Carers Rights Day is an opportunity to highlight the growing population of people caring for elderly, sick or disabled relatives and friends. With an ageing population, the significance of recognizing and safeguarding the rights of carers has become increasingly apparent. With care support becoming harder to find, family members are taking on this full-time responsibility without being employed to do so. Balancing working alongside caring and everyday responsibilities can often lead to caregiver stress and other anxiety-related illnesses.
What are carers’ rights?
Organisations like Carers UK are campaigning for better carers' rights and support to help make life a little easier. Rights such as the right to request flexible working, the right to request a free flu jab and request caring assistance. Carers, who may be family members or friends, dedicate significant time and effort to support their loved ones. Recognizing their rights ensures that they are treated fairly and equitably, fostering a society that values the contributions of all its members.
Carers UK is also campaigning for the following:
Greater recognition and support to identify as a carer.
Clear rights not to be discriminated against because of their caring responsibilities.
A fairer social security system which supports carers to live a life free from poverty.
Consistent recognition, involvement, and support from the NHS.
Access to good quality and affordable social care, including the ability to take a break from caring.
Better workplace support including a right to paid time off to care for a family member or friend.
Fighting Carer Isolation
Carers often face social isolation due to the demands of their role, Carers may also reduce their working hours or leave employment altogether to fulfil their caregiving responsibilities. This sacrifice can have a significant impact on their financial stability and their social life. Ensuring that carers have access to financial support, including benefits and allowances, helps alleviate economic strains, enabling them to provide quality care without compromising their own livelihoods.
Recognizing and supporting their rights contributes to social inclusion by providing avenues for networking, community engagement, and access to resources. This not only benefits the carers but also fosters a more compassionate and connected society.
Not sure where to start finding support? Here are some useful links and organisations that may be able to help. It is important to remember that you are not alone and there are many options available for seeking help, support and information.
Carers UK have a very useful guide “Looking after someone” that provides information such as financial advice, practical help, useful technology and workplace advice for carers within the UK.
View the carers guide.
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