Are you new to caring for a friend or family member? This page contains essential information for you.
Has your cared for person had an Assessment?
If your cared for person is in need of ‘personal care’ which means help with eating, washing, dressing, toileting, mobility, safety, falls, memory etc., they will be entitled to get an assessment of their needs by Social Services.
More information on adult social services can be found on the Lewisham Council website or phone 020 8314 7777 or out of hours call 020 8314 6000.
You can also find a practical guide to healthy caring available to download from the NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) website
Have you had a Carers Assessment?
Are you providing help to your cared for person? You may be entitled to a Carers Assessment even if your cared for person does not want or refuses an Assessment themselves.
This enables you to tell a social worker about what you do for your cared for person and about YOUR needs, for example, to continue in paid employment, support other family members, have a break from caring etc. and what you are prepared and not prepared to do for your cared for person.
The assessment will tell you if you are eligible for support from your local council.
This support could include being offered money to pay for things that make caring easier. Or the local authority might offer practical support, such as arranging for someone to step in when you need a short break. It could also put you in touch with local support groups so you have people to talk to.
Have you checked your Financial Benefits
If you are caring for someone you may be entitled to certain financial benefits – thousands of carers lose out because they don’t claim! These benefits are currently under review by the Government, please contact the CAB or Carers Lewisham 020 8699 8686 for more information about what you might be entitled to. Below are online benefit calculator tools you can use. However you may still need to get advice – contact Carers Lewisham.
Use one of these tool to see if there is anything you can claim:
Lasting Power of Attorney – managing another person’s money
If you are caring for someone whose mental or physical ill health may leave them unable to take care of their own finances, you should consider applying for a Lasting Power of Attorney. This is a legal procedure where your cared-for person can name the person/s of their choice to look after their finances for them and make decisions on their behalf, and it’s especially helpful if they own property, have their own bank account or pay bills in their own name.
Carers Lewisham can help complete Power of Attorney forms for a small donation.
Looking After Yourself
When you are caring for a loved one it is very easy for you to neglect yourself and your own well being. Carers are twice as likely to get sick as someone the same age that is not caring. Sometimes your cared for person may find it difficult to accept help from another, however unless you take care of yourself you may get ill and be unable to continue to care, so it is in their best interest as well as yours that you stay well and happy and have time for yourself.
The most important things to think about are:
- Taking time for yourself to do the things you need to do and things YOU enjoy
- Having regular breaks away from caring
- Looking after your own health – tell your GP you are a carer
- Talk to others and get support – Carers Lewisham is here for YOU
- Staying in touch with friends, family and meet other carers to find out how they cope and learn from others experience
- Don’t wait until everything falls apart to get help!!
- Look After Your Back
Many carers damage their backs whilst caring – don’t let that be you! See information below for help and advice about caring for your back whilst caring for your loved one.
The rest of this site contains lots of other useful information please enjoy exploring and if you don’t find what you need please do not hesitate to contact us. Tel: 020 8699 8686 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org