Are you an unpaid carer for someone living in Kingston? 

Every day at Staywell we meet people who don’t think of themselves as ‘carers’. ‘I’m just looking after my Mum like she looked after me,’ says a daughter; ‘I just do the weekly shop and pop in every evening to make sure he’s ok,’ says a neighbour. People see themselves simply as a spouse, partner, family member or friend looking after someone they love. But if you provide regular unpaid help and support to a loved one who’s struggling to cope alone, then you’re a carer. 

Recognising your role as a carer is an important step towards ensuring you get the right help and support. If you’re 18 years of age or over and you provide care for someone who is also over 18, you can ask your local council to carry out an assessment of your needs to find out if you’re eligible for support. In Kingston these assessments are carried out by the voluntary sector organisation Kingston Carers Network. You can contact them direct to request an assessment or ask us to refer you. 

Unexpected 

You might not think you need this now, indeed you might feel grateful that you are part of a family and are able to provide support, but a Carer’s Assessment will also help you and your loved one plan for what might happen in the event of an emergency and also think through what the future might look like in the longer term, choose and make decisions accordingly.  

Sadly, we often see people who are on the cusp of crisis, or in crisis because the person they depend on has changed circumstances or is unwell. That’s why this spring we’re running a special campaign to encourage you and those you care for to seek the support you deserve, to make a plan for emergencies and for future wellbeing and safety. Staywell can support you with this, for example making sure you’re receiving any income you’re entitled to; helping you consider any adaptations or support you might need in your home; linking you with wellbeing resources and advising you on options for respite.  

It doesn’t matter how much care you provide or what your financial situation is. If your life is affected by your caring responsibilities, and you need support, you should be offered an assessment. A Carer’s Assessment could help you get access to help and support, including, depending on assessment of needs, respite care for the person you care for, or a £200 flexible break payment for yourself.  

Useful online resources for carers 

Which has produced a user-friendly guide to what's involved in a Carer’s Assessment. 

https://www.which.co.uk/money/tax/tax-credits-and-benefits/benefits-for-carers/how-to-get-a-carers-assessment-ah68v8l3tyf0 

Kingston Council information for carers, including the Carers Emergency Alert Card 

https://www.kingston.gov.uk/support-carers 

https://www.kingston.gov.uk/adult-social-care/carers-guide 

https://www.kingston.gov.uk/caring-someone/apply-carers-emergency-alert-card 

Carers UK Digital resources for unpaid carers 

Includes information on My Back up plan, which supports carers with emergency planning. Carers UK is providing carers in Kingston access to a wide range of digital tools and essential resources that may help make your / your carer’s caring situation easier. You can access the digital tools, listed below, for free via the Carers UK Digital Resources website (Your Free Access Code is: DGTL1438). 

https://www.carersdigital.org/login/index.php 

 

Am I a carer? 

A carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid support to family or friends who could not manage without this help. 

Each carer’s role is unique. If you’re caring for someone that you share a home with, you might provide help and support 24/7. If you live separately, you might spend a few hours a day with them, or just pop in once a week. You might be the sole carer or share responsibilities with several family members who help to look after the same person. 

A carer can be any age. You might be a young adult supporting a grandparent, or you could be retired yourself, providing care for a partner, sibling or friend. You might well be someone in the ‘sandwich generation’, juggling childcare with caring for an ageing parent. Your role will be shaped by the needs of the person you are caring for and your personal circumstances. 

A person might need care due to: 

  • serious illness or injury 
  • physical or mental disability 
  • reduced mobility
  • mental health issues 
  • dementia. 

Need more help?

For more information and support, contact us.