Written by Judy Hillier, Director of Nursing and Quality
I certainly don't and I have five people between the ages of 90 and 99 to support, albeit all in their own homes. It is often something we just do and accept our responsibilities. Whilst there are many people who are fully committed full time carers, there are also many carers, young and old, who are unrecognised and get no support, because they don't actually realise that they are carers. I love my relatives dearly but sometimes I just would like a weekend when I am not shopping, doing bills, sorting clothes, dashing across Hampshire to Wiltshire and Devon to check they have got everything they need. I don't suppose I need to do so much but I feel guilty if I am not either there with them or phoning them to see if they are OK.
Last week was Carers Week and it's important that those who are unrecognised as carers know that support is available. Many people don't know what is out there or don't realise that they can get support with their caring responsibilities. Caring can be incredibly confusing and demanding. Caring without support from others can present serious risks to your health and wellbeing. This year Carers Week was in aid of encouraging the greatest ever drive in the UK to reach out to carers who are missing out on support and services.
One in every eight adults in the UK is a carer. It's something that will happen to most people at some point in their lives - in fact every year, over two million people become carers for the first time.
Relating my own personal experience to my job really helps me, especially when I read some of the complaints about the frustrations of not being able to get a GP or podiatry appointment because the phones are busy, or the receptionist or clinicians appeared to sound disinterested or when it seems that clinicians are not communicating well. I know what this feels like personally. It has happened to me, and my relatives, and I don't know about you but I felt so disempowered.
Let us have the feedback on what you would like to make the experience better, we want to hear and learn how we can give you a great experience and support you when caring for your loved ones. Please get in touch with our Patient Experience Team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (Free phone) 0800 013 2319 or 023 8029 6929.
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