaign which aims to improve the lives of carers through support, recognition and advocacy as well improve as the lives of the people they care for.
WHYTo recognize the contribution that carers make and to support their role through increased awareness and Government assistance.
WHERECarers United Kingdom.
United Kingdom.

Program Description

"I was staggered to hear that carers save the Exchequer £87 billion every year. That's the same cost as running a second NHS. Carers work so hard, they deserve all the support we can give them. Carers Week is an ideal opportunity to spread the word."
-TV personality Graham Norton

"They need to be recognized for the difficulties they are experiencing, respected for all they are doing, and provided with information, and given the support they need to care safely."

"Becoming a carer can impact significantly on a person's life – it takes time, energy, can leave you isolated and can be costly."

The Carers Week annual awareness campaign works to:

-Raise the role of carers in the national, regional and local media.
-Celebrate and recognize the contribution the UK’s 6.5 million carers make to the people they care for and their communities.
-Encourage groups and organizations to take part and organize carer events and activities.
-Help carers access the help, support, advice and information they need.
-Highlight the challenges of caring and campaigning for sustainable funding for services and support for carers and the people they care for.
-Focus on how the UK’s carer population is coping, how Government is supporting carers, and preparing for caring for the upcoming aging tsunami.

Carers Week and a group of charities conducted an online survey to answer the question: How Much, As Society, Are We Prepared To Care? Some of the results are as follows:

92 % carers feel more stressed because of their caring role.

81 % carers were not prepared for the emotional impact of caring.

81 % carers were not aware of the support available because of the time it took them to identify themselves as carers.

78 % carers were not prepared for changes to their lifestyle because of a caring role.

72 % carers were not prepared for the financial impact of their caring role.

71 % carers were not prepared for the change in relationship with the person they care for.

63 % of carers were not prepared for the impact caring had on their career.

61 % carers have found it difficult to maintain friendships.

60 % carers have had a reduction in income because of their caring role.

61 % carers have suffered from depression because of their caring role.

42 % carers had had a breakdown in a relationship with a family member.

Nearly half of carers that responded to our survey have given up work because of their caring role.

Half of carers have used savings to buy essentials such as heating and food.

Carers Week offers 10 steps to help carers prepare to care:

  1. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
  2. Find out more about the condition and treatments/medication.
  3. Think about your finances.
  4. Talk to your employer.
  5. Find out about available support.
  6. Find a balance.
  7. The best laid plans - planning for emergencies.
  8. Make time for you.
  9. Talk to other carers.
  10. Be prepared for change.

The Carers Week website offers carers advice, support, a carers blog, event listings and more.

Carers Week is presented in partnership with national charities: Age UK, Carers Trust, Carers UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, MS Society and Parkinson’s UK. It is supported by Independent Age, the Stroke Association and Carewell.

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