Am I a carer?
A carer is someone who provides help and support to a partner, child or relative who could not manage without their help. This could be due to age, a physical or mental illness or a disability. A young carer is a person under the age of 18 carrying out caring duties and assuming responsibility for another person, a role that would normally be taken by an adult. Anyone can take on the caring role at any time and often at a time when they least expect to.
Many carers do not think of themselves as a carer. They are often just doing what anyone else would do in their circumstances and and looking after their mother, husband, child or best friend.
If you are a carer, you have a right to see your own health looked after and the best way to cope with the physical and emotional ties often associated with caring, is to care for yourself too.
How can I get support?
Your doctor's surgery is a good place to get information and support. Your doctor may not know that you are a carer.
Argyle Medical Group have a protocol to identify carers and a form to complete to let the practice know about your caring responsibilities. We also have a consent form so that the person you are caring for can give us permission to discuss their medical condition with you, if necessary. You can ask at the reception for a consent form or print one directly from this link
Please hand your completed form into us and with your agreement, we will pass this form to the Social Services for you to receive a Carer's Assessment.
If you make an appointment for yourself with your doctor, ask for a little more time with the doctor to discuss your needs. Talk through any issues you have, especially if you are suffering fatigue, stress or anxiety.
If you find it difficult to leave the person you care for on their own, ask your doctor if a home visit is possible.
It may also be possible to have prescriptions delivered to your door. You can ask your local pharmacy about this.
Some useful links.
There is a wealth of information on NHS Choices about carers and caring. Below are some links into the site that we hope you will find useful.
- Caring for a parent
Watch this video on: caring for a parent at home
- Telling people
Caring responsibilities can make it difficult to maintain friendships or develop new ones. Telling your friends you're a carer is important so they understand and can support you.
- Taking a break
Caring for someone can be a full-time job, but it's essential that you take time out for yourself too. Read our guide to accessing breaks and respite.
- Housing and carers
Do you know your tenancy rights as a carer? Are you aware of all your care at home options? Do you need tips on moving someone around the home?
Carers support groups
Finance and Law
Help claiming benefits, looking after your bank balance and understanding the legal issues of caring.
- Benefits for carers
Directing carers to the benefits that can help them in their caring role
- Benefits for the person you care for
Advice and information on helping the person you look after get the benefits that they are entitled to
- Death and benefits
How your benefits maybe affected after the death of the person you look after and what happens to their benefits
- Managing someone's legal affairs
Advice for when carers find they have to take over the legal affairs of the person they are looking after
- Other benefits
Advice for carers and the people they are looking after on claiming a whole host of other benefits unrelated to their disability or caring
- Personal and household finance
Advice on keeping a tight rein on household and personal finance for carers
- Social fund
- Tax credits
Information on claiming tax credits and whether you might be eligible