Being a Carer
When you become a carer or your caring situation changes, you may find that your life changes in all sorts of ways. It could affect your work, social and home life and finances.
What are my rights as a carer?
The most important right you have as a carer is to be listened to and to have your views taken into account. This means:
- you should be involved in planning the services that could be provided for the person you care for; and
- you should be asked if you are able and willing to provide care for that person.
If you are providing substantial and regular care you are entitled to a carer’s assessment.
The Carer Assessment will look at:
- how the caring role affects your life; and
- what support you need as a carer.
Speak to your Co-ordinator for Carers for further details or your local Social Work Services listed in Useful Contacts.
Many GP surgeries have set up a Carers Register to enable carers to access further support. Please contact your GP surgery for flu vaccinations, health checks and further information.
What practical help is there for me?
1. Carers Organisations
There are various organisations which can offer:
- contact with other carers.
They can also direct you to relevant training courses which cover different issues around caring. See our useful contacts page for details.
2. Getting a break
Breaks from caring are often referred to as respite. They may last a few hours, a few days or even a few weeks. Some of the different ways you can receive a break from caring are described below:
- Home Based Services involve someone coming out to your home to support the person you care for.
- Day Care Services may be available at Day Centres or Day Hospitals depending on a person’s illness or disability.
- Residential/Nursing Care can take the form of the person you care for going into a care home while you have a longer break.
Other types of breaks can be organised through your local Social Work office. As with the other services mentioned there may be costs involved in using “respite services”.
What if I need someone to talk to?
As well as practical support you may find that you need to be able to talk to someone about how you feel. Support is available from your local carer’s organisation.