CARERS WEEK 2024: Recognising the unsung heroes

A diagnosis of a life-limiting illness can be devastating for the individual affected, but it can also dramatically impact those around them. Family members can find themselves thrust into an unpaid caring role, which, while immensely rewarding, can also bring additional challenges during an already difficult time.

Nearly 6 million people across the UK care, unpaid, for a friend or family member who, due to illness, disability, a mental health condition, or addiction, cannot cope without their support. That’s nearly 1 in 10 of us. It is estimated that they save the economy £162 million a year – the equivalent of a second NHS. Yet, many carers feel their role is forgotten and invisible.

A staggering 82% of carers surveyed by Carers UK said the impact of caring on their physical and mental health would be a challenge over the coming year, with nearly 60% adding that being valued as a carer would improve their wellbeing.

Our hospice recognises the vital role carers play and the immense dedication they show. We are committed to supporting carers, who dedicate their lives to the comfort of their terminally-ill loved ones. We offer support for families and friends when patients are under the care of the hospice and at the time of bereavement. The use of a family room at the hospice and overnight accommodation can relieve some of the strain of visiting patients in the final stages of their illness.

Once their loved one dies, we also offer bereavement support through our new collaboration with Sue Ryder. Our Grief Kind Space is open weekly, every Tuesday between 10am and 12pm. This space provides a supportive environment for carers to share their experiences and receive the comfort they need.

As our Clinical Matron, Sarah McGaughey, emphasises, “Supporting the family is just as important as supporting the patient. Carers give so much of themselves, and it’s crucial they receive the help and recognition they deserve.”

During Carers Week 2024, let us remember and honour the unsung heroes who care for their loved ones with unwavering dedication and love. Your efforts are seen, valued, and immensely appreciated.

CARERS WEEK 2024: Recognising the unsung heroes
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