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Let’s care for volunteer carers in Surrey

This week (11 – 17 June) is Carers Week – an annual campaign that seeks to raise awareness of those who volunteer their time to care for others on an unpaid basis, highlight some of the challenges they face and recognise the contribution they make to society.

According to the Carers Week’s website, around 6.5 million people in the UK are carers that look after and support family members or friends (sometimes both) on an unpaid basis. 

Despite the fact that Birtley House is a Surrey care home that’s been welcoming residents for over seven decades, we are still pleasantly surprised – even now, after all this time – by the level of commitment and selflessness that friends and family members show when it comes to caring for their loved ones.

Caring is undoubtedly rewarding, enriching and in many cases, critical. However, it’s also challenging and can be incredibly tiring for those who give up their time to invest in the wellbeing of another.

As a Bramley nursing home, we get to see the ‘caring experience’ from the eyes of both the carer (typically the son or daughter) and the caree (typically the parent). We get to share the joy the carers’ experience when the efforts they make have a positive impact. We also get to see the strain they’re under when caring, in some cases, becomes a full time job.

And it is often at this point where placing a loved one in the hands of professional carers is advisable – not just for the aging loved one, but also for the carer, too.

If you’re a carer, here are eight tell-tale signs for when it might be time to consider full time care or a local nursing home.

1. You’ve injured yourself whilst trying to move, lift or carry the person you’re caring for around

2. Your friend or loved one is displaying challenging behaviour such as anger or paranoia – or is even trying to hurt you

3. The person you’re caring for is frequently getting lost when wandering about

4. You’re neglecting other parts of your life such as your job, your friends and other key responsibilities

5. Your core relationships are suffering as a result of the amount of time you’re caring for someone else

6. Your own physical and/or mental health is beginning to suffer

7. Friends and family have suggested that it might be time to seek professional help rather than handle it on your own

8. Professional care has become more affordable than the amount of investment required to install the necessary in-home adaptations and services

We understand the very sensitive nature of entering discussions around finding a care home for a friend or loved one and we fully appreciate that it’s a difficult time for all concerned.

However, if you’re considering a care home in Guildford or have started to consider taking steps towards seeking professional help, then please contact Birtley House and a member of the team will be all too happy to explore the options available, discuss how a nursing home could be the right option and guide you through the process.

In the meantime, let’s take the time to think about the good work UK carers do day in, day out, and send our thanks to all those who have such a positive impact on society.