Brussels, October 6, 2020
Today, Eurocarers celebrates the first of its kind European Carers Day, to spotlight the invaluable role of informal carers and their need for support across Europe.
According to recent EU-funded research, informal carers across the EU provide over 80% of all care, with women providing approximately two-thirds of care. Carers often face social, professional, health and financial challenges that prevent them from reaching their full potential.
Without the efforts of informal carers, health and long-term care systems would simply not be sustainable
To meet the needs of informal carers, we need to take steps towards carer-friendly societies across Europe. To do this, Eurocarers has developed a 10-step strategy to help policy makers and other stakeholders in Europe who can help improve the lives of carers.
The 10 steps towards carer-friendly societies across Europe include:
Step 1: Define and acknowledge Carers
Step 2: Identify your Carers
Step 3: Assess the needs of your Carers
Step 4: Support multisectoral partnerships for integrated and community-based care services
Step 5: Facilitate Carers’ access to information and advice about care, caring and care-life balance
Step 6: Pay attention to Carers’ health and prevent negative health outcomes
Step 7: Give Carers a break
Step 8: Provide Carers with access to training and recognise their skills
Step 9: Prevent Carers’ poverty and allow them to maintain an active professional/educational life
Step 10: Adopt the Carers’ perspective in all relevant policies
“While some progress has been made, it is not enough or happening fast enough to ensure informal carers are fully supported across healthcare systems and social structures” said Stecy Yghemonos, Executive Director of Eurocarers. “At a time of global epidemic, raising awareness of the needs of informal carers is more important than ever to recognize their central role to the health and long term care systems, speed up consistent progress across countries and regions in Europe and protect carers’ health and well-being.”
Join the online conversation on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #CarersDay_EU and #WeAreCarers_EU.
For more information about European Carers Day, please visit, www.carersday.eu.
The European Carers Day campaign is led by Eurocarers and its members.
Eurocarers brings together carers’ organisations as well as relevant universities & research institutes – a unique combination that enables evidence-based advocacy. Our network works to ensure that care is valued and unpaid care is recognised as central to the sustainability of health and long-term care systems. We believe that carers’ know-how and needs are worth listening to and people should have the right to choose freely whether they want to be a carer, and to what extent they want to be involved in caring. Our aim is therefore to act as a voice for informal carers, irrespective of their age or the particular health need of the person they are caring for by: (1) Documenting and raising awareness about the significant contribution made by carers to health and social care systems and the economy as a whole, and of the need to safeguard this contribution; and (2) Ensuring that EU and national policies take account of carers, i.e. promote their social inclusion, the development of support services, enable them to remain active in paid employment and maintain a social life.