North Yorkshire County Council will join thousands of organisations to promote Carers Week from 11 to 17 June.
The County Council is calling on communities, health care professionals, employers and the wider public to help carers stay healthy and connected by recognising local support that can help them maintain good mental and physical health.
The national event will help recognise the vital contribution made by 6.5 million people who currently provide unpaid care in the UK. As people live longer, often with complex health conditions, more and more of us will become carers for a family member or friend. It is estimated that by 2037 there will be nine million carers. The week-long celebration of the enormous contribution that unpaid carers make to our communities will also be a time of intensive local activity, with awareness raising events taking place across the county.
Richard Webb, the County Council’s corporate director of health and adult services, said: “There are about 65,000 people in North Yorkshire across all age groups who identify themselves as providing unpaid care - more than one in ten people. Looking after a loved one affected by physical or mental health ill health can be hugely rewarding, but without the right support many carers put their own needs last. Having been a young carer myself, I know how crucial it is to get the right support at the right time, for both carers and the people they care for.”
More than half of carers have seen their physical and mental health worsen as a result of their caring role and only two in five carers say they received training or support on keeping well, despite the often physically demanding nature of caring. As a result, more than a third of carers reported that they have physically injured themselves while caring and almost 70 per cent struggle to get a good night’s sleep. For young carers stress, tiredness and mental ill-health are also common. They can be reluctant to reveal they are a carer and often experience bullying and other difficulties at school.
County Councillor Michael Harrison, executive member for adult social care and health Integration, said: “Carers week is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the challenges carers face and to focus on how we and our partners can help to make things better. The practicalities of being a carer can make it hard to maintain the same levels of wellbeing as before their caring role started. It is vital, therefore, that we work with our partners to ensure carers are able to look after themselves as well as the person they care for.”
Find more information about support available for carers.