Friday, 15 June 2012
CARERS from across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan are being given a helping hand at the first-one-stop-shop event for carers in the capital.
More than a dozen organisations have been brought together by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board for the Taking Care of Yourself event at the City Stadium.
It will offer advice on benefits and financial support, healthy living and life coaching guidance as well as hand and nail care, Indian head massage and a tour of the stadium of Cardiff City FC.
Sue Barrow, the health board’s Patient Experience Facilitator, said: “Carers play an invaluable role in society providing millions of pounds worth of care each year.
“The event at the City Stadium will be a chance to acknowledge that important role they play and allow us to give them some well deserved support too.
“This is a great opportunity for carers to access all manner of help and advice in one place from financial help to how to manage the demanding role of being a carer.”
Sue added that the event would also be a chance for carers to help shape future services by telling the UHB what it and its partners can do to help them.
The event will be attended by teams from the Health Board, local councils and a host of voluntary and support organisations.
Jacqui Beddoes from Cowbridge has been caring for her 22-year-old daughter Stephanie who was born with severe learning difficulties.
She managed to provide the demanding care Stephanie needs whilst raising two older children and trying to keep herself fit and well.
Jacqui said: “I think this event is brilliant because it is really hard to keep yourself fit and well when you are caring for a loved one with special needs but it is so important, not only because someone depends on you, but also the impact it can have if you become unwell.”
Ruth Walker, Director of Nursing for Cardiff and Vale UHB, said: “Jacqui is a great example of the thousands of people in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan who are providing many hours of care which would otherwise have to be provided by health and social services.
“That’s why it is vitally important that we make sure that they can access the right support and are reminded to make sure that taking care of themselves is equally important.”
Beth Evans, of Carers Wales, said she was pleased to see the efforts of the UHB to recognise the efforts of carers.
She said: “The unpaid care that family carers provide help sustain people in their own homes and in their own communities. It is vital and without it society would collapse.
“From research we know that in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan carers provide a staggering £982.6 million of unpaid care.
“Carers say that caring can be very rewarding but this is often at the cost of their own health. We know that carers who provide high levels of care for sick or disabled relatives or friends are more than twice as likely to suffer from poor health compared with people without caring responsibilities.
“We are pleased to see that the theme for the event is "Taking care of yourself" and hope that it will be useful for carers to find out about what help and practical support may be available.”
The event is being held on Monday June 18th from 10am to 4.30pm.
For more information contact 01774 35468.