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New national project to focus on the needs of older carers

Published on 08 June 2020 09:48 AM

Older carers urged to get in touch to talk about their experiences of caring during COVID-19

Older carers throughout Wales are being urged to get in touch to talk about their experiences of being an older carer, by a new project being launched in Carers Week between Age Cymru and Carers Trust Wales.

The partnership, funded by Welsh Government, will use the information to help tackle some of the many difficulties currently facing older carers every day, but especially so under the current pandemic.

With an ageing population and an increase in life expectancy, older people in Wales are caring for longer and later in their lives. However, they often slip under the radar and don’t get the support they need to carry out their role which can impact negatively on their health, wellbeing and financial security.

Over three years the project will help support the early identification of older carers, create opportunities for carers to influence and shape the services affecting both themselves and the people for whom they provide care, as well as improve older carers’ access to information, advice and support.

Age Cymru’s chief executive Victoria Lloyd says: “Many older carers have a strong sense of ‘duty to care’ which makes them less likely to self-identify or to seek  support to help them manage their caring role.

This reluctance to self-identify can be compounded by professionals and services not recognising older carers. This results in many older carers not accessing the support they need which can often have a detrimental effect on their health and wellbeing.

“We need to remember that older carers form a crucial part of our health and social care system in Wales, providing millions of pounds worth of unpaid care each year.  Without effective support, carers can become exhausted and seriously ill themselves.”

Carers Trust Wales Director Simon Hatch welcomed the development of this new partnership:

“Carers Trust Wales already has significant experience developing high quality support and information for unpaid carers, those they care for and frontline health and care staff. This work will put older carers at the centre of the support we provide.  We will be focusing support on some of the most vulnerable older carers in Wales, such as those caring for people with dementia”

If you are aged 50 or over and are caring for someone, including caring for someone living with dementia, or caring for someone who has since moved into a residential or nursing home, please get in touch let us know about your experiences by calling: 08000 223 444 or emailing carers@agecymru.org.uk

The project has also produced a leaflet for Carers Week to help older carers understand their rights. You can find out more about your rights by contacting Age Cymru Advice on 08000 223 444 available 9:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday or email advice@agecymru.org.uk ; visit www.carers.org or contact Carers Trust Wales on 0300 7729702

Age Cymru and Carers Trust Wales were awarded a grant of £508,785 by the Welsh Government Sustainable Social Services Grant over three years until March 2023.

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