Carers are defined as:
‘...any person, adult or child, who provides unpaid support to a partner, relative or friend who couldn’t manage to live independently or whose health or wellbeing would deteriorate without this help. This could be due to frailty, disability or serious health condition, mental ill health or substance misuse.’
Without help and support, carers can find themselves struggling with what can be very physical and emotional demands, trying to balance work and home life, and potentially risking their own health and wellbeing as a result. Supporting carers to enable them to meet their own needs is a key focus for both Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group and our partners at Rotherham Borough Council and we continue to actively support carers and further information can be found in the Carers Charter. We value the work of our carers, who are quite literally, indispensable.
7 Steps to caring
Every year 2 million people become carers, so the first thing to remember is you are not alone!
Becoming a carer can be bewildering, confusing and frightening. No one is super human and all carers need some support and help.
1 Remember you’re a carer!
Recognising yourself as a carer is the very first step to getting the support you need.
Many of us do not see ourselves as carers straight away; we are relatives, friends and neighbours. We are simply doing what anyone would, caring unpaid for a loved one or friend, helping them through when they are unable to do things for themselves.
The fact is that you are also a carer, and there are things that you need to know. No one likes to be labelled, but recognising yourself as a carer can be the first step to getting a range of help and support.
2 Include your family and friends
Many carers turn to family and friends for support, and to help them to take a break from caring. It is important that you do not cope alone, so speak to someone about your caring role. Others may be reluctant to ask if you need help!
3 Tell people and services
You may be entitled to certain benefits and services - but you have to ask for them.
RMBC Council provides a range of services to carers and people with disabilities. They should be one of your first contacts, as it is important they know about the person you’re caring for.
As a carer, you are entitled to a carer’s assessment, which looks at your needs and how you can be supported, i.e. through a break, aids and adaptations or in an emergency.
4 Tell people at work
Working carers may need a range of support at different times - from access to a telephone to check on the person you care for, to emergency arrangements.
Telling work you are a carer is not always an easy step but there may be existing support or you may find that your employer is open to exploring ways to support carers.
5 Know your rights
You may need help to find out your rights and entitlements, especially regarding benefits, but remember that the benefits system is there to help and you are entitled to claim. You can also get advice on debt and other money worries.
6 Talk to someone
Carers groups give support to carers by providing information, arranging social events and giving carers time to speak to other carers about problems or experiences. Many of the carers that we speak to find carers’ groups a great source of support.
7 Look after yourself
You need to look after yourself as well as the person you’re caring for. One in five carers report that their health suffers as a direct result of caring including back problems and stress related illnesses. Speak to your doctor, and discuss what support you and the person you care for need.
Details of information and support for carers can be found below:-
Provides Information and signposting to appropriate services:-
For further information contact:-
Telephone: 01709 254809
Connect to Support is a website for people needing support in Rotherham, from local to national products and services, plus information and advice and much more:-
Advice and Support for Carers and the People They Care For
Rotherham Gismo is where you can find information about the diverse range of voluntary, community and faith groups and organisations in Rotherham:-
Carers UK Website
Carers Trust Website
If you have any comments you'd like to share or would like any further information, please contact Julie Abbotts, Project Support Officer.
You can contact Julie by:
Phone: 01709 308807
Writing: Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group, Oak House, Moorhead Way, Rotherham, S66 1YY