This is Carers Week, from 8th to the 14th June.
In the UK 185,000 *people provide unpaid care to someone they know, they are the invisible workforce and are, quite literally, indispensable. By providing unpaid care for someone who is ill, frail or disabled, they save the economy an incredible £87 billion per year.
3 in 5 people will be carers at some point in their lives – carers often face a lack of recognition from employers, GPs and social workers, even friends and family. The main consequence of this lack of recognition is that carers suffer more than they need to. Carers struggle with their finances (Carer’s Allowance at £53.10 is the lowest benefit of its kind), health, job, social life and general wellbeing.
They becomes invisible while providing the care, at times it is round the clock without relief. In hospital or nursing home situations, the staff change shift at least every eight hours if not sooner.
If you know someone in a Caring role, give them a little time this week, make them a coffee (and wash up afterward!) sit and really listen or offer to relieve them for an hour or two.
You will never miss the time!
UPDATE: The figure 185,000 above is actually for Northern Ireland and not the whole of the UK, it is more like six million.