Unpaid carers are being invited to a free event packed with information to help them on their journey caring for a friend or family member for Carers Rights Day this year.
The charity Carer Support Wiltshire is hosting its first ever ‘carers expo’ at Trowbridge Civic Centre on Tuesday 21 November and the day will be filled with speakers and information stands.
Many organisations will be in attendance to provide information, including Wiltshire Council, Alzheimer’s Support, Dorothy House and Citizen’s Advice Wiltshire. Talks will cover a number of topics, from how to navigate the benefits system and building a support network, to looking after a child with additional needs and returning to the workplace. The event will be opened by Trowbridge mayor Stephen Cooper.
Everyone is invited to drop in and browse the event, which takes place between 10am and 6pm, whether currently caring for someone or in preparation for possibly caring for someone in the future.
Mandy from Westbury cares for her mum, who has Alzheimer’s. She says: “My mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s two years ago and she lives with us. She’s not able to do anything like cooking, cleaning or household chores and can only be left on her own in the house for very short periods of time.
“It’s useful to talk to people who know what you’re going through and understand that process of caring and how it limits you. I don’t think most people fully understand that it’s not easy to get out and do things, or even spend 10 minutes having a shower.
“It was hugely helpful for me to have a carer’s assessment done and be allocated four hours a week paid support from Alzheimer’s Support. Someone comes a couple of times a week for a couple of hours to sit with mum. Just being able to sit and read a newspaper without my mum wanting to know where I am and what I’m doing is wonderful. I was also able to gain some useful information around hospital discharge when my mum left hospital earlier this year.”
Leanne Hubbard, Chief Executive of Carer Support Wiltshire said:
“Carers Rights Day is a national annual awareness day that aims to ensure unpaid carers like Mandy are aware of their rights. These can range from the right to claim certain benefits to rights in the workplace to the right to choose to stop caring for a family member. In Mandy’s case she was able to find out about respite available to her, which gives her important time to herself to recharge. This is what the expo aims to do – provide the valuable information and support that unpaid carers need all in one place.
“We know that having the right support can make a huge positive difference to a carer’s own health and wellbeing, and their ability to care for someone else.”
Cllr Jane Davies, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: “This is an important event for our carers as they can find out key practical information and information on support. It is also a good opportunity to meet other carers and share experiences. I would encourage as many carers as possible to attend. We will also have a space on the first floor on the same day where our carers have shared their thoughts on their experiences with music, poetry and art. I’d ask those attending to spend a few minutes reviewing these pieces of work as it offers very personal insights which I’m sure will resonate with many of the carers attending.”
Attendees are welcome to bring along the person they care for to the information hall although, due to limited space, only carers will be able to attend the talks. There will be places to sit and relax and a place to buy drinks.
All are welcome to turn up on the day, however spaces at the talks will be limited. If there are particular talks you are interested in, you can reserve seats ahead of the day by visiting https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/carers-rights-day-expo-2023-tickets-689922646207?aff=oddtdtcreator or by calling Carer Support Wiltshire on 0800 181 4118 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
11.30-12.30 – Getting back into education/workplace – Wiltshire Council’s Family and Learning Team
11.30-12.30 – Building the support around you – Carer Support Wiltshire and Wiltshire Council
13.00-14.00 – How to navigate the benefits system – Citizens Advice Wiltshire
13.00-14.00 – What you need to know about looking after a child with additional needs – Carer Support Wiltshire and Wiltshire Parent Carer Council
14.30-15.30 – In case of an emergency – Carer Support Wiltshire and Aid Training
14.30-15.30 – When the time comes – Carer Support Wiltshire and Dorothy House Hospice
16.00-17.00 – Estate planning – Silverline Legal
16.00-17.00 – Looking after you – Carer Support Wiltshire, Wiltshire Council and Olive Branch Counselling
17.30-18.30 – What you need to know about looking after an elderly parent – Carer Support Wiltshire