Steps are being taken to help improve the lives of unpaid carers at the upcoming Health and Wellbeing Board meeting at County Hall, Beverley, on Thursday, 15 March at 2pm.
The Health and Wellbeing Board has identified a number of priorities from the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) workshop, which focuses on the wellbeing of unpaid carers as a key priority.
The needs assessment was an outcome of an in depth process designed to develop comprehensive understanding of unpaid care in the East Riding of Yorkshire in order to draw conclusions and make appropriate recommendations to inform the development of the Carers Strategy for the East Riding of Yorkshire.
Taking care of someone, whether that is in a physical, mental or emotional capacity, can be challenging and it's important for people to be aware of the vital role that carers play to support their loved ones in the East Riding.
Elaine Peirce, Chair of the Carers Advisory Group, said: “Carers everyday will inform the decisions you make as you go forward in your caring profession.
“We need to appreciate that time is of the essence to carers, they do not have the luxury, as many of us have, to plan ahead; they never know what each day will bring and they very often have to change plans at very short notice.
“As they deal with this uncertainty in their roles as carers, we must support them and ensure that our decisions consider the impact we may have; a changed appointment where the carer has had to arrange a sitter for their cared for; the feelings of isolation and depression that can manifest into a physical illness and, often, just the need to talk.
“As the numbers of carers inevitably increase, we must all work together to recognise the role carers play in our society and proactively ensure that the support they need is available from all areas of the community and health professionals.”
Barry Sedgwick, an unpaid carer from Market Weighton, said: “Being an unpaid carer is difficult in terms of getting support.
“I know a lot of people who don’t get much support at all and what I want to do is get as many people to attend some sort of local support group as possible.
“I’ve set up a group called Together We Care, which supports carers, the cared for and people with long-term health issues.
“The more people who attend the group for support, the less pressure there is on the unpaid carer.
“My aim is to support every single unpaid carer, and therefore support the person they are caring for, in any way we possibly can.”
Councillor Richard Harrap, portfolio holder for adult services and carers, said: “The work to improve the lives of those who care for a loved one without pay is a key priority to ensure the health and wellbeing of East Riding residents and connecting individuals with appropriate services and community assets is of great importance to us.
“The Board is an important tool in driving forward change in relation to the health and social care needs of East Riding residents and is the perfect platform from which to continue the good work that is already being done locally to address these key priorities.”
The Board will also focus on mental health transition services and mental health in schools, the review of social media and young people, the employability skills of young people, the 0-25 SEND Agenda (preparing for adulthood) and the healthy weight strategy.
Other items that will be discussed include the update of the Integration of the Better Care Programme, the publication of the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment, a demonstration of the new East Riding Health and Wellbeing website and the Health and Wellbeing Board work programme.
For a full agenda visit www.eastriding.gov.uk