Caring can be rewarding but also challenging, and many carers are currently dealing with more challenges than ever before. It is important that carers know how to look after their own health and wellbeing, and that we all recognise the contribution that carers make.
New figures released for Carers Week show an estimated 4.5 million people in the UK have become unpaid carers as a result of the Covid–19 pandemic. This is on top of the 9.1 million unpaid carers who were already caring before the outbreak, bringing the total to 13.6 million. These figures include the many thousands of Irish people in Britain who are carers.
It is also estimated that there are 700,000 young carers in England. The Covid–19 crisis means its much more challenging for many of them.
Typically, carers will have been supporting loved ones from afar, helping with food shopping, collecting medicine, managing finances and providing emotional support during the pandemic. Others will have taken on intense caring roles, helping with tasks such as personal care, administering medication and preparing meals.
As a result of the Covid–19 crisis, many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support.
There are a number or charities and organisations that can provide support to young careers. The Children’s Society runs services for young carers in many areas and KIDS is an organisation specifically for carers under the age of 18.
Many of Irish in Britain’s members provide specific carer support services and there are national organisations such as Carers UK that offer help and advice.
Find out more about how you can get involved in this years Carers Week here.