Helping Carers Get Connected to the Right Support

In our latest blog, we're looking at the challenges faced by the UK's carers and where they can find help and support.


In our latest blog, we're looking at the challenges faced by the UK's carers and where they can find help and support.

Figures from Carers UK estimate that around 1 in 8 people care for someone else. Being a carer can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do, but it can also have its challenges. This June, Carers Week aimed to raise awareness of the vital role carers play in our community and help them get connected to the support networks available.

What is a ‘carer’?

Becoming a carer often begins with just giving someone an occasional bit of support here and there, but the responsibilities can grow over time as the person needs more and more help. Many people who think of themselves of just ‘helping out’ a friend or loved one, don’t even realise they qualify for the title. If you find yourself providing unpaid care for a child or adult who has a disability, illness, addiction or mental health problem and they rely on your support, you’re a carer.

The challenges of caring

While looking after someone we love can be a pleasure and a natural part of a close relationship, it can also put a strain on the caregiver, especially if they have other responsibilities to take care of like a job or children. In recent years, the number of ‘sandwich carers’ has also increased. These are people, often women, who are caring for two generations simultaneously and find themselves having to look after both their growing children and ageing parents.

Providing care, particularly in the long term, can have a significant impact on the physical and mental health of the caregiver. As well as the health implications, many carers also report experiencing financial hardship as a result of their caring duties.

It’s often the case that carers are so focussed on looking after someone else they have limited time and energy to take good care of themselves too. Taking a break, eating well, getting enough sleep and sorting out their own health care needs often come second on a carer’s list of priorities.

That’s why it’s so important that caregivers have the right support available to them. Being connected to caring organisations and networks gives carers the chance to access the information and practical help they need to tend to others and allow themselves time for a bit of self-care.

Who can help me with my caring responsibilities?

If you’re a carer looking for some support, your GP and organisations like Carers UK, the Carers Trust and Age UK are good places to find information and support. From factsheets and assessments to online forums and advice lines, they can help you directly or tell you where to go for the help you need.

Here at Bluebird Care Clapham and Streatham, we understand the pressures of being a carer, which is why we offer respite care services in South London. Our short-term live-in respite care service is designed to suit your individual circumstances, whether you need care for just a couple of days or up to a 4-week period. This can be a one-off arrangement or a regular thing, it’s entirely up to you. And with professional care assistants on hand to take over when you feel overwhelmed, you can rest assured your loved one is in good hands.

If you need to take a well-deserved break from caring and would like more information on how our respite care could help you, call our friendly team on 0208 677 6665.