Northern Trust offers support for Carers

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WITH more people wanting to be treated and cared for in their own homes carers are playing a vital role by contributing to the care of their family member or friend.

A stress management day was held recently for carers from across the Northern Trust area. Caring by its nature is often demanding and stressful and the aim of the day was to give carers a short break enabling them to unwind and recharge their batteries. During the day carers looked at the causes and effects of stress and learned how to look after themselves and their own emotional wellbeing.

Anne Cummings, Carers Coordinator with the Northern Trust explained why the Trust was supporting the event.

“Every year nearly 69,000 people in Northern Ireland become carers when they find themselves looking after a loved one who is frail, ill or disabled.

“A carer is anyone who provides regular and substantial care for a family member, friend or neighbour who is unable to care for themselves. The problem is that most people who look after others do not think of themselves as carers. It may happen gradually, or they take it as part of normal family life. Many people simply do not know what help is available or how to find their way through filling out complex forms.

“Research shows that carers are more likely than non-carers to report high levels of psychological distress causing anxiety, depression and loss of confidence and self-esteem. Older carers are more likely to be caring over a longer period of time and many report a chronic illness or disability.

“I am keen to make contact with carers in the Trust area to make sure they are aware of the services that are available to them and to offer information regarding local carers support groups”.

There are around 214,000 carers in Northern Ireland who provide care and support to ill, frail or disabled friends or family members. They are not paid and often work without support. People from all walks of life and backgrounds are carers. Caring can be a rewarding experience, yet many face isolation, poverty, discrimination and ill-health.

Anne Cummings is based at the Route Complex in Ballymoney and can be contacted on 2766 1392 or anne.cummings@northerntrust.hscni.net