Back Care Awareness Week 2013: Caring for Carers
The UK is home to 7 million unpaid carers. These are people who provide regular, ongoing support and assistance to an ailing or disabled family member, friend or neighbour on a voluntary basis.
They represent an unpaid and often invisible workforce that saves the Government a staggering £119 billion every year – more than the Government’s entire annual NHS expenditure.
Due to the nature of their role, unpaid carers are often exposed to higher than usual levels of physical and emotional stress which puts their own health at risk.
Many carers help the person they care for with physical tasks, such as getting in and out of the bed, bath or chairs. Without advice and training in safe technique, the carer may be putting undue ‘biomechanical’ stress on their own bodies.
In addition to this, the role of carer, especially when caring for a spouse or close family member, can create unique emotional stresses. Both parties can struggle with issues such as dependency and loss, as they try to adapt to the changing relationship.
Over 70% the UK’s unpaid carers now suffer from back pain, and are a greater risk of developing chronic pain, which is highly disabling in a third of cases and life-long for the majority.
BackCare is working to help the UK’s unpaid carers with the launch of a national campaign called ‘Caring for Carers’ during this year’s BackCare Awareness Week (7-11th October 2013).
The week will kick off with a radio day of live interviews on regional and national stations to raise awareness of the key issues. BackCare will be distributing a campaign pack featuring educational materials, including the Carer’s Guide and DVD.
The campaign is being run in collaboration with several organisations, including Carer’s Trust, Arc Learning, Guideposts Trust, Carers of Epsom, Action for Carers and the White Lodge Centre.
BackCare members and partners will also be running local events up and down the country in clinics and carer centres to coordinate with the campaign. To learn more about BackCare please visit www.backcare.org.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8977 5474
Just let us know how we can help
Carla Downton and Jane Allen