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New £675,000 strategy launched to care for Renfrewshire’s 22,000 carers

A £675,000 support package is being put in place to help Renfrewshire’s 22,600 carers look after their loved ones without sacrificing their own health and happiness.

Details of the new package are contained in the Renfrewshire Carers’ Strategy 2013 – 16. The document is being launched at the Renfrewshire Carers’ Centre annual general meeting on 10 June – the start of Carers’ Week.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Social Work, Health and Wellbeing Policy Board, said, “The work carers do is becoming more and more important as our population gets older. Carers help people live in their own homes for longer; they reduce emergency hospital admissions and they help stop people getting stuck in hospital because there is no one to look after them at home.

“While people are living longer they aren’t necessarily enjoying a healthy old age. By 2035 a quarter of Renfrewshire’s population will be over 65. Many will need significant care. At the same time there will be a shrinking number of younger working people. In these circumstances our society will be even more dependent on the contribution made by carers than we are already.

“This is why it is vital that we provide carers with the support they need to cope with their responsibilities, while staying healthy themselves and having a life of their own.”

The Renfrewshire Carers’ Strategy 2013 – 16 is based on extensive consultations with carers. The document is designed to deliver on the issues that are most important to them – issues such as respite care, emotional support and early intervention to support carers before they reach crisis point.

The specific goals contained in the strategy are to:

* Improve the emotional and physical wellbeing of carers

* Increased carers’ confidence in managing the caring role

* Enable carers to combine their caring responsibilities with work, a social life, leisure time and learning opportunities – having a life outside of caring

* Ensure carers are not disadvantaged or discriminated against or suffering financial hardship as a result of caring

* Involve carers in planning and shaping the services needed for the person they care for and the support they need themselves.