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Carers Week 2020-“My Buddy Has Helped Me Feel Less Isolated”

Carers Week (8th-14th June) is an annual campaign to highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and acknowledge the contribution they make to society throughout the UK.

We understand that this year many carers have faced additional challenges in supporting a loved one due to the Covid-19 pandemic and have needed to access support for themselves.

This year, Carers Week surrounds the theme ‘Making Caring Visible’. Now more than ever it is incredibly important that we recognise the significant contribution unpaid carers make within our community as well as empowering carers to look after their own wellbeing.

Dougie Mac offers the Carer and Patient Support Service which provides support and encouragement to patients, their carers and family members. The Carer and Patient Support Service team analyse the needs of the patient or carer in order to create the best package of support for them. This can include financial support, referrals to other local support agencies or allocation of a Dougie Mac Buddy.

Our Dougie Mac Buddies offer emotional support and companionship as well as giving carers the freedom to enjoy much-needed ‘me time’. They can also help with chores around the home including gardening, laundry, ironing and cooking as well as transporting patients and carers to medical appointments and shopping.

Due to current restrictions, our Buddies are unable to make home visits but are instead making regular phone calls to keep in touch and providing remote support. Here is some of the brilliant feedback from some of our carers on the adapted service.

“I look forward to these phone calls, I haven’t seen many people since lockdown began and was struggling to cope alone. Two different Buddies ring me two or three times a week, sometimes the only people I speak to that day. They are caring and understanding and often make me laugh. Thank you.”

“My Buddy has been a life saver, she has listened to me endlessly, which has helped me to sort out my emotions so that I can return to my caring role less frustrated.”

“I was really worried when the Buddy had to stop home visiting, thinking I would be alone in my caring role again but he rings us regularly, I miss the face to face support but knowing he is at the end of the phone when it gets too stressful has helped.”

For more resources and Carers Week information, visit https://www.carersweek.org/

#MakingCaringVisible

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