Penningtons Manches LLP is delighted to be supporting Carers Week 2014 (9-15th June), an annual awareness campaign celebrating and recognising the contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers who look after an ill, frail or disabled family member or friend. While most carers are adults, there are an estimated 175,000 carers in the UK under the age of 18 with around 13,000 of these children providing more than 50 hours of care per week.
The week long awareness campaign promotes the tireless effort of the unsung heroes among us who support the frail, the elderly and the disabled victims of illness and injury. Carers are often family members or friends who do so much for the vulnerable in society. They help with washing and dressing and day to day tasks such as shopping and cleaning as well as providing clinical and medical support such as helping with medications, changing dressings and even turning and moving in bed to help avoid pressure sore injuries. As well as fetching and carrying, carers often accompany their loved ones to hospital appointments as well as help with troublesome administration such as filling forms and making telephone calls. Above all, carers perform the vital role of making someone feel safe.
Although carers are entitled to claim a Carers Allowance of £61.35, this is restricted to carers over the age of 16 and only to those who provide at least 35 hours of care a week. Many carers undertake their roles completely unpaid and it is estimated that this saves the economy £119 billion a year.
However, carers sometimes need care and support too. Carers often overstretch themselves and this can have adverse effects on their own health – with fatigue or stress, or perhaps affect their regular work/study. To help carers plan and prepare, Carers Week has produced a helpful booklet entitled “Prepared to Care” which can be downloaded from the Carers Week website.
Often carers take on their responsibilities out of sheer necessity. Penningtons Manches represents many families including the most seriously injured victims of accidents and medical errors. The claims process provides compensation for those who have provided care gratuitously but, more importantly, provides sufficient funds to enable the establishment of a professional care package so that carers can return to being a husband or wife, parent or child and ensure a better quality of life for all concerned.
Warren Collins, partner in the clinical negligence and personal injury team at Penningtons Manches, has first-hand experience of caring for a loved one and truly understand his own clients’ needs, concerns and anxieties. Warren has taken this understanding one step further by becoming a trustee of Brain Injury is BIG, a national charity that supports the carers and loved ones of the most seriously brain injured accident and illness victims. Warren commented: “Carers Week is one of the most important awareness campaigns of the year and we value the support it provides”.