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Carers Week 2024

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Carers Week 2024

Mon 10 Jun 2024

Headway is delighted to join Carers UK and other national charities to celebrate Carers Week.

This year, Carers Week 2024 takes place Monday 10th June – Sunday 16th June. This year’s theme is ‘Putting Carers on the Map’. It’s an opportunity for people to celebrate carers – people who mean the world to those they support.

A carer is anyone who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of an illness or disability and is not paid for doing so.

After a brain injury, it is often spouses/partners and other family members who take on caring roles to help the brain injury survivor with activities such as washing or dressing, staying safe, managing day-to-day activities and feeling emotionally supported.

Carers often have to make considerable changes to the way they live, such as spending less time with friends or reducing working hours. The changes can be difficult to adjust to.

In our recent campaign, A Life Re-written, Headway discovered that 67% of carers surveyed have had to change their life goals because of brain injury. You can find out more about our survey here.

The campaign also told the story of Liz and Justina, a mother and daughter team whose roles changed to survivor and carer when Liz had a stroke at 37.

Your views – what my carer means to me

We asked brain injury survivors from Headway groups and branches across the UK “What does your carer mean to you?” You can read some of the heartfelt responses below.

“Mum and Dad are there for me a lot and my sons keep me company and that’s all I need.” – John

“Wife and my sons, I wouldn’t have got where I am today without their support.” – Daniel

“My family and friends have been with me every step in my recovery and give me a focus and meaning to my life.” – Kenneth

“My family have supported me through all I have gone through and I could not have done it without their support.” – Robin

“Past 4 years my family have supported me and I feel I wouldn’t be here without them.” – Cameron

“My family, especially my amazing sisters have been such a support to me and given me strength and encouragement to keep pushing on through to everything I have been through over the past couple of years.” – Les

“Without the support of my family I am sure I would not have made it to today. They have supported me through the unknown and we have changed and adapted together. A never-ending challenge I’m glad I’m not facing alone.” – Helen

“Without my wife and family’s support I’d be lost. My wife deals with all financial and official business and let’s me concentrate on things that I can still do. I need my wife and other family members to tell me to slow down and rest when it is needed. So their support is vital.” – Quincy

“My husband of 1 year is my rock, the reason to face my everyday challenges. Sometimes he finds it difficult to understand my mood swings, but we both just get on with it. God knows what would have happened if we didn’t have Headway. Dennis has had to learn new skills as well as myself. He is always there for me. I couldn’t be without him.” – Lesley

Carers Week competition

In order to highlight the invaluable contributions of carers across the UK Headway – the brain injury association hosted a competition, inviting people with an acquired brain injury to write a poem, haiku or ditty that demonstrates their appreciation of their carers, whilst celebrating their positive impact on their lives. We also welcomed entries from carers writing about their own experiences.

We know that caring for someone can be very challenging. We want our carers to know that their individual worth is recognised, very much valued and that they are not alone.

Congratulations to our winners

1st place - Nicky Webber

2nd place - Diane Wilson

3rd place - Louise Burrows

Thank you to our judges, Stef Harvey, Jim McGregor, and Jean Roberts, and to Fletchers Solicitors who generously provided prizes for all three winners.

Support for carers of brain injury survivors

If you are caring for someone who has a brain injury, Headway can help.

Publications

Our booklet Caring for someone with a brain injury has lots of useful information. You may also find other publications of interest in our Information library.

The Headway helpline

The Headway helpline is available to anyone affected by brain injury, and the nurse-led team have a wealth of information available to support carers.

HealthUnlocked

If you'd prefer more remote support, the Headway HealthUnlocked community is a peer-to-peer support network where carers and individuals living with brain injury can post blogs, ask questions, and give and receive support from others who understand what they're going through.

Carer support groups

Often the best source of support is other carers in a similar situation to yourself. Many of Headway's Groups and Branches provide support group meetings and one-to-one support for carers. These services are particularly helpful as they provide peer support from others in similar situations. Find out more here.

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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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