Carers Week

Recognising mums, dads, sisters, brothers and other family members and friends who are unpaid carers for children with brain injury and complex health needs.
Nathan

The Brain Injury Hub is using the opportunity of Carers Week to remind people that there is support for carers: financial support, practical support and support in the community.  It might not be a word they would use or would want used to describe themselves, as it’s something that they naturally and instinctively want to do for their child. But as an unpaid carer it’s important that they too get support and advice so that they can continue to look after their loved ones. Carers Week is an annual campaign highlighting the challenges carers face and recognising their contribution. Carers keeping yourselves healthy 
Chris and Rebekah on a family holiday to Italy
Rebekah's dad Chris said his work colleagues were a great support.
It’s vital that carers of children with brain injury are supported in keeping themselves healthy and that they address any health problems they may have. For instance, the dad of Geraint who sustained a brain injury, found that his energy was waning and he had back problems due to making sure Geraint was being moved throughout the night to prevent pressure sores.  (Read their story here.) It’s so important then that a carer’s GP should be made aware by the person that they are a carer so that they can support and advise them on their own health. The NHS has information on Caring for children with complex needs and information on benefits for carers. For children who are helping to care for a brother or sister there is information on young carers' rights. Making employers aware  Many of the parents and families we talk to who care for children following a brain injury worry about how their work will be affected. Some of the carers who have shared their story on the Brain Injury Hub have said the biggest support for them was the understanding of employers; in that they respected family commitments, were flexible with working hours and promoted Carer Friendly Policies. This in turn encourages colleagues to be supportive and have more understanding. Chris’ daughter Rebekah needed care after suffering a brain tumour. He told us that the support offered by work colleagues made his transition back to work much easier, whilst he was still caring for his daughter (Chris wrote a blog two years after the Rebekah's diagnosis while Rebekah shared her story five years' later). Accepting help when it's needed "I regret now not letting people help more, when I had tons of support that was offered. Accept all help, do not be prideful." From Kellie, the mum of Hayley who suffered a severe brain injury following an accident. Read their story here. Further advice is available from the NHS Carers Direct helpline.
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