Caring for Carers
Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for the Pontypridd constituency Mike Powell on the contribution made by unpaid carers in our communities and the need to take care of them:
Unpaid carers, looking after family or friends make a huge contribution in our society, not only making life more comfortable for the person they provide care for, but removing a huge burden from our health and social care services. They commit considerable time to their task, often at substantial cost to their own lives, their relationships and their own health and well-being. Many of them would not even classify themselves as carers, they merely see it as their duty.
We need to raise awareness of the support, both practical and financial which is available an encourage carers to come forward and seek help. The Social Services & Well-Being (Wales) Bill which has just come into force will hopefully mean that carers needs will be more adequately assessed so that support can be more carefully tailored.
There is also a need to raise awareness amongst employers of the role of carers and how their duties may have an effect in their working lives. There are many young carers across the country and we need to make sure schools are aware of the difficulties they face and make allowances and offer support.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats would look to introduce a Carers Well-being fund with the aim of providing extra breaks for carers to try and ease the considerable strain upon them. The many unpaid carers in Wales are worthy of greater recognition and a level of support that meets their needs and that of those they care for.