THE last 12 months have been difficult for us all, and it has been especially so for Unpaid Carers who provide care for family members and friends across Ceredigion.
As many as 1 in 4 people in Wales are providing unpaid care, saving the Welsh economy over £8.1 billion every year.
By law, carers are entitled to a break. However, COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown have meant that it has been difficult for many carers to access respite, which allows them to have a break from their caring role. Since the pandemic began, 80% of carers in Wales have said that they are now providing more care than they were before, and 60% of unpaid carers in Wales have not been able to take a break at all.
Having a break in lockdown can take many forms, such as going for a walk, watching a film or simply making time for a cup of tea and a biscuit. Sadly, carers often don’t have time or are unable to make time for this.
Last week, Ceredigion County Council’s Carers Unit, who support Unpaid Carers in Ceredigion, treated carers who are members of the Carers Information Service to a ‘Carer’s break in a box’. The box contained a variety of Welsh treats, including tea, bara brith, Welsh cakes and a spot of jam.
Many carers have reported that the surprise of receiving their “Carer’s break in a box’ has cheered them up in these dark and gloomy times and has given them the recognition and boost that they needed. One carer said:
“Thank you so much, this is the best thing that has happened to me in a very long time, it arrived on a day I was feeling particularly low. I am now going off to enjoy a cup of tea and a lovely Welsh cake.”
If you are currently providing care, unpaid, for a friend or family member who cannot manage on their own because they have an illness, disability, mental health issue or an addiction, you can join the Ceredigion Carers Information Service for FREE. You can find more information about this and other services for Carers on the Council’s website www.ceredigion.gov.uk/carers.