08 June 2014

Celebrating 20 Years of Carers Week

Nurchat will be meeting on Twitter on Tuesday 10th June at 8pm to celebrate Carers Week, which is now in its 20th year. Nurchat is inviting carers, nurses, health and social care professionals plus anyone being cared for to join in and share their thoughts with one another via #nurchat. During the discussion we’d like to know if you think there is enough support available for carers and if you think health and social care professionals could do more? Do you think it is important for local authorities to get involved in supporting carers and are Carer’s Assessments readily available to all who need it.

It’s estimated that there are 6.5 million carers in the UK at present, caring for elderly, frail, ill or disabled family members or friends – that’s 1 in 8 adults at present who provide unpaid care to someone. This number is predicted to increase to 9 million by 2037. In their 2013 survey of 2,100 carers, Carers Week found that 75% of carers felt they were not prepared for all aspects of caring, with an even higher percentage unprepared for the emotional impact that caring would have on them. Giving up work or reduced hours, reduced income, and relationship breakdowns were all found to have happened to carers as a result of their caring activities.

Self-identification as a carer is the important first step in realising the need for support. In the 2013 Prepared to Care report, social care professionals were the third most popular answer when carers were asked who first helped them identify themselves as carers, with health professionals at number 5. So, could there be an opportunity for health and social care professionals to reach more carers in the early stages of their caring life?

To take part in a #NurChat discussion, you’ll need to have a twitter account. Using the tweet box on http://nurchat.co.uk/join-nurchat-live/ you will be able to see the conversation as it happens. This box will automatically add the NurChat hashtag for you when you join in. If you need any assistance, tweet @NurChat for help.