Are you a carer?
If you provide unpaid help and support to a relative, friend or neighbour who could not manage without your help because of physical or mental ill health, physical or learning disabilities, frailty or addiction to alcohol or drugs then you are almost certainly a carer.
Many children and young people under the age of 18 find that their lives are restricted because of the need to take some responsibility for looking after a parent, brother or sister. Parents may be carers of a disabled child if they provide regular and substantial care beyond what is expected for a similarly aged child.
Many people do not realise they are a carer – STOP – THINK – Does someone rely on YOU to collect their prescription, pick up some shopping, look at their bills for them? These are only a few examples of what a carer does.
You may be a young carer
What is a young carer? Check out the video below.
Why do carers need support?
- Many carers juggle work or education with caring
- Many carers don’t find out what help is available to them until they reach a crisis
- Being able to take a break from caring is essential; for many carers a regular break makes it possible to continue caring
- Carers often give up work to care with all the financial consequences that follow
- Many carers develop their own health problems as a result of caring
As a carer, it is important that you look after your own health; it is easy not to look after your own health when you are looking after someone else. Here at the Birchwood Medical Practice we want to help you to stay as fit and healthy as possible so you can look after yourself as well as the person you care for. We keep a register of carers who are our patients so that we can let you know about any new services or support that becomes available.
Please let us know if you are a carer/young carer. You can tell us by talking to your GP, speaking to Reception or letting us know on our website feedback form.
You can also complete our Carers Identification Form
There is a wealth of information on NHS Choices and the Carers Support Centre Bristol & South Gloucestershire about carers and caring. Below are some links to these sites that we hope you will find useful.
- Caring for a parent: Watch this video on: caring for a parent at home
- Telling people: Caring responsibilities can make it difficult to maintain friendships or develop new ones. Telling your friends you’re a carer is important so they understand and can support you.
- Taking a break: Caring for someone can be a full-time job, but it’s essential that you take time out for yourself too. Read our guide to accessing breaks and respite.
- Housing and carers: Do you know your tenancy rights as a carer? Are you aware of all your care at home options? Do you need tips on moving someone around the home?
Carers support groups
Contact the Carers Support Centre:
CarersLine: 0117 965 2200
Carers Support Centre
Gill Avenue, Fishponds
Bristol BS16 2QQ
or Carers Direct
Non-urgent advice: Contact Carers Direct
Telephone: 0808 802 0202
Lines are open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 11AM – 4PM at weekends. Calls are free from UK landlines.
Finance and Law
Help claiming benefits, looking after your bank balance and understanding the legal issues of caring.
- Benefits for carers: Directing carers to the benefits that can help them in their caring role
- Benefits for the person you care for: Advice and information on helping the person you look after get the benefits that they are entitled to
- Death and benefits: How your benefits maybe affected after the death of the person you look after and what happens to their benefits
- Managing someone’s legal affairs: Advice for when carers find they have to take over the legal affairs of the person they are looking after
- Other benefits: Advice for carers and the people they are looking after on claiming a whole host of other benefits unrelated to their disability or caring
- Personal and household finance: Advice on keeping a tight rein on household and personal finance for carers
- Social fund
- Tax credits: Information on claiming tax credits and whether you might be eligible
Carers Support Centre Bristol & South Gloucestershire
Carers Support Centre provides information and advice to carers of any age living in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire areas.
- Providing information on services available
- Supporting carers to access the help they need
- Involving carers in the planning and development of services
- Offering practical support: training, counselling, carers’ breaks and holidays, emergency card, quarterly newsletter.