Young adult carer identification card launched
Working alongside our Trust, Suffolk Family Carers has pioneered the launch of an identification card for young adult carers across Suffolk.
The Young Adult Carers Identification (ID) Card will predominantly be used in healthcare settings but can also be used anywhere else useful for the young adult carer.
The card will enable young people aged 16 to 24 in a caring role to be recognised as a young adult carer, to increase the confidence of the young adult carer to manage their caring role, and allow healthcare professionals to share appropriate information with the young adult carer (with patient consent), and involve them as much as possible in appropriate discussions around those they care for.
Emily Meadows, Young People’s Service Manager at Suffolk Family Carers, said: “This ID card is really important as young adult carers often go unnoticed when healthcare professionals are dealing with their patients. This card will enable them to identify themselves so that they can be involved in decision making and discharge planning, and will help to increase awareness of young carers and young adult carers among healthcare professionals.
“Some 88,000 children and adults across Suffolk provide care, unpaid, for a disabled, older or ill family member or friend. Whilst caring can be rewarding, without the right support it can also take a serious toll on a carer’s health, relationships and finances. That’s why this Carers’ Week, we are asking individuals and communities across Suffolk to do what they can to make life that little bit easier for carers.”
Sophie, a young adult carer, said: “The Young Adult Carers ID Card is such a good idea as it means that we won’t be overlooked by healthcare professionals just because of our age. Professionals can assume that they are protecting us by not including us in conversations, but we are already caring for our loved ones and have a good understanding of their care needs. Having a card will make it easier to talk to healthcare professionals and will give me the confidence to speak up if I’m not being involved.”
The West Suffolk Hospital has been recognised by Suffolk Family Carers as a Carer Friendly Hospital. It has committed to supporting family carers of all ages and raising awareness amongst staff with dedicated family carer champions across the hospital, and carers packs and concessions to provide extra information and support to carers of any age.
Dr Stephen Dunn, CBE, Trust chief executive, added: “We really appreciate the vital health and wellbeing support family carers provide to our patients, and ensuring our young adult carers are identifiable and included in really important conversations about the care needs of their loved ones is vital. We hope this initiative reaps positive benefits for our patients, carers and our healthcare professionals, and that together we can improve the health outcomes of those in our care.”
The Young Adult Carers ID Card is being launched at the start of Carers Week (10 – 16 June), an annual awareness campaign which takes place to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers.
Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience but carers often find it challenging to take care of their own health and wellbeing whilst caring. Caring without the right information and support can be really tough.
Research conducted by Carers UK has found that almost three quarters (72%) of carers in the UK said they had suffered mental ill health as a result of caring, while well over half (61%) said their physical health had worsened.
During Carers Week local people, services and businesses are being asked to support carers, and celebrate the vital contribution they make in Suffolk. The Suffolk Family Carers Bus and new motorhome will be touring Suffolk visiting supermarkets and leisure centers to provide information and advice. Information stands will also be in businesses and health settings to give people the chance to find about more about the support and services available for carers of all ages. Call 01473 835477 for more information.
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