WCC calls for carers to access support this Christmas

Across the county, carers are working 365 days a year to support the people who depend on them. This Christmas, Warwickshire County Council is encouraging carers to seek the support they are entitled to through the Warwickshire Carers Wellbeing Service.

It’s estimated that one in eight Warwickshire residents will have a caring responsibility for a parent, friend or relative at some point in their life. However, many may not realise they are entitled to support – or even that the unpaid work they do for their loved ones constitutes care.

To raise awareness of the Warwickshire Carers Wellbeing Service, WCC is challenging popular myths about what defines a carer in a bid to encourage more residents to get the support they deserve this winter.

Some of the widespread misconceptions being addressed are as follows:

“A carer is a paid worker who goes to someone else’s house to help them.”

A carer and a care support worker are sometimes confused with each other. A carer is someone who provides unpaid care to a family member or friend, while a care support worker is someone who comes into your home to help and gets paid for it.

“You’re only a carer if the things you do are activities i.e. shopping, pushing a wheelchair, helping people into bed.”

Although many carers undertake physical activities for the person they care for, many (especially those caring for someone with a mental health problem) provide a large amount of emotional support which can be just as impactful on their wellbeing.

“Carers cost the state money.”

This is not true. Carers work unpaid and make a huge contribution to Britain’s economy. Research conducted by Leeds University in 2007 shows that carers now save the state £87 billion a year; more than the entire annual NHS budget.

“There is no support for the carers, only for those being cared for.”

In Warwickshire, a wide-ranging variety of support is provided by the Carers Trust Heart of England through the Warwickshire Carers Wellbeing Service. You can find more information at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/carers

Councillor Les Caborn, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Christmas for many is a time for family, comfort and rest at the end of the year, but for people caring for a loved one it can be as busy and stressful as any other day. This Christmas, I would ask people to look out for the people in their lives who are carers and make sure they know about how to access the Warwickshire Carers Wellbeing Service.”

For more information go to www.warwickshire.gov.uk/carers