Carers Week 2008: Carers can't afford to be ill

This year marks the 14th annual Carers Week

Jo Swinson has given her support for carers in East Dunbartonshire, who are among the six million people in the UK that tirelessly devote their time, efforts and energy to looking after a loved one.

Jo is supporting Carers Week (9th – 15th June) and paying tribute to the huge contribution that carers make, every day of the year, to those they look after. This year, the 14th annual Carers’ Week tackles the issue of carers’ health. The campaign is headlined with the fact that “carers can’t afford to be ill.”

A national survey of 2,000 carers reveals that a large majority feel their health is worse as a result of the strain of caring for many of whom it is, up to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The full results of the survey, which are to be released across the UK at the start of Carers Week on the 9th June, also highlights that many carers frequently neglect their health, and often have no-one to talk to about their concerns or daily difficulties.

Jo said:

“There are six million carers in the UK, including many in East Dunbartonshire and I’m pleased to be able to offer my support to them. It’s a nationwide issue that affects so many people at a local level and it’s vital we can get the message out to our wonderful carers that help and support is available.

“I hope that by drawing attention to Carers Week, many more of my constituents who spend their lives looking after others will realise they are not alone and that there are people who want to care about them, too.”

Jo has also signed up to a parliamentary motion (EDM 1369) which publicises the fact that large numbers of carers are not known to statutory agencies, and their health needs are often overlooked.

Carers Week is a partnership of 10 UK-wide charities working together; Carers UK, Counsel and Care; Crossroads Caring for Carers, Help the Hospices, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support, MS Society, Neurological Alliance, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and WRVS.

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