As we’re coming to the end of Carers Week 2018 in the UK, we at Optimum Medical think its vital that we recognise the wonderful things carers do. As a manufacturer of healthcare lubrication and urology medical devices we speak with caregivers every day, whether that’s at healthcare events or through our customer care advisor who is always on hand to answer questions and offer guidance, we see first hand the sacrifices you make to look after others, so let’s take a look at why you’re so great!
Research carried out by Carers UK estimates that in the UK there are approximately 6.5 million carers, that’s 1 in every 8 adults, and of those 6.5 million people, 1 in 6 care for more than one person.
Carers Week is an annual initiative set up to raise awareness of carers and highlight the challenges they face. A carer is someone who provides unpaid support to a family member or friend who has disabilities, illness, poor mental health or is elderly and finds day to day activities challenging. This may be short term when someone has returned home from hospital, or a lifetime commitment for those caring for children with disabilities.
Carers often administer medication, offer practical help around the home, offer emotional support, carry out personal care such as bathing and cooking, often offer financial support and physical help, and they often do all this while working full or part-time. While some carers don’t even realise they are carers, if you are offering support to a friend or family member and that person relies on you for that support, you are a carer.
Being a carer can be extremely rewarding but can place tremendous strain both physically and mentally on the caregiver. It’s important to look after your own health and wellbeing. Sadly 61% of carers have reported suffering physical injury, while caregivers working alongside people with mental health disorders are at an increased risk of developing mental health problems themselves.
By 2050, the global population aged 60 and over will increase from 900 million to 2 billion, we’re living longer, meaning we require care for longer, placing increased demands on carers as they age themselves. In the UK it is estimated that carers save the economy £132 billion per year, which is calculated a staggering average saving of £19,336 per carer.
So as Carers Week 2018 in the UK is coming to an end, we want to thank all carers around the world for the enormous sacrifices you make to make the lives of others better. We appreciate you and everything you do and want to emphasise that your mental and physical health is as important as the person you are caring for, speak to you GP or health professional if you have any concerns about your own health or wellbeing or visit www.carersuk.org for information about carers support in the UK.