£119 billion saved by carers
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I don’t know about you but I have a pretty set routine on work mornings. My alarm is snoozed twice before I make coffee, wash, brush my teeth and get myself dressed.Sometimes I may have a little bit of breakfast before jumping in the car and heading off to work.
It’s fair to say that I do all of these things without really thinking but unfortunately it’s not the same for everyone.
One in nine people who work in the UK also care for friends or family who may be frail, disabled or ill. In total there are 6.5 million carers in the UK – and with 6,000 people taking on new caring roles every day this figure is set to hit 9 million by 2037.
Helping people to carry out some of the basic tasks that a lot of us take for granted including cooking, cleaning and shopping, the millions of unpaid carers reportedly save the UK economy £119 billion every year.
As well as these everyday jobs, some carers are also responsible for administering medication, offering personal care and helping with form filling and managing money.
Carers Week is running between 9-15 June to recognise the hard work that unpaid carers carry out. It’s reported that three in five of us will be a carer at some point in our lives so it’s worth preparing ourselves and finding out what help and support is out there for those who care.
The largest proportion of carers (40%) care for their parents or parents-in-law, with 26% of carers looking after partners. 9% of carers help friends or neighbours and one person who benefits from the fabulous work that carers do is John.
Following the death of his parents, John struggled to cope with the responsibilities attached to having his own tenancy. Living with Asperger’s syndrome and finding it hard to manage his tenancy he began hoarding - he became overwhelmed and even attempted suicide at one point. Suffering with psoriatic arthritis which affects his joints he received medication which he didn’t always take and so he ended up with several bin bags of the stuff hidden away.
Introduced as a cleaner to help John to clear his property, Laura is now his carer and an integral part of his life.
She has helped to make his property a home again – the bags of unused medication are gone and she even encourages him to get involved with tidying the garden. Visiting three times a week, Laura cleans and cooks for John as well as helping him to shower – she even cuts his hair.
As Bromford support worker, Kevin explains that before Laura was in his life, John felt like a prisoner in his own home. She has helped to change his life- she’s an angel.
A sentiment that I’m sure is echoed by the millions of people who are helped by their carers throughout the UK.