It’s estimated that unpaid carers save the state £119bn a year. Imagine if this bill was transferred to the government to pay? However, that’s exactly the risk we’re taking as we ignore the stress created when providing full time care for a loved one. Without the necessary breaks it starts to affect the carer’s physical and mental wellbeing.
When talking to carers I often hear “I’ve reached breaking point” ” I can’t cope anymore” “Please help” “I don’t know which way to turn”. These cries for help are echoed throughout the land as support networks for carers diminish – some vanishing forever.
Don’t get me wrong – there’s some excellent people out there providing amazing support for carers – but there’s not enough to make the long-lasting, meaningful difference to their lives.
Full time caring is one of the most challenging roles anyone can fulfil in life. It’s 24/7 and “full-on” most of the time. Imagine if your job required you to work 7 days a week and 16 hour shifts?
This is exactly what we expect carers to do, which has got to be one of biggest human tragedies in a supposedly civilised society.
Whilst it seems a hugely complex problem – the answer is surprisingly simple.
What we need is a combined health & wellbeing plan that supports patients and carers simultaneously, properly resourced and professionally delivered.
Putting these combined plans in place early will improve lives and defer the need for complex, ineffective and unaffordable care packages further down the line.
It’s go to be a better way!!!