Family carers – ‘for the love of it’

NHS Improving Quality

It is frequently said that family carers are one of the most valuable resources in the health and care sectors. But this is easily said and is often not reflected in the way that health and care services respond to carers’ needs. We will often talk, sometimes with irony, about people doing a job, ‘for the love of it’ rather than for a financial reward and this is literally what most of England’s family carers do. They often sacrifice their own earning potential and life aspirations to care for somebody they love. They co-ordinate multiple hospital appointments, prescription collections, overnight help, and assistance with dressing, feeding, toileting and washing. It’s physically and mentally hard work.

It is no surprise then that significant numbers of family carers go on to have significant physical and mental health problems themselves and that some of them get to the point where they feel unable…

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