Are you a carer?
Are you looking after someone in Derbyshire?
There are 118,000 unpaid carers in Derbyshire and Derby City. In the whole of the UK it is thought there are nearly six million people looking after a family member or friend who could not manage without their help.
You are a carer if you provide unpaid help or support to someone who is ill, frail, disabled, suffers from mental ill health or has behavioural, substance or alcohol misuse problems. The help you provide may be personal, practical, emotional or supervisory.
So who's a carer?
Anyone can be a carer and carers come from all walks of life, any culture and any age.
Carers often care for more than one person and there may be family situations where, for example, a couple mutually care for each other and there is no main carer. You can be a carer regardless whether you are entitled to claim carers allowance.
3 in 5 of us can expect to become a carer at some point in our lives, either on a temporary or long term basis. But many carers don't see themselves as carers - they just see themselves as wives, sons, parents, brothers or friends doing what they have to, to help someone they love.
The amount of support carers provide can vary and change over time. For instance as a carer you might:
- be on hand 24 hours a day to provide care
- arrange hospital appointments for someone and help get them there
- drop round each day to keep someone company or cook their dinner
- make the journey to visit a relative who lives far away once a month to see how they’re doing.
Even if you are helping someone at the lower end of this scale, you're providing valuable support.
It is thought that unpaid carers provide three-quarters of the care in the community and save the Derbyshire economy £880m every year. Nationally the figure is £119bn!
Caring can be tough
Caring can be rewarding but it can also be very difficult. Many carers feel socially isolated and over three-quarters feel they don't have a life outside their caring role.
85% of carers say that caring has had a negative effect on their own mental and physical health.
Eight out of 10 carers are working age and one-in-five feel they have to give up work to care, which can cause financial hardship.
But it's not all bad news. Local care and health services recognise the contribution carers make to local communities and there are many services available to support carers in Derbyshire.
This website has been developed as a means of finding local carer support services in Derbyshire as well as reliable information and advice. If you can't find the information you need about support for carers, please contact us.
The above figures are taken from the 2011 Census and the financial calculations made at that time based on the Census data. Carers UK quoted in 2015 that carers save the UK £132 bilion. In 2020 it's likely these figures have increased significantly.