For those people who look after someone with a disability or who are old or ill, there are various forms of help, both practical assistance on a day to day basis but also benefits such as Carers Allowance.
Definition of an Unpaid Carer:
- Unlike paid carers (or ‘Care workers’) you are not paid for the care you are providing.
- You may or may not be related to the person you are caring for. Equally, you may live in the same house as them or you may live somewhere else.
- You help with day to day tasks, helping someone to get washed and dressed, to eat and to go to appointments.
You are entitled to a Carer’s Assessment via your Local Authority. They may ask you to fill out a form in advance or may choose to have a telephone discussion with you. In most instances, they will try and have a meeting with you in which you can discuss your caring role, the amount of time you spend caring and the practical challenges you face in supporting someone else, in a way that does not endanger your own health.
- They will want to know about concerns that you have and the impact your caring role has on the rest of your life.
- To prepare for your assessment, look at the helpful checklist on the Carers UK factsheet (page 31 -see link below).
- Your local authority will consider whether there is likely to be ‘a significant impact on your wellbeing as a result of your caring role’ and, as a result, will make the decision about whether or not you have ‘eligible needs’.
There are 3 questions they will consider when they make this decision:
- Does your caring role have an effect on you?
- Are your needs the result of you providing necessary care?
- Is there, or could there be in the future, a significant impact on your wellbeing?
If the answer to all 3 questions is yes, then you will have eligible needs. If this is the case, they will then have a legal obligation to meet these needs and will give you a support plan detailing how these needs will be met. It could be that the best way to help you is for them to provide services directly to you (as a carer) and/or by providing services to the individual you care for (the care recipient). There are many ways they may give you support but a few examples are listed below: