Carers reminded to take breaks
Published on 04 April 2012 12:00 PM
A charity is keen to remind those who care for disabled or ill people that there are a number of respite services available to them.
Vitalise fears that many of these carers risk their own health because they do not take any breaks from their roles.
With the Easter break just a few days away, a report by the charity reveals that the majority of Britain's millions of carers will not be going away.
According to the Department for Work and Pensions, the number of carers it offers help to is expected to rise by a quarter by 2014/15. At present, there are an estimated six million people who voluntarily look after relatives, friends, children or older people who are sick or disabled.
Vitalise went on to reveal that many of these people do not consider themselves to be carers because they do not get paid for the work they do, and therefore they do not realise that they can take advantage of the many services available to enable them to recharge their batteries every now and again.
Its report revealed that despite every carer needing a break from time to time, the services available to them are not used as much as they could be, while many carers simply use these services once, rather than on a regular basis.
Vitalise is a national charity providing short breaks (respite care) and other services for people with physical disabilities, visually impaired people, and carers.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General of Age UK commented: 'Millions of carers provide vital day-to-day care for many older people in communities across the country. They make huge sacrifices to provide support for their loved ones, often without any respite support or financial help. If they weren't prepared to do this, this care would cost billions of pounds a year to provide.
'Due to the current crisis in social care, more and more carers are picking up the pieces of the broken care system, taking on an even greater share of caring responsibilities because of the lack of help available.
'To alleviate this intolerable pressure, the Government urgently needs to radically reform the current care and support system so that quality care is available to all those who need it - and that care is funded in a clearer and fairer way.'
Copyright Press Association 2012