Carers Week 2018 – Recognising the contribution carers make to families and communities in the UK
Monday, June 11th, 2018 | Blog
The 11th to the 17th June 2018 is Carers Week, an annual campaign aimed to raise awareness of unpaid carers, the challenges they face and also recognise the contributions they make to families and communities around the UK.
Unpaid carers play a vital part in the industry. The economic value of the contribution made by carers in the UK per year is £132 billion - similar to the cost it would take to run a second National Health Service (carersweek.org). This shows that if there weren’t any unpaid carers, there would be a huge difference to the healthcare industry and the strain that it is under. NHS England are continuing to raise the profile of unpaid carers and the unmatched contribution that they make to the industry. They make a critical and underappreciated impact not only to the loved ones that they care for, but to the sustainability of the NHS. The NHS has found that supporting carers not only reduces emergency admissions, but also delays and prevents the need for further admissions and institutional care.
There are around 6.5 million carers in the UK, looking after a parent, partner, child or friend and by 2030, the number of carers is expected to increase by 3.4 million, this is around a 60% increase. In 2017, Carers week explored the public perceptions of unpaid care and whether it is valued within society. Their findings showed that 74% of the UK public feel that unpaid carers are not valued by society (carersuk.org). They also found that the public underestimate the likelihood of becoming a carer themselves, as half of people with no previous care experience think it is unlikely that they would ever become a carer.
This Carers Week is focused on looking at all the ways carers can be supported to stay healthy and connected in the community. By building communities which support carers to look after their loved ones, it will recognise that they are individuals with health and wellbeing needs of their own.
You can get involved in Carers Week here. If you need help with your caring role and want to talk to someone, please call Carers Direct helpline on 0300 123 1053.