Kenilworth MP's Column: Carers form the backbone of society

By James Smith

28th Nov 2023 | Opinion

Sir Jeremy Wright discusses the importance of carers to our society (image supplied)
Sir Jeremy Wright discusses the importance of carers to our society (image supplied)

Carers form the backbone of society. Much of what they do goes unseen, but they are crucial to so many lives.

In Warwickshire alone, 52,000 people care for someone who cannot cope without their help.

Thursday 23 November marked Carers Rights Day, an opportunity to recognise the right of those who have a caring responsibility to receive an assessment of need and appropriate support to maintain their own health and wellbeing. This year's theme is 'Caring for your Future.'

Many carers will face difficulties balancing their caring and working responsibilities. Young carers will often see their education negatively impacted. This results in unfulfilled potential for both the individuals and society. Therefore it is crucial that, as a society, we come together to ensure carers are properly supported.

In 2014, I was proud to vote for the Care Act.

This legislation ensures that local authorities are required to undertake a Carer's Assessment for carers who need support. This may include recording a career's needs and the impact of providing care. Local authorities have a legal duty to meet a carer's needs if these are assessed as being eligible for support.

In addition, in 2022/23, the Government allocated £291.7 million from the Better Care Fund to provide short breaks and respite services for carers, as well as advice and support to unpaid carers. However, more needs to be done at the national and local level.

Much of the work of a Member of Parliament is in trying to help carers and those they care for, but we are fortunate in this area that there are strong advocates and support for carers in different places.

I want to take this opportunity to mention Heather and Paul Dowler who do tremendous work to help dementia carers find friendship and emotional and practical support at the Dementia Cafés they run throughout the south Warwickshire area.

I know many carers who have come to rely on Heather and Paul to strengthen them in meeting the daily challenges of being a dementia carer.

I join them in thanking Heather and Paul for all they do and celebrate the many people who care, or support carers, in our community.

For further information about the dementia cafes run by Heather and Paul, please visit the Talk Dementia UK website or contact them at [email protected] or 01295 688376.

     

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