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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.

Carers told to take a break by Renfrewshire Council

With Carers’ Week due to start on 10 June, carers in Renfrewshire are being reminded that Renfrewshire Council, and its partners in Reshaping Care for Older People, have set aside £200,000 to give them a chance to take a well earned break.

The Free Breaks for Carers Service is free and flexible. Qualified carers step in so their everyday carer can take some stress-free time off to recharge their batteries without having to worry about the person they look after.

carers weekThe service is open to anyone in Renfrewshire who cares for someone who is over 65 years old. The care doesn’t need to be delivered at home. The service can cater for trips and excursions if the person who is being cared for enjoys going out.

It’s estimated that there are over 22,000 carers in Renfrewshire with 57% of them either looking after a parent or grandparent.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Social Work, Health and Wellbeing Policy Board, said, “Carers do an amazing job and our aim is to provide them with as much help and support as possible. Being a carer is a massive commitment and for many it’s more than a full time job.

“The council recognises someone has to care for the carers. The help and support we provide to older people in our communities, has to extend to the people who look after them. This includes addressing the impact that being a carer has on their jobs, education, health and leisure time.

“We asked carers what we could do to help and the new respite care at home service is what they came up with. It allows people to recharge their batteries and continue in their caring role.

“Supporting carers is critical so we’ve allocated £200,000. Now it’s there, we’re telling carers to take a break!”

The council is also encouraging anyone who regularly provides a substantial amount of care to someone else to have a carer’s assessment done. A carer’s assessment looks at:

* How being a carer affects the person

* How much care they can realistically provide without it adversely affecting their life beyond being a carer

* What help they may need.

More information about the service is available on 0141 207 7777 or 0300 300 1199.

More information about both home-based respite care and general help and advice for carers is available from the Renfrewshire Carers Centre on 0141 887 3643 and the council’s website

Respite care is also available to all carers who look after someone who is either over 16 years old, or who is a disabled child, and needs regular help with their personal and social care. There may be a charge in some cases.


Fun on the PlayTalkRead bus

Tiny tots and their parents showed it’s good to talk when a special bus toured Renfrewshire for a week of fun and games.

The PlayTalkRead buses offered parents and carers of children aged three-and-under the chance to climb aboard and find out how to give youngsters the best start.

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, the Convener of the Education Policy Board and Councillor Mark Macmillan, the Leader of Renfrewshire Council, hopped on board the bus to speak to some of the parents and children – and take part in a very enthusiastic Bookbug session.

Councillor Henry said: “Simple easy steps, such as reading books together, singing songs and playing together, aid a child’s development.

“The PlayTalkRead bus is inspirational in its approach. I would encourage parents or carers to check out the PlayTalkRead website for more ideas if they were unable to catch the bus this time.”

Councillor Macmillan added: “We are determined to give Renfrewshire’s children the best possible start in life and the PlayTalkRead bus is one way in which we can support parents and young children to make the most of their early years.”

The Scottish Government’s PlayTalkRead campaign is in collaboration with Working on Wheels, a charity which manages the Scotland-wide PlayTalkRead bus tour. In partnership, Renfrewshire Council supplied information packs, and were on hand to support and publicise the events. Library staff promoted the Bookbug programme and gave out free books provided by Scottish Book Trust. Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership also provided information on their services to families.
For more details visit: or , and Twitter @playtalkread