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Support available to help unpaid carers cope and stay well through Covid-19 anxiety

Cornwall’s unpaid carers are valued for the critical role they play within their communities and it is appreciated that during the Covid-19 pandemic they may be finding it more difficult to cope and look after themselves, too.

To help support them during this difficult time, Cornwall Council has put together a convenient, easy-to-use one-stop guide – ‘Coronavirus and mental wellbeing for carers and young carers’

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It’s packed full of practical information and useful tips and advice on how to stay well both physically and mentally, and where to go and who to contact for extra help and advice.

Based on the last national census, over 63,000 residents in Cornwall could now be providing unpaid care to a family member, neighbour or friend. 

Many of these special people don’t even think of themselves as being carers, and they don’t necessarily live with the person they are caring for, but no matter what their age, they are being relied on to look after someone else who is ill or disabled, or who has a physical or mental health issue, providing invaluable support to help someone else get through their day.

If that sounds like you, then you’re a carer too, and the message to you is 'you're not alone’.

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for adults, Rob Rotchell says. “I can’t ever remember a challenge quite like Covid-19. Social distancing measures are tough on everyone but especially so for carers who have the responsibility of regularly helping someone else.

“No matter what their age, this can be a particularly anxious and lonely time especially if they have the added responsibility of caring for someone who needs shielding. We appreciate some carers could well be struggling to cope with the added stresses and strains during this pandemic.

“We want you all to know that that we value the critical role you play within your community whether or not you have a carer’s assessment or are one of the many informal carers who don’t usually need support but may feel you need some now.

“We’ve all been forced to make sacrifices over the last couple of months and I think I can safely say that it’s made us all better understand and respect the huge contribution and sacrifices you make long-term, year-round and the personal toll it can take on you.

“This is why it is so important that, no matter what age you are, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to know exactly where and how to find any support and advice you might need that will keep you safe and well.”

Jayne Price from the Kernow Carers team adds: “Coronavirus is undoubtably having a considerable impact on unpaid informal carers. You are all amazing and you provide vital support to those most vulnerable and at risk within our communities.

 “Many of you are providing high and increased levels of care and support. You may have found yourself in an unexpected caring role during the pandemic supporting family members, friends or vulnerable individuals in your community to safely shield or self-isolate.

“We appreciate how tough it is for all unpaid informal carers to try and juggle an often intense and complex caring role with everyday activity, work and normal family support while at the same time maintaining your own mental and physical health.

“This useful guide pulls together in one place exactly what local and national support/information/ sign posting/ advice and guidance is out there to help you.

“Kernow Carers Service has a range of support available if you need to talk with someone about your caring role - see website below or call 08005878191.” 

Cornwall Council works in partnership with a number of organisations across the Duchy including the NHS and those in the voluntary sector to provide a joined-up approach to supporting Cornwall’s unpaid carers. Following extensive consultation with all relevant parties last year, the 2020-29 Adult Carers’ Strategy will shortly be unveiled.

For more information on mental health and well-being support please visit the council's website

Story created on 1 June 2020