Why our pledge matters
Carers’ Week – our perspective on ‘building carer-friendly communities’
Housing & Care 21 employs lots of fantastic people to provide excellent care, but 6 -12 June is National Carers’ Week, focused on recognising the commitment and dedication of millions of unpaid carers.
We are pleased to join the many organisations and individuals who have pledged to support this initiative, and to help build carer-friendly communities.
Our pledge for Carers Week is that we will continue to build and invest in Retirement Housing and Extra Care courts that provide supportive environments for older carers. Throughout the planning and delivery of our services, we will remember the important role they can play in allowing carers to continue to care for their loved ones as part of an understanding and helpful community, while maintaining their independence.
It is important to us to do this, as we know that many of those unpaid carers are providing care for someone aged over 65, and a disproportionate amount of care is provided by carers who are themselves over retirement age. It is estimated that approximately 4% of the adult population are active carers, but for those over 65 this increases to 16%.
Being a carer can be even more of a commitment than a full-time job, and there is no option to retire. Many carers are themselves very old and 80% of carers aged over 85 provide more than 50 hours of care a week.
The theme of this years’ National Carers Week is ‘building carer-friendly communities’. The reference to ‘building’ is particularly important for us at Housing & Care 21, as we shouldn’t forget that our Retirement Housing and Extra Care courts offer an important opportunity to create environments where carers feel supported and can therefore continue to provide care for their loved ones more effectively and for longer.
We can offer a home environment that is suitable for the needs of people as they age and where there is support and assistance at hand. Just as importantly, in this environment our residents can come together as friends and neighbours to provide extra practical and emotional support. As a result carers, as well as those who are being cared for, have someone to turn to for companionship and support yet at the same time are able to maintain their independence.
In Extra Care the trained staff in the care team are also available when needed most, allowing the informal care that is still provided to be focused on maintaining the relationship between couples who otherwise would have been separated in Residential Care, or allowing visits by family members to be focused on making the most of the time they have together rather than becoming burdened by tasks and challenges.
Published by Bruce Moore, CEO