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Welsh military veteran carers in Wales struggling without the help they need

10 November 2020

On Armistice Day the nation will pause to recognize and remember the service of military personnel past and present. Among the 210,000 veterans in Wales, many require care due to age, disability or illness or may be caring for a loved one themselves.

Recently released research by Carers Wales has found that unpaid carers across Wales have been left exhausted and socially isolated because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In these difficult times it is especially important that our nation’s veterans and their families are given advice and support to help them care.

Carers Wales worked with veterans and veterans’ charities to produce a guide that provides advice and guidance tailored to veterans and their families on how to access practical, financial and emotional support.

The guide includes information on identifying as a carer, managing the caring journey and accessing support. As well as practical information there are stories from real carers - both sharing their experiences of being a veteran carer, and family members caring for a veteran.

Caring within the veteran community can present additional challenges. The culture and experiences in the military mean people have coped with severe risks and are accustomed to self-sufficiency and sacrifice, often putting their own needs second.

There may also have been times in Service where personnel have been away from family and friends and lost touch with those who could help. It is therefore important for carers in the veteran community to know that they are not alone and that there is dedicated support to help them with their caring role. 

The guide is available to download online in English and Welsh at https://www.carersuk.org/wales/help-and-advice/factsheets-carers-wales/caring-guide-for-forces-veterans-wales,  contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephoning the office on 029 2081 1370.

Claire Morgan, Director of Carers Wales said:

“We know from our conversations with military veterans that this guide is much-needed. It is designed to acknowledge the unique challenges that veterans and their families face when caring. Having given so much for our country, we want veterans and their families to know about the range of help that they can access to make their lives easier”.

Linda Gardner who cares for her son Steve said ““We are both pleased to be featured in the guide to raise awareness amongst ex-servicemen/women of the amount of help and assistance there is out there for those who take on caring responsibilities for loved ones.  It is important that ex-servicemen/women know that they are not on their own and that they can reach out and ask for help and know what benefits and support they may be entitled to”

Tom Hall, Blesma Supporrt Officer said “Blesma, The Limbless Veterans in Wales are proud to promote this Carers Wales Veterans Guide.  Our ex-service men and women need as much information, guidance and support as they can get and the crucial part of their recovery and care is the family unit and those carers who put in hours of unseen support.  This will help our amputee members, those who have lost the use of their limbs and their families and carers to seek that much-needed advice and help when they so desperately need it.  The Veterans Guide is a positive step toward them going on to lead independent and fulfilling lives”

Heather Ferguson, Age Cymru said:

“Our research with more than 1000 older veterans across Wales highlighted the extent to which veterans provide care for a loved one. We are delighted to have worked with Carers Wales to produce this much needed guide that will support those who have served our country, and help them access the support they need”.

 

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