The carer's 'lot'
Based on national estimates, published research, our own survey and casework:
- It is estimated more than 10% of the adult population in the UK are carers;
- This means approximately almost seven million adults are relied upon by others to save this country GBP 119 billion a year;
- It is estimated there are around 16 600 adult carers in Poole;
- Bournemouth has a similar population;
- With Dorset's 42 000 carers this means there are between 70 000 to 80 000 people across the county looking after someone who is frail, sick or disabled;
- Many, perhaps even half, of the carers in Dorset are older people themselves and among the most disadvantaged people in Britain;
- Some older carers have to cut down on their food to make ends meet.
- Many carers don't see themselves as carers or want to be labelled as such;
- Many carers provide more than fifty-five hours' care per week;
- Carers rarely go to see a doctor about their own problems;
- Carers are more likely to receive medication for stress, isolation and depression than a referral for counselling or other forms of emotional support;
- Carers feel 'low' and often suffer from viral infections;
- Many carers do not have the time to sleep or the desire to eat properly;
- Former carers frequently report to us that this sleeping and eating disruption continues long after their caregiving role has ended.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" (Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790)
Advocare - Caring for Carers is based on the premise that:
- Carers are first of all people with their own unique identity who need to feel valued for who they are and what they do.
- When carers feel dispirited they feel less able to handle a crisis which they fear will hasten their loved one’s admission into residential care.
- By providing support tailored to meet the carers' unique situation, we help to:
- Safeguard their emotional and psychological wellbeing;
- Improve their quality of life and that of their loved ones;
- Encourage earlier access of appropriate health and care services;
- Prevent the breakdown of care packages;
- Avoid the unwanted or premature institutionalisation of vulnerable people;
- Prevent carers from becoming patients themselves.