Caring for a loved one can be challenging enough as it is and we applaud you for everything you do.
But to continue this vital role when some, or all, of your usual support network has had to change in some way because of social distancing must have been incredibly difficult.
This week is National Carers Week and I wanted to take this opportunity to personally say how grateful I am to each and every one of you for what you do as carers. It is our aim to support you as carers to be able to continue to care for as long as you wish, whilst also having a life of your own and being able to look after your own health and wellbeing.
So, although my message is one of thanks, the most important thing I must ask you to do is to make sure you get the support you need.
If you don’t look after yourself, you may not be able to continue your caring role.
Even though we are in this strange period of social distancing, there is still a network of support available to all Nottinghamshire carers – from older carers looking after husbands and wives, to people looking after their elderly parents or younger adults, or younger carers helping to look after their parents or siblings.
The Nottinghamshire Carers Hub can offer you personalised information and support to meet your individual need.
You can contact them on 0115 824 8824 or here.
Although their face-to-face services aren’t currently running, they have found alternative ways to support carers such as publishing weekly mindfulness videos and holding virtual carers support groups via Zoom and GoToMeeting.
There are lots of additional quizzes, exercise classes and other activities planned this week for carers week too.
Being a carer can make you feel very lonely, particularly if you’re looking after someone with dementia, so just speaking to other carers who are going through the same thing as you could make a real difference.
So, please don’t struggle on by yourself – pick up the phone or go online and get in touch.
Coun Tony Harper is chairman of the adult social care and public health committee at Nottinghamshire County Council.