Caring for someone may mean our households have additional costs, or it may be there are things that would help but we just can’t afford them right now. The situation may have changed because of Coronavirus or it may just be time to review what options we have.
Carers have been telling us that having a clear idea about the kind of things that could make a difference, will help us to identify where that support might come from. They tell us the following are worth looking into:
If the person we are caring for is in receipt of Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, or Disability Living Allowance at the higher rate (or similar) we may be eligible for Carers Allowance. Complete our speedy Carer's Allowance Checker to find out if you qualify. For a comprehensive benefits check, try the Turn2us Benefits Calculator. Or speak to your local Citizens' Advice Bureau.
Don't forget in winter, there are an additional set of payments and discounts that might be handy. Our 'Carers' Guide to Winter Support' also lays out the additional challenges carers may face during the winter and how we can better support our wellbeing during this time of the year.
Local councils are responsible for assessing the needs of the people we care for (often called a care assessment) as well as assessing our needs as a carer (a carer's assessment). This may lead to a referral or direct payment that can be used for specific support such as:
Equipment or alterations to help us care safely
Equipment or alterations to improve the independence of the person we are caring for
Respite care (when someone else looks after the person we care for, so that we can take a break)
Regular care or domestic help
Access to exercise programmes or support groups
Other things that will help us to manage the impact of caring
Assessments may be carried out by the council or local carers support organisation. Find out who the local council responsible for adult social care is here. It's normally a county council and look for 'social care' on their website. Some websites are tricky to navigate so if you need help, you can complete our mini carer's assessment and we'll get back to you.
Grants and other sources of funding
This web page from Carers Trust is a helpful place to start. It includes organisations that support people with specific disabilities or illnesses, people of different ages and benevolent funds that may be relevant depending on where we work or have worked in the past.
Some GPs have started offering "Social Prescribing" which involves helping patients to improve their health and wellbeing by connecting them to community services which might be run by the council or local charity. This might be called something else where you live but it was worth checking.
A local champion can also talk to us about what is available in our area that might help us and the people we are caring for to better look after our health and wellbeing.
Don’t get stuck!
If sorting these things out feels overwhelming or we don’t know where to start, we can book a free 30 minute individual support call with one of our carer support team. Let's work out some easy first steps together - you don’t have to do this on your own!
Let me know how you get on - it helps us to support others like you
We know that what is available can vary depending on where you live, we also know there are some hidden gems that it would be good to share with other carers. Please do tell me about your experience of any of the above or other ideas that carers could try. Drop me a line here.