Carers Week has just come to an end and it made me think of the essential work of hundreds of thousands of carers across Scotland is recognised and publicised.
For most carers, the week was no different from any other week.
The support and practical help they provide for family members, friends and loved ones did not change.
However, as this year's Carers Week campaign focussed on the health of carers, their needs and the support they require has been brought into the spotlight.
It is vitally important that action is taken to improve carers' health and well-being.
I have seen the report In Sickness and in Health, published by a partnership of eight Carers Week charities, and it makes for sobering reading.
These charities found that more than eight in 10 carers have seen a negative impact on their physical health as a result of caring; almost nine in 10 reported that caring had taken a toll on their mental health and more than a third had suffered a physical injury as a result of caring.
Carers spend so much of their life selflessly looking after others that they often do not have time to visit a doctor if they feel unwell, therefore delaying their own treatment if they are ill or simply overlooking their own health.
They cannot take time out to recover from illnesses, as they are indispensable to the one they care for.
I spent a day shadowing a carer from Glasgow – a mother of two autistic boys.
It was an incredibly draining experience –the physical and mental exhaustion gave me a mere glimpse of a carer's world and that was for just14 hours.
Glasgow has more carers than any other region in Scotland, with around 66,000 people providing regular care for a relative, friend or partner.
The Scottish Government will invest £46million in support measures for unpaid carers over the next three years, which will help carers in Glasgow and across Scotland.
The number of weeks of respite care has also increased, allowing carers to have the breaks they need and most certainly deserve.
No carer I have ever met is looking for a pat on the back.
Most of them just see the job they are doing as the role of any mother, father, son or daughter.
However, without adequate support, carers can become isolated and vulnerable due to the demanding nature of their responsibilities.
Scotland's army of unpaid carers undertake such valuable work and we should do everything within our means to recognise this, and provide the support – be it financial, emotional or medical – that they require.