Every day 6,000 people become carers, looking after family or friends who are older, disabled or seriously ill. Many people see their caring role as part of their family relationship and do not see themselves as a 'carer' until they reach crisis point, missing out on the information and advice that is available.
For many people, caring is a rewarding and positive experience, but for others, caring without the right help and support can feel overwhelming. Caring can trigger feelings of loneliness and frustration and many people often find their physical and emotional health, work or finances are affected, particularly the longer they are in a caring role.
Carers do an amazing job and have the right to be supported. You do not have to wait until you are struggling or there is a crisis before you ask for support. The earlier you get help, the more difference it can make.
The Care Act 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014 strengthen the rights and recognition of carers in the social care system, and will both came into effect in April 2015 when carers may be able to get more help so that they can carry on caring and look after their own wellbeing. Carers may be eligible for support, such as a direct payment to spend on the things that make caring easier or practical support.
The Act gives local authorities a responsibility to assess a carer’s needs for support, where the carer appears to have such needs, regardless of their income and finances or their level of need. This replaces the existing law, which says that the carer must be providing “a substantial amount of care on a regular basis” in order to qualify for an assessment. This will mean more carers are able to have an assessment, comparable to the right of the people they care for. Read more >>
A Carers Assessment
A Carer’s Assessment is the opportunity for you to talk to someone about the impact that caring has on your life. This can take place over the telephone, in a community venue or in your home. The assessment looks at how caring affects your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and whether you are able and willing to carry on caring. It’s a chance to focus on you, your strength, and your needs.
The benefit of having an assessment is that it will identify care and support needs and provide information and advice about services aimed at meeting those needs. Click on the area that the person you care for lives in, to find out more about how to have a carers assessments:
It’s important to get the right information quickly. This website is full of useful information which may help you with your caring role. By clicking on the area in which you live you will also find out information about specific local services and activities including groups and events Carers FIRST are running.
Often caring responsibilities mean that your finances are hit. The benefits system is complicated, with each benefit having its own set of rules. Working out what benefits you might be entitled to can feel like a battle. Having the right information and support can make a huge difference. Find out more >>
Looking After Yourself
It is important that you take care of your own health, even if you are busy looking after someone else's health. Being healthy is not only important for you, but it also helps the person you look after too. Find out more >>
Rights at Work
1 in 9 workers will combine working with caring for a family member, partner, friend or neighbour. Juggling the demands of caring for someone and work can be challenging. Carers have the right to request flexible working and employers have a duty to consider their request. Find out more >>
The guide outlines your rights as
a carer and gives an overview of the practical and financial support available.
The guide includes:
- A Carer’s Guide: an illustrated introduction to the challenges of caring, from making difficult decisions to looking after your health and wellbeing.
- Benefits: an overview of which benefits you or the person you care for may be entitled to and information about how to get a benefits check.
- Other financial help: including help with council tax, fuel costs, pensions and health costs.
- Practical help: including community care assessment, carer's assessment and direct payments.
- Technology: information about health and care technology that could make life easier for you and the person you care for.
- Your workplace: your rights at work, from flexible working and parental leave to protection from discrimination.
- Other help: how to find other help nationally and in your local community.
You can download a copy here
Carers can get a free
printed copy of the Carers UK Looking after someone guide by contacting the Carers UK Adviceline