During Carers’ Week we want to ‘make caring visible’ and raise awareness of those family members and friends who are providing a vital role caring for others in our communities particularly during this pandemic.

This week is to highlight the challenges facing many unpaid carers. These are the family members and friends who support someone with a disability, health condition, mental health or drug/alcohol issue.

During Covid-19, carers in Torbay and across the country have been relied upon more than ever, but without special recognition. Many also remain ‘hidden’, seeing themselves as ‘just’ a good neighbour or family member, or it may be that they have had to take on more of a caring role than normal because of the pandemic.

Councillor Jackie Stockman, Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health, said: ““We know that during the pandemic, carers have had to deal with so much more than usual. Carers are the relatives and friends who look after someone with a disability, dementia, health condition or mental health issue, often with very little recognition or thanks. I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all carers, and please do make sure that you look after your own health and wellbeing and link into all the support that is there for you.”

There is a wide range of support for local carers available in the Bay. From Torbay Carers Services, run by the Torbay and South Devon Foundation NHS Trust, to the Young Carers Services in the Youth Trust.

There are also organisations like Carers Aid Torbay who provide carers’ advocacy and also benefits advice. There is a Carer Support Worker linked to every doctor’s surgery in the Bay, plus specialist ones in young adult carers (16-25), mental health services, learning disability, older people’s mental health and the hospital. They provide emotional and peer support, back-up planning, link to social care services and much more.

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