A director at a North East council has shared her personal experiences of caring for a family member to show support for carers across the region.
Durham County Council is supporting Carer’s Week, running now to Sunday 12 June, by raising awareness of the challenges faced by unpaid carers and the contribution they make to families and communities.
It is estimated that five million people in the UK juggle work and caring responsibilities, but don’t always recognise themselves as a carer.
With this year’s theme being ‘making caring visible, valued, and supported’, the council’s director of adult and health services, Jane Robinson, has shared her own experiences of becoming a carer for her mum.
Jane said: “Around the time of Carers’ Week last year, I became the carer for my mum after she was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Caring for my mum, who was previously very fit and well, gave me a huge insight into the physical, practical, and emotional challenges of being a carer.
“Whether it was managing the complexities of hospital appointments and medication, co-ordinating formal carer arrangements, or practical and domestic things, there was lots to think about and do. At times being a carer was really scary, particularly in the middle of the night, and at times it was exhausting, but there was fun too such as supporting mum to tick things off her bucket list.
“I was lucky to have support from fantastic family and friends which really helped me. I know this is not always the case for many carers, who may feel alone or isolated, so it’s important we talk about what it is to be a carer to make it more visible and recognise the invaluable impact it has on the lives of those we care for.”
The council has partnered with Carers’ UK to offer unpaid carers in County Durham free access to lots of online resources to help make caring easier, including access to a care coordination app where people can manage appointments and save important information about the person they care for.