No Easter break for carers,
finds local charity
AS nation heads off for Easter holidays, Revitalise study
highlights massive strain on unpaid carers
As families look forward to well deserved holidays this Easter, research by the
national disabled people's charity Revitalise has revealed that for unpaid
carers, the luxury of any kind of break may just be a distant dream.
The charity; which provides respite holidays for disabled people and carers from
across the region at the Sandpipers Centre, in Southport and 2 other accessible
UK centres, is highlighting the huge mental and physical toll that caring is
taking on the estimated 6.8 million unpaid carers across the UK, as well as
their fears for the future.
Revitalise's study revealed that 52% did not know how they would be able to cope
if things continued the way they were and 4 out of 10 were fearful they would
end up ill, in chronic pain or disabled themselves; not surprising since 55% of
carers had been caring for 10 years or more and 30% were aged 70 or over.
An astonishing 26% of respondents revealed they had a
pre-existing illness or injury even before they took on the role of carer.
To make matters worse and despite the known therapeutic value of respite, the
majority of carers found themselves unable to take any time off from caring. In
a separate study, Revitalise found that 34% of carers had never had any
significant time away since they started caring.
In order to provide further support for carers, Revitalise has embedded a
dedicated online carers' forum, the Simplyhealth Care Community, within its
website. The forum was developed by long term partner Simplyhealth; with whom
Revitalise has enjoyed a productive partnership since 2013; and is powered by
the social network HealthUnlocked. The Simplyhealth Care Community enables
unpaid carers to be part of an online support community, a place where they can
talk about their concerns, experiences and ask questions from others in a
In addition, Revitalise is once again calling for more funding to give unpaid
carers all the support they need and renewing its call for sufficient funding
for respite breaks to be a fundamental element of all social care provision.
Revitalise CEO Chris Simmonds commented:- "As Easter approaches most of us
are looking forward to long weekends, City breaks or holidays with the family,
but for the majority of carers, Easter will be no different to any other time of
year. While we acknowledge that most carers do what they do out of love, there
is no denying that providing care for a loved one is physically and emotionally
draining. That's why we are proud to add Simplyhealth Care Community to our
website. It is the latest of a raft of measures we are able to offer the UK's
carers thanks to our partnership with Simplyhealth. Revitalise has been
providing respite for disabled people and carers for over 50 years, so we know
there is no substitute for time off, but forums such as Simplyhealth Care
Community have a key part to play in relieving isolation and enabling carers to
draw strength from others in a similar position."
Simplyhealth Chief Commercial Officer, Raman Sankaran, added:- "At a time
when most people are celebrating their time off, we understand that the UK's
carers are still hard at work, as they have been every other day, selflessly
providing care for a loved 1. They may consider the role of carer to be their
duty; but that doesn't mean they don't need support. Sometimes caring for a
loved 1 can feel isolating. The Simplyhealth Care Community provides carers with
a space to talk to other carers. To be able to openly share their concerns with
a community who are listening and willing to provide their support and advice.
We should never underestimate the power of talking to others who are in a
similar situation. Like Revitalise we want to help people make the most of
Revitalise is a national charity providing respite holidays for disabled people
and carers. Revitalise provides short breaks, with 24 hour nurse led care, on
call and personal support, at Sandpipers and 2 other accessible centres in
Chigwell and Southampton. Each centre offers a wide range of accessible
activities and excursions in a holiday environment.