A third of Harlow residents may end up as carers

Politics / Mon 8th Jun 2015 at 10:37am

A THIRD of all Essex residents will become an unpaid carer for a friend or relative at some point in their life, according to Essex County Council.

Research by the Council, highlighted during Carers Week (8-15 June) also reveals that about 32,000 residents will provide care for more than 50 hours a week, with some ‘super-carers’ clocking up more than 100 hours.

Younger people are also finding themselves in a caring role, which can impact on their success at school or college.

Around 10,000 Essex carers are aged between 8 and 18, combining the role of supporting and caring for someone with trying to have a normal childhood and achieving at school.

However, around 1 in 20 misses school due to caring responsibilities with young carers getting significantly lower GCSE achievements. This is equivalent to nine grades lower overall than their peers.

There are also above-average rates of young carers who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) between the ages of 16 and 19. More than 50%of young carers have also reported a mental health problem – twice the national average.

Cllr Anne Brown, Cabinet Member for Communities and Healthy Living, said: “Carers play a vital role in our communities and we are committed to ensuring they have access to the help and support they need.

“We know that supporting carers better can have a significant positive impact for both the carer and for the health and wellbeing of the person they are caring for.

“To help, there are lots of activities happening during Carers Week where you can get information and support if you are finding it hard or struggling to cope with looking after a loved one.”

Carers Count in Essex, the joint document produced by Essex County Council, the NHS, local charities and carers, outlines the support available for carers.

The changed approach following the Care Act will make sure carers have better access to support that reduces the impacts of caring on their lives, helping them achieve their own aspirations and cope with crises in their caring roles.

Supporting Carers in Essex (a group of charities working together to support unpaid carers of all ages across Essex) is also providing a new package of carer support services. It provides a single contact point for carers anywhere in the county via a single telephone number 0300 0300 770 8090 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 4.30pm) or email address [email protected]

The Rapid Response service is contactable from 7am to 10pm, 7 days a week on the same number who those dealing with a crisis.

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