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Think Carer – What does a carer look like to you?

People across Essex are being asked to ‘Think Carer’ during this year’s Carers Week to help raise awareness of the needs of carers, help them to access support and create carer friendly communities

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The online campaign is being supported by health, social care, charities and voluntary groups across the county with a variety of events for the public including a stall in High Chelmer shopping centre in Chelmsford, information day at Broomfield Hospital and a cream tea in Harlow for carers.

Accompanying the campaign is a short film, with local carer Sue showing how GP practices can help support carers and their families. Simple things, such as flagging they are a carer on their patient record, having a different GP to the person they care for and being flexible on appointments are shown to make a huge difference.

Dr Elizabeth Towers, a GP working in Chelmsford, and featured in the film explains, “People often don’t realise they are carers, normally because the person they are looking after is family and they just assume that’s their role.

“We need to acknowledge that they have needs – physical, emotional and psychological – as they can so easily be forgotten while looking after their loved one. I urge people to come forward and ask for help, as it is there for them.”

Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health said, “We have over 146,000 carers in Essex ranging from very young children to the very elderly.

It is vital that as a community we support them as they look after their loved ones. Everyone can play their part in helping to identify carers, recognise they may be struggling and making small adjustments to improve their lives.”

Anyone who is looking for support and advice for themselves as a carer, or for a loved one can click here where information can be found on support and services available locally.