Unpaid carers in Milton Keynes are being encouraged to look after their own health as well as those they care for. NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is raising awareness of the support available in GP practices for local carers ahead of Carers Week 2018.
Carers Week, which begins on Monday (June 11), is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.
There are currently 23,737 unpaid carers registered with their local GP Practice in the Milton Keynes area. By 2026 the number is expected to rise to over 27,000. It is estimated that, by 2037, there will be nine million carers in the UK and Carers’ Week is an awareness campaign which aims to improve the lives of carers and the people they care for by raising awareness of carers at a national and local level.
This year, Carers’ Week is looking at how carers can be supported to stay healthy and connected; building communities which support carers to look after their loved ones well, while recognising that they are individuals with health and wellbeing needs of their own. Carers MK are holding a number of events during the week to help promote and build communities to help support those who put others needs before their own.
There are different types of help and support available to carers. Once you are registered as a carer with your GP, access and referral to schemes and local services becomes much more straightforward.
Dr Nicola Smith, GP and Chair at NHS Milton Keynes CCG, said: “Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience, enriching relationships and bringing satisfaction and well-being. However, caring for others often comes at a cost to carers’ own health and well-being as they put their own health needs on hold. Carers are extremely valuable in looking after their loved ones and we need to ensure that they stay fit and healthy.
“It’s important to remember that the best way to support the person that you’re caring for is to stay fit and healthy. Your GP can give you expert advice on how you can stay well and help to connect you to other useful carer support services and sources of information.”
“Caring for a loved one can be hard, but by registering with the Carer's Register at your GP surgery, you can access a wealth of support.
MK Carers are holding the following events during Carers Week, Monday 11th June – Friday 15 June:
Monday 11 June, Information stand at Sainsbury’s supermarket - Shenley Church End, 10am – 3pm
Tuesday 12 June, Free pamper day at the Carers MK offices, 20 minute reflexology appointments, Manicures, tea and cake, 10.30am – 3pm
Wednesday 13 June, Writing Group at Carers MK offices, 10.30am – 12pm
Wednesday 13 June, Great Linford Parish Council, Community information event and support group, 12.30pm – 3.30pm
Thursday 14 June, Information stand at Milton Keynes University Hospital, 11am – 2.30pm
Thursday 14 June, Former carers group – Wear purple day and raise funds for Carers MK, 1.30 – 3pm
Friday 15 June, Information stand at Asda, Bletchley, 10am – 2pm
Call the Carers MK offices on 01908 231703 for more information.