Janet Down only realised she was a full-time carer for her disabled husband when she fell ill a few years ago and could not look after him. Suffering back pain from lifting and depression from coping unsupported, her inability to care for 65-year-old Dave exposed just how much she did for him. This prompted her to recognise her role, accept she needed help and find leaflets about caring at her library.
Carer aware, an innovative project that Down subsequently participated in and designed by Dudley borough council, is making it easier for carers like Down to get support. The online mini-training toolkit offers an explanation of carers’ rights, better access to support and reassurance that professionals are recognising carers’ issues. Down now champions the scheme as chair of Dudley Carers Forum. “Knowing how and what the carer is entitled to receive is empowering,” she says. Read the full piece here on the Guardian Social Care Network.