Carers need care too

It is estimated that one in every two carers get ill. This could mean a substantial number of the 15,141 carers in Merton making extra trips to their GP with back injuries, stress problems or other caring related ailments.

Carers Support Merton will be running a pamper day with free complementary therapies, health checks and fun activity try-outs on Wednesday June 15th to help people relax if only for a short while in their role as carers. This will be at the Morden Baptist Church Hall, Crown Lane from 10am to 4pm.

Colin Shurrock, carer and chair of the Merton Carers Partnership said, “A moment’s respite can make all the difference. Less than a third of carers are aware of their simple right to request an assessment of their own needs which could give them access to regular breaks from caring.”

The carers’ assessment can give carers access to help with home care, meals, emergency call systems, occupational therapy, equipment and having a break.

The pamper day is part of a range of events for carers during Carers Week (13-19 June) which includes a discussion forum on Thursday evening (16th) and an information and advice stand at the Sainsbury’s Savacentre on Friday 17th.

Cilla Black says ‘I helped care for my husband Bobby, who sadly died of cancer in 1999, so I understand the challenges as well as the rewards that looking after a loved one can bring. ‘I’m supporting Carers Week 2005 because I think it’s important that carers get the support they need to be able to carry on – whether it’s getting time to work, to study or to do something they enjoy on a regular basis.’

The theme of this year’s Carers Week is “work, rest and play” to highlight the right of every carer to have the opportunity to lead fulfilling lives of their own, whether through work, study or leisure activities.

People who are unable to visit any of the events can get advice by calling Carers Support Merton on 020 8640 4159.

Ends

Notes for the editor:
Carers are defined in law as being unpaid family members, partners or friends who help a disabled, ill or frail person with the activities of daily living. However, people who provide just this kind of help fail to recognise themselves as carers, often thinking the word refers to paid care workers such as nurses, social workers and home helps and, as such, don’t apply for the support they deserve.

51% of carers present to their GP with physical ailments. 52% of carers present to their GP with stress related complaints. All figures citied come from Carers UK.

The Carers Support Merton events are