VITAL ROLE One in nine adults in Kent acts as a carer

A CAMPAIGN called Kent Carers Matter has been launched to raise the profile of carers across the county and increase access to support services.

More than 150,000 adults in Kent – one in nine people – act as carers looking after a family member, partner, friend or neighbour.

That’s one out of every nine adults – and 60 per cent of people in the county will be a carer at some point in their lives. According to Carers UK, their work saves the public purse around £3billion a year.

The organisers say: “Being a carer can be a positive experience, but it can also be challenging and exhausting, which can impact on a carer’s mental and physical health or well-being.”

Kent Carers Matter has been developed by five organisations in Kent to support health and social care professionals to identify and refer carers to services earlier.

It also provides more opportunities for them to have their say about local and national issues that affect them. Under the scheme they can access a Carer’s Assessment, get information about rights, talk to experts who understand the role, join a support group, participate in training or organise a break.

Kent Carers Matter is encouraging carers to tell their GP about their responsibilities and how they are impacting on physical and mental health.

It is also seeking to relieve the stress of combining care with other demands such as work by calling on carers to speak to employers, family and friends.

For more information and to find out about support, visit www.kentcarersmatter.co.uk