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It is a sad fact of life that many carers often go unpaid or unable to access their rights.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 11th June 2022, 3:00 pm

As the MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries Finlay Carson has heard these stories too many times in the past.

Now the local MSP has praised Age Scotland who have launched a campaign to help people understand and realise their rights under the Carers Act.

Mr Carson said: “The move is part of Carers Week and something I fully support and am more than delighted to raise awareness of this campaign.

“Age Scotland is running free training courses, information guides and a helpline designed to support carers to better understand and realise their rights.

The MSP pointed out that The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 sets out a range of rights for carers, such as support from their local authority or health board.

He continued: “It provides information, advice, finances, training or involvement in decisions such as hospital discharge planning.

“Older carers could have an “underlying entitlement” to Carers Allowance which could increase their Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction.

“Unfortunately, the evidence suggests many unpaid carers are not aware of these rights or how to make them a reality.

At Age Scotland, the charity works and hears from people in this position. They just think they are decent people who are helping out.

It is estimated there are more than one million unpaid carers in Scotland doing an immeasurable amount of work, and who are at the forefront of the pressures of this pandemic.

Mr Carson added: “Indeed it is more important than ever that they are aware of their rights and supported to realise them.

“Age Scotland believe also there are between 60,000 and 70,000 unpaid carers of people living with dementia in Scotland, but there is no official figure available, unlike in England.

“It would be helpful if the Scottish Government were able to produce this and it is something I will be pressing ministers on this in the coming weeks.”