Local MP Richard Arkless is encouraging the unpaid carers in Dumfries and Galloway to find about their rights as part of national Carers Rights Day, a campaign led by Carers UK urging people caring for older, ill or disabled loved ones to find out about the financial and practical support they are entitled to.
Each year more and more people take up a caring role yet Carers UK’s research shows that many take years recognise their caring role and miss out on support as a result.
There are around 6.5 million unpaid carers across the UK who provide care and support to family, friends and neighbours, saving the country an estimated £132 billion each year – the cost of a second health service.
Mr Arkless spent some time learning more about the challenges face by carers and specifically young carers, when he visited the Carers Centre in Dumfries. In Dumfries and Galloway there are around 300 registered young carers with an estimated 900 unregistered children and young adults performing a caring role.
Commenting, Mr Arkless said:
“People providing unpaid care for loved ones make a huge contribution to our society, yet too often go without the support they need because they simply don’t know what support is available or don’t see themselves as a carer. We must all play a role in helping to identify and support people who are looking after ill, older or disabled loved ones and making sure they get the right information and advice about the support they are entitled to as early as possible.”
Carers UK Chief Executive Heléna Herklots said:
“Caring will touch all of our lives at some point. Every year, millions of people begin caring for a disabled, older or seriously-ill loved one, yet for many it is ‘just something you do.’ Not recognising they are carrying out a caring role is a real barrier to accessing vital support.
We know getting the right information at the right time can make a big difference to carers’ lives. Carers Rights Day is about ensuring that carers don’t miss out on the financial, practical and emotional support they are entitled to, as well as recognising the huge contribution to our society that carers make.”
For more information and advice about caring, go to www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice
For information about Carers UK’s Carers Rights Day campaign go to www.carersuk.org/carersrightsday