Column: Make it easier for unsung heroes

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Carers Week 2018 highlights the support and recognition needed for the army of unpaid carers across the country who are providing physical and emotional support for loved ones, often without a thought for their own needs.

Indeed, many people in this position don’t even class themselves as a carer - because they are looking after a loved one they view it as something they are glad to do. However, caring for someone with various needs and conditions can be exhausting, time consuming and both physically and emotionally draining.

Many carers give up work to look after a loved one, as well as most or all of their social activities, which can leave them very isolated. So who cares for the carer? Here at Strathcarron we always try to be there for the whole family, not just our patients, whether they are here at the Hospice or out in the community. Be it nurses, doctors, our Patient and Family Support Team, Chaplaincy support, Complimentary Therapy, befrienders or volunteers, there is a huge amount of support at Strathcarron for those who are caring for loved ones. Whilst we do all we can to provide the very best care for our patients, we also acknowledge the value of the very special care provided by family and loved ones, and will support and include them on this very difficult journey. Whilst the life of a carer can be challenging and lonely, we –as a community – can work together to make it a little easier for these unsung heroes. A friendly ear, some practical support, or even just a few kind words acknowledging all they do can mean so much - a compassionate community can make the world a much kinder and friendlier place, but it takes all of us to create that.