That was the message for Carers Rights Day on Friday as the Lincolnshire Carers and Young Carers Partnership believes the real number of carers in the county may be higher than the estimated 79,262.
In addition, there are at least 4,000 young carers in Lincolnshire, meaning more than one in nine of the population are looking after someone - but many are going it alone.
Lincolnshire Carers and Young Carers Partnership is an independent organisation supported by Lincolnshire County Council.
The group’s Peta Hill said carers have a right to have their needs taken into account and to access support
“Millions of carers’ benefits aren’t claimed each year and even those who have been caring for years sometimes aren’t aware of their entitlements,” she said.
“Assistance can include practical support like replacement care to give the carer time off, help with lifting and bathing, a carers emergency response plan, plus new Telecare and Telehealth technology, equipment and home adaptations.”
“It’s easy to say ‘we’re just taking care of someone because we love them’ and many don’t even realise they are effectively a carer. But 20 per cent of people do so for 50 hours or more a week and many end up being treated for ill health.”
“It’s not just those who look after people for significant amounts of time either - anyone could be entitled to additional help in many forms so we encourage everyone to step forward for an assessment,” she added.
The theme of Carers Rights Day was ‘rights, advice and support’, focusing on ensuring all carers understand their rights and get advice and information that can help them and the person they look after.
To see what help you might be entitled to, contact Lincolnshire Carers and Young Carers Partnership on 01522 782224, visit www.mychoicemycare.org.uk or email [email protected]