Hidden, Unrecognised, Overlooked, Unseen, Ignored and Unidentified are a number of words we often see used around Carers?
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution carers make to families and communities throughout the UK.
This year carers week will run from 12th – 18th June
to find out more click the carers week logo below and it will take you to the CarersUK website
Kent’s work in building Dementia Friendly Communities has always considered how best we can support all those affected by dementia, those with a diagnosis themselves or someone caring for a person with a diagnosis. Across Kent our Dementia Friendly Communities hope to use this week to build on the work of Dementia Friendly Communities so we are encouraging communities to be carer friendly too!
We have met people with dementia who are also caring for loved ones with other conditions, so we know that carers come in all shapes and sizes, across all ages and from all types of backgrounds.
One of the big things we have recognised is the existence of ‘Hidden Carers’. Those who may not refer to themselves as carers, even though they look after family members. We need to support people to recognise themselves as carers, to support them to build networks and in that their own resilience, whilst building communities, employers and business that are Carer Friendly and recognise the value in supporting Carers!
Carers need to know that there is support available and how to access it. Carers often don’t think they are “entitled” to anything, or even that they should ask for help, particularly early in their journey as a Carer. Those who carers come in contact with may overlook the needs of a family carer, focusing their energy on the cared for without really considering the carer, their needs or emotions. Those who care for a family member do so for many reasons and go through a rollercoaster of emotions throughout their journey often impacting on their own health and wellbeing.
The DFC network across Kent puts us in a position where we can influence local opinion and encourage people to really consider how many ‘Hidden carers’ we have in our communities and how we can harness opportunities to support them, regardless of whether dementia related or any other condition and to think about how the community as a whole can better support those in a carer role.
Therefore, over this year’s carer’s week I would like to encourage you all to join the Kent DAA in our campaign to raise awareness of ‘Hidden carers’.
There are 3 main strands to this campaign
- Raise awareness amongst Kent communities about recognising ‘Hidden carers’
- Encourage local professionals to better understand there are ‘Hidden carers’ out there and think about how we can to support them in their role and help them meet their needs.
- Inspire local employers and businesses to consider how they can best support carers as staff members and customers of their services, and recognise opportunities in supporting Carer’s to enable Carer’s to interact better with their business and our communities….
To help us understand more about how we can help the community achieve these goals we would really appreciate it if you could take the time to fill in the ‘carers insight’ form below.
We would love to get the opinions of local residents, people who are family carers, professionals across all organisations, business and organisations … basically people from all corners of our communities.
To the left you will find links to Kent’s Carers Organisations