Throughout the UK there are 6.5 million people providing unpaid care for an ill, frail or disabled family member or friend. These people are called “carers” but they would probably say “I’m just being a husband, a wife, a mum, a dad, a son, a daughter, a friend or a good neighbour.”
Carers help with personal things like getting someone dressed, turning them in their sleep, helping them to the bathroom, helping them move about or administering their medication. Carers also help with things like shopping, laundry, cleaning, cooking, filling in forms or managing money.
Caring can be a rich source of satisfaction in people’s lives. It can be life-affirming. It can help deepen and strengthen relationships. It can teach you a multitude of skills and realise potential you never thought you had.
But without the right support caring can have a devastating impact. Evidence shows that caring can cause ill health, poverty and social isolation. When caring is intensive and unsupported you can struggle to hold down a job, get a night’s sleep, stay healthy and maintain your relationships with friends and family.
Quest – Carers UK
Why Get Online…
We believe that the internet is a useful tool for carers and one that could enhance this rewarding role and bring enjoyment too. The internet can be confusing and a little scary, but with the right training it can open up new doors, allowing people to find information and help, save money and keep in touch. This includes using it for fun, discovering health information, shopping online, being able to keep up to date with current affairs and keeping in touch with friends and family.
A short list of the possibilities:
- Social Interaction – Email, Skype & Social Media
- Entertainment – Films, music, games & “Catch-up” TV
- Shopping – It can be cheaper, you can have goods delivered and you get a greater choice
- Banking – Access your account outside banking hours
- Information – Public, Community & Voluntary Services, research, hobbies & social activities
Colin – Family Carer “We use Skype to help my wife communicate with her sister in Vancouver, an uplifting experience for both. The internet has been so helpful for researching my wife’s condition and treatments. Our life would be difficult and more isolated without the internet.” – December 2013
Jim – Family Carer “I do all my finances online, banking, paying the gas & electricity. You can access the information and make transactions 24/7. It gives me greater flexibility.” – 6th February 2014
There is a wealth of opportunity waiting… Encourage the carer you know to give it a go!
How can that person learn?
Get Shropshire Online has organised FREE training days in July specifically for carers. The day will cover:
- Keyboard and mouse skills
- Using email
- Using the internet safely
- Using online searches
- Entry Level 3 City in Guilds Qualification
Thursday 10th July – Friday 11th July – Monday 21st July -Tuesday 22nd July
All the sessions are 10am till 4pm and are being held at Shropshire Rural Community Council, The Creative Quarter, Shrewsbury Business Park, SY2 6LG – To join us call 01743 342177
Our poster if you would like to share this information: Carers Learn Together
Margaret- Volunteer Mentor “The training is going very well, one of my students has gone online and booked herself a disability scooter in Spain for when she goes on holiday next week. It has opened so many possibilities.” – December 2013
Is there anything else I can do?
Carers Week 9th-15th July
Carers Week is an annual campaign that celebrates and recognises the valuable contribution that people make when they look after an ill, frail or disabled family member or friend. There are currently 6.5 million carers in the UK and every day 6,000 people take on new caring responsibilities.
Carers Week Manager Helen Clarke said ‘We heard from carers in the report Prepared to Care? how they were missing out on the advice and information, support and services which can really be of benefit to them and the person they care for. Carers Week provides the ideal opportunity to reach out to people to let them know what is out there to help them with their caring role. By working together during Carers Week we can achieve a real buzz about caring and help thousands of people.’
To find out more about supporting carers visit –