Advice for carers
Carers Rights Day: 25 November, 2016
The theme for 2016 is "Missing out? Know your rights"; having the right information at the right time can make a huge difference when you are looking after someone.
Organisations up and down the country take part in Carers Rights Day, to reach out to the UK’s 6.5 million carers with information, advice and support, including us. We don’t want you to miss out on the financial and practical support you may be entitled to, so read through our information or download Carers UK’s guide to carers’ rights and benefits, Looking after someone (link opens in new window), which is published every year. It provides a comprehensive guide on what support carers are entitled to. You can also order a free copy from Carers UK by calling 0800 808 7777 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The guide’s top three tips are:
- get a benefits check
- find out about practical support (including carer’s assessment)
- connect with other carers (link opens in new window)
What makes you a carer?
A carer is someone who looks after a partner, relative or friend to help them to stay living at home.
As a carer you could get help so that you can look after your own wellbeing while caring for someone else.
It’s important to think about how the care and support you provide affects your wellbeing and what could make things better for you and the person you look after.
In partnership with NHS Bedfordshire and other agencies, we have developed a Carers Pack (link opens in new window) which provides you with information regarding all aspects of being a carer.
Local help and support
Carers in Bedfordshire (link opens in new window) is a registered charity which works with Central Bedfordshire Council to help carers. They offer assistance such as practical help, advice, support groups, befriending services, benefits advice, training, advocacy, support and information.
Carers Cafes (link opens in new window) are monthly drop-in sessions in community venues where you can meet new people and socialise with other carers. For venues dates and times.
Carers Lounge (link opens in new window) - Carers in Bedfordshire has two Carers Lounges based in Bedford Hospital, on the ground floor in South Wing and Luton & Dunstable Hospital in St Mary’s Wing. You will be able to meet carer support workers and on different days there will be staff that specialise in areas of supporting carers. They are there to offer advice, support and information to visiting carers of all ages and to identify new carers. No appointment or referral is needed.
Village Care and Good Neighbour Schemes
Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity run Good Neighbour and Village Care Schemes (link opens in new window) that provide easy access to help and support, acting as a safety net for everyone in a town or village, regardless of age. They can help to lessen the impact on a community caused by the decline in services and facilities such as public transport, shops, Post Offices, doctors' surgeries and pubs. They can also help to reduce feelings of isolation and exclusion experienced by some individuals if families and friends move away in the search for employment, education or affordable housing.
Having access to the services of a care scheme can extend the length of time people are able to remain living independently in their own home.
Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity also provide Village Agents (link opens in new window) who can provide face to face information and support to enable individuals to make informed choices about their future needs.
Support for carers of someone with dementia
For more information on dementia, visit our dementia page.
The Alzheimer’s Society (link opens in new window) offers lots of useful advice on their website as well as courses on understanding dementia, a befriending service to reduce isolation, support groups and CRiP (Carer’s information and support programme).
Carers Trust (link opens in new window) can help you to maintain your own health and wellbeing, make your needs and voice heard and provide someone to talk to. They also run play and support schemes for young carers.
Carers UK (link opens in new window) provides expert telephone advice and support services, champions your rights and helps you find new ways to manage.
Care for carers (link opens in new window) provides information about benefits, health trainer services, anti-bullying websites and adult education.
Carers Direct Helpline (link opens in new window) - you can call the Carers Direct helpline if you need help with your caring role and want to talk to someone about what options are available to you.
NHS Choices guide to care and support (link opens in new window) has a guide for carers about the carers assessment and what care and support services you might get.
Which: helping you understand care choices (link opens in new window) offers free, independent and practical advice about caring for older people across the UK, including a care advice tool.