This week marks 2016’s Carers Week. There are over 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK, and roughly three quarters of all people with multiple sclerosis will rely on care and support from family and friends at some point. So we want to celebrate the important work of these people, many of whom don’t see themselves as carers, and recognise their important role.
What is Carers Week about?
Carers Week seeks to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. This year Carers Week is all about building carer friendly communities.
What makes someone a carer?
Carers help with personal things like getting someone dressed, helping them move about or looking after their medication. They may also help with things like shopping, cooking, cleaning or managing money. This means that a carers role can be varied, and many in this position may view themselves as just being a good friend or family member. This is why it’s so important for them to get recognition for their help that is so invaluable to the people they care for!
Why are they so important?
Some people may only take on the role of carer for a couple of months, but with multiple sclerosis where symptoms can be unpredictable and progressive, their role can often be ongoing. This means friends and families can take on a hugely important part in caring for their loved ones, which means they can stay in a familiar and loving environment.
Are you a carer?
Lots of people don’t consider themselves to be a carer because they believe they do what anyone would for their family. However, if you offer support to a loved one or family member you may be a carer, and there is support available to you if you need it.