Suffolk Family Carers has today urged the county’s population of ‘informal carers’ to maintain their wellbeing and seek help where necessary, in the wake of significant emergency changes to the country’s care infrastructure.
This week saw the new Coronavirus Act bring in amendments to the way in which care is delivered, which could mean those with ongoing needs being more swiftly discharged into the community, and leaning more heavily on family members who act as carers.
Kirsten Alderson, CEO of Suffolk Family Carers, is keen to ensure that those who find themselves with an increased carer requirement in the coming weeks and months, are themselves feeling supported.
She said: “The Coronavirus Act is hugely significant, and among its measures, are the fact that councils and the NHS are freed of some of their care duties more swiftly – which will naturally mean carer support is likely to fall back with family and friends in a more informal sense.
“I fully understand why the government has to bring in these measures in such unprecedented times, but it’s really vital that we remember how significant those care responsibilities can become on the parents, spouses, children and close friends who have to step in.
“Informal carers are often forgotten about, even in normal times, so today I’m urging that incredibly special audience of carers among the Suffolk community to please, please, please get in touch if you need additional support to help you maintain your health and wellbeing.”
Alongside formal NHS staff and frontline emergency service workers, informal carers contribute thousands of hours within their homes and neighbourhoods every year.
Suffolk has a large population of both adult and young carers, all carrying out daily duties to keep others safe and well.
Kirsten added: “We have moved swiftly to enhance our service during the pandemic, because we recognise how much more strained households in the county may become.
“We’ve seen an influx in contact from concerned carers in recent weeks, and very much expect this to continue as this significant shift in our circumstances continues.
“While our head office and its facilities may be physically closed, we have all our staff working remotely and are continuing to offer a seven-day-a-week service of support.
“I would urge anyone who is a carer to remember that we’re here to help them in the challenging period ahead, and we are always able to provide support and advice via the phone, video or a live chat online.”
Suffolk Family Carers typically delivers some 10,000 interventions in support of families every year.
Based in Claydon, the charity has over 14,000 registered family carers and delivers numerous schemes, groups and support activities throughout the county.
For more information about Suffolk Family Carer’s services, contact 01473 735477 visit the organisation’s website.