More than half of Birmingham carers are failing to look after themselves

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More than half of Birmingham carers who took part in a recent survey are failing to look after themselves well enough.

The Survey of Adult Carers has revealed 294 out of 527 people quizzed about self-care admitted they sometimes do not look after themselves or are neglecting their own needs.

The survey was distributed in partnership between the Birmingham Adults Safeguarding Board (BASB) and Forward Carers.

Cherry Dale, BASB’s Chair, said: “The wellbeing of all carers across the city is of the utmost importance. These findings are incredibly alarming. People who neglect their own needs and forget to nurture themselves are in danger of developing deeper levels of unhappiness, low self-esteem, and feelings of resentment.”

To address these issues and raise awareness about the importance of self-care when in a caring role, both organisations are holding a free health and wellbeing event.

Taking place on Wednesday, March 13, between 9.30am and 2pm, the event has been designed to provide advice and guidance for carers about looking after their own health and wellbeing.

Simon Fenton, CEO of Forward Carers, said: “With more than 44 per cent of the survey respondents telling us they regularly provide in excess of 100 hours of care per week, this is something we need to tackle right now.

“People who spend most of their time taking care of others can be at risk of becoming completely burned out. This will put their own health at risk and make it harder for them to continue in their caring role. Taking time to care for yourself regularly can make you a better carer for others.”

Forward Carers was launched to make a real difference to the lives of people caring for older frail people, sick or disabled friends and family members. Its aim is to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of carers, young and old, including parent carers, so that families stay healthier and happier together, for longer.

The Survey of Adult Carers England is a postal questionnaire overseen by NHS Digital. It is sent out every two years to a randomised sample of carers aged 18 or older across England.

Forward Carers distributed the survey last year on behalf of Birmingham City Council, to 1,800 carers across the city. A total of 539 people completed the survey within a seven-week period.

The results, which have yet to be verified by NHS Digital, will be used by the Council to ensure care support and services are meeting the needs of carers and to identify any additional areas of assistance that could assist carers.

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