Unpaid carers provide care and support to family members, friends and neighbours. The people they care for may be affected by disability, physical or mental ill-health, frailty or substance misuse. A carer does not need to be living with the person they care for. Anybody can become a carer at any time in their life and sometimes for more than one person at a time. Carers can be any age from young children to very elderly people.
According to the Scottish Government, the actual number of unpaid carers living in Scotland is not known but it was estimated that there were around 700,000 to 800,000 before the Covid-19 pandemic. Recent polling suggests that number could have since grown to over a million. It is also believed that some 29,000 carers in Scotland are children and young people under the age of 18 years.
From analysis of these figures it is estimated that there are more than 36,000 adult carers and around 1,954 young carers in Aberdeenshire. Adult Carer Strategy 2018-2022
The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 was implemented in April 2018 and placed a number of new duties on all Scottish local authorities and health and social care partnerships to support unpaid adult and young carers in a different way. New duties include:
- An Adult Carer Support Plan (ACSP)
- Young Carer Statement
- Supporting carers by having a carers local eligibility criteria
- Preparing a local carer strategy
- Providing information, advice and advocacy services
- Publishing a Short Breaks Services Statement
- Involving carers in the discharge from hospital of the people they care for
Thursday the 25th of November 2021 is Carers Rights Day. Carers Rights Day is a national campaign that bring organisations and agencies together to help unpaid carers to know their rights and find out how to get the support they need in relation to their role as a carer.
Carers Rights Day is an important date in the calendar and here at Advocacy North East we want to ensure that carers have the support, information and options they need to make informed choices and feel confident that their voice will be heard and taken account of.
Whether you are a new carer or have been caring for someone for a while, we believe that it’s important that you understand your rights and are able to access the support that is available to you as soon as you need it and at any stage in your caring journey; whether at home, in a workplace, educational or healthcare setting or interacting with professionals.
We know the demands that caring can have on unpaid carers. We also understand the challenges that may arise when trying to navigate the maze of information, systems and services that can support carers and those they care for. We also recognise that for many reasons it can sometimes be difficult for carers to speak up when things are not going right.
At Advocacy North East, our trained, experienced and friendly Carer Advocates Christine and Shaun will be able to provide you with information and support in relation to your rights and how to claim them. They will also be able to support you at meetings and in other practical ways which are outlined in our Carers Leaflet
Advocacy North East will also ensure that the information we provide includes the details of other specialist agencies such as Quarriers who are commissioned to provide a Carer Support Service to all adult and young carers in Aberdeenshire – as well as to those services which have a specific focus for communities of interest relative to the cared for.
More information on services in Aberdeenshire can be found in the Aberdeenshire Unpaid Carers Information Pack