Carers Week 2020 - Making Carers Visible

Every year in June we celebrate Carers Week to recognise the incredible support that thousands of Unpaid Carers across the country provide to loved ones who need it.

This year’s theme is ‘Making Carers Visible’ which during this time of unprecedented challenge is more important than ever.

Across Aberdeenshire there are currently more than 1,500 registered Unpaid Carers receiving support through Quarriers.

All Carers, whether Young or Adult Carers, are entitled to either a Young Carer Statement or an Adult Carer Support plan which is an assessment to look at the impact of their caring role.

The assessments are then used to put together a package of support, which can include a ‘support budget’ to Carers access services that are right for them. There is a wide variety of support available from peer support groups and training opportunities through to short breaks.

Chair of the Integration Joint Board (IJB), Cllr Anne Stirling, said: “There can be many reasons why someone may find themselves in a caring role for a loved one, from sudden illness, mental health issues, addiction issues or disability. Whilst caring can be very rewarding it can often lead to Carers putting their own needs and wellbeing second and becoming very isolated.

"So, the message I would like to get out there is that there is a huge amount of support available so please, reach out and get some support.

“The Carers Support service do a great job and will come to you or meet you somewhere where you feel comfortable to see what support will be right for you. So, if you are looking after someone and have not been in touch with the service, why not reach out now?”

Vice Chair of the IJB, Rhona Atkinson, said: “There will be many, many people out there in our communities who are looking after someone without realizing that they are in fact an Unpaid Carer and that there is help and support available to them.

"Many of us take on these roles without ever thinking that we are doing something particularly ‘special’, it is just what we do, and we just get on with it. But caring for a loved one really is special, and it is hard work, which is why we, as the IJB, commission services to support people in a caring role.”

Due to the measures taken to combat COVID-19 and following guidance regarding use of social care budgets from Scottish Government, Carers have been able to use their support budgets more flexibly.

For example carers who previously used their budget to purchase holistic therapy sessions such as massage and reflexology have purchased equipment and pampering items for use in their own homes.

Other examples include carers who would normally use their budget for gym/ fitness membership, purchasing equipment they can use to exercise at home.

Whilst others have found an escape in arts and crafts where they would previously have had a budget for replacement care or respite to give them time away from their caring role.

Further info: The AHSCP is responsible for providing support to adult Unpaid Carers whilst Aberdeenshire Council provides support to Young Carers. Both organisations commission Quarriers to provide those support services.

Further information: https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/community-care/caring-for-others/ Support available ranges from peer group support, training through to short breaks for Carers and all support packages are developed with the Carer and are tailored to individual needs.

Further information: https://quarriers.org.uk/how-we-help/north-east-services/ Quarriers offer impartial advice, information and support on all aspects of caring, including completion of Adult Carer Support Plans or Young Carer Statement.

Quarriers have also produced additional Newsletters for carers during the COVIID-19 pandemic and the latest edition can be viewed at http://online.fliphtml5.com/awzc/cafr/ Q

uarriers contact details: Phone: 01467 538700 email: aberdeenshirecarers@quarriers.org.uk.