The National Carers Week campaign (10th – 16th June) sets out to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid Carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.
More than 6.5 million people in the UK and 15,000 people across Dumfries & Galloway are currently unpaid Carers for a relative, friend or neighbour who cannot manage to live independently without the Carers help due to frailty, illness, disability or addiction. In Dumfries and Galloway, Carers make up 10% of the population and of this group, 29% provide more than 50 hours of support a week.
Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience, but Carers often find it challenging to take care of their own health and wellbeing whilst continuing in their caring role. This can have a significant impact on all aspects of life from relationships and health to work and finances. Yet many people don’t identify themselves as Carers, they simply see themselves as a husband, wife, parent, son, daughter or friend. This often means that many Carers are not thinking about connecting to vital information and support that can help them continue in their caring role. This Carers Week, we’re coming together to help Carers get connected.
Linda Owen, Strategic Planning and Commissioning Manager, Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership said:
“One of the most important things Carers can do is to recognise that as a Carer they can connect with support services across Dumfries and Galloway. There are many places that can offer information, advice and support to Carers, including local Carers’ organisations, local council or local third sector organisations.
Looking after someone can be hard work and Carers often miss out on the support services that are available. Arranging a break from caring, getting the right equipment or getting support with improving Carers’ own well-being are ways to connect Carers to a range of support services.
Lack of both time and understanding from others can cause loneliness and isolation amongst Carers. Greater understanding from friends, colleagues and the public, as well as more opportunities for breaks and social activities are all needed to overcome feelings of loneliness and isolation.”
Larel Currie, Commissioning Officer, Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership, said:
“Sometimes a few words from someone who understands a Carers situation can be a lifeline. Being a Carer can be difficult and isolating, so speaking to someone who knows what they are going through can make a big difference. Carers Week is an opportunity for Carers to stay connected with other Carers in their community and build new friendships.
An advantage of this technological era is that we have access to simple technological devices that can help someone live independently for longer and give Carers peace of mind when they can’t physically be there. Technology can also help Carers connect with each other through online forums or one to one video sessions providing emotional support.”
EVENTS ACROSS DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY TO PROMOTE CARERS WEEK INCLUDE:
MONDAY 10 JUNE – SUNDAY 16 JUNE
- Information Station Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, Dumfries, incorporating a visual display with information from a wide range of Carer organisations available. This is in addition to the permanent Adult and Young Carer leaflets on display stands in the Atrium, Accident and Emergency and the Women and Children’s departments
MONDAY 10 JUNE – FRIDAY 14 JUNE
- Information Stand at Mountainhall Treatment Centre Dumfries
- Information Stand at Dumfries & Galloway College Dumfries
- Information Station at Gardenhill Health Centre Castle Douglas
- Information Leaflets at local GP practices across Stewartry
TUESDAY 11 JUNE
- Male Carers Trip to Logan Botanic Gardens. Contact the Carers Centre on 01387 248600 for more information.
- Upper Nithsdale Coffee/Tea and Cakes at the Burnside Tearoom, Sanquhar. 10.30am – 12pm. To book a place contact the Carers Centre on 01387 248600 or Nicola.firstname.lastname@example.org
WEDNESDAY 12 JUNE
- Stewartry Carers Cream Tea at the Castle Douglas Garden Centre, 11am to 12.30pm. To book a place please contact Karen on 01556 517065 or Karen.email@example.com
- Wigtownshire Carers Afternoon Tea at the North West Castle Hotel, Stranraer, 1pm. To book a place contact Fiona on 01671 401152 or Fiona.firstname.lastname@example.org
THURSDAY 13 JUNE
- Coffee/Tea & Cake at the Carers Centre, 2/6 Nith St, Dumfries. To book a place contact the centre on 01387 248600 or Jennifer.email@example.com
- Upper Nithsdale Coffee/Tea and Cake at Drumlanrig Cafe, Thornhill, 10.30am – 12pm. To book a place contact the Carers Centre on 01387 248600 or Nicola.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Annandale & Eskdale Tea and Cake at The Sommerton Hotel, Lockerbie 10.30am- 12pm. To book a place contact the Carers Centre on 01387 248600 or Shelley.email@example.com
FRIDAY 14 JUNE
- Crafting with Claire at the Carers Centre, 2-6 Nith St, Dumfries. To book a space contact the centre on 01387 248600 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Look out for other events in your local area.