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Carers Week

June 11, 2019 8:30 AM

Cllr Wendy RiderThere are an estimated 2,678* unpaid carers in Bedford. That's 2,678 people who spend their life putting other people first and looking after their loved ones. Yet many people still don't identify themselves as carers - they simply see themselves as spouses, parents, sons, daughters or friends.

10 - 16 June is Carers Week, a week dedicated to supporting local residents who care for others while recognising that they are individuals with their own needs.

This year's theme is "Getting Carers Connected", highlighting the difficulties carers can face staying connected with their families and friends.

Throughout Carers Week there will be various activities taking place around Bedford to help promote and build communities to help support those who put others needs before their own.

Visit Carers in Bedfordshire to find out more: www.carersinbeds.org.uk/carers-week

Councillor Wendy Rider, Portfolio Holder for Adult Services said: "Caring for someone can be hugely rewarding but can come at a cost to a carers' own health and wellbeing who are often putting their own needs on hold. Carers are extremely valuable in looking after their loved ones but we know that many can feel socially isolated. We want carers to know that there is support available and what better time to try something new and connect or reconnect with people, than during Carers Week. By connecting carers to resources in the community, we aim to help those who devote themselves to the care of others to live better lives."

Bedford Borough Council has also joined forces with national charity Carers UK to offer support to carers via a free online platform that can be accessed 24/7. At a click of a mouse carers in Bedford will have free, 24/7 access to the Digital Resource for Carers, an online environment that hosts a range of resources to help carers manage care and caring.

The main parts of the site include:

· About Me: building resilience for carers: an e-learning resource that helps carers identify and build networks of support and promotes self-care.

· Jointly: a care co-ordination app for people sharing care - among others offers group messaging, task, calendar, medication and contacts management.

· The role of good nutrition when caring for someone: an e-learning course that aims to help carers understand the role of nutrition both for themselves as well as the person they are looking after.

· Upfront Guide to Caring: a simple assessment tool to guide people new to caring or seeking support for the first time to navigate the Carers UK website.

· Looking after someone: Carers Rights Guide: which helps carers understand their rights as a carer and where to go for financial or practical help.

· Being Heard: a self-advocacy guide for carers: which helps carers develop the skills to self-advocate.

· Technology and care: information and resources on how to access products and services to help with care and caring.

· Plus links to further local information and support for carers in Bedford Borough

To find out more about the Digital Resource for Carers visit carersdigital.org and create a new account by using code DGTL9072