Do you look after a relative or friend (without payment) who needs help because of disability, illness, addiction or age? Then you are a Carer.
In the UK there are over 7 million people who care for a relative, friend or partner, or for a child with a disability; most Carers are over 18 but you may be a Young Carer under 18 looking for support. The care you provide could be practical, emotional or physical, from a few hours a week to over 100 hours a week. Whatever the level of care you currently provide, it is important to know where to go to access the support, information and advice that will help you in your caring role.
Every year significant numbers of Carers feel unable to carry on caring because of illness or injury, this can result in the person you care for going into long term care prematurely. In many cases, this can be prevented with better access to information and guidance about services or support you may be entitled to.
It is important that you also take care of yourself. Your GP practice will have a register of Carers, so make sure your doctor and other healthcare professionals are aware of your caring responsibilities. Ask about the support your GP can offer you as a Carer e.g. health checks, the flu jab and referral to support services.
If you are employed and juggling your caring responsibilities with work, you may want to check with your employer about flexible working options. If you are working and you are considering leaving work to care, it is advisable to get advice before doing so. You can also get a benefit check to see if there is extra money you can claim. You may also be eligible for a Carers Assessment, or a Young Carers Assessment, from statutory agencies. The assessment will look at your needs and take into account the care that you provide, alongside your other responsibilities and your life outside of your caring role. For more information click here.
The Wirral Carers team has a range of services and resources available to support you:
Carers Helpline - The Carers Helpline is available Monday to Friday 9am until 4pm. Call 0151 670 0777 and our friendly staff will listen to your concerns and give you advice, support and information on what you may be able to do. There is an answerphone facility for when we are busy and evenings/weekends
Carers Register - Providing regular information that may help with their caring responsibilities.
Carers Grant– funding to access health and wellbeing activities to help their caring role including the option of a FREE 12-month Leisure pass on Wirral. This is for over 18 caring for someone over 18. (subject to criteria)
Carer Connectors Support - offering advice, information and support helping to build a carer friendly community on a one to one basis.
Carers Emergency Contact Service- peace of mind for Carers in the event of an emergency.
Counselling Service - open to all adult Carers and former Carers who would like to speak confidentially about their situation.
Carers Employment Support - offering advice, information and support with employment / training opportunities.
Carers Information& Awareness Events – locally delivered events informing and offering support for those parent carers/ young carers transitioning to adult services.
Carers Website - for more information and useful links www.wirralcarers.co.uk
Facilitate and develop Carers support groups/forums - assist in the planning and development of local strategies/ services ensuring Carers are included