Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Council looks after staff who care

Carmarthenshire County Council staff who care for friends or family are being offered support to cope better with their duties.

There are approximately 22,000 unpaid carers across the county – and inevitably some of them work for the 9,000-strong council workforce.

Now the authority’s occupational health teams have set up a ‘Looking After Me’ course to help carers take more control of their situation and make a difference to the quality of their lives.

Staff are being allowed paid time off work to attend the course, as part of the council’s commitment to looking after its workforce.

The six-week course, which starts at Llanelli’s Antioch Centre on October 8, looks at relaxation techniques, exercise, healthy eating and coping with depression.

It also looks at dealing with tiredness, advises on the best ways of communicating with family, friends and professionals, and planning for the future.

The course is open to staff who care for someone living with a long term illness or disability, and it is being led by trained tutors who themselves have experience of caring for a relative.

It is hoped the course will help staff carers feel more in control of their lives and help them to manage their caring situation more effectively.

Occupational health co-ordinator Fran Wynne said: “We recommend this is as an excellent, free supportive programme for our employees. We work closely with individuals to help reduce sickness absence, and this programme should prove beneficial to those who suffer the demands of caring for someone who is ill or disabled.”
Executive Board Member for Health and Social Care, Cllr Pat Jones, added: “An organisation as large and diverse as a local authority relies on a strong and healthy workforce to keep things ticking.

“Caring for a relative or friend can be extremely demanding, both physically and mentally, and doing this unpaid work on top of a job can often lead to ill-health.

“We mustn’t forget that many people become carers not out of choice, but necessity, and our occupational health team recognises the need to provide support for members of staff who find themselves in this position.”

Staff who think they may be eligible to join the course are encouraged to speak to their line managers and contact the Occupational Health Unit on 01267 246060.


Post a Comment

| Home | Main Site | About Us | Contact Us | Follow us on Twitter | Join us on Facebook |