Do you look after a loved one? Reach out for support this Carers Week

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It’s Carers Week and Richmond Council is celebrating its incredible residents who look after their loved ones, who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, could not cope without their support.

It’s estimated that unpaid carers save the economy at least £132 billion a year with 1.3 million people providing over 50 hours of care per week.

Many people become carers at some point in their lives, even though they may have other responsibilities or need support themselves. Being a carer can be emotionally and physically challenging, and it is important to look after yourself whilst looking after someone else.

In Richmond upon Thames, there are over 18,000 residents who look after loved ones and Richmond Council would like to remind residents of the support available to them.

carer’s assessment is a conversation that determines the impact looking after someone is having on your life and the best support available for you. This could include financial help, emotional support opportunities, training, breaks from caring and help using technology that will help you look after someone.

This week, Richmond Council will be sharing a series of videos on technology that can help with caring responsibilities. This includes the Alcove Video Carephone and Smart Home Technology. These will be posted on social media along with a video of Bridget, who lives in Twickenham and talks about her experience of looking after her children in an interview filmed before the pandemic, which you can watch on Richmond Council’s YouTube channel.

Richmond Carers Centre provides information, advice and support for carers, including young carers aged 5-18. The Centre is recognising Carers Week with a programme of online activities and events to support carers to improve and maintain their health and wellbeing.

Cllr Piers Allen, Lead member for Adult Social Care and Health and Chair of the Richmond Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“The National Carers Week theme this year is ‘Making Caring Visible and Valued’, and Richmond Council wants to make sure that those supporting friends and family know there is support out there for them and that their contribution is valued.

“People who care for their loved ones often don’t realise that they are eligible for support. But looking after yourself whilst looking after someone else is incredibly important to protect your health and wellbeing. If you look after someone else, please come and have a chat by completing the carer’s assessment.”

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