Support for carers – what are the options?

What is the available support for carers and where can you turn to for help if you are one yourself?

Support for carers

 

In the United Kingdom, it is estimated that approximately one in ten people are caring for someone else and that one in five of those are aged 50-64. As the rise in life expectancy continues to increase, it is estimated that by 2030 the number of carers will increase by around 60%. Whatever age you are, being a carer can be demanding both emotionally, physically and financially.

Carers support services

Caring for someone else can be an isolating experience but there are resources out there that provide dedicated support to carers in the UK. Online resources such as The Carers Trust and carers uk will provide the most up to date information and advice tailored to your situation.

Having the right information at the right time can make a big difference. Charities such as carers uk are there to provide expert information, advise you on your rights and support you and your life as a carer. They also share many personal stories from real life carers and provide the opportunity to chat with other carers in their online forums.

Taking a break

It’s no secret that caring for someone else is hard work and sometimes if you are a carer you will need a break. Caring for someone can be equal to a full-time job so taking even just a short break is essential for your own health and wellbeing.

Some of the options available include:

  • Getting advice / help from your local council who will have a social services department that may be able to arrange services to support you as a carer
  • Arranging care yourself either through employing a paid care worker to come in to your home or by paying for short-term residential care outside of the home
  • Support from friends and family who may be able to take over your caring duties for a short amount of time

More information on respite care can be found on carersuk.org/factsheets

Support for carers in work

For many carers in the UK, caring for a loved one has to be combined with earning a living. As well as your statutory rights in work, there may be other support available to help you juggle work and care.

  • Know your contractual rights as sometimes employers offer more generous benefits than you might expect
  • Find out whether there is a carers policy in your workplace as you may be entitled to time off to accompany the person you are looking after to medical appointments and/or carers’ leave.
  • Find out whether your employer runs a support group where you can talk to like-minded people who may be able to support you

Can technology help support carers?

In a word, yes. Technology can make life as a carer easier in many ways from providing online support groups where you can share experiences and knowledge, through to websites designed to equip you with the most up to date advice and support as a carer.

In addition to online services, there are many simple apps and devices available to help someone live independently or give you confidence that they will be ok when you can’t be around.

If you are caring for someone who has trouble controlling household appliances for example, there are plenty of solutions to help them. Using these devices can help them manage their home environment more easily using simple apps or technology such as voice activation.

Whatever your situation, it is important to know that there are lots of resources available both online and in real life to find support to keep you, and the person you are caring for healthy.





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