You are a carer if you are looking after someone – a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled, or has substance misuse problems – and who relies on the help you give them.
Caring can be support of a range of types including personal care, practical help, emotional support, help with managing behaviours or relationships.
If this is you, there are services that can help you:
- safely care – for example move or assist the person you care for, understand the best ways of doing things, put a plan in place in case you get ill or have an accident
- manage other family responsibilities and relationships alongside caring
- get support by talking to other carers
- have a break
- stay fit and healthy
- manage other aspects of your life alongside caring
- maintain your own life and goals.
Services available to you right now
Information from Devon Carers
You can phone Devon Carers Helpline any time Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, and Saturdays 9am-1pm on 08456 434 435. They can answer questions, give you information and advice, and tell you about services and resources that could help.
A regular carers’ newsletter
The newsletter comes out four times a year and is free to all carers. Phone the Helpline on 08456 434 435 to sign up.
An Alert Card for emergencies
This card identifies you as a carer and lets emergency services know that you care for someone. To get a card you’ll need to create a contingency plan for the person you care for if you become unwell or have an accident. To find out more phone 08456 434 435.
Support from other carers
There are carer support groups across Devon. Find out when and where the groups meet by phoning 08456 434 435 or have a look online.
There are useful apps to help you manage your caring responsibilities, your daily tasks and co-ordinate help from friends and family members. Carers UK have created Jointly – an app which helps you to manage tasks, appointments and medications and can be used by everyone working with you. Jointly has a one off cost of £2.99, but there are similar apps available for free such as Trello and Todoist. All of these work on computers, mobiles and tablets.
Discounts and benefits
Carersmart.org is a club from Carers Trust which gives you and the person you care for access to benefits, discounts and exclusive special offers. They are currently offering cashback on shopping, better rates from energy providers, and discounts on insurance, holidays and activities. Visit www.carersmart.org to register.
Help with your rights and entitlements
Understanding your rights as a carer, benefits you can receive and any additional things you are entitled too can be confusing. Carers UK produce a clear Carers Rights Guide which you can download at devon.cc/carersrightsguide
Upfront is a dynamic online tool which aims to give you specific information for your situation. You will need to enter some details about your situation to get the results. Find it at www.carersuk.org/upfront
Being Heard is a guide to getting your voice heard and the help that might be available to help you speak up for yourself and the person you care for. Find it at devon.cc/beingheardguide
Services to solve specific problems
These are targeted services and products to help you solve specific problems and stop a challenging situation from getting worse. If you think any of these services will help you, phone Devon Carers on 08456 434 435 for a chat about your needs.
This is one to one help from a Devon Carers worker to get support and advice about a problem either face-to-face at a convenient location or by phone.
Buddies and peer support
You can get access to peer support at facilitated groups of carers and in buddy pairs arranged by Devon Carers. We can also help you develop mutually supportive relationships and networks.
We can help if you or the person you care for is being discharged from hospital and you need support.
Help with emergency planning
We can help you to create a contingency plan for the person you care for if you become unwell or have an accident. Many people can do this themselves, but we can support you if you’re struggling.
Training – safe and effective caring
We can provide free training courses on caring safely, lifting and moving, first aid, and ways of looking after your own health and wellbeing.
We aim to provide training that meets your needs as a carer – so if something is missing from this list let us know.
If we agree that you need training to keep you and the person you care for safe, we can pay your expenses for attending, including care for the person you care for if needed.
We can give you advice on access to education, training, leisure, volunteering and employment. We can also help you find other services you might need such as anxiety and depression services or counselling.
Health and wellbeing check
A Carer Health and Wellbeing Check in Devon is a carer assessment designed to help you to think about how you are feeling and how to stay safe and well. If the check shows that you have specific needs we will look at putting some targeted or more personal, services in place to help you.
These services may be available if you have specific issues which have been identified in your health and wellbeing check.
One to one help
More intensive one-to-one support from a Devon Carers worker to solve problems, develop a crisis management plan or plan in advance if you may need to go in to hospital in the future.
Usually crisis support is needed because there is a change in the condition of the person you care for, or you need replacement care for them because you have an emergency.
If you are in a crisis situation and you don’t have a plan in place which covers this call 0345 1551 007.
For a crisis involving the health of the person you care for:
- if you have been given an emergency number by a specialist service which supports the person you care for, and the crisis relates to that need, call that number
- call 111 for urgent NHS health advice, or 999 for emergency service if you think an ambulance is required.
If you are concerned that you may need to urgent support in an emergency in the future, raise this at your Health and Wellbeing Check or call the helpline 08456 434 435.
Help to get specialist advice
We can refer you to other services that can give you the support you need, such as benefits advice, dementia support, end of life planning and bereavement support.
Help to care effectively
We can help you to access any specialist training you need to look after the person you care for effectively. We can also support you to be an expert partner in caring, along with the professional agencies working with the person you care for, while looking after yourself and staying well.
Carers support plan
If your carers Health and Wellbeing Check shows that you need personal support to help you care, we will develop a carers’ support plan with you and if needed may give you a personal budget – usually this is through direct payments – which will allow you to buy the help you need.
Services for the person you care for
Sometimes the best way to help you is by putting services in place for the person you care for. This could be replacement care if you are unwell or need a break. The person you care for usually needs to agree to this and it will be included as part of their personal budget. We will discuss this with you in detail before anything is put in place. If there are specific difficulties, for example the person you care for does not have the capacity to consent, or does not understand your need for a break, we will discuss this with you too.
To get more information about any services for carers and to speak to someone about have a carers health and wellbeing check phone Devon Carers on 08456 434 435 or visit www.devoncarers.org.uk
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