Coronavirus putting more pressure on Dorset's unpaid carers

Coronavirus putting more pressure on Dorset's unpaid carers

Published by Maria Greenwood at 7:12am 10th June 2020.

Unpaid carers in Dorset are being recognised for the hard work they do, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic which is placing more responsibilities on people.

Unpaid carers in Dorset are being recognised for the hard work they do, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic which is placing more responsibilities on people.

This year's theme for Carers Week (8th June - 14th June) is 'Making Carers Visible'.

Dorset HealthCare are celebrating their massive, but sometimes overlooked, contribution to the county's communities with a host of online events.

  • A carer can be someone of any age, in paid work or not, who supports a friend or family member with an illness, disability, frailty, mental health issue or substance misuse problem.
  • It's estimated there are around 83,000 unpaid carers in Dorset.

Coronavirus has introduced an added complication for many, making it all the more important that carers get the help they need to open up about their own health and wellbeing.

'Personal stories'

Dorset carer Joy Ford
Dorset carer, Joy Ford

They're sharing the stories of women like Joy Ford, aged 77 from Dorset. She cares for her daughter, although she just sees herself as mum.

She said: 

"When you love someone and they become unwell and need help to manage their life, be it physical or emotional support, it is an automatic instinct to help them.

"You don't think of yourself as a carer, you are helping someone you love. Others may think of you as a carer, but you are first a partner, parent, grandparent, sibling or friend. 'Carer' is a secondary name we accept as a generalisation of what we do."

'Activities and keeping well'

A range of activities and ideas of things to do at home, as well as tips on looking after yourself as a carer, can be found at www.dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/carers-week-2020.

Pat Wilkins, Carers Development Lead at the Trust, said: 

"Across Dorset, many people are taking on more caring responsibilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"They need to be recognised for the difficulties they are experiencing and respected for all they are doing. So during this year's Carers Week, we ask that you celebrate what they do. 

"Many people do not even identify themselves as a carer because it is something they just do. You are all doing a wonderful job taking care of others, but please remember to be kind to yourself, as you are also important."