The theme of the week is ‘Making Carers Visible’.
A carer can be someone of any age, in paid work or not, who supports a friend or family member with an illness, disability, frailty, mental health issue or substance misuse problem. It is estimated Dorset has around 83,000 unpaid carers.
During the week a host of virtual events will take place, including tea parties, cooking sessions and bingo.
A range of activities and ideas of things to do at home, as well as tips on looking after yourself as a carer, can be found at www.dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/carers-week-2020.
Dorset HealthCare is also encouraging people to print off the Carers Week logo and place it in their window during the week. This will help show all carers that everyone values what they do, and that they are not alone. Download a template from https://www.dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/application/files/6615/9126/8653/Carers_Week_-_Blank.png or visit www.dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/carers-week-2020.
Pat Wilkins, carers’ development lead at the Trust, said, “Many people do not even identify themselves as a carer because it is something they just do. You are all doing a wonderful job taking care of others, but please remember to be kind to yourself, as you are also important.
“We can provide support and advice via video call, while signposting to relevant information. Please remember we are here for you, now and always.”
Joy Ford, 77 from Stalbridge, cares for her daughter, although she just sees herself as mum. She said, “When you love someone and they become unwell and need help to manage their life, be it physical or emotional support, it is an automatic instinct to help them.
“You don’t think of yourself as a carer, you are helping someone you love. Others may think of you as a carer, but you are first a partner, parent, grandparent, sibling or friend. ‘Carer’ is a secondary name we accept as a generalisation of what we do.”
To find out how Dorset HealthCare and other local organisation can support you as a carer, visit: www.dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/carers.
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