Carers Week runs from the 11-16 June, with the sole – and invaluable – purpose of raising awareness of the huge number of family and friends who selflessly care for a loved one, and also to get carers connected.
There are 6.5 million people in the UK providing unpaid care for ill, frail or disabled family members, partners or friends. There is a huge range of different ways they provide care: it might be personal things like helping with getting dressed, washed or going to the toilet, practical things like housework, shopping and cooking, or complex things like helping with official forms and finances.
Caring for a person with a brain injury has its own particular challenges. Often, there is no visible sign of disability but the brain injured person may be incapable of working or coping with their day to day administration. Brain injury may have caused behavioural changes, so that the injured person seems like a different person to the one they were before the injury. This can put immense pressure on a marriage or a family relationship, especially when it is clear that caring will be a lifelong commitment.
Being a carer can have a profound impact on the person doing the caring, resulting in ill health, poverty and social isolation. It is therefore vital that carers look after themselves, as well as the person that they are caring for. The Carers Trust reports that UK’s unpaid carers are seven times lonelier than the general public.
There is support available from medical practitioners such as GPs; there are organisations such as The Carer’s Trust itself, Carer’s UK and Age UK that provide support. There are also other charitable organisations focused on particular conditions and injuries that also provide invaluable information and support such as MNDA, which supports those with motor neurone disease; the MS Society, Sense, which supports people living with complex disabilities, Rethink Mental Illness, Headway and the Spinal Injuries Association. All of these can provide invaluable information, advice and support.
For more information about Carers Week, visit their website.
Lyons Davidson’s specialist Brain Injury team is headed by Laura Merry. In the past 12 months in excess of £16 million pounds compensation has been achieved, which has gone some way to support the victims and their families following brain injury. If you have questions about any of the issues raised in this article or about a head or brain injury claim, contact Laura by emailing [email protected] or calling 0117 9045718.