Today marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities and to raise awareness around disabilities. I wanted to highlight just how pivotal the people that provide care are.
What is a Carer?
A carer is someone who provides support, practical and/or emotional, to an adult or child with; an illness, disability, frailty, mental health problems or substance misuse issues. It is often the case that these people don’t consider themselves carers because they are taking care of a loved one.
The Care Act 2014
The Care Act 2014 historically acknowledged, for the first time, that carers hold the right to have their own needs assessed. It is vital to sustain their wellbeing to ensure that disabled persons can continue to be supported and thrive in society. It is estimated that unpaid carers, who provide support to family members and friends, save the government £152 billion a year!
The Sheffield Carer Centre
There are many organisations that help those who are disabled and their carers. I became a Trustee of the Sheffield Carer Centre in August 2018, after learning of their amazing work throughout Sheffield and the wider area. I am honoured to be part of a charity whose values are centred on helping and supporting the carers of our local community.
The charity can provide specialist advice for issues with; employment rights, benefits and wills, power of attorney, trusts, and community care for free. There is an advice line and a weekly drop in session. Organisations offering this type of support are vital and to ensure carers are acknowledged.
In Sheffield, the charity can also provide help with arranging respite care to facilitate a break for the carer – from a number of hours through to overnight stays, in certain circumstances. We can also provide help with the future to help put a plan in place.
The 2018 AGM saw the launch of the ‘Carer Card’, which carers in Sheffield can register for. This will provide discounts at many businesses across the city. The card will also alert the general public in unexpected emergencies that the person is a carer. This is just one of the ways in which carer appreciation can be highlighted.
We also have a monthly carers’ café, which runs on the second Friday of the month.
It can be a daunting time when a loved one needs assistance and/or emotional support. It is important on this International Day of Disabled Person’s to raise awareness for those with disabilities and also for those who support and care for them to ensure continuing growth and development.
For more on your local carer service and how they can support you, please visit Carers Trust.