The Carers Team at the Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is celebrating carers week, 13th – 19th June, by organising health checks for carers to ensure they maintain their own health and wellbeing to enable them to support their loved ones.
For the third year running carers, known to the Trust, are being invited to have a health screening which will be undertaken at the carers team base in All Saints Way West Bromwich on Thursday 16th June.
Carers, often family members or friends, are the unpaid and hidden face of patient support and, for many people, the carer is their life line without whom they would not be able to cope. Yet for many carers the decision to care can mean a commitment to future poverty and poor health. Many give up an income, future employment prospects and pension rights to become a carer.
Research also shows that many carers physical health suffers as they put all their energy into looking after someone who is ill, often neglecting their own physical and mental health.
Linda Price, Team Manager, said “We recognise the valuable role carers play and want to support that role as much as we can. It is well documented that people providing high levels of care are more likely to suffer long term illness themselves and we see first hand that our carers are so busy looking after their loved one that they often neglect their own health”.
She continued, “Working in partnership with Sandwell Hospital we are able to offer carers who are known to the team various health assessments, including blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and weight checks. As a result of knowing that our carers are more likely to have high cholesterol or high blood pressure the team has been able to respond by organising a programme of health activities and talks, which take place throughout the year, to both educate and improve the carers health and wellbeing.”
Carers week is celebrated nationally to raise awareness of the reality of caring, the support that is out there and to give carers a voice.