The new Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 came in to force on the 1st April 2018 instilling optimism that the rights of carers are further recognised and reinforced. Government statistics identify there are in the region of 788,000 unpaid carers in Scotland. In reality this figure could be greater as there are many unpaid carers who do not see themselves as carers and as a result do not register with organisations.
The Carers (Scotland) Act identifies the duty of local authorities in supporting carers and ensuring more consistent and better support is available, promoting health and wellbeing. The introduction of Adult Carer Support Plans will help to identify carer’s needs and provide person centred support to help cope in times of difficulty. The Act also identifies the responsibility of local authorities to provide an information and advice service specifically for carers, that is appropriate to their needs, which will include: carer’s rights, income maximisation, emergency and future care planning along with advocacy.
The Act has the potential to play a fundamental role in improving quality of life by providing the opportunity to allow carers to maintain a life outside of their caring role. The introduction will ensure unpaid carers are recognised and supported for the invaluable role they play.
It is imperative that people are aware of the Act, as for many carers, life can be very difficult, and at times it may be a struggle just to get through the day. For many carers they are unaware of their rights or the legislation that has the potential to impact their lives in positive ways.
So for those who do not see themselves as carers, maybe it is time to take note and consider finding out about the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016, it may well help you to maintain your caring role for longer.
It would be great to hear your views on the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 and, for carers who it should benefit, whether you were aware of the new legislation.
If you wish to find out more please visit the Scottish Government website.