(ABOVE: Hatfield mother Ann Griffin cares for two of her four sons who have autism and ADHD)
Nine in ten unpaid carers in Hertfordshire are suffering from stress and anxiety according to a new report...
JACKfm has put the concerns of the carers we've spoken with, to Hertforshire County Council. They've released a statment:
A survey carried out by Hertford based charity Carers in Herts
has revealed most of the county's estimated 138,000 carers aren't sleeping properly either.
Ann Griffin is a Hatfield mother of four, and carer of two sons with autism and ADHD. She told JACKfm: "I know I'm going to be their carer for the rest of my life, not the rest of their life, the rest of my life.
"Thinking about that leads to difficulty because, what happens to them when I'm not here anymore?"
'In Sickness And In Health' survey key facts:
- 88% of Hertfordshire carers suffer from stress and anxiety
- 63% of Hertfordshire carers suffer from disturbed nights
- 47% of Hertfordshire carers suffer from depression
- 14% of Hertfordshire carers reported actual physical injury/assault or threat of it.
Carers in Herts claim it's likely there are thousands more carers in Hertfordshire than figures suggest, because many people don't realise that is what they are.
The charity, which was founded in 1995, has staff and volunteers who work with and for carers one-to-one and in groups, providing them with information, problem solving and support.
According to the charity if the county's unpaid carers were paid for the work that they do, it would cost the state £2.1billion.
Ann said: "I don't think that society recognises the role that carers play. If you're fortunate to be able to claim carers allownance you get something like £50 a week. That's £7 a day to work 24 hours a day.
"Every now and again it gets to you, and I wonder, why can't I do the things that my friends are doing? I look on Facebook and I see people do this, that and the other, and I think to myself, that's not my life."
BELOW: Click on the play button to hear Ann's story...
Hertfordshire's carers have been reacting to the shocking figures JACKfm reported on earlier this morning. They're calling for more support from local authorities and central government, who they're hoping will provide easier and more routine access to respite and other support to help them cope with the demands of their responsibilities.
Julie Tappenden, from Baldock, was an unpaid carer for her mother and her father. She told JACKfm: "It's mentally very tiring because you're on the go 24/7.
"You don't have any respite, any backup. Things that you once took for granted, you can't anymore.
"When I had the opportunity of a break, I felt good that I had respite but I felt guilty that I had put mum in a home for a week. It does recharge your battery though, but you are left feeling guilty for taking that time for yourself."
(BELOW: Julie Tappenden, from Baldock, was an unpaid carer for her mother and her father)
"The county council is committed to supporting carers in Hertfordshire and we really value the huge contribution they make.
We support carers in a number of ways to help tackle the causes of stress.
We offer respite care and help to match volunteers to people needing a break from their full-time caring responsibilities.
We also work in partnership with local charity Carers in Herts; which offers a package of services to help carers and we support HertsHelp
, a network of organisations which work together to provide practical advice, guidance and information."
for more information on the groups and organisations that may be able to help you.
You can call Herts Help on 0300 123 4044
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