There are a number of roles that we all play on a daily basis – husbands, wives, sons, daughters, colleagues, friends, neighbours and, increasingly these days, carers.
It is estimated that more than six million people across the UK care for a family member or friend.
Carers are just like everybody else – indeed, many carers don’t define themselves as carers at all.
The role of carer is a part of life’s rich patchwork of life, and the reality is that most of us will be a carer at some point in our life, and the older you are the more likely it becomes.
This week (June 8–14) is Carers Week and the focus of the campaign is Building Carer Friendly Communities.
At Age UK Sheffield we have many years’ experience of thinking that this is where we can play our part with services that help support carers to look after their loved ones, while recognising they are individuals with needs of their own.
We regularly hear from carers about the issues affecting those they care for, especially dementia.
Our perspective is to help the carer understand, adapt and come to terms with the changes the condition brings.
Of course, this is often a very difficult process but we also know, from experience, that we can help people with dementia develop and enjoy new interests.
Age UK Sheffield also works with older people who are the main carer for grown-up children with a learning disability.
Caring for someone can be a challenge.
For some it’s a tough job that places a heavy and emotional toll on the carer and in addition, of course, older carers frequently have their own care needs, too.
We can offer support in a number of ways, from one-to-one practical assistance, to Live Later Life packages that are tailored to individual needs, and leisure opportunities for relaxation and socialising via The Club.
People can come to us directly for help.
We will listen carefully and help them work out what’s best for their particular circumstances.
No challenge is too small or too great.
It’s all about helping people maintain and regain independence and quality of life – both the person being cared for and the carer.
n An informative talk on dementia will take place at Victoria Methodist Church tomorrow afternoon.
This event on Stafford Road, S2, will also include refreshments.
Call Emma Needham on 01142769306 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
* Rosalind Eve, Age UK Sheffield Chief Executive,