A carer is someone who helps another person, usually a relative or friend, in their day – to – day lives. There are millions of carers of all ages across the UK who support people in a variety of ways, and who are usually ‘unsung heroes’. They quietly, consistently and compassionately support people often behind the scenes, often unrecognised, and usually unpaid. There are 6.5 million carers across the UK, doing everyday things with everyday people. Whether it be helping with personal things like helping someone to get dressed; helping them to the loo; or helping them to simply move about. Many things that lots of people usually take for granted in their routine, everyday lives.
Caring can be challenging, hard work, overwhelming, isolating and lonely; it can also bring a rich source of satisfaction to people’s lives. It can be life-affirming; it can help deepen and strengthen relationships; it can teach people a multitude of skills; and help people realise potential they never knew existed. It is a strong part of what we understand to be a community. But carers need support too.
Here at the Beth Johnson Foundation we come into contact with many carers, some of whom are ill themselves and are in need of personal, practical and / or financial support. Some just need a listening ear or confirmation that they are simply doing a good job. Such is the importance of being a carer. We greatly admire the determination, resilience and the sense of human kindness that we witness so often as carers support their loved one’s day in and day out, often under very difficult circumstances. The Covid-19 experience has demonstrated the strength of compassion across the world, and this week we want to celebrate the hidden carers by dedicating some of our pages to making our local carers more visible, as part of National Carers Week.
We all need to remember that: Caring is something that will affect each and every one of us in our lifetime, whether we become a carer, or need care ourselves.