Scottish Carers Week
Running from the 18th-24th June, Carers Week is a UK-wide annual awareness campaign that aims to raise the profile of the UK’s legion – approximately 6 million – of unpaid carers.
It is a truism to state that, without the unstinting work and commitment of unpaid carers, society would cease to function. The ever-increasing demands of an ageing population, not to mention those suffering from long term physical and mental ailments, would place an unsustainable strain on the NHS.
Being a longterm carer to a relative or friend is a time-consuming, stressful, and, in many cases, utterly thankless task. Carers rarely receive the support and respite they need, and frequently find that their views and opinions are dismissed too readily by health professionals.
However, even with this support, carers are often left exhausted and isolated.
This year’s awareness campaign highlights the importance of the health and wellbeing of carers, especially in the context of cuts to local support services. It also underscores the positive influence of recognition from professionals.
One of the most important things to remember is that the issue of carers does not just effect carers themselves, or those they care for: it effects us all.
Over 80% of carers say they did not expect to be carers. It could happen to any of us, at any time. We owe it to carers, ourselves, and society to ensure that unpaid carers are afforded the respect they deserve, and have access to the advice, support and respite they need.