Why do we Care so much?
"Caring - The act of displaying kindness, concern for others and giving emotional support.
A caring person is one who looks after those unable to care for themselves, especially on account of age or illness."
- Oxford and Collins Dictionaries
Caring for someone can mean anything from cooking their favourite meal, or taking them somewhere they’ve always wanted to go, to giving them a hug and comforting them when distressed. Caring can be full of laughter and reassurance.
Caring for someone with dementia can be all of these things, BUT there will be times when it may become the most difficult, soul destroying task you have ever faced. Knowing at these times that there are Support Services who will provide good, reliable help, both practically and emotionally, can help a Carer survive.
Unfortunately, those Support Services are currently not available for the vast majority of dementia carers in this country. Many Carers feel ignored, unsupported and alone.
It was seeing the pain and distress that these ones are experiencing that prompted us to start this project.
Some Facts and Figures ...
Guidance published by the Government in the document entitled 'Dementia: applying All Our Health' states, "An estimated 540,000 people in England act as primary carers for people with dementia; half of these are employed, 50,000 have needed to leave employment to meet their caring roles and 66,000 carers have cut their working hours. This results in a lower standard of living for those carers and significant costs to society in general."
Reports by Alzheimer’s Society show that the financial contribution from the 700,000 unpaid carers of people with dementia in the UK totals £11.6 billion per annum; a cost which would otherwise have to be picked up by the government.
Essentially, without this small army of special people, the UK Care System would collapse.
Having listened to the stories of many Carers from around the country, we feel that the very least our Care System should be doing, is supporting these Carers when they need it the most.
Aside from the huge financial contribution that they make to our economy, many people find that caring for someone living with dementia presents challenging issues that often results in stress and ill-health in the Carer themselves. A good support structure, including respite care, is therefore essential.
Whether as part of a scheduled plan to help the Carer manage their stress levels, or as an emergency measure due to a health crisis or family emergency, ALL Carers need to know that help will be available to meet their, sometimes urgent, needs.
At the moment, in many areas of the country, this is simply not happening. - This needs to change, NOW!
If you agree, please read on!