Know Your Rights on Carers Rights Day 2020

As a carer it is imperative you know your rights and have access to guidance. Cares Rights Day is an annual event ensuring you are supported. Ruby Peacock, head of policy and public affairs at Carers UK speaks to Enable about this year’s event.

Why is it important for carers to know their legal rights and entitlements?

Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience but it also comes with its challenges. We know that caring can have a significant impact on a person’s health, wellbeing and finances.

That’s why it’s so important that carers know where they can turn to for support to help look after their own needs.

Many people don’t always identify themselves as a carer straight away – on average, more than half of carers (54 per cent) take over a year to recognise their caring role, and that is often the main barrier to them getting the support they need.

In what way will Carers Rights Day celebrate or highlight the imperative work of unpaid carers?

Unpaid carers have carried out a vital role throughout the coronavirus pandemic, largely behind closed doors without the attention that NHS workers and paid care workers have received.

It has been a challenging time, with the majority (70 per cent) providing more care than they did before the pandemic and many coping without outside support they may have relied on before.

Carers Rights Day will highlight the experiences of carers through the pandemic, and the need for carers to be supported so that their lives aren’t put on hold.

What do you wish more people knew or understood about carers?

Many people underestimate the impact that caring can have on someone’s life, as well as the fact that most of us will care or be cared for during our lives.

Caring can impact anyone; we all have a 50:50 chance of becoming an unpaid carer by the age of 50.

It is important that conversations about caring are the norm, so that when people start a caring role they recognise it earlier and they know where to turn for help and advice.

For any carers reading this, what advice do you have for them during this time?

Caring through the pandemic has been a difficult and worrying time for most.

For some carers it will have been particularly difficult getting a break from caring. Breaks are so important for recharging the batteries and maintaining good health. Make sure to look after you – whether it’s to read, write, cook, or do some gardening. Finding moments for yourself can be really beneficial.

It’s also important to know that you’re not alone. Why not join one of Carers UK’s Care for a Cuppa video chats to talk with other carers who understand the ups and downs of caring.

You may find the Carers UK forum helpful – it’s a supportive, online community of current and former carers who can support you through everything caring has to throw at you.

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