Why carers need care

Around seven million (one in ten) adults in the UK are carers. Older carers are the most disadvantaged group in Britain and among those who save this country more than GBP 119 billion a year. Our research shows that many carers feel undervalued and disempowered when their needs are not being met or their rights are disregarded.

Three factors are crucial to caregiving:

  1. Adequate financial resources;
  2. Appropriate domestic support;
  3. Regular respite breaks.

Today the resources so necessary to maintain the carer's own quality of life and that of their loved-one are becoming increasingly scarce. The unpaid carer's struggle is compounded by longevity and the continuing reduction in care home placements. As the demand for unpaid carers increases, so do the demands placed upon them.

In the Poole area alone there are approximately 16 600 people looking after someone who is frail, sick, disabled or suffering from dementia. Bournemouth has a similar population and with Dorset's 42 000 carers there is a total of between 70 000 to 80 000 across the county. They are a largely 'invisible' population whose needs tend to be assessed and addressed within the ever-narrowing parameters of existing services

Do you know someone who needs help but does not regard themselves as a carer?

Many carers do not want to be identified; even those who do, often lack the knowledge of who to ask for help and how to ask for it. Some are afraid of claiming benefits for fear of losing what entitlements they already have. Others are unable to deal effectively with problematic care providers and an obstructive bureaucracy.

Carers trust Advocare and can speak openly to us about their needs and concerns. When making representations to statutory bodies on the carer's behalf Advocare can protect their interests and those of the person they care for. Our organisation's strength lies in maintaining financial independence wherein lies our integrity.

Even though long-term stress is known to impact adversely on our health, carers are more likely to be prescribed medication for stress-related conditions than offered sources of psychological or emotional support. Using our specialised skills and unique insights from the carer's perspective we have developed Assert, a specially-tailored programme for carers and former carers to reduce stress and bring about a positive, long-lasting change in their outlook.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"
(Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790)

In safeguarding the emotional and psychological wellbeing of unpaid carers Advocare helps to prevent them from becoming ill with what we term as 'the unpaid carer's syndrome', a form of physical and emotional burnout.

For more details about Advocare - Caring for Carers please contact Cathey on (01202) 737592.

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