Overcoming loneliness for Worcestershire Carers Event -  24th August 2017

Carers from all over Worcestershire came together this week to share their stories and ways of coping with the impact of loneliness on their lives. As part of Worcestershire Association of Carers 20th Anniversary celebration events, Worcestershire Health and Care Trust Older Adult Mental Health Inpatient Service teamed up with the Association of Carers to deliver a Peer to Peer Support and Loneliness event, recognising the impact caring can have on a persons health and wellbeing.  They were joined by Reconnections (Age UK), Contact the Elderly, and the Alzheimer's Society.

A recent report has found that loneliness is as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and is more damaging for health than obesity (Age UK).  The impact of loneliness is gaining more recognition through campaigns such as Jo Cox's End Loneliness Campaign and Age UK ' s Reconnections project.  Particular groups including older people and carers, can be more vulnerable to loneliness due to challenges such as poorer health, financial restraints, and diminished social networks.  There are an estimated 65, 000 carers within Worcestershire. Eight out of 10 carers report that they have felt lonely or socially isolated as part of their caring role, while almost half of carers do not have enough time to engage in their own social activities.

Dr Natasha Lord, Clinical Psychologist for the Health and Care Trust said it was great to come together in partnership with local organisations to recognise and share ways of coping as well as highlighting local support on offer. Carers shared with each other as well as providing feedback to services about how we can better meet the needs of our community.

IN photo (left to right)

Kim Terry, Team Leader, Worcestershire Association of Carers

David Bartley, Meadow Ward Deputy Ward Manager, Worcestershire Health and Care Trust

Dr Natasha Lord, Clinical Psychologist, Worcestershire Health and Care Trust

Paul Stokes, Carer Link, Worcestershire Health and Care Trust

Michelle Clarke, Director of Nursing, Worcestershire Health and Care Trust