Support for carers
Do you care for someone?
Do you help to look after someone a few hours a week (or more) that rely on you for any of the following?
- emotional care and support
- medical care and support
- personal care
- or help with domestic tasks
Then you could be a carer and would possibly benefit from support. One in five people will become a carer at some point in their lives.
The level of caring can vary in its intensity, frequency and may fluctuate and can vary depending on each individual.
As a Carer you have the same rights to support as the people you care for. Adult carers can be supported and assessed under the Care Act 2014 and for Parent Carers also under the Children and Families Act 2014.
You can also be assessed and supported under children’s law If you are a young carer or parent carer.
National information, advice and guidance can be found at GOV.UK Care Act 2014 factsheet 8: the law for carers
If you are in need of help
Speak with our Carers Hub.
The Carers Hub provides information, advice and support on behalf of Worcestershire County Council you can visit their website Worcestershire Association of Carers or give them a call 0300 012 4272 (Monday to Friday 9am to 7pm, Saturday 9am to 12pm).
Please also take a read our Flu and COVID-19 guidance.
Adult Social Care Surveys
Read an overview and the results from the statutory adult social care surveys we conduct.
Your conversation with the Carers Hub
Having a conversation with ‘Carers Hub’ is an opportunity to talk about your needs and feelings as a carer. This will help us to better understand:
- how your caring role and responsibilities impacts on your life
- the support needed to help you to continue to provide care or to decide who should provide this if you are unable to continue or if it is not appropriate
- the impact your caring role is having on your own mental and physical health and wellbeing and family commitments as well as your work, education, and/or training needs
- if the person you support does not get any help from the council, you are still able to access support and advice as a carer
Support for you can take different formats such as:
- face-to-face contact (at home or in a community setting)
- peer-to-peer support (at home or in a community setting)
- on the telephone
- contact you with key information e.g., emails, mail out and information is available in newspaper, local radio stations and social media
- Worcestershire County Councils and the carers hub webpage
Local organisations in Worcestershire offering support if you are looking after someone can be found on the Here2Help Community Services Directory where you can find organisations closest to you by searching on your postcode.
Your support needs as a carer
Becoming a carer can often be overwhelming. You have extra responsibilities, yet you may not know where to turn for support.
If you would like information and support regarding:
- your own well-being,
- assessments you are entitled to
- how your support needs can be met
Please contact the Worcestershire Association of Carers on 0300 012 4272. They are available weekdays 9am to 7pm or Saturday 9am to 12midday.
The Care Act 2014 gives carers the same rights as the people they care for.
This includes a right to an assessment of the impact caring may be having on your ability to have a life of your own, on your physical and mental health and wellbeing and to ensure you are caring safely. Consideration will be given to contingency arrangements and future planning for the caring role you are providing. A plan to support the carer will be devised.
Carers assessments help identify if you have an eligible needs. This might include financial support such as direct payments that can be used to help you pay for things which have been agreed in your support plan. You may also want to consider someone speaking up for you (advocacy).
Carer's support plan
A carer's support plan is a plan of action for you, outlining what you can expect to happen following on from your carer's conversation with the Carers Hub. The plan will look at how support can be provided to ensure carers feel:
- recognised and valued
- a life of your own
- support to be mentally and physically well
- caring safely
The review offers an opportunity for you to consider whether your goals/outcomes and support identified during your carer's conversation and support plan are:
- still meeting your needs
- highlight any changes in circumstances
- ensuring that the caring role is sustainable, appropriate and the carers is still willing and able to continue caring
Reviews will be undertaken annually (as a minimum) and as and when requested or when there is a change in circumstance.
Looking after yourself
Tell your GP you are a carer as they will be able to provide advice, support and may also be able to tell you about services that can improve your caring situation.
Looking after yourself as a carer is important. Here are some useful links to find guidance and support.
Resources for you to read and use
- NHS England, Age UK and partners have produced a practical guide to healthy caring
- As an older carer you can download plans and resources on planning for the future from Together Matters.
Local Charities and Organisations
- Healthy Minds Worcestershire service can support carers with their wellbeing, mental health and strategies for coping with stress and anxiety.
- Worcestershire Association of Carers - Carer Support Groups
- The Bridge is a charity which offers a counselling service for carers for a small donation.
- British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
- Worcestershire's mental health relative and carers support group, Jigsaw
- Information and advice on a range of issues e.g., benefits (include disability benefits and carers allowance etc), debt, money management and energy bills, housing, pensions and cancer support and palliative, Citizens Advice and Money Advice Service
- Worcestershire's support service for carers of stroke survivors, Stroke Association
- National Autistic Society, Worcester branch.
- Local organisations offering guidance can be found on the Worcestershire Here2Help Community Services Directory under mental wellbeing or healthy lifestyles. You can find the organisations closest to you by searching on your postcode.
- Age UK dementia centres Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire | Our Services
- Redditch Carers helpline: Carers Careline – Supporting Carers in the Redditch area
- Support for young Carers and young adult carers: YSS
- Worcestershire Parent and Carers Community www.parentcarers.org.uk
- Healthwatch Worcestershire
- Herefordshire and Worcestershire Involvement Network (HWIN) Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG - Ways to get involved
- Carers Reference Group relating to the Integrated Care system firstname.lastname@example.org
- NW Autism Parents Support Group North Worcestershire Autism Support Group (Facebook support group)
National Charities and Organisations
- Age UK
- Carers UK
- Carers Trust
- Alzheimer’s Society
- Independent Age
- British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of health and social care in England
Financial advice and support
As an unpaid carer there may be some financial support that you are able to get for yourself.
- Carer's Allowance is a benefit paid by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
- Carer's Credit is not a payment of money, but instead it provides a credit to your national insurance record if you have had to work reduced hours because of your caring responsibilities.
- you may be able to get a Council Tax Reduction if you are on a low income. To apply for this, you would need to contact your local district council benefits department.
Other financial support that may be available to you
- GOV.UK to find out what benefits and allowances exist for carers, including carer's credit
- Carers UK for financial advice
- The GOV.UK Benefits calculator is an independent, free and anonymous benefits calculator to check what you could be entitled to.
- Carers Trust: Support for working carers
- Carers UK: Work and career
- GOV.UK: Time off for family and dependants
- Macmillan Cancer Support: Your rights at work
- As a carer you may be eligible to apply for a Carers Scholarship Fund to help you study for an Open University qualification for free
Local financial support
- Act on Energy provides free and impartial advice to householders and small businesses in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull and surrounding local areas.
- Worcestershire Advice Network is a partnership of local advice agencies. We are working together to provide free confidential, impartial and independent advice to help you with everyday problems such as benefits, housing and debt.
- Local organisations offering support on money matters can be found on the Money Matters on Here2Help Community Services Directory.
Taking a break and contingency planning
There is support available to help you to take a break fulfil your caring commitments. To do this we support carers with this is sometimes known as replacement care (sometimes referred to as ‘respite care’).
For more information about taking a break please visit our breaks from caring page
Planning for emergencies
If you’re a carer it’s important to plan what will happen if you’re unable to provide care.
What would happen if
- you had to go into hospital?
- if you an accident?
- were no longer able to care?
Planning in advance and talking about who could provide care on your behalf makes an emergency easier to deal with.
Visit Emergency planning | Worcestershire Association of Carers
Those at risk of going missing
Additionally, for carers of people who may be at risk of going missing (e.g. due to a mental health, learning disability or dementia), it is useful to collate key information about the person in advance.
This information can be given to the Police immediately in the event of them going missing, to save valuable time.
This is referred to as the Herbert Protocol | West Mercia Police
Someone to speak up for you (Advocacy)
If you find it difficult to understand or find it hard to speak up, there are people who can act as a spokesperson for you.
Carer awareness e-learning resources
We have e-learning courses to support you to understand:
- what a carer is
- the impacts this can have on the carer’s life
- the rights of carers
- what support is available
Each of our courses is around 30 minutes long.