Carers - Further Information & Advice
Contact your local Carers Support Centre: The Carers Support Centre is a local charity (Bristol & South Glos) that can provide you with information, advice and advocacy on any aspect of caring and local support services that might be useful. They can put you in touch with other organisations that offer specialist support, for example support for carers of people with dementia, mental health problems, recovering from a stroke or dealing with drug and alcohol problems. The Carers Support Centre provides a range of services such as help with Carers assessments, volunteer sitting service, pamper days and subsidized carers holidays to give carers some time off from caring.
For information, advice or just an understanding, listening ear call the Carers Support Centre confidentially: CarersLine, tel. 0117 9652200 (Mon-Sat 10am-1pm)
Are you missing out on any money you are entitled to? The benefit system is complicated and finding out what you are entitled to can be difficult. For example many people who are eligible for Carers Allowance are not aware of it and miss out as a result. If you think you might be missing out or just want some advice on what you might be entitled to, please call the Carers Line. They will also be able to make sure the person you look after isn’t missing out on any of their entitlements as many carers pay out of their own pockets to pay their relatives’ bills.
Get the Carers Emergency Card: The Carers Emergency Card is a card you can carry that identifies you as a carer so that if you are taken seriously ill or you have an accident, anybody who finds you can ring the number on the card and tell the Emergency Communications Team that the person you care for needs help. This team can then provide up to 72 hours of care for that person in their own home. The only information held on the card other than the emergency telephone number is your carer PIN Number; the card carries no other personal information about you or the person or people you care for. If the person you care for pays Council Tax in Bristol, complete the Care Direct referral form
Tell social services you are a carer: You may also need practical support to care. This could be someone to sit with the person you care for while you go out, equipment to help you to lift or move the person you care for, or info about local carers support organisations. The best place to start looking for help is your local social services department. To get help, social services will usually assess the person you care for to see what help he/she might be eligible to receive. Carers who frequently provide help to the person they look after are also entitled to an assessment, called a Carers Assessment.
Services for the person you care for could include:
Services for carers could include:
For Bristol Childrens Services, contact 0117 903 6444
For independent advice about whether a carers assessment is right for you, call CarersLine.
Tell people at work you are a carer: Juggling work and looking after someone can be difficult. Having an understanding and knowledgeable employer or manager can make this easier. Telling work you are a carer is not always an easy step and you might feel it depends on whether your employer is likely to be supportive. However, there may be existing support you are not aware of, colleagues may be supportive or they may even be in a similar caring situation themselves. As a carer you have the legal right to request flexible working to help you balance caring and work responsibilities - your employer has to seriously consider this request. You also have the right to time off in an emergency to care for someone.You have the right to take a ‘reasonable’ amount of time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependent. This right also includes some protection from victimization and dismissal. It is at the employer’s discretion whether the leave is paid or unpaid.
Talk to someone about how being a carer affects you: Whether it’s a friend, family member, community worker, GP, nurse or other professional many carers find it useful to be able to ‘off load’ the stresses and strains that caring can bring. It is important to be aware of the affect that caring has on you and your own health. Talking about this can help in itself or be the first step to getting the support that you need. The Carers Support Centre provide free specialist counselling and telephone befriending services and carers’ groups that meet regularly across the city to share practical ideas, support and friendship. To find out more about these options call CarersLine.
Carers Direct - tel. 0300 123 1053