It’ll be lonely this Christmas for carers

Christmas is just around the corner – a time for family and togetherness – but I’d like to ask your readers to think about those for whom Christmas will be no different to any other time of year and a cause of nothing but isolation, stress and worry.

Millions of people in the UK are disabled or care for a disabled loved one. In many cases they are bound together 24/7 through the need to give and receive care and are reliant on the support of others to have even the most basic quality of life.

I work for Revitalise, a wonderful charity that provides much-needed respite holidays for disabled people and carers. But, at this special time of year, we wanted to find out about the reality of life for carers and how the responsibility of care is taking a huge emotional and physical toll.

Shockingly, 4 in 10 carers told us that this Christmas they will be lonely. Worse still, two thirds said they are always tired, feel mentally exhausted and have trouble sleeping. For them, having a relaxing Christmas is simply not an option.

Regular respite is absolutely vital is sustaining a healthy relationship between carers and those they care for, but respite opportunities are all too rare. We found that an astonishing 9 out 10 carers are not able to gain access to proper breaks away from caring. It’s been estimated that unpaid carers save the UK economy around £132 billion each year. Imagine the cost to society if we just stand by and let carers break down under the incessant strain.

Revitalise already enhance the lives of thousands of disabled people and carers each year, but there are countless thousands more in need of support. Would your readers like to help Revitalise support more carers? If so, please help us by donating to our Christmas Fundraising Appeal. We promise that every penny you give will make a difference. To find out how, visit www.revitalise.org.uk/christmas-campaign or call 0303 303 0147.

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