But what is life like for the carer and how can it be made better?
The theme of this year’s Carers Week, which runs from June 8-14, is carer friendly communities.
When a community is carer friendly, every aspect of a carer’s life, from hospitals to the workplace, or school for young carers, is geared towards addressing the needs of carers.
This means obstacles will be removed to make sure things are done in a different way so a carer’s life is made easier.
Three in five of us will become carers.
As our population ages and people live longer, often with complex health conditions, more and more of us will be called upon to care for an older, disabled or seriously ill loved one.
KCC cabinet member for adult social care and public health Graham Gibbens said: “There are lots of ways people can get involved in creating carer friendly communities.
“There is a wide age range of carers from the young to the old and many will feel alone and struggling to ensure they feel as though they’ve done all they can.
“Helping to make sure carers can cope, people can do a range of things from flexible working hours, talking about care in the classroom at school, or even businesses offering free entry for carers if they are with a disabled person.
“This Carers Week we are urging organisations, our colleagues and those who provide a service to take into consideration the needs of carers.
“Providing care can change a person’s way of life. We are profoundly appreciative of the role that carers play and we want as many people as possible to ensure they get the support they need.”
Many people who support parents, siblings or perhaps a friend do not consider themselves carers, but if people let their own health, happiness or personal life suffer, it can lead to a carer breakdown.
Full-time carers are more than twice as likely to be in bad health as non-carers whilst one in five adults have seen their work negatively affected as a result of caring.
This includes 2.3 million who have quit work and almost three million who have reduced their working hours to care at some point in their lives.
More than half (54%) of carers are struggling to pay household bills or to make ends meet, and over a third (35%) are cutting back on essentials like food and heating.
About 40% of carers have had a breakdown in a relationship with a family member, and 60% have found it difficult to maintain friendships.
For a list of events being run for carers during the week, search www.carersweek.org/events-near-you for more events taking place near you.
There will be numerous events held throughout the week:
- Carers’ Forum on June 10, 10am-12.30pm, Grange Moor Hotel, Maidstone. Topics: Care Act ‘Implications for Self Funders’ and ‘Building a Carer Friendly Community’
- Carers Week Trip to Historic Rochester on June 12. Incorporating a guided tour of the Cathedral, followed by a cream tea.
- Connecting Carers Coffee and Chat on June 8. Maidstone Community Support Centre Café between 11am and 12.30pm.
- Carers Zumba Group on June 11. MuMu lounge bar and nightclub in Maidstone 3pm-4pm.
- Carers’ Fitness Walking Group on June 11. Mote Park.
- Monday 8 to Wednesday June 10 – pop-up shop in County Square, Ashford. 10am to 4pm.
- Monday, June 8 – information desk in the reception of Medway Maritime Hospital, Windmill Road, Gillingham, 9.30am to 3.30pm.
- Monday June 8 – Therapeutic Care 9am to 5pm Carers’ Support, Norman House, Beaver Business Park, Beaver Road, Ashford.
- Monday June 8 – Border Force UK staff event, Folkestone.
- Tuesday June 9 Mental Health Conference and Exhibition at Oakwood House, Maidstone.
- Wednesday June 10 Yoga for Carers 10am to 1pm St Marys Community Centre, Rylands Road, Kennington, Ashford.
- Thursday June 11 AGM, lunch and Therapy afternoon for carers. Faversham Community Centre, Bysing Wood Rd, Faversham. 11am to 4pm
- Thursday, June 11. A webinar from 2pm involving Kent County Council, Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, Carers First and our Carers Leave Campaign organisation Mending The Gap.
- Friday June 12 meet and talk for carers of people with Mental Health issues 10am to 12pm, Norman House, Ashford.
- Carers Awareness Desks in Sainsbury’s, Sandgate Road. Folkestone, Faversham and New Romney from 1pm to 4pm.