Some six million people in the UK are unpaid workers, and it is thought that around a sixth of them have either given up work or gone part-time to care for a friend, partner or relative who is either elderly or has a disability.
It is reckoned that, in all, they save the UK nearly £120bn a year by offering care that the NHS and social services would otherwise have to pay for.
It’s not always an easy journey for those who care. Indeed, a survey carried out last year for Carers’ Week, a collective of eight organisations including Age UK, Carers UK and Macmillan Cancer Support, found that more than 80 per cent of carers had suffered physical health problems, while over a third (36%) reported issues such as insomnia and back pain during their time as a carer.
At the same time, more than three quarters also claimed that caring had a negative impact on their mental health. Carers’ Week is a yearly event aimed at celebrating carers across the UK and the contribution they make to their families and communities. The profile of carers who work for no monetary reward is raised thanks to a sustained media campaign across the regional and national press.
Organisations across the country are urged to participate with their own events and information sessions, and by recognising the carers they either support or work with.
Stair lifts are one option which can give great peace of mind, both to those being looked after, and their carers. And so stair lifts could do a lot to reduce the worry levels of injuries among carers, who already face fairly high stress levels.
After all, those who are paid to work as carers undergo rigorous manual handling training so that they know how to lift and move a patient safely without injuring either themselves or the person they are looking after. An unpaid carer probably doesn’t have the benefit of that specialist training.
Today’s stair lifts provide very high levels of safety and reliability. With their modern functionality, incorporating features such as slimline, unobtrusive design and remote controls (which can be operated both by the carer and the person they are caring for), these devices are more efficient than they have ever been.
And a stair lift is, genuinely, a proven alternative to lifting and carrying those who are not able to move around unaided. So if you or someone you know are looking after a person who can’t manage stairs, it may well be time to make life loads easier by thinking about installing a stair lift.
The good news is that you may well be able to apply for and receive specialist equipment to adapt your home – either from your local authority for adaptations costing less than £1,000, or via the Disabled Facilities Grant system for more expensive items. You may need to have an assessment of your needs first. But it should be easy to find a stair lift to suit your needs, home and budget.