Being a caregiver can be very rewarding, however, it is important for caregivers to look after their own needs and receive caregiver support. There are a range of resources available to assist with the emotional, physical and financial needs of caregivers. Taking advantage of these can keep you healthy and well so you can do your best for the person in your care.
Here are some of the resources available to provide caregiver support.
If you privately care for someone the you are entitled to a Caregiver’s Assessment. Your local council’s social services department can provide this assessment. The assessment will help establish what you need in order to continue to fulfil your role as carer without compromising your own wellbeing.
Contact your local council to set up your Caregiver’s assessment.
Financial Support for Caregivers
Being an informal carer can seriously affect your financial stability. Caring often comes with costs and can seriously impact your working life. However, your financial future should not be adversely affected by your generous choice to become a caregiver. This is why there are financial schemes in place that can help you remain financially secure as well as looking after your future finances by protecting your state pension.
There are three main forms of financial assistance available for informal, unpaid caregivers such as family and friends who provide care.
If you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week you should be eligible for Carer’s Allowance. You can make a claim on the GOV.UK website or by telephone.
Carer’s Personal Budget
If you have had a Carer’s Assessment with your local council, you may be eligible or a carer’s Personal Budget. This is usually a yearly lump sum payment to cover the costs and expenses involved in your caring role. You should speak to your local council’s social services department to find out if you are eligible.
You are entitled to Carer’s Credit if you care for someone for more than 20 hours per week . This credit helps to maintain your National Insurance contributions and protect your eligibility to state pension on retirement. Carer’s Credit will be applied automatically if you receive a carer’s Allowance.
Equipment and Supplies
If you require specific equipment or supplies to properly take care of someone these may be available to you free of charge through the NHS. You can get equipment such as raised toilet seats, handrails and grabrails fitted as well as various gadgets to help with cooking, eating and dressing.
If you need adaptations made to the home of the person you care for this can be done via your local council. You can call your local council to get a free home assessment. Adaptations available include installing a bath lift or walk-in shower, putting in an outdoor ramp or fitting a stairlift.
Being a caregiver is a rewarding job, but it isn’t easy. If for any reason you need a break from caring your can access respite services. There are three main types support you can receive to provide you with some respite from caring.
- Residential short breaks
- Care in the home
- Day care.
How you access this support depends on where you live. Respite care may be provided as a result of your Carer’s Assessment or it may require a Needs Assessment for the person you are looking after. The assessment and provision of care will be undertaken by your local council. You may be able to get financial support to pay for the care, but this is means tested so will depend on the financial situation of the person you are caring for.
As a carer, you are doing an important job and making a valuable contribution to society. This is why there are resources available both from the government and elsewhere, to help you. Being a carer should not come at the expense of your own health, wellbeing or financial stability.