The experiences of carers and the support available to them is on the agenda at the next West Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board.
An estimated 84,000 people are unpaid carers in West Sussex – 10% of the population – according to the latest Census.
Research has shown that looking after a loved one can have a significant impact on health and wellbeing.
Young carers can experience emotional impacts such as worry and anxiety and it can affect their school work, while for working age carers being able to continue working by working flexibly is beneficial.
Nearly half of all older carers who provided more than 50 hours of care per week and who took part in an Older People’s Lifestyle Survey in 2013 reported feeling lonely and socially isolated.
Board chairman, Christine Field, said: “Carers do a tremendous job and play a vital role in looking after some of our most vulnerable residents. It is critical that health services recognise the pressures that a caring role brings with it – for carers of all ages – and that carers needs, whether they are health or social, are recognised and support given.”
The meeting will hear about:
- the key role carers play across West Sussex
- carers experiences from Carers Support West Sussex
- the importance of making sure people ‘Think Carer’ and consider whether someone they know, or even they themselves, are helping someone without receiving any support
- and the Board will assess plans by West Sussex County Council and NHS to improve and develop support services for carers, including young carers.
The Board meets on Thursday July 16 at 2pm, in County Hall North, Chart Way in Horsham.
The Health and Wellbeing Board is made up of councillors, GPs, health and social care officials and representatives of patients and the public. Its role is to lead and advise on work to improve the health and wellbeing of the population of West Sussex through the development of improved and integrated health and social care services.