During a global pandemic might not feel like the best time to think about getting support with caring for someone, but starting to think and talk about the topic now could mean we are set up and ready for when the right time comes.
Chatting in our Top Tips Tuesday Cuppa about the topic we looked broadly at support for the people we care for and the things that also support us to be able to care. We came up with a checklist of possible types of support to consider, how to get started and how to get help to pay for it.
Possible types of support to consider
What do other carers say about getting help and support to care?
"A good PA (Personal Assistant) is worth their weight in gold. Pay them a decent wage, with a proper contract."
"I have had a lot of paid help over the years, it’s the backbone of keeping my health well enough to be carer to my children."
"Be proactive about having information about your cared for to hand to be able to brief new carers."
"So important to get the right person, it can be a slow process."
How to get started
Talk (and listen) to everyone involved, perhaps reviewing the table above to think about what feels like a good first step. This can be a sensitive topic, some might see this as a loss of independence or privacy, others might need time to think things through.
Our carers recommended four important starting points to consider:
Social services (adult social care or children's services)
GP and primary care services
Mental health services
School and education services
Your cared for may be entitled to a care needs assessment from your local council. The assessment is free and can give you recommendations about the type of care that might be needed. They can also signpost you to local care providers in your area. A financial assessment that follows this will also determine if the person you care for is eligible for financial support to help pay for this.
Children with additional needs are also entitled to an assessment.
"Although it may not be possible to interview people face to face yet, a video call can be good."
How to get help to pay for support
Depending on the type of help we need there are a few things to think about here.
Social Services - as mentioned above a financial assessment will determine what help is available. If eligible, care can be arranged and cared for directly or a personal budget, via direct payments to care providers can be agreed.
Check with the GP about things like chiropody
Your local carers centre may know about sitting and respite services in your local areas
National condition specific charities may also offer support locally
Family, friends and community may be able to help too
For support for children and young people with additional needs - Contact
For support with cancer - MacMillan Nurses
For support with Dementia - Admiral Nurses
End of life care and support for long term conditions - Database of Hospices across the UK
For support with terminal illness - Marie Curie Nurses and helpers
"Remember we know those we care for best and want what is best for them, if things aren’t working you have every right to call a meeting or put in writing what has gone wrong - copy in all concerned. You can find alternatives for yourself too."