Carers ws
Carers Week 8th – 14th June 2020
08 June 2020

This week 8th – 14th June 2020 is Carers Week, which is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities. It also helps people who don't think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.

This year, people are continuing to face new challenges as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Many people on the island are caring for a relative, a neighbour or friend and are not aware of the support available to them

The Carers Lounge at St Mary’s Hospital is run by Carers IW and since the lounge was opened in October 2017 the team has supported over 1300 carers.

Caring for someone has an impact on many aspects of a persons life and when the cared for person is admitted into hospital it can cause extra stress, worry and upset. The Carers Lounge recognises these pressures and offers unpaid carers information and a range of support. They are open to all carers of adults regardless of their funding issues.

Sarah Hart, Team Leader for the Carers Lounge said “Carers are usually the person sitting by the hospital bed every day, sometimes for many hours, checking that the patient has eaten enough, or helping with tasks and care at the bedside. Due to the current Covid 19 situation we are now supporting carers who are anxious because they cannot visit the hospital.

In response to this and the need for social distancing we have adapted the way we work. I have remained at the hospital to maintain the crucial link between the Carers Lounge and our hospital colleagues.

My colleagues Lorraine and Kath are based at home offering telephone and video call support to carers helping them understand what is happening and offering a ‘virtual safe space’ to reflect. They have also helped with practical tasks such as shopping and prescription collections for carers who have needed to self-isolate.

Carers can still talk to the team in confidence about any issues they are facing and need support with. We continue to listen; carers are feeling very disconnected from the person in hospital. We have helped them to understand the new discharge procedures and funding of Short Term Placements under Covid 19.

We communicate with medical and other professionals to find out specifics and obtain clear answers for carers. We help carers to know their legal rights, negotiate the Benefits System and finance arrangements and understand the value of Carers Assessments and Power of Attorney.

We consistently connect carers to our Carers IW Community Team, so that after discharge from hospital, support for the carer is ongoing. This has been particularly important during lockdown. ”

If you are a carer or are not sure about any aspects of your caring role in someone’s life, please call 01983 533173 to be put in touch with a member of the team.

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