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Responding to the ITV documentary ‘Caring for Derek’, Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:

23 February 2022

‘Caring for Derek’ an hour-long film and follow-up to last year’s ‘Finding Derek’ was aired on ITV on 22 February. It followed TV presenter and journalist Kate Garraway and her family after her husband Derek returned home having spent more than a year in hospital after contracting COVID.

Responding to the ITV documentary ‘Caring for Derek’, Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:

“We thank Kate for powerfully shining a light on the huge pressures experienced by millions of carers like her across the UK caring right now for partners and family members.

“Caring is an extremely important part of our lives and holds families together. Most of us will become unpaid carers at some point for a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill.

“Every day in the UK, 6000 more people become carers. That’s over 2 million of us every year. Many don’t know where to get help or support and it can be a very difficult and emotional experience. It can feel lonely, impacting on every aspect of life. 8 out of 10 carers have told us that they have felt lonely or socially isolated.

“We are seeing unprecedented levels of queries from carers at the moment, because of the challenges of juggling work and care, finances getting tougher and care being under extreme pressure – as well as the pressures of the pandemic.  Programmes like ‘Caring for Derek’ are very important in raising awareness, make people think about their own situation and might help more start looking for help and identifying themselves as an unpaid carer.

“On top of that, as Kate also showed, navigating the social care system can be overwhelming. Chronically underfunded, many carers feel they cannot get the support they need and have no alternative but to give up work to care. Carer’s Allowance is the main carer’s benefit and at just £67.60 a week is the lowest benefit of its kind.

“Carers UK has called upon Government for an uplift and overhaul of carers’ benefits and has called on Government to increase the amount of social care funding, as what has already been announced as part of social care reform falls short of what families need now.

“As Kate illustrates in such an honest way, looking after someone can be tough, but carers should know they’re not on their own. Carers UK is here to listen, to share expert information and advice depending on each situation, to support carers in finding new ways to manage at home and at work. ”

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